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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Quick goals turn into wins for men’s soccer

Photo by Katie Craig
Junior forward Abdoul Karim Pare has two goals and one assist for Marquette this season

When senior forward Beto Soto scored his first career brace in a win over the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley  Sept. 8, everything was going according to plan for the Golden Eagles’ offense.

“Our plan is to start off strong,” Soto said. “We want to make a good tackle that makes a statement, or score a goal.”

Soto did just that for his squad on this particular night, as he scored two goals in the sixth and ninth minutes that would prove to be the difference in a 3-1 victory for Marquette.

Scoring first is something that the Golden Eagles have been able to build off of this season, as six of their seven wins have come in matches where they have scored first.

However, it appears that scoring first usually turns out well for everyone, as the rest of the Big East is a combined 49-6-10 when scoring the first goal in a match this season as well.

Head coach Louis Bennett said that scoring the first goal affects his squad in multiple ways.

“It’s a twoway street,” Bennett said. “Our guys get a little bit more confidence, but secondly, the opposition then can’t go along with just defending.”

Junior forward Abdoul Karim Pare said he thinks that scoring the first goal helps the team become more confident.

“We try to get one goal really early so that it takes a lot of pressure off of the back line,” Pare said. “We are more comfortable playing that way and it helps us as a team.”

Since the season’s opener against Drake, the Golden Eagles are 0-4-1 in matches that they haven’t scored first in. They are not the only ones that have struggled to come back from deficits, as the rest of the Big East is currently a combined 2-33-19 when not scoring first in a match this season.

While the team may put a big emphasis on getting that first goal, they have further emphasized tacking on more after the fact.

“If we can score early, we can score a lot of goals,” Pare said.

Marquette has done just that, notching six of its seven wins by two or more goals this season. In fact, earlier this season, the Golden Eagles were second in the entire country in goal differential, boasting a +14 mark.

Soto, who has appeared in 59 matches in his four years at Marquette, has been around long enough to know that one goal is not usually enough.

“We’ve got some players, we have guys that definitely want to score,” Soto said. “One is not good enough. We want to go past one, even if it’s by five or however many.”

Looking forward, while Marquette is currently riding its first losing streak of the season after dropping its last three contests, Soto said that he thinks the squad has gotten impatient at times.

“There have been times, especially in our recent games, where we’ve gone impatient, we’ve tried to rush things and do things that we don’t really do,” Soto said.

Soto also said that keeping their composure will be key for the team’s success in moving forward.

“One thing we need to improve on when we are down is not losing our heads,” Soto said. “When we are still in the attacking third, we need to stay patient, stick to our game plan, and do what we do best.”

Marquette currently sits in 11th place in the Big East standings. Bennett said that his team needs to limit the opponents’ opportunities as they head down the home stretch of their conference season.

“We call it shutting the gate,” Bennett said. “We want to go back to not allowing the opposition quality chances. For us though, it’s about taking those chances with better craftsmanship in front of the goal because we can definitely do it. I mean, the goal hasn’t gotten any smaller.”

This story was written by Matthew Baltz. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @MatthewBaltzMU.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Baltz
Matthew Baltz, Sports Reporter
Matthew Baltz is a sophomore from Colona, Illinois majoring in journalism and minoring digital media. He is a sports reporter for the 2023-24 school year. In high school, he played basketball, baseball and ran cross country. In his free time, Matt enjoys hanging out with his friends and going to MLB games. He is most excited to write game recaps and tribune stories.
Katie Craig
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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