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WLax: Marquette 14, Cincinnati 6

The Golden Eagles trounce the Bearcats to score the program's first ever conference win.

Claire Costanza and Nicole Gleason teamed up twice to score against Cincinnati
Claire Costanza and Nicole Gleason teamed up twice to score against Cincinnati

Taylor Smith needed just over a minute against Cincinnati to score the first Marquette women's lacrosse goal in Big East play ever on Friday night at Valley Fields. Everything continued to come up Golden Eagle as Claire Costanza made it a 2-0 lead another minute later.

The Golden Eagles offense was clicking and scored 4 goals in the match's first six minutes before the Bearcats got on the board themselves. Cincinnati made the most of Marquette fouls by scoring the next three goals out of restarts near the net, but Costanza's third goal of the game gave the Golden Eagles some breathing room as the first half wound down. A yellow card by Amanda Bochniak with 13 seconds left gave the Bearcats a one woman advantage, but they were unable to capitalize and Marquette went into halftime leading 5-3.

Kenzie Brown and Costanza tacked another two Marquette goals on early out of the break before Dani Tunnell, who scored 5 of Cincinnati's goals, responded for the Bearcats. Cincinnati managed to stay within striking distance until a pair by Hayley Baas followed by Kenzie Brown converting on an extra woman opportunity gave the Golden Eagles a six goal advantage.

While Marquette killed off large swaths of time by playing keep away when they had possession, Cincinnati got stupidly aggressive and sealed their fate. With just over two minutes to go, play was stopped on the far side of the field. Bearcats goalie Meg Gulmi was far from the net, but on the restart seemed to only be moseying her way back to position. Marquette passed the ball a few times giving Gulmi what I felt was plenty of time to reach the net and Baas easily scored on what was still an empty net. The foul that stopped play was not called on Gulmi so I'm still confused why she did not sprint back into the crease.

The Bearcats then committed two yellow card worthy offenses within fifteen seconds. Up two women, Marquette scored twice more with freshman Alina Atayan scoring her first career goal in the final minute to put the frosting on the Golden Eagles' first ever Big East victory. With the 14-6 win, Marquette improved to 5-5 on the season and 1-0 in conference to claim first place atop the Big East standings.

Baas and Costanza both scored 4 goals with the latter also dishing out three assists. Brown notched an assist to go with her 3 goals. Smith, Atayan, and Nicole Gleason tallied a goal apiece with Gleason also getting an assist. On the defensive end, Sarah Priem made 2 saves.

Up next: At Georgetown on April 5th at 11:00 am.