Marquette women’s lacrosse closed out their home opener on a 16-3 run on their way to a 19-7 victory over Central Michigan on Friday afternoon in Milwaukee. It was MU’s first win of the season as they move their record to 1-2 on the year, while CMU drops their season opener to go to 0-1.
For the first 15 minutes of the game, it looked like we were going to get a pretty competitive contest at the Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble on the MU campus. The Golden Eagles, led by a pair of strikes from Grace Gabriel both assisted by Riley Hill, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first four minutes of the contest. The Chippewas adjusted and scored the next four goals, two coming from Tyra Prince to stake themselves to a 4-3 lead with 15:02 remaining in the first half. Things were up and down and back and forth on the field, and it looked like the Chippewas were going to fight tooth and nail for every last inch of this game.
Then Marquette scored the next five goals of the game. In a less than six minute span, Gabriel, Allison Lane, Charlotte McGuire, and Megan Menzuber all snapped a shot into the net, with Menzuber getting the last two in the run. MU was suddenly up 8-4.
Prince snapped the streak, and Gabriel’s fourth goal of the game left Marquette up 9-5 at halftime. Turns out, though, that Gabriel’s goal was the start of a new Golden Eagles run. MU scored four times in the first two and half minutes of the second half to flip this game on its head. By the time that Gabriel and Hill paired up for their third goal together and Gabriel’s sixth of the game, MU was up 13-5 and this game was pretty much over. If it wasn’t over then, it was definitely over when Lane scored to make it 17-7 with 8:13 to go and activate the running clock for the rest of the game.
The big difference in the game for the Golden Eagles? Draw controls, pure and simple. Marquette won 24 of the 28 draws in the game. Three of CMU’s draw wins came in the first half, and unsurprisingly, they came after their goals. After Central Michigan won the draw following their fourth goal of the game, they didn’t win another one until following their goal that pulled them within eight at 15-7. That’s 14 straight wins for the Golden Eagles, and to no surprise, that’s the stretch of the game where MU turned the whole thing in their favor.
Gabriel led all scorers with six strikes on the day, and she did that on just nine shots. Hill matched her in points with two goals of her own and four assists, and yes, all four of Hill’s helpers came on Gabriel goals. Julianna Horning made three saves in the game to pick up the win before giving way to Sophia Leva for the final few minutes of the game. CMU was led in scoring by Prince, who had two goals and two assists.
Up Next: MU returns to the field on Sunday afternoon, when they’ll be hosting Kennesaw State. The Owls are 0-2 on the season with losses to Big East foe Vanderbilt and Arizona State, who beat KSU in the Sun Devils’ very first game ever.