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Balanced offense helps men’s soccer upset No. 13 Villanova

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Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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After only scoring one goal in their last three games, the Marquette Golden Eagles are back in the win column with a 3-0 upset over the No. 13 Villanova Wildcats Saturday evening at Valley Fields.

“I thought we were great. We won. We played well in parts of the game, and we were fortunate in other parts,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “I’m not going to complain about winning 3-0 against Villanova.”

Marquette made several key adjustments since the loss to the Michigan Wolverines that helped Saturday against Villanova.

“It’s chalk and cheese. In Ann Arbor, we were faced with a different set of challenges. We missed our mark in the first 10 minutes of the game, and they made us pay,” Bennett said. “Tonight, we were more consistent, and we didn’t miss our mark too badly. There were a few squeaky moments, but in the big picture, we had opportunities and kept them at bay.”

Junior forward Connor Alba scored his third goal of the season in the 28th minute of the game. Forward Josh Coan tallied his first career collegiate goal as well, and junior defender Patrick Seagrist scored his second of the season. Seagrist has been quietly producing offensively this season despite playing on the back line.

“We can’t rely on our defense to score every week,” Bennett said. “Patrick (Seagrist) has scored two now, and the amount of work he puts in is really rewarding … It’s really the cherry on top of the cake.”

Although the Wildcats did not score, they had a 12-6 shot advantage after Alba’s goal in the first half.

“What we have to do with our team is find ourselves. We have some younger people and some new people,” Bennett said. “We’ve got to make sure we have a consistency throughout the 90 minutes.”

Tonight’s game marked the Golden Eagles’ third time scoring three or more goals this season, a significant improvement from last year.

“We worked on it a lot in practice this week with me trying to find space on the wing,” Alba said. “I don’t think that there is really anything in particular that gets us going offensively. It’s just following up with the game plan and going through what Coach Bennett tells us to do. We got it right this game, and it worked perfectly.”

Marquette looks to carry its strong play from Saturday into Wednesday against University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Milwaukee Cup Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.

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