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Men’s soccer ends regular season with shutout of DePaul

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Men’s soccer ends regular season with shutout of DePaul

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Video by Chris Reisner

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Marquette men’s soccer dispatched the DePaul Blue Demons 2-0 in Wednesday’s senior night matchup.

“Mission accomplished,” head coach Louis Bennett said. “We did what we needed to do. We had a game plan, and we executed it after the first 15 minutes. … The next 20-25 minutes was what has become ‘classic-Marquette’ attack, and we managed to score some goals.”

The Golden Eagles finished their 2018 campaign 7-8-1 and secured fourth place in the BIG EAST with a 5-3-1 conference record.

“I’m really happy for these lads,” Bennett said. “They have worked really hard to put the program in a position where we can be fourth place. If a couple of results in the middle season had gone our way, we could have finished even higher.”

The win over the Blue Demons came a year after being eliminated from postseason play at DePaul last season.

“The aspirations for this program was to (take the season) step-by-step just to get into the tournament and to get a home game if we were able to get in (the BIG EAST tournament),” Bennett said. “This team is beginning to show the grit, the determination that warrants a Marquette badge.”

Marquette’s scoring attack started in the 20th minute when senior forward Grant Owens tallied his first goal of the season after he squeaking a shot past the left side of DePaul goalkeeper Drew Nullele.

“It was really good work from Diego (Nunez). He was able to win the ball back in transition,” Owens said. “It was all about our positioning, we were able to counter and score.”

Just 11 minutes later, freshman striker Lukas Sunesson tacked on his fifth goal of the year in the 30th minute, finishing with the team lead in goals in the regular season.

Marquette goalkeeper Cedrik Stern collected nine saves and earned the first clean sheet of his career. Both teams had 14 shots.

For the second time in three seasons, Luka Prpa finished the year leading the team in points with 14.

The Golden Eagles’ ended their season on a hot streak, winning four out of their final five games. They look to carry their recent success into postseason play.

“If we continue to do what we’ve done these last few games, we’ll do well,” Owens said. “We just follow the game plan… we looked to see what we could do better against Xavier last time and we will just continue to listen to the coaches.”

Marquette will play in the BIG EAST Championships for the first time since 2014 and will face Xavier at Valley Fields Saturday at 7:05 pm.

“We are just going to take it as a separate game. Whatever happened the last game (versus Xavier) … I don’t think there is any relation to what is going to happen on Saturday,” Bennett said. “They’re going to come with a fresh look and we are going to try to piece together a game plan to beat them.”

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