Julianna Shearer broke her own program record for goals in a game with six on Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough as Marquette fell to #17 Northwestern, 18-10. The Golden Eagles are now 2-5 on the season with five losses to ranked opponents and have never beaten a ranked foe in program history.
It wasn’t all bad for Marquette. In fact, the first 29 minutes were pretty good! After Northwestern opened up with the first three goals of the game, MU answered back with two of their own from Shearer. Her first two goals of the game was the start of the two teams trading markers. Northwestern got goals from Christina Esposito and Catie Ingrilli to answer, and MU came right back with strikes from Grace Gabriel and Allison Lane. That made it 5-4, and we were less than halfway through the first half.
Esposito put the Wildcats up 6-4, and Shearer responded to make it 6-5 with 10:41 left til intermission. 19 minutes down, 11 goals scored. That’s a lot of action, and given the score at the time and the relative rankings of the two teams, you’d have to say things were favoring Marquette a little bit. Neither squad would score for nearly 10 minutes, and that might be where things started to unravel for Marquette. Had they gotten a tying goal in there, who knows what could have happened.
Instead, Esposito got her third of the game and Danita Stroup beat Molly Grozier for her second, with both coming in the final 60 seconds of the half. That had the Wildcats up three at the break, and the first three goals of the second half went for NU as well. Seven total minutes of action, five Northwestern goals, and boom: 11-5 deficit for the Golden Eagles.
Megan Menzuber broke the NU run with her first collegiate goal, and to Marquette’s credit, they never let Northwestern score more than two straight over the next 13 minutes. They also never scored more than two in a row themselves to get back into the game, and when Meghan Duffy, Megan Kinna, and Esposito all scored in a two and a half minute span late in the second half, that was definitely it for Marquette. Shearer got her record breaking goal with under a minute to play, and Northwestern tacked on one more with less than 30 seconds left because apparently they’re a bunch of jerks.
Shearer wasn’t the only one who set a new program record in the game. Molly Grozier made seven saves in the first half and another eight in the second to make her new career high in stops the MU record as well. Fran Meyer set a program record in caused turnovers with six, which moved her into third place in all time program history in that department as well. Grace Gabriel did one hell of a job on draw controls, posting a program best 11.
One thing we’ll have to keep wondering about is how Marquette might have fared in the second half if Allison Lane had been available. The junior midfielder hit the ground hard late in the first half and grabbed at her knee after falling. It would be just MU’s luck to lose a major component to a season ending knee injury yet again, as the Golden Eagles have been bitten by that monster in each season so far in program history. Fingers crossed, y’all.
Up Next: Marquette has one more tune-up before the nine game Big East schedule kicks into gear. They’ll be back in action on Thursday when they trek out west to face California. The Golden Bears are just 1-6 this season with the only victory coming against first-year program Butler.