Marquette Wire

Barraza shutout fuels men’s soccer’s win over Central Arkansas

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

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It was hard not to notice Marquette men’s soccer’s explosive offensive effort in the team’s 4-0 victory against Central Arkansas Thursday night at Valley Fields, but the spotlight shined on goalkeeper Luis Barraza’s stellar performance to earn his first shutout of the season.

“The feeling of a shutout is fantastic. Nothing compares to it, but the guys put a shift in today. We’ve been talking about this the entire preseason about not letting any goals in,” Barraza said. “We showed it tonight; we showed our effort. We had the enthusiasm to defend, and we earned it by getting the shutout.”

Barraza steered aside all six shots on goal he faced. Many of them required a substantial amount of effort making his accomplishment all that more impressive.

“It’s definitely the work and preparation leading up to the game. We did a really good scout on Central Arkansas,” Barraza said. “You have to give a lot of credit to the coaches. We saw their game plan. We saw what they wanted to do. We were able to neutralize every chance they created, and fortunately enough, I was able to get six saves.”

The offense has scored seven goals in its first two games of the 2018 campaign.

“We did a lot of work on making space for ourselves and then on finishing. When we are allowed to do what we do best, we create a lot of chances,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “We’ve scored a lot of goals, but I’ve also thought we’ve had many chances where could have scored some more.”

Marquette’s goals came from Martin Alba, Patrick Seagrist, Lukas Sunesson and Connor Alba in an all-around effort.

“We’ve got some good players that are great at times and can be excellent. I thought every one of our front four could have scored,” Bennett said. “That’s probably why we have been so dangerous. It’s been a multi-headed attack.”

Marquette outshot Central Arkansas 21-15, and 13-5 in the second half.  The defense was tested early but stood tall on its head throughout the game.

“Our guys did a fantastic job administrating that game plan, and they definitely did a good job negating what they were going to be good at,” Bennett said.

The Golden Eagles play their first away game against Saint Louis as they look to build off their first 2-0 start since 2012.

“We’re not taking anything for granted. We respect them. They are a very good team and have eked out some good results. With soccer there is no easy game whomever it is you are going to play,” told Bennett. “You love and hate college soccer. I’m expecting us to follow the process, and if we play well we will definitely be a handful.”

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