The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Men’s soccer defense standing out to start season

The+Marquette+mens+soccer+team+lines+up+before+their+game+against+Loyola+Chicago+Feb.+3+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

The Marquette men’s soccer team lines up before their game against Loyola Chicago Feb. 3 (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

The Marquette men’s soccer team has had a thrilling start to their season, winning their first three games 1-0 thanks to game-ending goals in overtime.

They also went into overtime for a fourth game in a row this Saturday, but fell 2-1 in their first BIG EAST contest to Creighton.

Despite not scoring any goals in regulation until junior forward Lukas Sunesson scored against Creighton Feb. 20, the defense has stepped up, starting the year with three clean sheets.

A key contributor to the hot start is redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Chandler Hallwood. From Halifax, England, Hallwood transferred to Marquette from Gannon University in Pennsylvania. He started in the team’s wins over Northern Illinois and St. Louis, and played all 100 minutes against the Billikens.

“Chandler has been able to handle crosses, handle the high ball and on the rare occasions where the defense has been beat, he’s managed to come up with big saves,” head coach Louis Bennett said.

Throughout all 100 minutes against St. Louis, Hallwood did not have to make a single save.

“I’m very proud of our three clean sheets in a row, but it’s really a credit to our team chemistry as a whole,” Hallwood said. “I’ve got a lot confidence in the rest of our defenders.”

Junior midfielder Zyan Andrade, who scored the game-winning goal against St. Louis, also credited the defense for putting them in a position to win.

“Everyone is working together on defense, not just on the back line but the whole team,” Andrade said. “We’re always just hungry to get the ball again, and more than 270 minutes without conceding a goal gives us a great chance to win.”

Andrade also said that the hunger they have on defense for getting the ball back will help them get more opportunities to score on offense.

“If you’re not conceding any goals, you are always going to have a chance to win, and when you’re hungry to get the ball back it will open up opportunities to score,” Andrade said.

Coming into this season, Bennett did not put any extra emphasis on defense, but said that it is a priority every year for a winning team.

“As long as our defense is in top form, you can’t lose a game,” Bennett said. “The reason we’re more successful this year is that we have more experience on the defensive end.”

The men’s soccer team have 11 newcomers on their roster and as their normal fall season switched to spring, many questions regarding how they would train and prepare with the safety protocols were up in the air.

Even with the uncertainties around this season due to COVID-19 and training being different than normal, Bennett said his defense is living up to the job’s expectations.

“I don’t think anyone is exceeding my expectations, they’re just all doing their job at a very high level,” Bennett said. “We have to make sure we don’t give good opportunities for shots. The less Chandler has to do, the better we’ll be.”

Bennett specifically mention that junior midfielder Alan Salmeron has stood out to him among a multitude of strong performances thus far defensively.

“Alan has been fantastic, sensational,” Bennett said. “He does a lot of the grunt work that you may not notice if you don’t know what goes into the job, but he’s done a great job.”

After falling to 3-1, Marquette now looks forward to Saturday February 27th when they will host nonconference opponent Western Illinois at Valley Fields.

This story was written by Matt Yeazel. He can be reached at matthew.yeazel@marquette.edu or on Twitter @MJYeazel

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Navigate Left
  • Athletes face pressure both on and off the field. Marquette Wire stock photo

    Journal

    JOURNAL: Student-athletes embrace mental health problems

  • Christian Marquez (left), AJ Franklin (center) and Zak Wegner (right) celebrate after Marquette men’s soccer ‘s 1-0 win over No. 1 Georgetown Saturday night at Valley Fields on senior night. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Golden Eagles still alive in BIG EAST playoff chase, awaiting result of Providence and Creighton

  • AJ Franklin (18) celebrates after his goal in the 86th minute in Marquettes 1-0 upset over No. 1 Georgetown Oct. 29. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Marquette upsets No. 1 team in nation on senior night

  • Josh Hewitt (29) takes on a DePaul defender in Marquettes 1-0 win Oct. 16. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Marquette gets shutout by St. John’s 4-0

  • AJ Franklin (18) moves the ball up the field in Marquettes 1-0 loss to Villanova Sept. 13. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Marquette falls at Butler in double overtime

  • Jonas Moen (20) attempts to make a pass in Marquette mens soccers 1-0 loss to Villanova Sept. 18. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    First-year defender is the calm presence the team needed

  • Marquette mens soccer gathers in a huddle during its 1-0 win over DePaul Oct. 16. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Men’s soccer dedicates Saturday night’s victory to President Lovell

  • Marquette mens soccer in a huddle during its 2-1 loss to Xavier Oct. 6. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Marquette’s comeback falls short in 2-1 loss to UConn

  • Redshirt junior forward Lukas Sunesson moves the ball up the field in Marquettes 1-0 loss to Villanova Sept. 18 at Valley Fields. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

    Men's Soccer

    Sunesson’s two goal day leads Marquette to big road win

  • Beto Soto (11) attempts to get a touch on the ball in Marquettes 2-1 loss to Xavier Oct. 6 at Valley Fields.

    Men's Soccer

    Marquette suffers setback against Xavier

Navigate Right

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *