Oct. 17, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The Seton Hall women’s soccer team returns to South Orange for its final two home games of the season this weekend as the Pirates will host #20/#10 Marquette and Villanova in a pair of crucial BIG EAST matchups as the postseason picture continues to take shape.
The Hall (4-8-2, 2-3-0 BIG EAST) has dropped its last three matches after scoring victories in the first two conference matches of the year but SHU has excelled at home this season; amassing a 4-1-2 record that includes three shutout performances and will be looking to continue that trend and stay in the hunt for a BIG EAST Championship berth.
Seton Hall’s three conference losses have all come by a one-goal margin, as have seven of the team’s defeats overall. Last time out, senior midfielder Marie Klemme (Berlin, Germany) put the Pirates ahead with a 48th minute strike at Xavier only two see the hosts send home two goals before the final whistle to snatch a 2-1 victory.
Klemme now has five goals in her career all of which have come since the start of the 2012 campaign. Her total over that span is tied for second-most on the squad, matching the output of classmate Ashley Clarke (Paramus, N.J.) who tallied an assist on the goal on Saturday.
Clarke leads Seton Hall with seven assists on the year and is ranked in the top-35 nationally in both assists and assists per game. With one more helper she would become the second Pirate ever to reach the 20-assist mark for her career, joining Kelly Smith, and would also equal the program’s single-season record of eight which she currently shares with Smith after recording eight assists as a junior.
Despite the loss, the Pirates enter tonight’s match tied for the sixth-most points in the conference with Butler, a squad whom they soundly defeated, 3-1, on September 29. SHU is also only one point behind Creighton and Villanova who each are on seven points entering their head-to-head matchup on Thursday night.
In Marquette, SHU draws the hottest team in the league as the Golden Eagles have recorded a victory in their last seven games, including all five BIG EAST contests to this point in the year. MU is coming off a dominant 4-0 effort at home against then #6 Georgetown, a win that put them in the driver’s seat as the league enters the home stretch of the regular season. Marquette has allowed only two goals in its five conference wins and the attack features six players with at least three goals to their credit, led by Meagan Kelly who is one of two players in the league to rank in the top-five in both goals and assists.
Seton Hall will be looking for its first-ever win over the Golden Eagles as MU holds a 2-0-1 advantage in three all-time meetings.
Against Villanova, The Hall will look to continue a run that has seen the Pirates post a shutout victory over the Wildcats in each of the last three seasons. SHU has outscored VU, 6-0, in the last three installments of a series that dates back to the inaugural season of women’s soccer at Seton Hall, including a 2-0 victory last season. To post another clean sheet, Seton Hall will likely need to slow Wildcat freshman Katie Martin who leads her squad with five goals, nine assists and 19 points in 2013.
VU’s 2-2-1 BIG EAST ledger thus far includes wins over Butler and Xavier and losses to DePaul and Marquette. Most recently, the Wildcats earned a 1-1 draw at St. John’s.
As noted, Villanova will face Creighton before visiting South Orange on Sunday.
As part of tonight’s game against the Golden Eagles, the Seton Hall women’s soccer team will wear special headbands in remembrance of Mary Jennings, a member of the program who passed away in June of 2006 at the age of 21. Mary was a beloved friend and teammate of many in the Seton Hall community. She brought her enthusiasm for life and learning to everything she did.
With the help of the Seton Hall women’s golf team, Seton Hall women’s soccer will be selling these headbands during the match, with all proceeds benefiting the Mary Jennings Memorial Scholarship.
Sunday will be a special day as well as SHU will bid farewell to a Class of 2014 that also includes Clarke, Klemme, Brittney Albrecht (Mahwah, N.J.), Meghan Hayes (Fredon, N.J.), Amie Ruhe (Monrovia, Md.) and Katie Ritter (Hagerstown, Md.). Together they have combined to make almost 400 appearances for the Pirates since assuming integral roles within the squad during their freshman seasons.
Redshirt senior and current graduate student Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearny, N.J.) will also be honored after returning to the field for her final season despite missing all of 2012 due to injury.
Kick-off against Marquette is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. tonight at Owen T. Carroll Field. Start-time for the Villanova match is set for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 20 but fans wishing to witness or take part in the senior Day ceremony should arrive early.