Eli Beard scored just 57 seconds into overtime on Friday night to give Marquette a 3-2 win over DePaul and a share of the 2016 Big East regular season championship.
Golden goal to win a share of the BIG EAST title! https://t.co/yZsODdahvc— BIG EAST Champs (@BIGEASTchamps) October 29, 2016
The Golden Eagles finish the regular season with 21 points, tying them with the Blue Demons and giving both squads a share of the title. However, because of the head-to-head victory brought on by Beard’s winner, Marquette gets the #1 seed in the Big East tournament as well as a bye to the semifinals.
The two teams traded goals through the 90 minutes of regulation, with all four tallies coming as a result of the defense being unable to clear a ball away from the net. DePaul got the scoring started in the 38th minute when Marquette couldn't contain a DePaul corner kick. The ball found its way out in front of the net where defender Taylor Schissler was able to slot it home.
DePaul’s lead was short-lived, though. In the 42nd minute, things were unsettled at the top of DePaul’s 18 yard box. Marquette senior Morgan Proffitt saw an opportunity and took it, sending an amazing howler of a shot past Blue Demons keeper Lauren Frasca.
That made it 1-1 at halftime, but that didn't last either. DePaul earned another corner quickly, and Abby Reed took advantage of Marquette’s inability to clean off their doorstop to make it a 2-1 game just 67 seconds into the second half.
In the 79th minute, the Golden Eagles got a chance to take advantage of DePaul struggling to clear a corner. Caroline Fink sent it in, and eventually, a Marquette shot attempt ricocheted off the extended arm of a Blue Demon. The ref called a handball, signaled for a penalty kick, and after a sad attempt at intimidation by Frasca, it was Proffitt scoring her second game tying goal of the night on the PK.
Marquette seemed to carry the advantage in the final 10 minutes, and perhaps that’s what led to MU getting the big push right off the restart for the overtime session. Emily Hess ended up with it deep in the left corner and sent a ball out in front of the net. Schissler was too focused on shoving Molly Pfeiffer to the turf to deflect the pass, and Beard matched Proffitt with a beautifully timed run to jam it past Frasca for her first goal of the year.
Beard, a junior, has just three goals in her career, but all three have been game winners.
Marquette has the #1 seed in the Big East conference tournament, which means they’ll head to Shaw Field on Georgetown’s campus for the semifinals and wait for the winner of Tuesday night’s matchup between #4 St. John’s and #5 Providence. DePaul gets the #2 seed and will face the winner of #3 Georgetown vs #6 Butler. This draw sets up well for Marquette. The Golden Eagles lost just two matches in league play: one to Georgetown, who they can’t face until the championship match, and one to Creighton, who failed to make the six team field.
We’ll wrap up with the full highlights package, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and the Big East Digital Network.