Men’s soccer concedes three after scoring first in loss to Marquette

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Marcel Carrasco

MILWAUKEE  — Valley Fields’ stadium lights shined brighter than the men’s soccer team when the Huskies fell to Marquette University 3-1.

The chill Milwaukee winds blew east, giving the ball a slight effect. The Huskies took advantage and scored 10 minutes into the match, momentarily silencing the Golden Eagles’ student section behind the east-end goal.

Sophomore forward Nick Markanich opened the scoring with a well-placed ball to the top corner. Junior midfielder Alex Welch found Markanich with a tight through ball, beating the Golden Eagles’ backline.

Markanich scored his first goal of the season. The Huskies’ lead is the first time they score first in a game this season.

“It feels good,” Markanich said. “It would feel way better if we got the [win].”

Markanich started the match at left wing, but moved to center forward after senior forward Jan Maertins left after a collision.

Marquette answered with three goals in 11 minutes during the first half. Senior forward Josh Coan opened the scoring for Marquette in the 22nd minute.

“After the first goal, we saw their heads drop,” Head Coach Ryan Swan said. “Three disappointing goals to give up from a defensive perspective.”

Coan’s goal came off a free kick just outside the 18-yard-box. The Golden Eagle used the wet grass to his advantage as his shot skipped in front of redshirt senior goalkeeper Konrad Dziedzic and to the back of the net.

Marquette’s second goal came in the 31st minute off a textbook low ball to the penalty area, where senior forward Connor Alba was waiting. Alba didn’t forgive, and squeezed his shot past the Huskies backline.

Coan added a third off another free kick. This time, the Golden Eagle attempted a low cross that caught the Huskie defense on its heels. The shot took a dip and went in at the far post, catching Dziedzic by surprise.

“This is a good Marquette team,” Swan said. “We looked disjointed. We need our guys to remember what their roles are and their responsibilities.”

Dziedzic came off during the half and made way for redshirt first-year goalkeeper Martin Sanchez. Dziedzic finished the half with three saves.

Sanchez kept his end clean with four saves. 

The Huskies kicked off the second half with tight pressure in the offensive third. NIU came close to a second goal when Welch tried his luck with a shot outside the 18. Jackson Weyman, Marquette redshirt first-year goalkeeper, was there to push away Welch’s shot with a strong right-hand save. Weyman finished the match with four saves.

The Huskies finished the match with nine shots, putting five on goal. Marquette had 18, putting 10 on frame.

NIU will be back on the field 2 p.m. Sunday when it hosts Bradley University at the Soccer and Track and Field Complex.

“It’s a must win game,” Markanich said “We have to come out hungry and fight on Sunday. [We] have to keep going.”