Women’s soccer looks to exorcise demons against DePaul

Photo by Valeria Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu
Photo by Valeria Cardenas/[email protected]

The Marquette women’s soccer team defeated Providence 2-0 at home in the Big East Quarterfinals, punching its ticket to New York to take on the top-ranked DePaul Blue Demons.

The Golden Eagles controlled possession for the majority of the game and established the offense quickly. Sophomore forward Darian Powell got two quality chances within the first 15 minutes, then finally found the back of the net in the 17th minute. Marquette got a corner kick and senior midfielder Mary Luba put the ball into the box, where senior defender Haley Fritzlen directed it to Powell. Powell buried the shot to give Marquette the 1-0 lead.

Coach Markus Roeders said Powell has been a goal scorer all year for the Golden Eagles, so it is not surprising she scored again.

“That’s what she’s good at,” Roeders said. “There’s a bunch of players in the league who have the knack for scoring those goals … and she’s definitely one of them.”

Marquette carried the lead into the half and then built on it right after the restart whistle. The Golden Eagles had three consecutive corner kicks in the 47th minute and on the third, junior midfielder Jacie Jermier put the corner into the box, where Fritzlen headed the ball into the net for the 2-0 lead. The goal gave Marquette a huge momentum boost and carried the team through the rest of the half.

Roeders said getting the goal early in the second half helped the Golden Eagles control play for the rest of the game.

“Scoring right after halftime, I think that really, overall, kind of helped us and carried us through for the rest of the match,” Roeders said.

Aiding the effort was the Marquette back line, which held Friar leading scorer Catherine Zimmerman off the stat sheet for a second-straight game. The Golden Eagles disrupted her game plan, as she only had three shots all game. Two came off a free kick, one of which required a kick save from Marquette keeper Amanda Engel.

Roeders said it was difficult for the team to make sure Zimmerman did not score.

“She’s a handful,” Roeders said. “She’s a special player. She’s going to continue to make some noise.”

With the 2-0 victory, Marquette now faces off against DePaul, which has yet to lose this season. The Golden Eagles were very close to knocking them off in the two’s first meeting, as the Blue Demons needed extra time to win.

In the previous matchup, DePaul jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Golden Eagles chipped away at the lead and tied the game at two in the 87th minute. Marquette had all the momentum, but a corner kick into the box in the 107th minute netted the game winner for DePaul.

In order for Marquette to upset the favored DePaul, the offense and defense must be excellent. The Golden Eagles do not have trouble scoring as of late, and Powell, Luba and Co. should be enough to keep Marquette competitive. The X-factor will be the defense’s ability to contain the Blue Demon attack.

Marquette was able to keep Zimmerman from scoring, but DePaul has four players in the Big East top 10 scoring – Abby Reed, Alexa Ben, Elise Wyatt and Amber Paul. In the last meeting, at least one of them was involved in DePaul’s goals. It would be extremely difficult for the Golden Eagles to subdue all four players, but keeping one or two from scoring a point could make the difference between a win and a loss.

Roeders said the team is excited to get another chance at handing DePaul its first loss of the season.

“We know we’re going to have a difficult match ahead of us,” Roeders said. “But I think we’ll be ready. If we can play our best soccer now, that’s all we can ask of ourselves.”

The Big East Semifinals are hosted by St. John’s in Jamaica, N.Y. Kickoff is Friday at 5 p.m.