On Friday, Marquette got doubled up, 12-6, by a Rutgers team that hadn't won a Big East game yet. On Sunday, Marquette headed a little bit north to Storrs to face a Connecticut team that was smarting from their first loss in league action. Before seven minutes wound off the clock, the Golden Eagles found themselves in a 4-1 hole. It was an auspicious start, to say the least.
But Marquette's defense stepped up their game and held the line for the next 13 minutes, stopping the Huskies from scoring, while Hayley Baas and Amanda Bochniak found the back of the net to get Marquette back within one goal. When Jordan Christopher and Katherine Finkelston scored for UConn within 16 seconds of each other to push the lead to 7-4 late in the first half, it seemed that maybe the scales were tipping back for the Huskies. Marquette rallied to get the last two goals of the half, including the first of the season from Anna Muzika, and with six minutes gone in the second half, Nicole Gleason scored on the advantage given by a yellow card on Alexa Bonnes, and we had a brand new ball game.
And yet, just more than 30 seconds later, Lauren Kahn scored for UConn, and Finkelston followed with her fourth goal of the game less than a minute later, and it was 9-7. MU & UConn traded goals for the rest of the game, with Kenzie Brown scoring on a free position shot with 4:51 left to play to make the score 11-10. Three turnovers and two failed clearances down the stretch ended Marquette's chances at tying the game and going to overtime, and a yellow card on Kayce Haverstick with 58 seconds left took out whatever drama was left.
Bochniak led Marquette's offensive efforts on the day, recording four points on a goal and three assists. Sarah Priem made eight saves, including five in the first half to try to keep Marquette in the game after that early deficit. Connecticut was led by Kahn, who had two goals and four assists to outdo Finkelston's five goal day. Shannon Nee started the game and made one save in the first half to earn the win before giving way to Marya Fratoni in the second half.
Marquette falls to 5-8 overall and 1-3 in Big East games. The Golden Eagles have three league games left, including Temple and Villanova at home this week. The Owls and Wildcats are both 2-2 right now and tied for the final Big East tournament slot.
Up Next: That aforementioned game against Temple is on Thursday at 3pm for some inexplicable reason. The Owls are 5-8 on the season and are coming off of a 19-3 win over Cincinnati on Sunday.