The Big East conference schedule can be a funny thing. It seems like just about every year Marquette plays Louisville, Cincinnati, St. John’s and Syracuse.
Sometimes, however, it goes years without playing other teams. Take this year for example: when the Golden Eagles take on Seton Hall tomorrow and Rutgers on Sunday, it will mark the first time since 2009 that Marquette has played either team.
“We’re going to have to show up for both games,” coach Markus Roeders said. “I think if we can wrap ourselves a little bit around playing in those environments, it will hopefully give us the urgency of stepping up and playing our best.”
In 2009 Marquette lost to the Scarlet Knights 3-1 and knocked off the Pirates 3-0. The loss to Rutgers sparked an 18-game unbeaten streak at home for Marquette against Big East opponents.
The Golden Eagles still haven’t lost at home in the regular season to a Big East team since Oct. 2, 2009.
But these matches are on the road, where Marquette hasn’t played either team since 2006. Those matches were forgettable for the Golden Eagles, as they dropped a 3-0 decision to Rutgers and drew with Seton Hall 1-1.
“It’ll be awesome to play Big East games back-to-back for the first time this year,” senior forward Lisa Philbin said. “To get a win and get three points, that’s what we’re shooting for both games.”
Rutgers’ campus has been a particular house of horrors for Marquette. The Golden Eagles went to Piscataway, N.J. in 2010 for the Big East Tournament semifinals and lost a heartbreaker to South Florida, 3-2.
The Pirates will enter tomorrow’s match 6-4-0 after a strange past weekend and a roller coaster-type year in general.
Seton Hall got smacked 8-0 by Georgetown in Washington, D.C. on Friday and then bounced back with a 2-0 win at home against Villanova.
The win over the Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak, which saw the Pirates get outscored 16-2. Prior to those matches, Seton Hall had reeled off five straight wins, including four shutouts.
Roeders is interested to see which Pirates team will show up.
“We know about (Seton Hall) and some of the changes they made since the loss to Georgetown,” Roeders said. “We’ll see who shows up for them, but we definitely have to show up.”
Senior forward Stephanie Soma and junior midfielder Marie Klemme have shouldered the scoring load for Seton Hall, scoring half of the team’s 14 goals.
As expected for a team that has allowed 17 goals in 10 games, the Pirates have shuttled through goalkeepers, allowing both Gina Maiorana and Alyssa Kelly to see time in net.
Maiorana has allowed nine goals in six games, while Kelly has allowed eight in four matches.
Maiorana played all 90 minutes in each match last weekend, so it will be interesting to see if coach Kazbek Tambi stays with Maiorana or continues the trend of alternating goalkeepers each weekend.
The Scarlet Knights flew up in the national rankings after beginning the season 7-1-0 but came back to earth a bit last weekend after they dropped two matches.
Rutgers’ best victory during its fast start was a 1-0 home win against Ohio State in overtime on Aug. 19.
Wins over non-power conference teams like Bucknell, Siena, Sam Houston State, Stony Brook and Dartmouth were apparently enough to land the Scarlet Knights at No. 16 in the country before losses at home to Villanova and Georgetown last weekend.
Junior forward Jonelle Filigno has eight of Rutgers’ 15 goals and leads the Big East in points (18), goals (7) and game-winning goals (4). Filigno has been named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week twice this season.
She has also made 42 appearances with the Canadian National Team, including starting the final four matches of the 2012 Olympics.
Rutgers will take on South Florida at home Friday before hosting the Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon. For Philbin, a Lansdale, Pa., native, it’s a chance for her to be close to home.
“I’m looking forward to going home being from the East Coast, but it doesn’t matter who or where we’re playing, we just want to get two wins,” Philbin said.