Marquette Wire

Men’s soccer edges Loyola Chicago, women’s soccer falls to Mississippi State in August exhibitions

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(Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

(Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

(Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

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Nunez goal pushes men’s soccer past Loyola Chicago in exhibition

Men’s soccer forward Diego Nunez appeared to miss his chance to break the team’s 0-0 tie with Loyola Chicago Saturday evening, heading the ball a couple feet away from the net offside in the second half.

The fifth-year senior then got a chance to redeem himself in the 71st minute, chipping a shot into the left corner to secure Marquette’s 1-0 exhibition victory over Loyola Chicago.

“They made a mistake, and he was the farthest person,” head coach Louis Bennett said.

As a Loyola defender fell, Nunez had the opening he needed. With the goalkeeper charging the ball, Núñez found the net.

“When he is in and around the box, it’s almost like an instinct,” Bennett said. “It was a very Diego goal.”

Marquette’s lone goal came after several early chances. The team had 10 shots before Nunez’s strike, but only two of those were shots on goal.

Bennett attributed the lack of scoring to Loyola Chicago’s first-half defense and Marquette’s lack of training this year. The team first reported to practice Friday, giving the team two days of training before Saturday evening’s matchup.

“They were a little more difficult to break down in the first half,” Bennett said. “We didn’t cover any offensive principles (in the first two days of training). We only covered two of the four defensive principles.”

The Golden Eagles finished with a 13-8 shot advantage. However, each team had three shots on goal.

After starting goalkeeper Luis Barraza played the first 37 minutes, reserve goalkeepers Alec Wons, Cedrik Stern and Jackson Weyman all earned minutes.

Saturday was the first exhibition victory at Valley Fields since the team’s 1-0 win over Detroit in 2016.

“For the actual product, I’d probably give us a six out of 10,” Bennett said. “For the result, it’s a 10 out of 10.”

Bennett and the Golden Eagles will visit UW-Green Bay for its second exhibition Saturday at 7 p.m.

Women’s soccer can’t keep up with Mississippi State

Marquette still has some work to do before a gauntlet non-conference schedule, falling 1-0 to Mississippi State Saturday night at Valley Fields.

“I like that our team is not happy tonight,” head coach Markus Roeders said. “I don’t think we need to be happy. We shouldn’t be happy. They’re not happy.”

Mississippi State missed its first nine shots, but the Bulldogs eventually found a gap. After deflecting a Bri Jaeger clearance, Gabriella Coleman launched a shot from 15 yards away past the outstretched arms of Marquette goalkeeper Maddy Henry to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.

“Bri was trying to clear the ball through the oncoming forward, who kind of blocked it,” Roeders explained. “(Coleman) did a nice job finishing on the inside of Maddy … It was a good strike.”

Mississippi State finished with a 14-6 shot advantage, which included six shots on goal. Henry had five saves.

“Maddy did a good job,” Roeders said. “We’re going to have to rely on her … She’s going to have to save us some games.”

Marquette’s offense could not keep up with Mississippi State’s high-powered offense, mustering six shots. Only two of those shots were on goal.

While several Marquette players were returning from injuries, the Bulldogs constantly made substitutions, keeping a fresh 11 players on the pitch at all times.

Rachel Johnson played for the first time in almost a year after injuring her ACL last August against Drake. Maddie Monticello, Allison Jacobson and Carrie Madden appeared in their second games since significant injuries.

“I’m not trying to make excuses, but it’s going to take a little bit of time to get these guys back in the groove,” Roeders said. “These are the kind of games you want to play to learn … I think we did that tonight.”

The Golden Eagles will open the regular season Thursday at Cal Poly before returning to the Valley Aug. 20 to take on in-state rival Wisconsin.

“Now the clock is ticking,” Roeders said. “We’re undefeated. We’re 0-0.”

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About the Writer
John Steppe, Executive Sports Editor

John Steppe is the executive sports editor for the Marquette Wire. He is a junior majoring in journalism and double-minoring in digital media and Spanish. He primarily covers men’s basketball, women’s soccer and basketball recruiting. You can follow his coverage on Twitter @JSteppe1.

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