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Women's Lacrosse: Marquette 8, Duquesne 7 (OT)

It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish, and that's how the Golden Eagles won their first game of the season.

Taylor Smith's four goals vaulted her into the team lead in goals with seven.
Taylor Smith's four goals vaulted her into the team lead in goals with seven.

Taylor Smith scored four goals against Duquesne on Saturday afternoon, including the game winner in overtime, and Marquette left Pittsburgh with their first win of the season, 8-7.

It was slow goings for the Golden Eagles to get things started.  Marquette had just three shots against nine turnovers before freshman Allison Lane got MU on the board with 7:44 left in the first half.  Lane's goal tied the game up at 1, and from there, things got a little whacky.  The two teams would combine for four goals over the final eight minutes of the half after only having one through the first 22.  Kaelin Shaw put the Dukes back in front, but Smith and Claire Costanza answered for Marquette, and they went to the intermission with a 3-2 lead.

Smith's second of the game opened the scoring in the second half, and Costanza's second pushed the lead back to two goals after Claire Hurley scored for Duquesne.  The goals just kept coming after that long drought in the first half, with the teams responding in two goal bursts.  First it was Duquesne's Kenna Gubler and Michelle Morris, then Smith closed out her hat trick and Riley Hill's third of the season bounced Marquette to a 7-5 lead.

That left MU with a little less than 11 minutes to play, and things did not go well.  Hayley Baas and Elizabeth Goslee picked up two yellow cards along the way, and Duquesne capitalized on both extra woman opportunities to knot things at seven with 6:23 to go.  Neither team could find the back of the net through the rest of regulation, although Marquette had the advantage, outshooting Duquesne 8-0.  The best opportunity came with 2:50 remaining when Emily Donovan drew a foul and a free position shot.  The attempt was saved by Jenna Bishop, and on the ensuing scrum, Costanza committed a foul to end Marquette's try on that possession.

With things still tied after the end of regulation, we headed to extra time to settle this.  The first three minutes of OT ticked by without a score, and Duquesne took the draw control for the second three.  Some fancy stick defense from Goslee forced a bad pass from Duquesne, and off went the Golden Eagles on offense.  With 2:20 to burn before things turned into sudden victory rules, Marquette was patient to make sure they got the best crack at Bishop.  They only needed one swing of a stick as Smith beat the Duquesne netminder with 1:26 remaining.

They still had to play that last 86 seconds, though, and Duquesne came away with the draw control.  That meant it was on the Golden Eagles' defense.  Kacey Haverstick and Fran Meyer committed some slighty strategic fouls as they only resulted in a restart and not an FPS, and finally, with 15 seconds left, Sarah Priem made her ninth save of the game by stopping Tess Drotar.  Priem took off running with the ball because of the time remaining, and MU ran away with their first win of the season.

Smith's four strikes led all scorers in both goals and points, and in an odd bit of fate, all eight Golden Eagles goals were unassisted.  Hurley had two goals to end up leading Duquesne in that column, while Lib Lowry had a goal and two assists for their points lead.  Priem had five saves in the first half to keep MU in the game en route to her nine stops, while Bishop made 12 saves, including a ferocious 10 after halftime to keep Marquette from running away with the game as long as she could.

Up Next: ROAD TRIP!  Marquette won't play again until next Sunday after Spring Break starts.  They'll head out to California for three games over the break, starting with UC Davis (0-2) on March 8th.