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10.10.11 Weekend Recap: First Place Edition

Just like the net behind Natalie Kulla.

Keeper Natalie Kulla did her part to encourage people to vote for her for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award over the weekend, posting her 39th and 40th career shutout while guiding #9/#13 Marquette to identical 3-0 victories over Providence and Connecticut. Friday night's match with Providence was the more dominant offensive performance by the Golden Eagles, but not by much. Marquette out shot the Friars 27-2, leading to goals by Kate Reigel (16th minute), Kerry McBride (34th minute) and Mary Luba (81st minute). Marquette's offensive power led to an easy night for Kulla, although it was made dramatic late when a Melina Toman shot needed to be saved by Kulla in the 87th minute.

UConn provided a bit more of a challenge on Sunday afternoon. The Huskies provided more shots (eight) and more shots on goal (4 saves by Kulla) than the Friars, but the result was still the same. Maegan Kelly continued her white hot season, netting what would be the game winner in the 34th minute when she swiped the ball from a UConn defender and put it in from 10 yards out. Katie Hishmeh got her first goal of the season in the 65th minute when UConn keeper Jessica Dulski couldn't put a complete stop on Hishmeh's shot from 40 yards out. Marquette closed out the match with a reminder to everyone that you have to play the full 90 minutes against them as Lindsay Page took a pass from Kelly in the 88th minute and scored for the fifth time this season.

After the jump: Men's soccer and volleyball keep winning, too!

Men's soccer got their biggest win of the year so far by with a 3-1 road win over #22 Providence. Even scoring a goal on that pitch was an accomplishment for Marquette, as Providence had recorded 4 consecutive shutouts at home. Things got started in the 12th minute for the Golden Eagles when an Andy Huftalin shot from 18 yards out caught just enough of the crossbar to deflect into the net. Providence got an equalizer 11 minutes later from Marcos Ugarte, but Marquette didn't let that end the half. Chris Madsen got the game winner in the 32nd minute after dodging 2 defenders and hitting the low corner from 12 yards out. C. Nortey provided insurance for the day 6 minutes after halftime, catching a Sebastian Jansson cross with a diving header. From there, it was Marquette's defense that carried the day, allowing Providence just 3 of their 12 shots of the afternoon after Nortey's goal.

Two sweeps on the weekend led Marquette's volleyball team to remain undefeated in Big East play and tied atop the conference standings with Louisville. First up was beating Georgetown on Friday, 25-20, 25-16, and 25-23. Ashley Beyer recorded her 1,000th career kill in the second set on her way to tying with Ciara Jones for the team lead at 10 each. Things were slow going in the first set, with both teams hitting .071. While they both improved in the 2nd set, Marquette jumped up to .406, led by 6 straight points and Carol Henney's .800 hitting percentage for the set. The third set was a battle of runs, as Georgetown used one last burst to pull to 24-23 before Danielle Carlson closed out the match with her 9th kill.

Sunday ended with Marquette beating Villanova in straight sets, 25-19, 28-26 and 25-21. 16 kills from Jones led the way, while Carlson contributed 12 kills while hitting .458 to maintain her Big East lead in that department. The Wildcats showed the talent that led them to a 4-0 start in Big East play, starting out with a lead in the first set before falling and rallying from down 24-21 to force extra points in the second. But Marquette was able to withstand Nova's attacks and was able to control the 3rd set, getting a 14-11 advantage and then never leading by less than three to close out the match.