MACOMB, Ill. -
The Western Illinois men's soccer team is set to take on its second BIG EAST opponent in three games when it travels to Milwaukee on Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. non-conference match against 20th-ranked Marquette.
The Leathernecks are coming off a pair of victories, including a 1-0 win at Valparaiso most recently.
The Golden Eagles are a perfect 4-0 and jumped to No. 20 in the most recent NSCAA poll with victories over Drake and Illinois-Chicago last week.
WHO: Western Illinois vs. Marquette
WHEN: Saturday, September 8 at 7:05 p.m.
LOCATION: Milwaukee, Wis.
STADIUM: Valley Fields (1,750)
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A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN EAGLES: Marquette is off to a hot start, jumping out to a 4-0 record and outscoring opponents 7-2...The Golden Eagles jumped into the national rankings at No. 20, and are also ranked fourth in the Great Lakes region in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll...Goalkeeper Charlie Lyon received the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week award after posting his second and third straight shutouts; he has made 11 saves and has an .857 save percentage...Bryan Ciesiulka and Eric Pothast each have team-highs of two goals and one assist...While the Golden Eagles have been outshot 53-50, they have put 24 on goal (.480) compared to just 14 for their opponents (.264)...Six different players have recorded an assist for the Golden Eagles...Marquette won the 2011 BIG EAST Blue Division title.
SERIES HISTORY: Western Illinois holds a 6-5-1 record all-time against Marquette...Last year, the Leathernecks scored a shorthanded goal in the final minute of regulation to pull out the 1-0 win.
LAST TIME OUT: The Leathernecks picked up their second consecutive victory, a hard-fought 1-0 win over Valparaiso...Sophomore transfer Yves Dietrich earned his first career shutout, stopping both shots on goal he faced...Western Illinois struck early for the second game in a row, this time Mario Alvarez headed in a Charlie Bales assist in the seventh minute...In its last competition, Marquette defeated Drake 2-0 behind a four-save shutout from Charlie Lyon...Andy Huftalin scored on a give-and-go in the 48th minute and Bryan Ciesiulka added a penalty kick goal with less than 20 minutes left to play.
IT’S NOT HOW YOU START...: Western Illinois men’s soccer teams that struggled early on in the season have gone on to excel later in the season...Last year, the team started 0-2-1, but went 13-5 the rest of the way en route to a Summit League title...The 2009 conference championship team began the season 0-4 before turning things around.
BEST OF THE WEEK: After his two-goal effort against DePaul, freshman Austin Gochneaur was tabbed the Summit League Offensive Player of the Week...All four of his shots during the week were on target, including three in just his second collegiate start against the Blue Demons.
ATOP THE SUMMIT: Western Illinois players rank among the Summit League’s statistical leaders...Yves Dietrich ranks second in the league with 17 saves, an .850 save percentage, and 0.75 goals against average...Nathan Bruinsma’s 10 shots are also tied for second in the league.
RALLY KILLERS: The Leathernecks are looking to hand their opponents their first defeat of the season for the third straight match...DePaul was 1-0 before taking on Western Illinois, while Valparaiso was 1-0-1.
PRESEASON KUDOS: The Fighting Leathernecks, coming off a Summit League title, have received high expectations coming into the 2012 season. Receiving five first-place votes, Western Illinois was predicted to finish first in the Summit League by conference head coaches...Additionally, College Sports Madness named Dr. Eric Johnson the Preseason Coach of the Year and Charlie Bales the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Bales was joined on the Preseason First Team All-League list by seniors Husref Jupic and Nathan Bruinsma, while Diego Gonzalez was a Second Team honoree...TopDrawerSoccer.com projected Western Illinois as the Summit League champs in its preseason Tournament 48 rankings.