Thursday's edition of the Marquette Tribune brought along a bit of nasty news for those of us hoping to see a big step forward for Marquette women's lacrosse this season. Due to a leg injury suffered during fall ball training, senior attacker Claire Costanza will miss all of the 2016 season.
Costanza has started every single game in program history, and she's been the most dominant player in the offensive corps for the last three seasons. Costanza is Marquette's all time leader in points, assists, shots on goal, and draw controls. She trails Hayley Baas for the goals lead by just six markers. Here's what Claire Costanza has meant to Marquette lacrosse: Her program record for assists is 69. Second place is Amanda Bochniak, who has 22. Yes, that's right, Costanza has a FORTY-SEVEN ASSIST LEAD over any one else to ever pull on a blue & gold uniform.
Losing Constanza for the year is a massive blow for the Golden Eagles, and it shows in the quotes in the Trib article from head coach Meredith Black:
"Acceptance was the hardest part," Black said. "She's a great leader, but we had to move on and accept it."
And co-captain Elizabeth Goslee:
Goslee, a preseason All-Big East team defender, said since Costanza's injury she has been around on and off the field teaching the rest of the attackers her secret to success.
"I hope that the attackers take to heart what Claire tells them because Claire has been a huge part in the building of a successful offense," Goslee said.
It's the fourth consecutive year that Marquette's offense has suffered a massive blow. In order, in the history of the program, Marquette has lost Lauren Hooker, Julianna Shearer, Kenzie Brown, and Amanda Bochniak to season ending injuries. Brown's injury cost her the entire 2014 season, as it came before the season started much like Costanza's injury.
While it's never a good thing to lose a player as talented as Costanza, Marquette is not without options on offense. Bochniak and Brown should be back from their injuries last year, meaning that seven of MU's 10 best scorers in program history are still on the active roster. While I trust in the abilities of the various women to put the ball in the net this season, someone is going to have to step up as a facilitator to replace the 20+ assists that Costanza has posted in each of her three seasons at Marquette.