Marquette gets blanked for second straight game after second half letdown

Marquette failed to find the back of the net for the second straight match Tuesday after allowing two second half goals that proved to be the difference in a 2-0 loss to No. 12 Virginia.

The Golden Eagles, now 0-4-1, held their own in the first half. Despite being out-shot seven to four and giving up more corner kicks, the match was tightly contested.

However, the second half proved to be a different story, as the Cavaliers pressed hard to find the go-ahead goal. The first goal came shortly after the restart with a miscommunication between freshman Brendan Skinner and another defenseman. Virginia sophomore Raheem Taylor Parks won possession and slotted it past Marquette goalkeeper Luis Barraza.

Despite the mistake among the back line, Marquette head coach Louis Bennett thought that the team played better at times in the second half.

“We played on both sides of the ball a little better,” Bennett said. “We had a few chances, but we couldn’t put them away. And we will continue to work on that in practice.”

Rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Irma helped Marquette create a few chances. The Golden Eagles’ most notable chance of the night was in the 66th minute when Brody Kraussel sent in a cross meant for Jason Davis. Instead it fell to Daniel Sczcepanek, who hit it over the bar.

The second goal of the game came off a controversial penalty call on Skinner after he nudged a Cavalier forward in the box. Sergi Nus converted from the spot to make it 2-0 and seal MU’s fate.

The Golden Eagles have been shut out for the second straight match and have not scored a goal on the ground this season. All of Marquette’s goals have been via headers. Despite the growing concern to find the back of the net, Bennett is not worried just yet.

“We begin BIG EAST play after coming out of the school of hard knocks,” Bennett said. “We’ve been in and out of every one of our games and we just can’t panic. We’re a nearly-there team; we have to take care of the business end and it’s definitely been a focal point to put it in the back of the net.”

Marquette opens BIG EAST play on the road against Villanova Saturday at noon.