Women's Soccer: #21 Marquette 3, St. John's 1

Liz Bartels has three goals in MU's last four contests, including two game winning goals. - Marcus Snowden/MarquetteImages.com

Three second half goals propelled the Golden Eagles into first place by themselves in the Big East.

Coming in to last night's match with St. John's, two things were likely. 1) Sophomore midfielder Rachel Daly, the Big East's goal scoring leader, was probably going to score a goal, and 2) It was probably going to be difficult to score a goal against Red Storm freshman keeper Diana Poulin, who was leading the conference in goals-against average and save percentage because she had only allowed two goals all season.

While the first one was accurate, not so much on the second one.

St. John's was held without a shot or a corner kick attempt through the first 45 minutes, but they made up for that quickly in the second half. Daly sent one home off of a Caitlyn McLoughlin corner kick in the 49th minute to give the Red Storm a 1-0 lead. Daly sent the ball to the far post when MU keeper Amanda Engel was playing the corner as it came in.

Marquette equalized eight minutes later when Maegan Kelly deployed some fancy footwork to shake off two encroaching defenders, pull a 180 degree turn, and snap a shot past Poulin from near the top of the box. Kelly's talented feet came back into play in the 72nd minute, when she sent a low bounding corner kick in towards the six yard box where Liz Bartels used her second touch to poke the ball towards the far post and double the number of goals that Poulin had given up on the season.

Bartels hadn't registered a point of any kind through her first nine collegiate games, but now she has three goals and an assist in MU's last four contests. On top of that sudden explosion of production, this also turned into Bartels' second game winning goal in the last three games, as Marquette was able to prevent the Red Storm from taking another shot in the game.

After lightning halted play for 51 minutes with 81 minutes elapsed in game time, Mary Luba tacked on a third goal in the 90th minute, as she caught Poulin out of the goal box and launched one into the net from about 30 yards out. If this wasn't the worst 90 minutes of Poulin's season before Luba's goal, it definitely was after it.

Engel played the full 90 minutes in net for MU without making a save, as the only Red Storm shot on goal was Daly's goal. Marquette outshot St. John's 20-3 for the match.

Up Next: The Golden Eagles look to extend their 16 Big East match unbeaten streak when they travel to Xavier (7-4-1, 0-3-0) on Sunday afternoon.

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