Fenwick grad Jack Alberts makes quick impact at Marquette

SHARE Fenwick grad Jack Alberts makes quick impact at Marquette

In the 15th minute of a match against in-state rival UW-Milwaukee earlier this season, Marquette’s Jack Alberts followed a long, arching pass from 40 yards to the first line of the goal box.

The first move he made was a spin off a defender, then a jump for the ball over the approaching goalie, followed by a final bend of his neck for a perfectly placed ball on the back of his head into the net.

The goal was his first career score and game-winner. In Marquette’s next contest, he netted the decisive score again,  that time against Northern Illinois in the 82nd minute.

Alberts, a 19-year-old product of Fenwick, was awarded Big East Rookie of the Week and named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. As a red-shirt freshman, the Hinsdale native has played into a key role on the Golden Eagles’ nationally ranked squad. However, getting to where he is now took a lot of work and patience.

While Alberts was a player down on the depth chart underneath an experienced sophomore at center back, the Marquette coaching staff was forced to make a switch.

In preseason, Alberts worked along the left sideline and fought for a starting spot. In the fourth game of the season, he saw his name on the starting roster and hasn’t seen it off that list since.

“Our coach will send us the game plan with the keys to what we have to do specifically for that game,” Alberts said. “So I scrolled down the PDF file he sent us and I saw my name. And I just thought, ‘Woah, that’s new.’ I wasn’t expecting that.”

On a relatively young team, Alberts is one of many underclassmen who are expected to play often and at a high level. As both the Big East conference and tournament champions a year ago, Marquette has earned the respect among conference foes and comes into this young season as the hunted.

The program has established itself as a national contender in part to head coach Louis Bennett’s “distinct style of play” as Alberts puts it.

“It’s different from the teams we play,” Alberts said. “Coach Bennett always says to play how we set it up, but to always add individual aspects to our game, to make it unique from other people playing your position. But to always play it in the four-man style that our team has.

“In high school and club we didn’t really have a system. We just played where the ball was and whoever’s open, pass it to that guy. Now we have specific runs with specific guys a times, which lends to a higher percentage of wins.”

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