Marquette Wire

Prpa nets six points in 4-0 men’s soccer victory

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Marquette scored four goals three days after a 4-0 loss to Kentucky.

Marquette scored four goals three days after a 4-0 loss to Kentucky.

Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Marquette scored four goals three days after a 4-0 loss to Kentucky.

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Freshman phenom Luka Prpa led Marquette to its first victory of the season Monday night, scoring two goals and two assists in the Golden Eagles 4-0 win against Northern Illinois.

Marquette dominated possession early and it showed, as Marquette had nine of their 15 shots in the first half. The Golden Eagles got on the board in the 19th minute, when Jan Maertins received a pass from Prpa inside the six-yard box, took one touch and fired it off of the keeper’s gloves and into the back of the net.

There would be more scoring from Marquette in the 42nd minute. Fellow freshman Connor Alba was tackled in the penalty area, and Prpa stepped up and calmly placed it in the inside of the left post to give Marquette a commanding 2-0 lead.

Prpa said the connection between the freshman is getting stronger every day, helping the Golden Eagles grab their first victory of the season.

“With thirteen freshmen, we obviously did not know each other coming in, but since we all live close together in the dorms, we have been getting to know each other a lot,” Prpa said. “It’s really been fun to be honest, and tonight that chemistry showed.”

Coach Louis Bennett was pleased with Marquette’s performance, noting how they came back after suffering a 4-0 defeat on Friday.

“I thought it was a gutsy performance,” Bennett said. “Maybe they don’t know any better, but they bounced back from Friday to do a lot better on Monday.”

“Danny Jarosz and John Pothast gave the young group a real experienced anchor, and I thought Mac (Wheeler) was very good as well. I thought those three provided a platform for those guys to do what they needed to do. There were spells where we saw what the future could look like.”

Marquette continued to dominate stretches in the second half, as they used balls over the top that frequently troubled Northern Illinois defenders.

In the 55th minute, Marquette grabbed a third goal, this time on a piece of individual brilliance by Alba. He dribbled 15 yards, weaving his way through the Husky defense, fired a hard, low shot that went into the bottom left corner, impossible for the keeper to reach.

Prpa scored Marquette’s final goal of the night from a ball the Huskies failed to clear. It fell to senior Jack Alberts, who found Prpa rushing into the box. Prpa then chipped the Northern Illinois keeper to get his second.

The defense was steady all night, and only allow the Huskies five shots in the entire match.

Wheeler had one save in his first start of the season. Bennett was not sure who will be the starter Friday.

Marquette travels to Chicago to play Illinois-Chicago before hosting Northwestern on Monday.

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