Just 21 seconds into the second half, junior midfielder Mary Luba played a ball into the top of the six yard box. You can't put a ball there without the defense taking note, and Seton Hall is no exception. A Pirates defender sent the ball shooting away from keeper Jennifer Pettigrew, but unfortunately they deflected it right to Marquette's Liz Bartels. The freshman midfielder put one touch on the ball and sent it into the net, for what would turn into the eventual game winner.
The goal is the third game winner of the season for Bartels, all in the last six games. She's not the freshman leader in goals in the Big East, and given Diana Poulin's play in games not against Georgetown or Marquette, Bartels might not be the best performing freshman in the league. However, when you look at her knack for scoring in important moments, Bartels has to be in the conversation for Big East Rookie of the Year.
As I alluded to above, the win over Seton Hall clinched aslot for the Golden Eagles. In addition, Marquette is guaranteed to finish no lower than fourth place. With the tournament setup for the Big East, this means at worst, Marquette will host a quarterfinal match and not have to worry about going on the road to win a match to get back to Valley Fields for the Big East semifinals.
Amanda Engel played the full 90 minutes in net, making two saves for Marquette's third straight clean sheet. Engel also benefited from outstanding defense, including two sliding tackles from Emily Jacobson in the last 17 minutes to knock SHU attacks away. Engel's shutout streak currently stands at 284:39 minutes.
Up Next: Marquette is in Chicago on Sunday to face DePaul (10-2-2, 4-1-1 Big East). The Blue Demons are currently tied for second place in the league and have their sights set on beating out Georgetown for a bye to the Big East semifinals. It should be quite the goalkeeping battle, as sophomore keeper Alejandria Godinez leads the Big East in both goals-against average (0.54) and save percentage (.907).