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2014 Big East Women's Soccer Tournament: #4 Marquette defeats #5 Providence 2-0

The Golden Eagles advance to the semifinals in New York on Friday night.

The dream of a third straight Big East tournament title lives.

On the back of a three point night from senior defender Haley Fritzlen, #4 seed Marquette picked up a 2-0 win on Tuesday night over #5 Providence in the Big East women's soccer tournament quarterfinals.

The Golden Eagles opened up the scoring in the 18th minute.  A Mary Luba corner kick went sailing to the far side of the box and was poked away from the net originally.  Fritzlen corralled it, and sent it wide to Darian Powell.  The sophomore netted her seventh goal of the season by going far post and beating PC keeper Kristyn Shea.

While Marquette had the shot advantage, 6-3, in the first half, it was Providence that had the most dangerous scoring chances.  Twice the Friars had free kicks from just outside the top of the 18 yard box, but the first one was stopped by a kick save from Amanda Engel, while the second was defeated by the MU defensive wall and a secondary try by Catherine Zimmerman went sailing high.  PC had other attacks that were skirting towards a threat as well.  First, there was a corner kick that went too long while bending towards the net, and later, an crossing attempt that went straight at the near post.  That one was actually kept in play by Engel doubling the size of the post, but she immediately fell on it to smother out the Friar attack.

Marquette's second goal came just after halftime.  The Golden Eagles had the advantage off the first kick and a shot by Ann Marie Lynch was turned away by Shea for a corner kick, or more accurately, three corner kicks.  Marquette kept getting attempts from the corners, and when you give a talented offensive team like Marquette enough tries in a row, they're going to solve the puzzle.  In this case, the puzzle was solved by a free kick from Jacie Jermier that found the head of Fritzlen, her fellow defender.  Fritzlen's volley was probably going to be a solid shot on goal, but it got deflected by a PC player on its way in, and Shea had no chance to stop it.

Engel made two saves, one in each half, to capture the clean sheet, her eighth of the season.  Shea made five saves while taking the loss.

Marquette advances to the Big East semifinals in New York on Friday night.  They'll take on the #1 seed and regular season champion DePaul at 4pm Central.  While the Blue Demons have not lost a game this season, Marquette pushed them to overtime on the Golden Eagles' Senior Night before the Big East's Rookie of the Year Alexa Ben broke the tie in the 104th minute for a 3-2 win.

Here's the highlights from the match, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network:

In other big East tournament action, #3 seed St. John's retained their homefield advantage for the semifinals with a 2-0 win over #6 Villanova.  The scoring got off to an early start when Georgia Kearney-Perry, fresh off being named the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, scored her first career goal.  She slotted home a Caitlyn McLaughlin corner kick, and the Red Storm had a 1-0 lead.  St. John's had complete control of the first half, outshooting Villanova 12-4, but they would have to wait til past the one hour mark to get some insurance.

Again, it was McLaughlin starting things off, finding Shelby Halasz out in the middle of the field, 25 yards out.  Halasz turned on the ball and rifled a highlight reel type of goal past VU keeper Emma Meyer.  2014 Goalkeeper of the Year Diana Poulin made two saves, both in the second half, to preserve her ninth clean sheet of the season.  St. John's advances to face #2 Georgetown in the second of Friday night's semifinals.

Here's the highlights, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network: