Fifteen times Marquette women's lacrosse has faced a ranked opponent, and fifteen times they've lost heading into Saturday's contest against #17 Johns Hopkins. While Marquette had leads early in both halves, the final result was their 16th straight defeat to a ranked team, as the Blue Jays rallied to win, 11-8.
That's the primary story of what happened on Friday afternoon in Baltimore. At the end of the day, it was a come from behind win for JHU as the unranked Golden Eagles didn't have enough to put the Jays away. But, I like taking the wider view of things, and while I'm not going to go so far as to call this a moral victory for Marquette, I will say you have to be damn impressed with what they accomplished.
This game was originally schedule to be played on Saturday afternoon, but with wind chills expected be around 0 degrees or worse, JHU and Marquette agreed to move it to Friday afternoon. One small problem with that: Marquette still had to get to Baltimore. That means flying, and those kinds of plans are already set in stone and can't be quickly changed, especially when you make the decision to change them on Thursday. That meant Marquette left for Baltimore on Friday morning.
Check that out. "Heading to Baltimore" posted at 6:26 am Milwaukee time on Friday.
There's Loyola Maryland Athletic Director Jim Paquette talking about meeting MU at the Baltimore airport at 8:47 am Milwaukee time.
On the road, team is used to arriving at least 24 hours prior to game time, but with sked change, arrived just 5 hours ahead. #JustWinBaby— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteWLax) February 12, 2016
Wake up, fly to Baltimore, get to JHU, get dressed, play the #17 team in the country. Even Major League Baseball teams going from a night game in, say, Atlanta, to a day game against the Chicago Cubs don't have to put up with this kind of a schedule, because they're going TO Chicago before getting some sleep instead of sleeping in Atlanta and flying to Chicago. I'm sure most of you reading this have taken at least one plane flight in your life. How often after a flight have you felt like getting your cardio for the day taken care of within 5 hours of the ride? I'm going to guess that "playing Division 1 lacrosse" is a little more strenuous than "45 minutes on an elliptical," too.
How did Marquette respond to that kind of a morning? Well, they responded by taking a 3-0 lead on the #17 team in the country. It took them a little bit to get there, as Hayley Baas got the third goal at the 16:06 mark of the first half, but they still held the Blue Jays scoreless to that point. A big part of that early run by the Golden Eagles was goalie Sarah Priem making six of her eight first half saves to keep JHU off the scoreboard. JHU was also firing wildly, so Marquette caught a few breaks with shots going well wide of the net as well.
JHU bounced back from that hole to end up tying the game at three, and both teams tacked on a goal to make it 4-all at halftime. Marquette came out of the locker room roaring, or at least Allison Lane did. The six foot tall sophomore cracked in two goals 31 seconds apart to give MU a 6-4 lead. The Golden Eagles offense and defense faltered over the next quarter of an hour, though, as Hopkins scored four times to take their first lead of the game on Emily Kenul's second straight goal at the 18:01 mark.
It was a lead that JHU would never relinquish, not even to a tie. Cate Soccodato scored her first collegiate goal for the Golden Eagles to break the Hopkins run, but the Jays answered that one. Lane finished off her first career hat trick to give Marquette some life at 9-8 with 10:55 to play, but it never turned into anything more. Hopkins won the draw after Lane's third marker, and they drained the clock of life from that point. MU managed just two shots the rest of the way, both from from Grace Gabriel. One was a free position shot that JHU goalie Caroline Federico stuffed and the other came as time expired.
Lane was obviously the big star on offense for the Golden Eagles, and Soccodato had a big day with a goal and an assist to etch herself into the scoresheet for the first time. Baas extended her program record for career goals with two in the first half. Priem ended up finishing with 12 saves. Johns Hopkins was led by a pair of hat tricks, one from Dene DiMartino, who was their leading scorer a year ago, and one from Miranda Ibello, who was making her collegiate debut in this game. Emily Kenul had two goals and an assist for the Blue Jays.
Marquette falls to 0-2 on the season and 0-2 against ranked opponents in 2016.
Up Next: Praise Jebus, because it's not another ranked team. They'll tangle with Michigan out at Oosterbaan Field House a week from tomorrow. The Wolverines (1-0) obliterated Central Michigan in their opener, and have two more games scheduled between now and then: a road trip to see #7 (and Big East favorite) Florida on Saturday afternoon and a home date against Oregon next Friday.