It wasn’t for a lack of chances though. Kylie Sprecher had the best chance of the game to get the #19 ranked Golden Eagles up early in the 26th minute. She used her pace to get behind the defense but her shot was saved by Redbirds goalkeeper Haley Smith at the top of the box. Illinois State’s best chance came in the second half when a good buildup led to an open shot from Kelli Zickert in the 71st minute. Maddy Henry would say she had it covered as it hit the post and bounced to the middle of the box. ISU midfielder Megan McEachern eventually got a foot on the ball but the shot sailed wide.
The post denied another goal scoring opportunity early in the overtime period. Jamie Kutey beat her defender and got off a cross that found Sprecher at the top of the six yard box. Her shot agonizingly hit the top of the crossbar and went straight down but didn’t cross the goal line. Marquette continued to push for the game winner and had another great opportunity in the last minute of the game. Jamie Kutey found the ball off a corner kick but her side volley from close range hit Smith’s chest and was then cleared out by the defense.
Aside from the breakaway chance from Sprecher, ISU controlled most of the first half and had a 10-3 shot advantage over Marquette. Henry came up with some key saves and kept the game scoreless. She matched her previous career high in saves in the first half alone with nine. Henry finished the game with a career-high 15 saves. How good is that? It’s the 5th most saves in a single game in program history. Wow...just when you think you’ve seen it all from Henry, she takes it to a different level. Henry has four shutouts (which already matches her total from last year) and has helped the team get six shutouts this year.
The Golden Eagles picked it up in the second half by building up the attack from the back and finding their wingers in behind the defense. They seemed to keep more of the ball which helped them create more chances. Marquette had 10 shots in the second period and forced Smith to make three saves. They built off their second half momentum in the overtime period with two clear chances to get the game winner. Here’s a look back at the great goal scoring chances that Marquette had:
A flurry of late chances from Marquette kept things interesting but neither side could find a breakthrough. Check out the full highlights. pic.twitter.com/DOSOgr5Tmi— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) September 15, 2017
Here’s what head coach Markus Roeders had to say after the game:
Markus Roeders discuss the draw with Illinois State in Thursday evening. pic.twitter.com/XtkSyeTR6F— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) September 15, 2017
What stood out to me is when he said, “In some ways it still felt like a loss.” I think this is a great mentality to have after a game like this because it shows that neither he nor his team is satisfied with the draw. Illinois State did play exceptionally well and forced MU to play defense for extended periods of time. The Golden Eagles were unlucky really not to finish some great opportunities they had in the game. Hey, luck can go both ways...remember the Boston University game? This time, they didn’t have the ball bounce their way. After a long win streak, they were bound to have a game like this where they couldn’t find the back of the net. An important note is that Carrie Madden missed her third straight game due to injury. This is no doubt a big loss that the Golden Eagles have been making up for with Sprecher stepping up in recent games. But eventually Madden’s absence is going to be felt and this game might have showed what Marquette’s missing without her on the pitch. Hopefully she will recover soon and we’ll see the MU offense back with all it’s attacking weapons.
UP NEXT: Marquette will play in-town rival Milwaukee at Engelmann Stadium on UWM’s campus Sunday night. They have a slight edge with a 9-8-8 overall record against the Panthers. The Panthers are 7-0-1 this season and will play Detroit Mercy on Friday night before hosting Marquette.