Marquette Golden Eagles

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By John Parker

It’s the classic rivalry: Two schools within a few miles of one another–one’s public and the other is private–and with the exception of men’s basketball the teams are very well matched athletically.

Despite the lopsided advantage that Marquette has in men’s basketball, it has still ignited the rivalry. Milwaukee fans were angered by the fact that Marquette and Milwaukee stopped playing for a number of years, particularly during the years following Dwyane Wade’s departure when the Panthers went to the Sweet 16 and the second round of the tournament. Panther fans contend that the undefeated record Marquette holds over their basketball team might have a loss or two if they had actually played during the early to mid-2000’s.

I can honestly say that the only reason that I’m writing this article is because of a game between the Panthers and the Golden Eagles.

In 2008, Milwaukee women’s soccer took on Marquette at MU’s Valley Field. The teams played to a 0-0 tie through 77 minutes, when Milwaukee’s Sarah Hagen cemented her star status by scoring the game winning goal, and improved her streak of games with a goal scored to six. She would go on to score 22 on the season, good for second place in the nation. She wasn’t recruited by Marquette, which is one of many things you can learn from this video.

If that ball misses and the game ends in a tie, I can’t say for sure that I would be anything more than a casual fan of all sports other than basketball. The roar of the Milwaukee fans that rang out from the field that night had me hooked. And I’m not alone; here are some quotes from other Panther fans on what makes Marquette one of Milwaukee’s biggest rivals.

“With four Division I athletic programs in Wisconsin, it is only natural for the two that share the same city, to engage and enhance each other’s initiatives, with frequent and healthy competition. The traditions of excellence at MU, and the size and diversity of UWM, combine together for a rich Stone Soup — enough to feed both academic communities and the surrounding urban fan base. It only makes good sense for close collaboration, to forge a classic cross-town rivalry.”–John J. Ward, GoUWM.com

“Watching the Panthers keep up with a Big East team so well in the 2008-09 season really clinched and excited the fans for the rest of the year. Hopefully we are able to host a game in the future and show Marquette what Milwaukee fans are capable of. The rivalry with our neighboring school has quickly turned into a tradition that I hope lasts a lifetime. I know my extreme dislike for MU will!”–April Schauer, Milwaukee Cheerleader

“The Marquette – Milwaukee rivalry is one that seems to symbolize a city such as Milwaukee that few other college rivalries in the nation do. The rivalry is loud and boisterous but it is located only a few miles apart. One being a public institution and the other one private. Rich vs. poor, elites vs. the working class, over exposed vs. under appreciated, etc and so on. Whether it is men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball or men’s and women’s basketball, these cross town games seem to raise excitement amongst the fans and players even if its a down year for one program or both. This rivalry takes on more than just sports to it, it’s one of an all-around everyday rivalry and one that tends to separate it from other college rivalries.” – Derick Kelly, Klotsche Krazie

“I just hope they limit their Dwyane Wade obsession to two or three D-Wade giveaways this year. I know that hope won’t be answered, because hell – if they can’t cling on to the Final Four he brought them, they would have nothing to show in over 30 years.” – Jimmy Lemke, PantherU.com

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