2022 Butler vs Creighton - Men's

BIG EAST Men's Soccer: Xavier, Georgetown To Meet In Tabletop Tussle

BIG EAST Men's Soccer: Xavier, Georgetown To Meet In Tabletop Tussle

Hold onto your hats, because the BIG EAST men's soccer regular season is setting up for a thrilling conclusion.

Oct 19, 2022 by Briar Napier
BIG EAST Men's Soccer: Xavier, Georgetown To Meet In Tabletop Tussle

Hold onto your hats, because the BIG EAST men's soccer regular season is setting up for a thrilling conclusion.

The regular-season championship hunt has turned into a three-horse race, with several schools in the hunt with outside chances over the final games of the year. 

For those on the bubble in qualifying for the BIG EAST Tournament, just two weekends remain for those programs to take charge and book a shot at playing for a slot in the NCAA Tournament.

Who will step forward? Who will falter? With just a handful of conference showdowns remaining, the league is about to find out which schools falls into which categories.

Here's a preview ahead of a few noteworthy BIG EAST games this week, with all listed matches below being streamed live on FloFC.

NOTE: All kickoff times are listed in Eastern Time and are subject to change. All records and statistics are updated as of Tuesday afternoon.

Butler Vs. Creighton

Creighton, picked to finish fourth in the BIG EAST preseason coaches' poll released in August, is in a very precarious position. 

With just one win across six conference games, the Bluejays are in danger of missing out on the chance to be one of the six teams that qualify for next month's BIG EAST Tournament. With just four matches left to play, time is running out for eighth-ranked Creighton to make up ground. 

That makes a win at home against Butler, which split games last week against Villanova and Providence, all the more critical, as teams around the Bluejays have made up ground quickly, while they've stayed stagnant over the past couple of weeks. 

In addition to being a match full of tension and intensity, expect Butler and Creighton's mid-week meeting to be a shootout, since they are the two highest-scoring schools in the BIG EAST. The Bluejays' 31 goals this season is bested only by the Bulldogs' 32. 

Creighton's Duncan McGuire and Butler's Palmer Ault, the two top goal scorers in the league at nine and eight on the year, respectively, will be aiming for the back of the net again, though Ault may have the slight advantage, as the Bluejays' leaky defense is susceptible to letting in a goal or a few. 

In fact, Creighton hasn't had a clean sheet since August, with no shutouts against BIG EAST opposition.

Xavier Vs. Georgetown

Xavier is playing in a potential BIG EAST men's soccer regular-season title decider, just as everyone predicted in the preseason. 

The Musketeers are the BIG EAST's version of the famous 2015-2016 Leicester City team that won the Premier League at long odds. 

Xavier was picked to finish last in the conference in the preseason, and all it has done is go unbeaten through 14 games, end up ranked No. 13 nationally in the most recent United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll and become a team no one in the BIG EAST wants to play right now - that is, except maybe Georgetown. 

The Hoyas, who've built their program to blue-blood status under the tutelage of coach Brian Wiese, started slowly but have since gone on a tear of six straight wins to find them level on points with Xavier and Seton Hall at the top of the BIG EAST table. 

Georgetown would love nothing more than to reestablish itself as the king of the league, and knocking its upstart rival off of the perch with just days remaining in the regular season would be one massive way to do it. 

But form can be a magical thing in soccer, and under first-year coach John Higgins - surely the front-runner for BIG EAST Coach of the Year - has cultivated it in his squad, which includes a strong defense, anchored by a stellar shot-stopper in junior goalkeeper Cole Jensen. 

A lot is on the line in the nation's capital this weekend, and expect the two titans of the BIG EAST season to play at a level worthy of the game's hype. 

Villanova Vs. Seton Hall

Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Xavier's meteoric rise and Georgetown's sudden surge, is the consistent play of Seton Hall, which, by the way, was picked to finish second-to-last in the BIG EAST in preseason poll. 

Along with the Musketeers, the Pirates are the only team in the league to have remained unbeaten in conference play. Seton Hall hasn't been defeated since early September and has kept a consistent style of play going throughout the year that's getting it points - and a very possible ticket clinched to the BIG EAST Tournament.

Though the Pirates have another very important match in earlier in the week against the always powerful Georgetown, their game against Villanova on the weekend may be even more critical, if the Hoyas, who have seemed to find their footing on the pitch as of late, grab points off of Seton Hall. 

That's also not factoring in the fact that Villanova is very much on the postseason bubble at the moment, sitting seventh and a point back of sixth-placed St. John's, with just three BIG EAST games remaining. 

Considering that 'Nova has lost four of its past five matches, every league game quickly is becoming a must-win for coach Tom Carlin and his men.

In order to get full points against the Pirates, however, the Wildcats will have to stop in-form junior midfielder Quenzi Huerman, who scored twice in the Hall's unbeaten week to nab himself BIG EAST Player of the Week honors. Plus, when he scores, the Pirates usually get something out of the game - six of Huerman's seven goals on the season have either tied the score, or put Seton Hall ahead.