Jack Alberts

Men's Soccer

Marquette Soccer Begins Final Stretch at Xavier

Oct. 22, 2015
2015 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 14
Marquette (5-6-2, 1-3-1 BIG EAST) at Xavier (8-4-1, 2-2-1 BIG EAST)
DateSaturday, Oct. 24 | 6:05 p.m. CT
LocationXU Soccer Complex | Cincinnati, Ohio
Live LinksLive Stats | BEDN logo
Social MediaTwitter (in-game updates) | Facebook | Instagram
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- The Marquette University men's soccer team heads to Xavier on Saturday looking to snap a two-game skid after dropping back-to-back games to top-10 opponents and BIG EAST foes Georgetown and Creighton last week.

- Marquette is 4-1 all-time against Xavier dating back to a 3-1 win in the first-ever meeting back in 1987. Xavier picked up its first-ever win against Marquette last year by a 1-0 score in Milwaukee, but is 0-2 against the Golden Eagles all-time in Cincinnati. MU's two victories in the Queen City came in 1990 by a 5-1 score and most recently in their first BIG EAST match-up in 2013 by a 1-0 score.

- Xavier snapped a three-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over Villanova at home last Saturday and moved into fourth place in the league standings, while Marquette's loss to No. 1 Creighton dropped them to ninth overall.

- Redshirt senior Kelmend Islami continues his breakout season after scoring his career-high sixth goal of the year against Creighton last time out. The South Milwaukee native leads the Golden Eagles with 13 points on six goals and an assist in 2015.

- Xavier snapped a three-game winless streak with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Villanova last Saturday, improving its record to 8-4-1 overall, 2-2-1 in the BIG EAST - good for fourth place behind Creighton, Georgetown and Butler.

- The Musketeers trailed Villanova 1-0 late, but Todd Pratzner and Majed Osman scored 2 minutes apart in the 86th and 88th minutes, respectively, to propel Xavier to a huge win. XU held the decisive advantage in shots (24-6) and shots on goal (12-3), as well as corner kicks (14-4).

- Xavier is outscoring opponents 21-11 this season as a team and is led individually by Alex Ridsdale's 11 points on a team-leading five goals and an assist. Matt Vasquenza and Majed Osman aren't far behind with seven and six points, respectively, while Jalen Brown has a team-high 27 shots (13 SOG), but just a goal and two assists to show for it.

- Xavier has used a goalkeeper by committee over the course of this season and it's shown to work as they have combined for a 0.85 goals against average (third-best in the BIG EAST) with a .750 save percentage. Dallas Jaye has earned the majority of starts in net with eight and sports a team-best 6-1-1 record with a 0.36 GAA and .885 save percentage to go along with five shutouts. He's 2-1-1 in BIG EAST action. Jake Carcillo has made two starts, including one in BIG EAST start in a 3-0 loss to Providence. He has an 0-2-0 mark with a 2.67 GAA and .455 save percentage.

- The Golden Eagles will return home for its final two regular season games at Valley Fields, beginning with Providence Wednesday, Oct. 28, followed by a Halloween and Senior Night match-up against Butler Oct. 31. Both matches are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Central time starts.

- The Golden Eagles had the challenging task of playing host to the No. 1 team in the country as Creighton brought its unbeaten and untied mark into Valley Fields before leaving with a 3-1 win last Saturday night.

- Entering the second half trailing 2-0, Marquette finally established some rhythm offensively that translated into solid scoring chances and Kelmend Islami took advantage in the 51st minute to cut the Creighton lead in half, 2-1. It was his team-leading fifth goal of the season as he continues his tremendous senior campaign.

- MU kept the pressure on late in an attempt to seek the game-tying goal, but the Bluejays countered in the 82nd minute to squash any comeback hopes and ran its record to a nation's best 14-0-0.

- Marquette and Xavier meet for the sixth time dating back to their first-ever meeting in 1987 when MU claimed a 3-1 win at home. The Golden Eagles currently lead the all-time series 4-1.

- Saturday's match-up will be the third straight BIG EAST meeting since the Musketeers joined the league prior to the 2013 season. In the previous two BIG EAST meetings, both teams have split with each winning on the road by 1-0 scores.

- Last year, Xavier earned its first victory in the series thanks to a Jalen Brown goal in the 38th minute that held up. Both teams entered the match nationally ranked and No. 15 Marquette lost despite holding a 7-5 shots advantage against the No. 16 Musketeers.

- The Golden Eagles have never lost to Xavier in Cincinnati, winning both meetings prior to Saturday. MU was 5-1 winners back in 1990 and claimed a 1-0 victory in their most recent meeting in the Queen City back in 2013.

- With just four BIG EAST games remaining, there's still plenty of time for teams to jockey in position for one of the six postseason spots available. The Golden Eagles (1-3-1 BE) dropped to ninth with their loss to Creighton, but are just three points behind Xavier (2-2-1 BE) for fourth place.

- Marquette's remaining opponents (Xavier, Providence, Butler, DePaul) all sit ahead of them in the standings and provide opportunities (with victories) to climb up the leaderboard and into a tournament spot before all is said and done on the final day of the regular season (Nov. 5).

- Redshirt senior striker Kelmend Islami missed all of 2014, but has already set a personal single-season best for goals (6) and surpassed his previous career-best for points in a season as he sits with 13 so far.

- Islami's penalty kick goal in the win over Dayton (Sept. 7) was his third goal of the season, equaling one more than he had in any of his previous three seasons with Marquette. He added his fourth against NIU (Sept. 18).

- He also accounted for the game winner at Wisconsin (Oct. 7).

- For the seventh straight year the men's soccer program was honored with a spot on the NSCAA Team Academic awards list, ranking third among BIG EAST programs with a 3.37 team GPA.

- Marquette was one of 217 institutions across all divisions to have both their men's and women's teams recognized for this award - the seventh straight time MU has accomplished that feat.

- For the sixth time in seven weeks, Marquette had at least one player recognized by the BIG EAST Conference for their exceptional play on the field after Luis Barraza earned Goalkeeper of the Week and David Selvaggi landed on the weekly honor roll the week of Oct. 6-13.

- Senior C. Nortey claimed his first weekly honor after totaling five points in a pair of contests for the period between Sept. 29-Oct. 5.

- Freshman Ruben Sanchez was honored for his outstanding efforts in helping keep St. John's off the board in a scoreless draw to open BIG EAST play as the league named him Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29.

- Earlier this season, junior Jake Taylor was recognized for his game-winning goal against Omaha on Sept. 11.

- Junior midfielder Louis Bennett II was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll Monday, Sept. 7, following his late-game heroics in the team's 1-1 draw at UW-Milwaukee, Sept. 4, to retain possession of the coveted Milwaukee Cup.

- Prior to that, freshman Luis Barraza took home the honor in the season's first set of weekly awards after going 1-1-0 with 11 saves in two starts during opening weekend.

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