Finally, Marquette shook off that lost two goal lead bug.
In each of the last four matches, the Golden Eagles took an early 2-0 lead. In the first three, they handed that lead back. Twice they escaped, getting a late game winner. The third time, not so much. Creighton’s Lauren Sullivan scored an overtime golden goal in the first Big East match of the season for MU, and the Golden Eagles started league play off with a loss.
The fourth time, though, worked out for MU. They opened up a two goal lead on Seton Hall on Thursday night, and even though the Pirates halved that lead, Marquette was able to keep the match at 2-1 until the final horn.
MU also had a vintage performance against SHU in terms of offensive possession. They outshot the Pirates 14-3 by the time the final horn sounded, which is above and beyond the type of shot percentage that Marquette typically saw when they were winning back to back Big East tournaments just a few short years ago.
The question now becomes whether or not they can keep this up over the final seven games of the league schedule. It won’t be easy, especially in their next match, which will get into in a moment. There’s a number of challenges in front of them, but sometimes all you need is one match where almost everything goes your way to get into a positive mindset to continue to play at a high level.
The most positive development of the Seton Hall match was the performance of Darian Powell. The senior forward made just her second start of the season while working her way back from offseason ankle surgery, and on top of that, played 65 minutes. She had been averaging just under 34 minutes a game this season after leading Marquette in scoring in each of the past two seasons. If she’s going to be healthy for the rest of the season, that will go a long way towards keeping the Marquette offense active and scoring.
Big East Match #3: vs St. John’s (6-1-4, 1-0-1 Big East)
When: Sunday, October 2, 2016, at 1pm CT
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go has the video broadcast, plus there’s live stats.
Special Promotion: Free root beer floats & MU mugs for the first 250 students!
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer & @StJohnsWSoccer
Marquette has a 10-1-1 all time record against the Red Storm, and believe it or not, the Golden Eagles are 0-1-1 in their last two contests against St. John’s. That includes SJU’s first ever win against Marquette which came last season in New York.
After last year’s 3-0 loss to the Red Storm, there’s some good news and some bad news for Marquette. The good news is that Rachel Daly has finished her collegiate career. Daly set the St. John’s program record for goals in a career during that 3-0 win over Marquette in 2015, but MU won’t have to worry about her this year. The bad news is that St. John’s is still leading the Big East in shots per game. At 16.27 attempts per game, they’re averaging nearly two shots more than anyone else in the conference. Even without Daly hammering the ball into the net on the regular, St. John’s is still letting fly with ridiculous frequency.
There is, however, an asterisk to all of that shooting. They’ve scored just 15 goals in 11 matches this season, and they rank just eighth in the Big East in goals per game at 1.36. The only two teams that are worse off on offense are the ones that aren’t even getting a goal per game. Eight of those 15 markers have been scored by four players, who are all tied for the team lead with two each.
Luckily, they’re playing with the two-time Big East Goalkeeper at their backs. Diana Poulin has been outstanding for St. John’s since the day she stepped foot on campus. Through 11 matches of the 2016 season, she has a career goals-against average of 0.85 and a save percentage of .793. Poulin is topping both of those marks this season at 0.25 goals per 90 minutes and a .917 save percentage. She’s posted eight shutouts on the year, with three of them coming in scoreless draws. It’s been over 300 minutes since Poulin has allowed a goal right now, and Marquette is going to have to work like hell to score against her.