Shutout streak continues in Marquette’s 2-0 win over Mercer

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Shutout streak continues in Marquette’s 2-0 win over Mercer

Freshman forward Kylie Sprecher notched an assist  on Eli Beard's 32nd minute goal.

Freshman forward Kylie Sprecher notched an assist on Eli Beard's 32nd minute goal.

Freshman forward Kylie Sprecher notched an assist on Eli Beard's 32nd minute goal.

Freshman forward Kylie Sprecher notched an assist on Eli Beard's 32nd minute goal.

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Marquette’s streak without surrendering a goal is now up to almost 382 minutes following Marquette’s 2-0 shutout of the Mercer Bears in the final game of the four-team, partial-round-robin Marquette Invitational.

“Our defense has been strong,” senior midfielder Eli Beard said. “It’s always our goal to get a shutout.”

The cliché that the best defense is a good offense rang true Sunday. Sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Henry only had to save one shot in more than 88 minutes of work. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles outshot Mercer 29-8, including a 15-1 advantage in shots on goal.

“We created a lot of opportunities in different ways,” head coach Markus Roeders said. “But in the end of the day, you have to be a little bit more clinical.”

Despite the lopsided shot totals, Marquette was not clinical enough until the 32nd minute, when Beard knocked a goal into the right corner of the net from inside the box.

“Kylie (Sprecher) was out wide, beat her defender and crossed it in,” Beard explained. “Carrie (Madden) went near-post and kind of deflected it back to me and I was right there, so I just hit it as hard as I could and it went in.”

With that goal, Beard now has goals on back-to-back Sunday games and is third on the team with five points through the first six games. Only graduate forward Darian Powell and Carrie Madden have more points with seven.

Marquette’s only other offense came in the 83rd minute, as redshirt freshman Erin Johnston rocketed in her first career goal from 28 yards out.

“It was awesome,” Beard said. “Erin is a good player and she’s good at those long-range shots.”

Erin Johnston, the sister of former Marquette standout Meegan Johnston, is the fourth player to score her first career goal this season. Abby Hess scored against Kentucky, Ryley Bugay scored against Louisville and Kylie Sprecher scored against Central Michigan.

“Everybody on our team, in different ways, can score,” Roeders said. “That’s a great luxury to have.”

The win did not come without a cost, however, as Carrie Madden left the game with an injury in the 51st minute and did not return. She was seen on the sidelines with crutches later in the second half and is day-to-day.

Marquette will embark on its first multi-game road trip next weekend, visiting Boston University on Friday and Rhode Island on Sunday.

“We’re getting better and we’re improving,” Roeders said. “And that’s what we’re looking for this time of the year.”

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