Spurred by three unanswered goals in the first six minutes, Marquette women's lacrosse never trailed as they beat Villanova 15-6 on Saturday afternoon in Pennsylvania. The win moves Marquette to 1-0 in Big East play and 4-7 on the season.
Marquette's first goals came from the usual suspects: Allison Lane got things started and Julianna Shearer followed with two more. Chelsey Henderson got the Wildcats on the board with a pair of markers, but MU bounced back with two of their own from Grace Gabriel and a third strike from Shearer with more than 10 minutes left in the half.
Jackie Froccaro, VU's leading scorer this season, tied the Villanova record for goals in a career to make it a 5-3 ball game, but that was as close as Villanova would get for the rest of the game. Marquette blasted off with four unanswered goals to close out the half, including two from freshman Cate Soccodato with less than two minutes left in the half to make it 9-3 at the break. 30 minutes remaining meant that things were far from over, but MU used two different three goal runs in the second half to keep their distance from Villanova, including the final three goals of the game.
MU's offense was ridiculously efficient, putting 31 of their 36 shots on frame, forcing Villanova goalie Julia Michaels to make 15 saves to keep the game as close as it was before giving way to her backup with just over two minutes left to play. Marquette dominated on the draw, too, winning 15 of the 23 draw controls on the day.
Lane was the big offensive star for the day, leading with five points on a hat trick and two helpers. She's now moved into the top 10 for points (24), goals (20), and assists (4) in a single season. We can't ignore Shearer's four point day (3G, 1A), as she's now just four goals away from tying the Marquette single season goals record. Sarah Priem made four saves in the first half and five in the game to earn the win.
Up Next: Marquette attempts to win a second Big East game in one season for the first time in program history. The win over Villanova was historic enough, as MU had never beaten a non-Cincinnati team before in league play. They'll try to keep the momentum going next weekend when they host Connecticut at Valley Fields. The Huskies are 8-2 on the season and 2-0 in Big East action after downing Cincinnati 17-6 on Saturday. Connecticut was getting media poll votes last week, but they also got shelled by #4 Syracuse back on Tuesday.