Kristen Kocher had four goals for a five points day and Amanda Currell made four saves in the second half as Rutgers pulled away from Marquette in the second half for a 12-6 win on Friday evening. The win is the first in Big East play for the Scarlet Knights.
The deciding stretch of the game ran from just before halftime through nearly halfway through the second half. Rutgers (7-6, 1-2 Big East) ran off five straight goals across a 21+ minute period, including two from Megan Clements, to push the lead from 5-3 to 10-3. The first goal came quickly after a Hayley Baas marker narrowed the Scarlet Knights' lead, and even after the fifth goal, RU still managed to keep Marquette (5-7, 1-2 Big East) out of their net for another two minutes before Kenzie Brown broke the run of unanswered goals with her second of the game.
By that point, though, it was 10-4 with 15:29 left and the last thing Marquette could afford to do was go a long stretch without a goal, but that's exactly what happened. No one for either team found the back of the net over the next seven minutes, and when Baas scored her second goal of the game with 8:46 remaining to make it 10-5, time was no longer in Marquette's favor.
The game became incredibly foul heavy in the second half. After a first half with 15 total fouls between the two squads and four yellow cards, Marquette had 14 fouls in the second half, while Rutgers was whistled for 20 infractions. In some cases, you could make a case for a poorly refereed game where suddenly the players were caught getting called for fouls that weren't fouls in the first half. But the refereeing crew issued five yellow cards in the final six minutes of the game, with three going to the team with the edge on the scoreboard, so it seems the whistles in this case were just a byproduct of an increasingly physical game that never quite calmed down.
Marquette's scoring was led on the day by the two goals from Baas and Brown, while Amanda Bochniak and Katie Bathon also recorded goals. All of Marquette's goals came unassisted, with two coming on free position shots. Sarah Priem made just one save for Marquette before being lifted after 37 minutes of action for Emma Salter.
Kocher was the top woman for Rutgers, but they also had multi-point days from Lauren Sbrilli (2G), Megan Clements (2G), Halley Barnes (1G, 1A), and Amanda Turturro (1G, 1A). Head coach Laura Brand-Sias split her goaltending right down the middle, with the lesser used Candace Dandridge getting the start and the win, even without making a save in her one half of action.
Up Next: There's just a little more than two hours to go before Marquette looks to salvage a weekend split when they face off with Connecticut. The Huskies are 7-5 overall and 2-1 in Big East action after dropping an 11-10 decision to Georgetown on Friday.