After something went sideways on the Big Sky's video streaming set up (Ambient Audio Only? The hell?) and I was unable to watch the game, I was stuck paying attention to the stat tracker and tweets from the official Marquette women's soccer account. There's not much to get excited about in a half where no one scores and the team you're cheering for has a 9-3 shot advantage. But that's how the first 45 minutes wrapped up between Marquette and Portland State.
Emma Cooney broke the scoreless tie in the 52nd minute when she put a foot on a ball that bounced off of a MU defender after a PSU corner kick. I don't know what kind of adjustments head coach Markus Roeders made at halftime with his squad, but I feel pretty comfortable in guessing that he wasn't super excited about conceding a goal so quickly after intermission.
Things looked like they might have a chance to turn around in the 57th minute when Marquette was awarded a penalty kick. PSU keeper Caitlin Plese read the kick from Kate Reigle right however, and made the stop to keep the Vikings in the lead. Plese would come up big for Portland State repeatedly in her first ever collegiate start, making nine saves, the most by a Vikings keeper in nearly two years.
Once the clock broke the 75 minute mark, things started unraveling for Portland State. In the 76th minute, Kayla Henningsen picked up a yellow card, the second card against PSU in the match. This will become important later.
Marquette finally broke through on the score sheet for the season when Cara Jacobson's cross got through to Taylor Madigan's head in the 79th minute. 45 seconds later, Marquette had the ball back in the PSU 18 yard box when Kelsey Henningsen, Kayla's twin sister, committed a particularly hard foul and earned a straight red and sent MU back to the penalty spot. Maegan Kelly converted the PK for her first goal of the season and Marquette's first lead of the season.
Two minutes and another Marquette shot later, Kayla decided that Kelsey looked lonely on the sidelines and picked up her second yellow card of the game, meaning Portland State played with just nine players for the rest of the match. Unsurprisingly, the Viking defense started breaking down as Marquette ripped off four shots in a stretch of just over three minutes with the fourth shot turning into Mady Vicker's first goal of the season in the 88th minute.
You'd think that the match would essentially be over at that point, but Marquette was whistled for three fouls in the final 90 seconds of the match. Given the sudden shift in score and number of cards already issued to Portland State, I suspect that this was the referee attempting to get the match over with as little further incident as possible. It didn't quite work out, as a scrum developed in front of the Marquette net and PSU's Cori Bianchini ended up with credit for a goal with four seconds left that the stat tracker originally attributed to Melissa Bishop. The official description of Bianchini's goal is "bodied a ball into the net from point-blank, after it got batted around," so the best word to describe it might be "inadvertent."
Again, I want to point out that Marquette gave up a goal with four seconds left while playing 11 on 9, so that means that all three goals that the Golden Eagles gave up this weekend were not stellar plays that beat keeper Amanda Engel, but lousy bounces right in front of the net that the opponent was able to play with relative ease. If nothing else, this will give Coach Roeders something to stress this week during practice.
Maegan Kelly Assists Watch: Kelly picked up her first assist of the season on Vicker's goal, bringing her to 30 for her career. She sits just three assists behind Regina Sekyra's program record 33 career assists.
Up Next: Marquette heads to South Bend on Friday for a pair of games over the weekend, neither of which will be against Notre Dame. Friday's opponent will be UCLA (2-0-0), which started the season ranked #5 in the country by the NSCAA.