There was only one hitch in Marquette's wagon through 30 minutes against Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. The Hoyas outshot the Golden Eagles 15-8 in the first half, but with the score knotted at five goals a piece, it was hard to be too worried about that. Courtesy of a seven minute scoreless drought on the part of Georgetown and goals from Amanda Bochniak and Nicole Gleason in the last 5 minutes, Marquette found themselves on a level playing field with the Big East's preseason favorite.
The other stats were nice and level, too. Georgetown had a 12-11 advantage in ground balls, and had eight turnovers against 10 for Marquette. When you consider that Georgetown had committed twice as many fouls as Marquette, 14-7, you can start feeling pretty good about where this game was headed.
Through a long section of the second half, it still seemed like Marquette was running right with the Hoyas. Yes, they took a 6-5 lead early, and with just over 13 minutes left, Georgetown went up 7-5 on a goal from Meghan Farrell. Still, with a goal coming every two and a half minutes on average in the first half, things still seemed okay for Marquette.
Then: Mollie Caputo scored her first goal of the season with 11:48 left, and Kelyn Freedman snapped in her fourth and fifth goals of the game just more than a minute apart. All of a sudden, it was 10-5 with 9:26 remaining. It had been more than 18 minutes since Marquette had scored and they found themselves in a five goal hole. The Hoyas would tack on two more goals by the end of the game to extend their run to seven straight goals for the 12-5 win.
What changed in the second half? First of all, Georgetown took their shooting advantage to a new level, outshooting the Golden Eagles 19-2. Second, the fouls switched. After Georgetown getting a majority of the whistles in the first half, Marquette got whistled for 21 second half fouls. Yes, that's the same number that both teams combined for in the first half, while Georgetown only got popped for eight fouls. Lastly, Georgetown took much better care of the ball. They cut their turnovers in half, committing just four in the second half, and the Hoyas converted all five of their clearance attempts. Both teams struggled to clear the ball in the first half, combining to clear just 12 of 20 tries, but only Marquette continued to struggle after intermission. The Golden Eagles failed to clear five of their 10 clearance attempts.
If there is any kind of a bright spot in all of this, it's goalie Sarah Priem. She tied her career high in saves with 14 and in ground balls with six. On a day where there was a flurry around her net, Priem was a whirlwind keeping Marquette within striking distance for the first three quarters of the game.
Marquette drops to 1-1 in Big East play, and 5-6 overall.
Up Next: Marquette will be back on the east coast on Friday evening, when they take on Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 6-6 on the season, but have lost their last two contests, dropping them to 0-2 in the Big East standings. MU will stay out east to take on Connecticut (7-4, 2-0) on Sunday.