Powered by a trio of hat tricks, Marquette rallied in the second half to defeat Vanderbilt, 11-7, on Wednesday afternoon. The win moves Marquette to 3-2 in Big East play, the first time that they've ever had three wins in league action, as well as 6-9 overall, which is also a program record for wins in a season.
The first 45 minutes of this game was a back and forth affair. It was a slow start, with Marquette needed nearly 15 minutes to answer Vandy's game opening goal. The Commodores would retake the lead before Marquette scored the next three goals to take a 4-2 lead with three minutes left in the opening half. Defensive lapses late the frame led to VU scoring twice in the final 125 seconds, including Kelly Chandler's 35th of the season with six seconds left to tie the game at four at the break.
MU had a scant 12-11 shots advantage in the first 30 minutes, but they pushed their edge to open the second half, scoring twice in the first four minutes. Vanderbilt answered with three goals of their own over the next seven minutes, including two more from Chandler. That made it 7-6 favoring the 'Dores with 15 minutes left to play.
Vanderbilt would take three shots for the rest of the game. Two would be saved by MU goalie Sarah Priem, and the third missed wide. Meanwhile, Priem's offense on the other side of the field showed up for her. Allison Lane scored the least important 29th goal of the season to tie it at 7, and Grace Gabriel followed it up 30 seconds later for what ended up being the game winner. Lane's goal technically broke the single season scoring record, but only the record that stood at the beginning of the season. Lane is still trailing Julianna Shearer this season, and speaking of Shearer, she scored her 32nd goal of the season with less than two minutes left. Riley Hill and Gabriel would tack on goals in the final minute to just add a bit of insult to injury to Vanderbilt.
With the loss, the Commodores are officially eliminated from the Big East tournament. Marquette hasn't yet clinched a spot in the four team field, but according to the league office, they're just one win away. They're just one win away from clinching a winning record in Big East action for the first time, too.
Gabriel, Shearer, and Lane all recorded hat tricks, with Lane extending her goal scoring streak to 18 games in the process. None of those women were Marquette's offensive star for the day, though, as Amanda Bochniak finished with four points on a goal and three assists. Chandler matched Bochniak with three goals and an assist for the Commodores.
Up Next: It's a quick turnaround for the Golden Eagles, as they'll be out in Washington, D.C., this weekend. They'll be out there to play Georgetown on Saturday, with first draw set for noon Central. Marquette and Georgetown are currently tied for third place in the Big East standings at 3-2.