The Xavier Musketeers Women’s Soccer Program is a program on the rise here in the Queen City. The Musketeers are 14-1-1 in 2021 and are sitting at the top of the table in the Big East with a 7-1 conference record. Their only loss on the season was in-conference to Georgetown. Another regular season Big East Championship is in view on Victory Parkway. However, a familiar foe, Butler, stands in the way.
Butler enters the match 12-2-1 overall and with a strong 5-1-1 conference record. The Bulldogs make the short trip down from Indianapolis for the 7 p.m. matchup at Corcoran Field and look to scratch their way to the conference title. Butler has a stingy defense and has only given up 12 goals this season. Butler’s offense leads the Big East in goals with 31.
History between the teams:
History says this match belongs to Butler. In their last matchup, the Bulldogs put four goals on the board against the Musketeers. Xavier was unable to break through in the match this past March. Butler also has a 12-8-4 record against Xavier all-time. Xavier is 1-6-3 against Butler in the last 10 matches.
The good news for Xavier is that they are riding a six match winning streak. A Musketeers Victory clinches the Big East Title for coach Nate Lie’s group. Xavier looks to spread out the Butler defense and create some chances. The Musketeers have scored 28 goals this season and look to add to that total. Xavier averages just over 16 shots per match this season, leading the conference.
Xavier’s Defense is Solid:
Defensively, Xavier has had an incredible season, only giving up eight goals. They have also had a number of players earn defensive player of the week honors this season including Carrie Lewis, a midfielder from the other Queen City, Charlotte, North Carolina. Lewis was named Big East Defensive Player of the week last week. In addition to her solid defensive performance last week, she had a pair of assists.
Xavier has also limited their opponents to 136 shots on the season compared to their 261 shots.
Big East Championship History:
In 2019 Xavier won the Big East Regular Season Title and captured the Big East Tournament Championship. They look to do the same again this season. Winning the Big East Title twice would even them up with UConn and Marquette who also have two Big East Women’s Soccer Championships. They still have a long way to go to catch Notre Dame who has the record with 11 conference titles.
While their regular season record has been very good over the last two full seasons (2019 & 2021) the question remains: Is this the Xavier team that has what it takes to make a run at an NCAA tournament championship?
Players to watch:
Chloe Netzel: Freshman- Forward (St. Louis, MO-Liberty) – Leads the team in points with 5 goals and 2 assists. Netzel also has three game-winning goals so far this season.
Olivia Jenkins: Senior- Goalkeeper (Plainfield, IL- Plainfield East)– Has played all but two minutes and fifteen seconds of the 2021 season. Jenkins has an incredible 41 saves on the season and a 0.49 Goals Against Average. Jenkins has nine clean sheets in 2021.
Katie Soderstrom: Redshirt Junior- Midfielder (Carmel, IN-Carmel HS) – Leads the team in points with 24. Soderstrom has nine goals and six assists. She has two game-winners on the season.
Emma Martin: Freshman- Goalkeeper (Ortonville, MI- Brandon) – Has seven clean sheets on the season. Her goals against average is near the best in the country at 0.55 goals against. Martin earned Big East Goalkeeper of the Week honors last week
Tickets are still available to join me Thursday at Corcoran Field. Come help root the Musketeers on to victory on Victory Parkway! CLICK HERE to order your tickets now.