The Marquette University women's soccer team begins its 26th season of competition against Cal Poly on Thursday, Aug. 16 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in San Luis Obispo, California.
The match will be broadcast live on BigWest.tv at 9 p.m. Central time and marks the first meeting between the two squads since a 3-2 victory over the Mustangs on Sept. 16, 2016 in Milwaukee.
The Golden Eagles, who were pegged third in the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, return seven of 11 starters from a team that won 13 matches last season, the most since 2013. Unanimous All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selection Carrie Madden
leads MU into action after pacing the team in scoring each of the last two seasons, including a career-best 19 points on seven goals and five assists as a redshirt junior.
Marquette split its preseason matches, which included a 2-0 victory at Green Bay on Aug. 6 and a 1-0 loss to Mississippi State at home on Saturday evening. Madden and Abby Hess
scored for the Golden Eagles against the Phoenix, while junior goalkeeper Maddy Henry
made five saves in net against MSU as MU was out-shot 14-6.
The Mustangs, who went 7-9-3 last season, took down Westmont, 1-0, in their lone exhibition contest, with freshman Mackenzie George scoring the match winner. George was one of four freshmen to score for Cal Poly during the preseason as Brooke Robinstein, Brooke Oleson and Ava McCray also scored in the Green vs. Gold intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 4.
All-region forward Georgina Stiegeler returns for the Mustangs after playing all but nine minutes on the backline last season and is joined by returning keeper Sophia Brown and forwards Jessica Johnson and Megan Demijohn, who accounted for a combined seven goals as sophomores in 2017.
The Golden Eagles will return to Milwaukee following the season opener to host in-state rival Wisconsin on Monday, Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Valley Fields.
FOUR LOST STARTERS TO BE REPLACED
• Despite losing four players who started every match in which they appeared last season (Darian Powell
, Madison Dunker
, Eli Beard
, Caroline Fink
), Marquette does return an experienced roster and has been able to fill most of those starting roles with players who have seen the pitch frequently. In the two exhibition matches, Markus Roeders
started Jamie Kutey
and Abby Hess
at forward alongside Carrie Madden
in lieu of Powell and Kylie Sprecher
, who is still making her way back from injury. Senior Allison Jacobson
has slid into Dunker's spot at center back, while Leah Celarek
has moved into the midfield from left back where Emily Hess
has retaken the position where she started 15 matches last season. Katrina Wetherell
is the lone freshman in the starting lineup and is working out of Beard's spot as an attacking midfielder.
MADDEN LOOKS FOR ANOTHER STANDOUT CAMPAIGN
• Forward Carrie Madden
returns for her fifth season in 2018 looking to become the first player to lead Marquette in points over three consecutive seasons since Maegan Kelly, who did so all four years at MU (2010-13). If Madden leads MU in goals she would be the first MU player to accomplish that feat in three straight seasons since M Club Hall of Famer Kate Gordon (2000-02).
• Madden, who played in a total of one match over her first two seasons on campus, was slowed by quad injury early last season before posting a career-best seven goals and 19 points on her way to All-BIG EAST First Team honors. She led MU with six goals and 17 points in 2016, including four match winners.
• In addition to first team all-league honors in 2017, Madden was a member of the All-BIG EAST Championship Team in each of the last two seasons.
BUGAY PLAYS WITH PHILLIPPINES WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
• Redshirt senior Ryley Bugay
has played a vital role in Marquette's midfield and gained international experience in the spring with the Philippines Women's National Team as it attempted to qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, which it did not succeed in doing. Bugay played a team-high 1,871 minutes in 2017 for the Golden Eagles while starting all 21 matches as a holding midfielder. She attended the national team's initial identification camp over Thanksgiving week of 2017 in California and was joined during the squad's training camp over Christmas break by her younger sister, Sammi, a current Marquette freshman midfielder.
SPRECHER GAINS U19/U20 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM EXPERIENCE
• Forward Kylie Sprecher
had a standout campaign as a first-year player in 2017, leading the squad with six assists and adding three goals on her way to BIG EAST All-Freshman Team honors. Sprecher slid into the starting lineup in August at Louisville and produced immediately, posting points in four straight matches and earning a pair of BIG EAST Freshman of the Week accolades in the process. She also notched a career-high two assists on both of Carrie Madden's
goals in MU's 2-0 win at DePaul in October.
• During the offseason, Sprecher trained with the United States Under-20 Women's National Team before joining the U-19 squad in early 2018.
GOLDEN EAGLES AMONG MOST SUCCESSFUL CURRENT BIG EAST TEAMS SINCE 2005
• Since entering the BIG EAST Conference in 2005, Marquette has proven to be among the conference's elite women's soccer programs. The Golden Eagles have accumulated an overall record of 184-71-32 since that time and a mark of 97-26-10 in league action, which includes six regular season conference titles and a pair of tournament championships in 2012 and 2013. MU, which has missed the NCAA tournament just four times since its addition to the league, went a remarkable 39-1-1 in BIG EAST play in the four seasons from 2010-13.
• The Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the 2018 BIG EAST Conference Coaches' Poll for the third year in a row. Unanimous preseason favorite Georgetown
HENRY CONTINUES LINE OF MULTI-YEAR STARTERS IN NET
• Third-year starting goalkeeper Maddy Henry
has been a fixture in the MU lineup since her arrival on campus two years ago and has played nearly every minute in net since that time. The 2016 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection earned three league goalkeeper of the week honors as a sophomore after also earning all-league championship recognition as a freshman.
• Entering 2018, Henry ranks eighth all-time at Marquette in saves (186), minutes played (3,934:55) and goals against (1.17). She also sits second in saves per match (4.33), fifth in save percentage (.785) and sixth in career victories (25)
• Henry joined an exclusive club of Marquette goalkeepers in 2016 as just the fourth primary starter since MU's entrance to the BIG EAST Conference for the 2005 campaign. The previous three keepers started in net for the length of their entire MU careers and each earned multiple All-BIG EAST accolades.
MU CELEBRATED 25 YEARS OF WOMEN'S SOCCER in 2017
• The Golden Eagles celebrated their 25th anniversary as Marquette University's most successful women's program in 2017. MU has appeared in the NCAA tournament in over half of its years of competition (13 of 25) and has earned 10 conference regular season titles and four league tournament crowns. Entering the program's 26th campaign, Marquette has posted an overall record of 336-153-55, including a mark of 315-126-47 in Markus Roeders
' 22 years at the helm.