Women’s soccer battle Friars in Big East Quarterfinal


Photo by Valeria Cardenas/[email protected]

The Marquette women’s soccer team hosts Providence Tuesday in a Big East Quarterfinal matchup, which marks the seventh consecutive season the Golden Eagles are hosting a Big East tournament game.

Marquette played Providence just 10 days ago at Providence. The Golden Eagles scored four goals in a 23-minute span to notch a 4-0 victory against the Friars for the team’s only road win of the Big East season.

Coach Markus Roeders said playing the Friars recently is beneficial, but doesn’t change too much about game preparation.

“You know the routine, how to get prepared, how to get ready,” Roeders said. “Only the best teams are left.”

In the teams’ first meeting, Marquette was able to keep Catherine Zimmerman off the stat sheet. Zimmerman is tied for fourth in points (27) and points per game (1.5) in the Big East, and second in goals (11) and goals per game (0.61). The Friars’ next leading scorer has just seven points on the season.

Despite Zimmerman’s gaudy numbers, Roeders knows the team cannot focus solely on Providence’s leading scorer.

“I don’t know if a player like (Zimmerman), you’re going to be able to shut down,” Roeders said. “We know we have to keep a close eye on her, but there are some other players that have some offensive abilities, and as a whole … they’re not a one-player team.”

The Golden Eagle defense disrupted the Friars in the first match by not allowing Providence to set up in the offensive zone, paired with the prolific first half. Marquette keepers, junior Amanda Engel and senior Sofie Schunk, had to make seven saves in the last meeting and will expect to see those numbers again. The defense will need to be as sharp as it was on Oct. 25 in order to earn another convincing victory.

The four goals Marquette scored against the Friars were tied for the most on the season for the Golden Eagles. Senior Alex Heffron netted two goals and sophomores Darian Powell and Ashley Handwork scored one each, showing that the Golden Eagles can get scoring from a multitude of players. Four Golden Eagles have double-digit points, and five have three or more goals on the season.

Another strong offensive showing will help Marquette establish game flow, as well as control the game like it did in the first meeting.

Roeders said Marquette plays its best soccer when everyone chips in.

“We’ve struggled with some injuries and consistencies,” Roeders said. “If we can just fine tune in those areas and have everybody really come together at the same time, I think we’re a really difficult team to play against.”

The winner of the Quarterfinal match will face off against Big East regular season champion DePaul. Kickoff for the Providence game is at 7 p.m.

“We just have to put a real solid 90 minutes together,” Roeders said. “If we do that, we should feel really good about what we’re going to be able to do.”