In the home opener for the 2015 season, Marquette women's lacrosse mounted a valiant effort against the nationally ranked powerhouse known as the Northwestern Wildcats, but came away with the 13-6 loss.
Seven of the game's goals came in the first 10:01. After the two teams traded goals to open, Northwestern rang up the next four, including three from Selena Lasota, their scoring leader. Emily Donovan would break the Wildcat run at the 19:59 mark of the first half, and, as it would turn out, end the scoring for the first half. NU would end up outshooting Marquette 11-3 for the first 30 minutes, but based on the scoreboard, you can't really be bothered by the results. Down 3 at the half to #5 in the country? I'll take that.
The start to the second half wasn't as stellar. The Wildcats doubled their lead in the first three minutes and scored five straight overall until Taylor Smith's third goal of the year broke their streak. Lasota's sixth goal of the game came with 21:48 left in the contest, which means that Northwestern outscored Marquette 6-1 in the first nine minutes of the frame. By that point, it was 11-3, so the game was essentially over. MU would score three times in the final 12 minutes, including the first two collegiate goals from freshman Riley Hill, but all that did was mask the domination handed out by the Wildcats.
This all sounds really bad, but two things are important to remember. First, other than the nine minutes to open the second half, Marquette only trailed Northwestern by two goals. Second, this was a much more impressive effort than the 20-5 #BeatEmDown that NU issued to the Golden Eagles a year ago. Yes, this is taking silver linings in a game where the opponent scored six goals in nine minutes. But it's still the third year of the program, and this is showing signs of growth. That's all I'm really asking for at this point.
Lasota was a dominant force in the game, recording the aforementioned six goals on just seven swings and only one free position shot. Hill's two goals led Marquette in that category, while Claire Costanza had a goal and two assists. Sarah Priem went the full 60 for Marquette, making six saves on the day while taking the loss. Bridget Bianco made three saves in 40 minutes for Northwestern to earn the win.
Up Next: It's the first of four straight road games for the Golden Eagles. They'll be in Pittsburgh on Saturday to take on Duquesne. Marquette has lost two home games to the Dukes, one in each year of the program. This will be their first trip to Pittsburgh for a game, and Duquesne opened their season with a 17-16 overtime win over Robert Morris back on Wednesday.