Marquette remains winless in Big East play after 3-2 loss to Seton Hall

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Photo by Keifer Russell

Marquette men’s soccer’s Beto Soto (left) in a 1-on-1 battle with a Seton Hall defender in the Golden Eagles’ 2-3 loss to the Pirates Oct. 12 at Valley Fields.

Following its two-game road trip, the Marquette men’s soccer team returned home to begin a two-game weekend home stand against the second place Seton Hall Pirates.

And despite a rainbow forming over Valley Fields prior to the match following an afternoon rainstorm, which might have been a precursor to the light at the end of the tunnel for the winless Golden Eagles in Big East play, Marquette fell to Seton Hall, 2-3, in a back-and-forth contest.

“We’re unbelievably upset by the result tonight,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “We couldn’t overcome their defending, and the game got out of control. We couldn’t connect and we didn’t have the poise to get the job done. We keep creating shots but we’re not hitting the target.”

The Golden Eagles dominated on the offensive end early in the first half, creating ample opportunities off of corner kicks.

In eighth minute, junior forward Beto Soto sailed a shot from the corner providing senior forward Lukas Sunesson with a shot opportunity. However, the shot was deflected out of the box but sophomore midfielder Edrey Caceres followed it up as he put a shot directly into the top of the right corner to give Marquette an early 1-0 lead. It was Caceres’ fourth goal of the season.

Twenty minutes later, Seton Hall evened the match at 1-1 when senior defender Johannes Pex fed a cross into the box that found junior midfielder Mattias Almeida Sundell, who headed one past Marquette first-year goalkeeper Ludvig Malberg into the back of the net.

Both teams concluded the first half with several opportunities to break the score but ultimately were unable to capitalize.

Much like its start to the first half, the Golden Eagles opened the second half with a renewed energy, taking three shots on net within the first five minutes.

However, the tide would changed in the 56th minute when Seton Hall put another header, this time off a corner kick, past Malberg to give the Pirates their first lead of the night.

The deficit wouldn’t last long for the Golden Eagles, as Soto put a shot in the back of the net after a deflection from Sunesson’s shot was placed in front of his feet following a block save by Seton Hall’s goalkeeper.

“Our two true moments of clarity, of true finishing, came from Edrey and Beto,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “They took their time and they finished it.”

After forcing a turnover in his defensive half, junior midfielder Quenzi Huerman looked up from midfield and saw Malberg out of position at the other end of the pitch. The Vannes, France native struck a shot from behind the midfield line, placing it into the back of the net off a one bounce hop for the game-winning goal in the 74th minute.

Despite various opportunities from Bennett’s squad to force its second straight draw, Huerman’s goal kept the Pirates unbeaten through their first six BIG EAST matches for the first time in program history.

“We couldn’t connect, we didn’t have enough poise to get the job done,” Bennett said.

The largest statistical gap on the night came from fouls as Seton Hall racked up 23 fouls, while Marquette snagged just seven.

“We had a lot of game, a lot of possession, we had a lot of everything really,” Bennett said. “But teams like that (Seton Hall) are difficult to play against. I’m not saying we needed any help from the officials, but the skew of the game and habitual fouling is not easy to play against.”

With the win, the Pirates now lead the all-time series against the Golden Eagles, 8-7-3.

Marquette (4-7-2, 0-3-2 Big East) will now host UConn Saturday at 7 p.m. CST at Valley Fields.

This article was written by Ava Mares. She can reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @avamaresMU.