Grace Gabriel hit the back of the net five times for the Golden Eagles on Sunday afternoon, but that wasn’t enough as Marquette lost to Louisville, 16-8. The Golden Eagles are now 0-2 after the opening weekend of the season.
For a long stretch of this game, Marquette was hanging together with the Cardinals. Yes, they fell behind 6-1 in the early going, but Marquette scored six of the next nine goals of the game to pull within two at 9-7. Gabriel scored two straight on free position shots just 23 seconds apart to make that happen, and with just under 25 minutes, anything was possible.
Unfortunately, “anything” also includes Louisville scoring the next seven goals. Jillian Balog, Caroline Blalock, and Tessa Chad all scored within three minutes of Gabriel’s second FPS strike, and that had the Cards up five again. MU would not score against until Gabriel threw one in with 19 seconds left to .... well, not make things look respectable at that point, but something adjacent to that, I guess. After the Golden Eagles had pulled within two, they would commit 10 of their 22 turnovers in the game, quite literally handing the Cardinals the victory. Marquette managed just seven shots over that same time frame, and that includes Gabriel’s final goal.
Not great. It’s especially not great because Marquette dominated Louisville on the draw, winning that department 17-9. Those kind of numbers should be leading to a lot of make-it-take-it lacrosse, but instead it was MU winning draws, then turning it over and watching Louisville capitalize on the free possession.
After Louisville scored those three rapid-fire goals after Gabriel’s FPS goals, head coach Meredith Black pulled sophomore goalie Julianna Horning in favor of freshman Sophia Leva. Horning allowed 12 goals on 17 shots on goal, and Leva did not do much better, letting in four goals in her collegiate debut while making three saves. Two more Marquette freshmen, Emily Cooper and Brynn Sunderland, made their debuts in this game as well, but didn’t otherwise make an impact on the stat sheet.
Up Next: Marquette returns to action this coming Friday and they’ll be back in Milwaukee for the 2018 home opener. Central Michigan Chippewas will be the opponent for the first of three straight home contests for the Golden Eagles. This will be the season opener for CMU, who was picked to finish third in the freshly created Southern Conference.