Marquette Wire

Prpa nets six more points in 4-1 win against UIC

Luka+Prpa+has+12+points+in+his+last+two+games.
Luka Prpa has 12 points in his last two games.

Luka Prpa has 12 points in his last two games.

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Luka Prpa has 12 points in his last two games.

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It looked like it just wasn’t Marquette’s day. Just 31 seconds in, UIC’s Jose Fuentes got a shot off from the top of the box and slipped it right past keeper Wicho Barraza’s fingers. Less than a minute in, things didn’t look good for Marquette. That’s before factoring in Marquette’s newly-discovered offensive prowess.

The Golden Eagles responded with four unanswered goals, starting with a fourth-minute equalizer off the bar from Luka Prpa, to extinguish the Flames 4-1.

“It was probably good for us,” Toby Howell said. “It woke us up on the road. Once we got that one out of the way we could settle down and play.”

“When you give a goal up that early it can be soul breaking for the fragile,” head coach Louis Bennett said. “We’re a lot of things, but we’re definitely not fragile.”

Marquette, now riding a two-game win streak, has scored eight goals in its last two games.

With everyone who scored in 2015 gone, who would score for this team was one of the biggest questions coming into the season. Early on, it appears Prpa is the kingpin of the offense. He scored two goals and two assists for the second straight game, with both goals coming on unsettled situations. He has 12 points in his last two games, which would be good for second on the team in scoring last year.

“Great players have 360 vision,” Bennett said. “(That’s) one of the things that makes him really special.”

Fellow freshman Jan Maertins is also chipping in, scoring a goal for a second straight game.

However, it was Toby Howell who was the most dynamic Friday. He continuously dominated in possession, both in the middle of the field and on the end line. His shining moment came in the 55th minute, as he bent a ball into the right side of the net to give the Golden Eagles a comfortable 3-1 lead.

“I thought he was the catalyst of breaking them down,” Bennett said. “He ran and he ran and he ran. I thought he was spectacular.”

Danny Jarosz, who missed nearly all of 2015 with a concussion, was slow to get up after taking a late tackle. He stayed in the game.

Ruben Sanchez sat out for a second game after suffering a leg injury against Kentucky. He said he expects to return sometime next week.

Marquette will host another regional rival Monday in Northwestern, a team looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Denver. Bennett said the team will continue rotating goalies, meaning Mac Wheeler will be in net.

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