We're sixteen days into November and if social media is to be believed, I should have been letting the world know on a daily basis for whom and what I am thankful. I've been a bit of a slacker so this list is going to be long.
I am thankful for Marquette women's soccer. Despite the cold and the bitter ending, there is no where else I'd rather have been on Friday night than in Valley Fields watching second seeded Marquette take on Western Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. The Broncos played the kind of suffocating defense fans are used to seeing from the Golden Eagles themselves. Marquette struggled with turnovers, but still managed to out shoot Western Michigan 17-6. The Golden Eagles' best chance to score came in the 65th minute when a shot by Katie Hishmesh hit the post, but a Broncos defender cleared the ball out before Marquette could get a second chance on the rebound.
Western Michigan nearly got on the board minutes earlier, but Sofie Schunk came out to challenge a Broncos attacker and deflected the ball away. Instead, in the 84th minute Aubrey Sudomier got around Emily Jacobson to send a bullet past the diving Schunk into the far corner for the winning goal. Six minutes later Marquette had lost it's first match at home since 2011 and it's season was abruptly over.
I am thankful for Markus Roeders, Frank Pelaez, Ashley Bares, and Nick Vorberg. The award winning coaching staff guided Marquette to a 18-4-0 record this season including a perfect record in Big East play to take both the regular season and tournament championships. Sometimes it's easy to take for granted the success that the team has enjoyed under Roeders' leadership. I expected this team to go deeper in the College Cup than last year's crew who reached the Sweet Sixteen, but one loss at an inopportune time hasn't made me forget that this program is still arguably the most successful athletic program that the University fields.
I am especially thankful for this year's seniors who tallied a 69-15-6 record over their four years of play. Five straight Big East regular season titles prove that this group are champions. Thank you Maegan Kelly. Thank you Ashley Stemmeler. Thank you Katie Hishmesh. Thank you Cara Jacobson. Thank you Kate Reigle. Thank you Vanessa Legault-Cordisco. Thank you Taylor Madigan. Thank you Emily Jacobson.
I am also thankful for Amanda Engel, Sofie Schunk, Mady Vicker, Jacie Jermier, Morgan Proffitt, Ann Marie Lynch, Alex Heffron, Ashley Handwork, Liz Bartels, Haley Fritzlen, Mary Luba, and the other underclassmen on Marquette's roster. I have seen the future of this team and y'all are the reason I'll be back next season with high hopes for Marquette.