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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Tweedie makes case for playing time

Freshman midfielder has started six consecutive games
Photo by Doug Peters/[email protected]

Nine games into the season, freshman midfielder Ben Tweedie had yet to see any game action. He made sure the coaching staff knew he wanted that to change.

“Every week he said he was ready,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “We knew he really wanted to play. It was a decision on whether or not we could afford to play him or not to play him and whether he was ready.”

Tweedie got his first start against in-state rival University of Wisconsin-Madison back on October 7, a defensive battle that ended 1-0 in Marquette’s favor. He said he struggled with the pace of play early on and felt his fitness was a factor, but that he still made an impact.

“The first game (I had) some statement tackles,” Tweedie said. “I really liked putting an emphasis on the midfield and making sure we dominated the game.”

Since then, he’s started six games in a row, and Bennett said he sees improvement each game.

“I think he has a good IQ,” Bennett said. “He has a good sense of where he is and what he needs to do. I think he gives us a little stability.”

Tweedie is one of five true freshmen who have gotten serious playing time this season. His playing time increased partially due to circumstance. Redshirt freshman midfielder Martin Alba was knocked out for the season with an injury. Redshirt freshman defender Danny Jarosz hasn’t played since suffering an injury in the team’s first game against Oregon State, forcing freshman Ruben Sanchez to move to the backline.

Bennett said the move was also made due to the team’s poor form prior to the Wisconsin game. The win ended a four-game winless streak. The team gave up nine goals in three of those games, with the other being a 0-0 draw against the then 1-6-2 St. John’s.

“We haven’t been able to select a regular center midfield all season,” Bennett said. “It’s almost like a domino effect.”

Marquette ran a different formation in the Wisconsin game, inserting Tweedie as an additional defensive midfielder.

“I felt a little bit of pressure, but I knew what I could bring to the team,” Tweedie said. “I could definitely impact the games and help us.”

Bennett made it clear that there’s room to grow for Tweedie. He said that for Tweedie to progress he needs to grow in all facets of the game, whether they be physical, mental or tactical, at the same rate. This experience could be vital for the player Bennett described as a “student of the game.”

“College soccer is about giving opportunity at the appropriate time,” Bennett said. “It may have come a little early for him, but he’s taking it.”

Tweedie is beginning to click with the unit and said he’s enjoying the chance to play with junior midfielder Louis Bennett II, the team’s main facilitator. He’s also building chemistry with a handful of players who he will be playing with for the next two or three years.

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