Milwaukee Cup ends in first draw since 2007


Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Louis Bennett scored his only goal of the season against UW-Milwaukee.

Video by Matt Unger

The Milwaukee Cup will be staying at Marquette for another season, but not due to a Golden Eagles win. Despite an impressive start by UW-Milwaukee, Louis Bennett II’s goal in the 73rd minute was enough to earn a draw in front of a record Engelmann Stadium crowd of over 4,000.

The Panthers continuously executed crisp passes and dominated the Golden Eagles back line in the first 20 minutes of action. In the 24th minute freshman forward Tinashe Marowa made Marquette pay. He was left all alone in the middle of the box, getting off a shot that freshman goalkeeper Luis Barraza had no chance to defend.

“After the first 20 minutes, I would have been happy with the draw,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “Once we managed to settle down, we acclimated to the phonetic style of UWM and got used to the surface. We started to show ourselves.”

Bennett believes his team struggled out of the gates to adjust to the playing surface, which leads to a much faster tempo than what the Golden Eagles are used to.

“UWM was prepared to chase and run on anything,” Bennett said. “They were the kings of lost causes. They played a couple of balls that I thought ‘there’s no way.’ They just kept running and running. We didn’t track very well.”

The beginning of the game spelled disaster for Marquette, but the team began to settle down. The chances began to come, but everything was just slightly off. Freshman midfielder Jesper Larsson had numerous opportunities, including a shot that nearly found the top left corner in the 34th minute.

It wouldn’t be until the 73rd minute that the Golden Eagles could string together offensive chances. Bennett II injected life back into his squad with a beautiful strike to the top left corner.

“It felt great (off my foot),” Bennett II said. “I had a little bit of space and was able to tuck it back post.”

Marquette continued adding pressure following Bennett’s goal, enough to catch up to UWM in shots taken.

“Goals are definitely a momentum boost,” Bennett II said. “Going 1-1, you want to score another one.”

A second goal for either team was not out of the question, as both had excellent scoring chances in the waning minutes. The game would need extra time, but neither team would be able to find the net a second time. The game ended after 110 minutes, the first Milwaukee Cup draw since another 1-1 showing in 2007.

Barraza had another excellent start in goal, taking another step toward earning the full time job. He made five saves and was aggressive on the ball during his first Milwaukee Cup outing. There were multiple instances where he went out to knock the ball away, at one point even toppling over four leaping players.

“What I love about Luis is that he’s not arrogant but he’s very confident,” Bennett said. “He understands the role. When you’re a goalkeeper and people look back, you don’t want to see a shrinking violet. You want to see a guy who’s going to say ‘What do we got? Bring it.’”

Barraza’s sound demeanor is not surprising based on the young keeper’s resume. He spent four years in the Real Salt Lake development program, even getting an opportunity to practice with the first team. He’s able to read the play much better than one would expect from a first-year collegiate player.

“If it’s within the box and it’s within reach I can come out no problem,” Barraza said. “I’ve got pretty good spacing in my box and I feel confident coming out like that.”

Since the Panthers were unable to win the trophy back, the Milwaukee Cup will stay at Marquette for another season.

“Retaining hardware is nice,” Bennett II said. “It’s nice not to give it back to the other side of the city.”

This weekend will be about recovery for the Golden Eagles, who have a quick turnaround following their chippy rivalry match. Marquette will have its first home game of the season on Monday, as the Golden Eagles host the Dayton Flyers in a Labor Day bout.

News and Notes

• Bennett is still one win away from his 200th collegiate victory. Thursday night’s match would have been a fitting setting to reach that pinnacle, since Bennett spent 10 years of his coaching career at UWM.

• Not surprisingly, tempers were flaring a bit in this crosstown rivalry. UWM did anything to waste time in the second half, including kicking balls that were meant for Golden Eagles quick starts, getting in the way of throw-ins and taking their time setting up plays. That nearly boiled over in the final seconds. A UWM player was far too close to Bennett II during his final throw-in opportunity. When UWM regained possession, it appeared that one of the Panthers players tried pushing a Golden Eagle over Martin Alba, who was on the ground due to what appeared to be a cramp. There were a combined seven yellow cards in the match.

• Redshirt senior David Selvaggi got his first start of the season coming off injury. He looked his normal self, which is a very good sign for the Golden Eagles. He was second in points for the team last season.