The good news is that Marquette’s men’s soccer went undefeated at Valley Fields Saturday night for the fourth time in the Big East and eighth this season.
The bad news is that Marquette also didn’t win, earning a 1-1 draw against Connecticut. This is MU’s sixth straight game without a win in the Big East game, dropping them to 0-3-3 with four games to go. The Golden Eagles are actually winless in their last seven games overall, as there was a 2-1 loss to Saint Louis that got mixed up in the middle of league action.
The first half ended with both teams still goalless. UConn had the overall offensive advantage, beating Marquette 5-4, but it was the Golden Eagles who made the most of their chances. Half of MU’s shots were on the frame, and Huskies keeper Michael Stone had to make two saves, both in the first 11 minutes, to save his clean sheet through 45 minutes.
Business picked up speed in the second half as the first shot shook the thread for both teams. Thanks to passes from Beto Soto and Lukas Sunesson, that shot went wide at the foot of Marquette’s Mitar Mitrovic and the Golden Eagles led 1-0 in the 51st minute.
Finally, in the 68th minute, Marquette keeper Chandler Hallwood made his first save of the game. It came on UConn’s eighth shot of the game and obviously saved his shutout. It saved it for a full second before Scott Testori scored an impact less than a minute after coming on the field.
A great play by Testori to play heads up and even the match. Also a bit unlucky for Hallwood and Tristan Ronnestad-Stevens as Hallwood’s save against Soren tipped Ilsoe up towards Ronnestad-Stevens’ arm and he turned his body away to commit a handball, giving UConn a PK with it…. but the spin also put him out of position to get the ball in front of Testori.
Sometimes it’s centimeters and fractions of a second, and that was the case here.
Both goalkeepers were busy in the last 20 minutes of the game. Both men made two saves, including a great jump save from Hallwood in the 73rd and another fantastic reflex reaction from the MU keeper, who paddled a close-range attempt right in front of him in the 87th minute.
Michael Stone’s fourth save of the game could be the most important in the entire game, or at least the most effective in the entire game. I’ll just hand it over to UConn Twitter because that way you can see the last 28 seconds of the game and I don’t have to try to explain exactly what happened.
Yes, both teams had a bang in the net in the last 20 seconds. Somehow, it’s actually good news that Hallwood didn’t save UConn’s attempt, because I don’t think Marquette manages to counter as well as they do when Hallwood throws the ball in instead of what I think Edrey did Caceres starts it with his foot towards Soto and Abdoul Karim Pare.
I think it counts that UConn spent the last 28 seconds of the game. Well done giving people what they want huskies.
My god, can you imagine if Soto figured out the timing to hit it over Stone instead of firing it full-on and hoping it got through? Don’t criticize him, just think about the possibilities.
Next: Marquette has four tries left to win in Big East and two of those are up next week, one on the road and one at home. They’ll be out for an afternoon contest against DePaul on Wednesday, as the Blue Demons don’t have lights at Wish Field and likely never will. DePaul is 3-4-6 a year and also 0-2-4 without a win in the league. They drew 1-1 with #13 Xavier in Chicago on Saturday, where the Blue Demons scored in the 69th but conceded an equalizer in the 77th.