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Marquette Women’s Soccer Rallies To Defeat Michigan

The home opener was a rousing success as the Golden Eagles got back to .500 on the year.

Marquette women's soccer
Molly Pfeiffer scored the game winner for the Golden Eagles against Michigan.
MarquetteImages.com

Thanks to second half goals from Morgan Proffitt and Molly Pfeiffer, Marquette rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to pick up a 2-1 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon. The win moves Marquette to 2-2-0 on the season, while Michigan drops to 2-1-1.

The early going was a tightly contested affair, with both sides being precise and measured in their shot attempts. The first five shots of the match - three for Marquette, two for Michigan - were all saved by the respective goalkeepers. It was the sixth shot of the match, coming from UM’s Ani Sarkisian after an exchange with Melissa Kreutz, that got the Wolverines on the board first in the 35th minute. Sarkisian shoved it to Kreutz, who sent it back as Sarkisian moved to the middle at the top of the 18 yard box and lofted a perfectly aimed shot into the upper right corner of the net. MU keeper Maddy Henry took a leap at it, but it was to no avail.

That was the score at intermission, but it didn’t take Marquette long to get even. Emily Hess, who scored an Olympico in MU’s win over Illinois State on Thursday, made an impressive showing all game long with her willingness to put her body on the line to make a play on the ball, and she was tackled from behind in the 49th minute in a clear penalty call for the referee. Morgan Proffitt calmly stepped to the spot and snapped a low liner easily past Michigan’s Sarah Jackson to knot the match at one.

It was Hess drawing another foul in the 66th minute that lead to the game winning goal. This time it was well wide of the penalty area on the left side, so this one had to be jumpstarted by a free kick. Hess took the kick, too, sending it skying over the crowd to the far post where Pfeiffer made a long run to charge in and smack it past Jackson for her first goal of the season.

Michigan had chances to get the match level again, taking six shots over the final 24 minutes. Four of those were blocked by Marquette defenders, and the final two were vacuumed up by Henry. I’m not sure if it officially counted as one of her two saves, but Henry made a daring play late in the game to keep the ball out of the net. Things got jumbled up right in front of the goal mouth, and with players and their limbs and spikes going every which way trying to force the ball one way or another, Henry dove into the pile to smother it. She took a bit of a physical risk to do it, but knowing that she had the advantage to play the ball as the keeper allowed her to shut Michigan down on the doorstep.

I already touched on Hess’ determined play all match long, but Proffitt showed why she was named Big East Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, too. She made play after play after play in the midfield to either prolong Marquette’s possession of the ball or wipe out Michigan’s control. Carrie Madden had an impressive game, as well, finishing with three shots, two of which were headers that were perfectly aimed on net, except Jackson was able to swallow both of them up.

And now, some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com:

Up Next: Marquette stares the beast directly in the face coming up next weekend. On Thursday, they’ll be in California’s Bay Area to face off with Santa Clara (1-1-0), who came into the weekend ranked #13 in the country, but already lost to Washington State on Thursday and are tied at 1 with Washington as of this writing.

Things get tougher on Sunday, when Marquette makes the short jaunt to the northwest to play Stanford. The Cardinal are currently the #3 team in the country and are 3-0-0 after a Friday victory over Florida.