I feel like I've heard this story before: Marquette held their own against an opponent that's getting votes in national polls before a brief flurry of goals from the opposition led to their demise. Connecticut scored six unanswered goals in a nine minute stretch early in the second half to turn a Marquette lead into a UConn advantage before eventually defeating Marquette, 15-13, on Saturday afternoon at Valley Fields.
Marquette dropped to 1-1 in Big East action on the season, and 4-8 overall.
After an 18 goal first half ended with the two squads knotted up at nine, Marquette came out of the locker room firing. Hayley Baas wrapped up a hat trick less than a minute into the frame with her 20th goal of the season. That extended her career goals record to 86, more than 25 goals than any other player in Marquette history. Cate Soccodato hit the back of the net just after the 26 minute mark to give the Golden Eagles an 11-9 lead.
Just gotta hold on, right?
Maggie Tripodi scored at the 23:34 mark, and over the next eight and a half minutes, the Huskies scored five more goals to take a 15-11 lead with 15:11 to play. Tripodi scored twice in the run, as did sophomore Grace Nolan. Still, it's only a four goal margin with 15 minutes left, right?
That's when Shannon Nee took over. UConn's goalie made saves on four of Marquette's next six shots, with the other two shots getting stuffed before they even got to the net. Marquette's shooters kept getting free in front of Nee, sometimes even in transition and she just kept making stops. Grace Gabriel briefly gave Marquette a flicker of life with a goal with 3:19 remaining, but it took two minutes (and a freak turnover by Nee) for Marquette to score again, and after UConn forced a turnover with less than a minute left, Marquette's last remaining hope disappeared.
The truly disappointing part about this result is that Marquette did a number on Katherine Finkelston. The senior from Maryland came in with the sixth best goals per game mark in the country at 3.8 per game, and Marquette limited her to just two shots in the entire contest. The downside is that three other Huskies went for hat tricks, including fourpacks from both Tripodi and Alexandra Crofts.
Julianna Shearer found the back of the net twice in the game, moving her to 26 goals on the season, just two away from Baas' single season record of 28. Amanda Bochniak had the helper on Shearer's goal that started the scoring in the game, giving her 17 on the season, eight away from Claire Costanza's single season record. Shearer (5) and Allison Lane (4) ended up on 33 draw controls for the season after this game, tying Jacqueline Borzillo's single season record.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette has never won two Big East games in a single season in their first two years in the league. Their quest for that second win experiences a major rough patch this Wednesday when they travel down to Gainesville to square off with Florida. The Gators are 12-1 overall and 3-0 in Big East action after defeating Georgetown 14-7 on Saturday, and will probably still be ranked #2 in the country at game time.