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Marquette gives up early second half goals, falls to Butler 2-1

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

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Senior night went south for Marquette Saturday at Valley Fields as No. 21 Butler used two early second-half goals to win 2-1 and seal a BIG EAST regular season title.

After an otherwise uneventful first half, the teams headed into the break tied at 0. Butler scored two goals in 121 seconds coming out of the locker room.  The first goal came in the 46th minute after Butler’s Lewis Suddick took a free kick and it found the head of defender Joe Moulden, who was able to put it past a diving Noah Heim.

The second goal came 37 seconds later, as Suddick perfectly placed a ball ahead of forward Brandon Guhl, who ran and fired a one-time shot that found the back of the net. It was Guhl’s 10th goal of the season.

After giving up the goals, head coach Louis Bennett tried to get Marquette back into the game by switching to a lineup with three forwards.

“Butler is a counter-punching, and we got sucker-punched,” Bennett said. “Credit to our team, and although we got caught, it could have been gut-wrenching. I looked around, saw our team and they were pulling their socks up saying let’s go. We spent the next 40 minutes systematically trying to break them down, and on two occasions where we broke them down.”

The first of those opportunities came in the 53rd minute when forward Jason Davis had two chances to score but did not find the back of the net. Davis’s first header hit off of the post, and then the rebound opportunity was miraculously kept off of the line and out by Butler goalkeeper Eric Dick.

An incredulous Marquette offense was left stunned, but kept searching for a way back into the match. They found it through midfielder Connor Alba in the 71st minute after he hit a one-time volley that screamed into back of the net.

As a result of the goal, Marquette pushed forward, doing anything necessary to get the equalizer, even bringing on defender Patrick Seagrist, who appeared for the first time in five matches.

Marquette had a few chances late, but was unable to find the net for the game-tying goal, despite out-shooting Butler 20-11 and doubling up the Bulldogs on corner kicks, 13-6.

Even after the loss, Louis Bennett was proud of the way his side performed and thanked the seniors for giving it their all.

“The senior class that we saw tonight, I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Bennett said. “Jack Alberts, Daniel Szczepanek, Danny Jaros, Jason Davis and Brody Kraussel. Through the ups and downs that those three that have been here for five years, it truly has been a dream to coach them. They are 100 percenters, and guys with that kind of steel and dedication, they definitely see something that is bigger than themselves.”

Marquette will face last-place DePaul Wednesday in the final match of the regular season. Both Marquette and Providence are tied in sixth place at 10 points, the last spot for the BIG EAST tournament. Meanwhile, the Friars will travel to Washington D.C. to play second-place Georgetown, who is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation.

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