With four goals in a span of just over 20 minutes, Marquette women's soccer picked up what turned into an easy 4-0 win over Providence on Saturday night. The win locks up a top four finish in the Big East for the Golden Eagles.
However, because of DePaul's 1-0 win earlier in the day, Marquette's chances of winning a sixth straight Big East title have evaporated. The Blue Demons have moved to 20 points in the table, and at 16 points with just one match remaining, Marquette can not catch up for even a share of the title.
Scoring got started in the 23rd minute when Darian Powell connected with Alex Heffron off a rebound of a Liz Bartels shot. Less than a minute later, Heffron took things under her control when she drove down the field and blasted a shot past PC's Kristyn Shea for her second of the match and third goal of the season. Bartels officially got on the scoresheet when she crossed a ball into Powell for the Iowa native to send past Shea, giving Powell a goal in each of Marquette's last three matches. The scoring wrapped up in the 44th minute when the returning Ashley Handwork headed home a Jacie Jermier corner kick, one of just two in the match for the Golden Eagles.
Amanda Engel made five saves to keep the Friars off the board before giving way to Sofie Schunk in the 73rd minute. Schunk closed out the match, making two saves along the way to preserve the shutout for MU.
Providence swapped out Shea for Megan Sweeney at halftime, which leads to an interesting note. Shea had the best goals against average in the league coming into this match. Earlier this season, Marquette tallied three goals in 61 minutes of action from Seton Hall's Illissa Blackshear, who, at the time, was leading the conference in goals against average. 106 minutes against goalies that were the statistical best in the Big East at the time, and Marquette dumped in seven goals. The other nearly seven games worth of time: 12 goals.
I mean, what?
One more game left on the schedule, a Halloween matinee against Butler. Here's how the Big East standings look heading into the final match day of the season:
I'm not sure about the tiebreakers involved when the head to head match up was a tie itself, but it seems like the most likely outcome for MU is that they'll be hosting a quarterfinal match. We'll have a post up later this week with the playoff scenarios involved for the whole league.