Marquette women’s soccer got a career best night from freshman keeper Maddy Henry, but couldn’t make the magic happen on the offensive end as they lost to #24 Northwestern, 1-0, on Sunday evening. With the loss, Marquette drops to 2-4-2 on the season with just two matches remaining before the start of Big East action.
Three saves by MU’s freshman keeper almost got the Golden Eagles out of a first half where Northwestern outshot Marquette, 9-2. However, NU’s Hannah Davison sent a header on a free kick to the near post to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with exactly two minutes left in the first half.
Marquette didn’t let their spirits dip after a poor offensive showing and a defensive letdown right before the break. The Golden Eagles outshot Northwestern, 9-7, in the second half, and while some of that might be due to the Wildcats bunkering to protect their lead, it’s still a significant turnaround from how the first half went.
Marquette got closer and closer to getting level in this match, forcing NU keeper Lauren Clem to make all four of her saves in the game in the final 25 minutes of the game to protect the lead. The dice didn’t roll Marquette’s way in the 75th minute, where an Erin Holland header caused Clem to collide with a teammate and crash to the pitch, but she managed to maintain control of the ball.
At the end of the day, it was a 16-11 shot advantage by the Wildcats, yet another match this season where MU couldn’t maintain possession of the ball. Discounting the lopsided nature of the loss to Stanford, Marquette is getting outshot 61-59 on the season in their other seven matches. Playing teams even like that is generally a recipe for disaster, which you can see emanating from that 2-4-2 record.
Making things even worse is their struggle to generate offense from their forwards. Morgan Proffitt, the preseason Big East Defensive Player of the Year, leads MU in shots this season with 12. The next closest player to her is redshirt sophomore Carrie Madden who has 10 on the year and 10 shots for her career. She played just 15 minutes a year ago, but has made four starts already this season for a Marquette team that desperately needs to get something going up front.
Up Next: Marquette hosts the Marquette Invitational next weekend, as MU looks to get something positive going heading into conference play. It’ll be a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Sunday, with Loyola-Chicago coming to town to be the opponent in the non-Marquette game. MU will get Cal Poly (4-2-1) on Friday before taking on Cal State Northridge (3-1-4) on Sunday.