Marquette / Louisville Region Men's Soccer 1st and 2nd Round Breakdowns

Marquette / Louisville Region 1st and 2nd Round Breakdown

The two Big East teams, Marquette and Louisville, will be hoping to move on to the third round after sitting out the first round before getting a chance to play in the second. Marquette will take on either Northwestern or Western Illinois while Louisville will have to face SMU or Winthrop. Marquette by far is the powerhouse of the region, but Louisville can’t be counted out as they will be seeking revenge from the Big East tournament. Both Western Illinois and Winthrop dominated their conference tournaments and came out with the crowns. SMU and Northwestern both had descent seasons and have the skills to move on to the second and third rounds.


#7 Marquette vs. Northwestern/Western Illinois

Northwestern faces off against Summit League champs Western Illinois in the first round of the NCAA. Both teams are fairly equally matched when it comes down to the stats page. NU scored a total of 25 goals while their opponents managed to net 18. WIU wasn’t much different offensively, netting 18 goals but the defense allowed 25 goals. WIU keeper, Yves Dietrich, worked twice as hard as NU’s Tyler Miller with saves, 83 for Dietrich and 49 for Miller. WIU will need their defensive front to step up and keep the ball away from the net. After the first round, the winner moves on to Marquette who defeated WIU early in the regular season 0-3. But Northwestern also saw a Big East team on their schedule as they defeated Notre Dame mid-season by a 2-1 score. WIU is the underdog in the contest but may have the chance for a rematch against Marquette.

Marquette has had a phenomenal season until they met Georgetown, who robbed them of their undefeated title late in the regular season then turned around and knocked them out of the Big East tournament. But they aren’t facing Georgetown, at least not yet. The Golden Eagles first have to fend off NU or WIU to move on to the third round, which shouldn’t be a problem. Marquette has already seen and defeated WIU in a 3-0 shutout, but WIU may be looking for revenge. Marquette’s stats trump both first round teams so NU and WIU will need to step up on both sides of the ball before they even think of competing with Marquette. The Golden Eagles offense brings with them Andy Huftalin, while the defense has Charlie Lyon in the net. Huftalin logged 10 goals to contribute to the total 42 points made by the offense. Lyon has kept the ball from entering the net 85 times but did let just 16 slip by him. It is possible for Marquette to lose out in the second but the winner won’t be out of the wrath of the Big East yet.


#10 Louisville vs. SMU/Winthrop

Winthrop, coming off their Big South conference championship win, will have to barrel through SMU to get a chance at the second round contenders Louisville. Winthrop was able to hold off Coastal Carolina for the title win but had fallen to the Chantileers earlier in the season. That doesn’t matter now when they have to face SMU who is itching for a win after losing out in the C-USA tournament to Tulsa. Winthrop has tallied more goals with 38 versus SMU’s 24, but the Mustang defense faired a little better with goals against average of just 0.94 against the Eagle’s defense with 1.62. This game will be the Winthrop offense versus the SMU defense and whoever can come out the winner gets a chance to take on Louisville.

Louisville has a stout defense much like SMU but it wasn’t entirely the doing of keepers Mike Mauro and Joachim Ball, although they played a vital role in the wall. The defenders were able to keep their opponents busy and away from the box. Louisville’s offense makes nets with multiple players, not just one key player. That gives them an advantage against tougher defenses such as SMU and they will tear through a less tight D such as Winthrop’s. The better match up would be Louisville taking on SMU, but Winthrop’s aggressive offense can still pose a threat to both teams. If Louisville does move on, they will hope to get a rematch against fellow Big East team Marquette, who the Cardinals lost to in the first round of Big East tournament play.


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