In the final scheduled home match of the 2015 season, Marquette walked away with the win and three points, defeating Villanova, 2-0.
The win moves Marquette to 4-2-1 in league play this season and has them sitting in fifth place with 13 points. With a logjam at 16 points atop the table with two matches to play, and with two of the three teams in that tie playing each other on Sunday, it appears that a bye to the semifinals may be out of reach for the Golden Eagles at this point. But, with their own Sunday contest at Butler, Marquette's chances to return to Valley Fields for a quarterfinal match in the Big East tournament are still very much alive.
Both goals on the night were scored by junior forward Darian Powell. I have to toss it over to the highlight package from GoMarquette.com and the Big East Digital Network here, because Powell's first marker has to be seen to be believed.
You can actually see the moment on the slo-mo replay when VU keeper Emma Meyer realizes that the ball has deflected into the net off of her own body and she realizes that there's nothing she can do about it any more.
That goal came in the fifth minute of the match, and generally speaking, it looked like it would be the only offense that Marquette would need. Villanova ended the game with just one official shot, which came in the 22nd minute when Alizah Johns-Boehme launched one too high to do any damage. Marquette would finish with 12 shots to their credit, with eight coming in the second half as MU pushed to maintain control of the game.
If it wasn't already mostly locked up by the 83rd minute, Powell erased all chance of Villanova forcing overtime. Caroline Fink slipped a low liner of a cross out to the middle of the field, and Powell snapped it just high enough to dodge a sliding Nova defender and crack it off the side of the right post and in for her team leading fifth goal of the season.
All three of Marquette's seniors - Amanda Engel, Jacie Jermier, and Ann Marie Lynch - played all 90 minutes to pick up the win for the Golden Eagles. I think it was particularly nice of Villanova to give Engel a save free clean sheet as a going away present.
Up Next: As mentioned already, Marquette heads to Butler on Sunday for the first of two road games to close out the schedule. The Bulldogs (12-5-1, 5-2-0 Big East) have 15 points in the league standings, giving them a two point margin on MU for the second and final slot hosting a quarterfinal match. MU can't clinch 4th place with a win, but they'll definitely clinch not getting a home game with a draw or a loss.