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Women’s soccer looks to move on from worst start in program history

Photo by Kate Holstein

Photo by Kate Holstein

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After 24 days of the season without a win, women’s soccer head coach Markus Roeders was eager for the team to pick up its first win Sunday against Drake.

“At the end of the day, you go out there every game and you want to get a result,” Roeders said. “It’s great after all these games and weeks to finally get that first one.”

Following the team’s 2-1 victory over the Bulldogs, the Golden Eagles are looking to rebound from their worst six-match start in program history.

“I think it definitely hasn’t been just one thing,” Roeders said. “You know, we knew the schedule was going to be tough. That’s one part of it.”

The sluggish start resulted in myriad starting lineups, a stark change from a rarely changing cast last year. Seniors Carrie Madden, Jamie Kutey and Ryley Bugay have all played in two different position groups this season.

“We’re just trying to find the right combination,” Roeders said. “You have a good 17 (or) 18 players that have to consistently contribute for us.”

After Bugay started the past two seasons at defending center midfielder, she recently pivoted to the back line recently, opening a spot for freshman Madison Burrier in the midfield.

“We also have a very talented player in Madison Burrier, who came out of club and hasn’t played (much in the back line),” Roeders said. “(Bugay) is technically able to execute and (has) very consistent passes into the midfield.”

The coaching staff also sought some motivation from outside the staff, inviting men’s basketball associate head coach Stan Johnson to speak to the team.

“He was trying to give us some encouragement,” Roeders said. “He’s a very smart man … We just thought it’d be good to get somebody else in there and deliver a message that fits in the moment a little bit.”

Now the team is looking to use the Drake win as a chance to change the team’s momentum entering BIG EAST play.

“I hope the Drake game and the win gives us a little bit of momentum and a little bit of bounce,” Roeders said.

As Roeders sees it, wins against Brigham Young University and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could allow the team to finish the nonconference schedule at a more reasonable 3-5-1.

“There’s room to help ourselves,” Roeders said. “There’s definitely a lot we can gain out of these (next) two games … A couple more wins in that column for us would definitely give us a great platform.”

Marquette’s rebound will not be as simple as winning a pair of games. With five early losses, the margin for error is minimal.

Marquette has lost at least five matches in five of the last eight seasons, but the Golden Eagles only appeared in the NCAA Championships in two of those five seasons.

The team’s most recent postseason bid in 2016 featured a 12-8-2 team, but even that path would be hard to replicate for the 1-5-1 Golden Eagles.

Marquette beat a mid-level Missouri Valley school. Now, the team will have to take down much tougher competition in the final 45 days of regular season soccer.

“Winning yesterday was a step forward, although Drake was not at the level of Colorado,” Roeders said. “I don’t think you can compare talent level and how good BYU is to the level of Drake.”

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