Last November 4th, Taylor Madigan scored a goal against Georgetown in the 88th minute to give Marquette the 1-0 lead they needed to win the 2012 Big East Championship. It was a tense battle the whole time, and with most of the same cast of characters returning for yesterday's rematch in the Valley, I went in expecting a similar match.
What I wasn't expecting was what actually happened. The 21st ranked Golden Eagles scored early and often to run away with a 4-0 win over the consensus top 10 ranked Hoyas and cement their spot atop the Big East standings.
The impressive part is that MU literally went over, around, and through Georgetown to get the win.
Over - I could use Madigan's 11th minute game winner as an example here, as it came into the box on a cross from Maegan Kelly, but instead, it's Marquette's physicality that makes the point here. While the Golden Eagles were clearly the more physical team all match long, the best example is a high flying ball near midfield in the second half. Georgetown's Daphne Corboz attempted to block out Morgan Proffitt to get control of the ball as it came in. The 5'10" Proffitt easily outjumped the 5'2" Corboz to put a head on the ball and send it back towards MU's offensive end. While Proffitt landed easily and followed the play, Corboz went tumbling and sat on the turf for a moment, arms outstretched while wondering where the foul that never came was.
Around - Kelly tallied a goal of her own in the 50th minute. Madigan fed her a through ball into the box and Georgetown's defensive posture at the time forced keeper Emma Newins to come out to play the ball. Kelly deftly took it out wide to the right to go around Newins and rip a shot just inside the near post to make it 3-0 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
- Through - In the 56th minute, Cara Jacobson dribbled the ball into a cluster of three Hoya defenders just outside the top of the 18 yard box. It didn't really matter what they did, as Jacobson just kept trucking right on through them, eventually causing enough dysfunction to give her just enough of a window to fire a shot into the far side of the net to give Marquette their fourth goal of the match.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the heads up play of freshman Ashley Handwork who scored MU's second goal just seconds after subbing into the game for Kelly in the 37th minute. Jacie Jermier got Handwork a chance at a break away straight down the middle of the pitch, and Newins never had a chance at Handwork's shot from the top of the 18 yard box.
Keeper Amanda Engel made four saves in the first 81 minutes before giving way to Sofie Schunk to finish off the shutout. The clean sheet is the second straight for the Golden Eagles and their fourth in their last six matches.
Marquette sits atop the Big East standings with 15 points (5-0-0) as everyone makes the turn into the second half of league play. MU sits five points clear of the second place tie between Georgetown and DePaul and nine points clear of the sixth place tie between Seton Hall and Butler, which leads us to...
Up Next: Marquette travels to New Jersey on Thursday night to face sixth place Seton Hall (4-8-2, 2-3-0 Big East). It might take some help from DePaul in their match against Butler, but a win over the Pirates could clinch aspot for MU.