Saturday’s showdown between two of the three teams in a first place tie in the Big East was expected to be a great lacrosse contest. You’ve got Temple, earning votes in the most recent media top 20 poll and carrying around a win over then-#22 Denver. You’ve got Marquette, playing some of the best lacrosse in program history, hitting a highwater mark at two games over .500 and riding a four game Big East contest winning streak. Something had to give in the Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble at Valley Fields.
Well, turns out the something was Temple’s defense.
Marquette scored three goals in the first two minutes to set the tone for the afternoon on their way to a 16-4 decimation of the Owls. MU moves to 7-4 on the year, the first time that the program has ever been three games over .500, and 3-0 in Big East action. That keeps the Golden Eagles in a tie with Florida for first place in the league, and extends MU’s conference game winning streak to five straight dating back to last year.
This game was not close. Marquette was up 4-0 after the first six minutes of the game and up 7-1 at the midway point of the first half. Temple committed two turnovers before they even got a shot off and five before they scored their second goal of the game. Things finally slowed down following Temple’s second goal of the game as the two teams had combined for nine goals in 17 minutes. There wouldn’t be another goal until the five minute mark when Cate Soccodato set off a four goal Marquette run to close the half. Three of those goals came in less than two minutes, and when the horn sounded to send the teams to the locker rooms, Marquette was up 11-2.
If the game wasn’t officially over at that point, it was over when Marquette held Temple to just one goal, five shots, and three turnovers in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Madison Kane scored at the 15:41 mark of the second half to put Marquette up 13-3 and activate the running clock, which effectively marked the end of the game.
The wild part about this game is that the first half wasn’t exactly lopsided other than on the scoreboard. Shots were even at 14 each, Temple’s 15 ground balls edged out Marquette by one, MU only had two more draw controls than Temple, turnovers were dead even at 11 each, and Marquette committed 10 fouls against just three for the Owls. That seems like it should be a pretty even contest, but instead, Marquette was leading by nine. Go figure, huh?
Grace Gabriel led the way for the Golden Eagles with four goals, making her the second MU player to hit 100 career goals. She’s now just 12 away from Julianna Shearer’s single season and career goals record, and yes, Marquette still has six regular season games to go. Gabriel’s impact wasn’t limited to her scoring, as her seven draw controls matched Temple’s total for the entire game. Megan Menzuber had a hat trick for Marquette and was a major reason why MU jumped out to an early lead with all three coming in the first 14 minutes of the game. Cate Soccodato continued her run of great games, turning in a team high six points on the day on two goals and four assists. The most impressive part might be that Soccodato partnered up with four different teammates to tally those helpers. Julianna Horning made 10 saves, including four on free position attempts by Temple, and six in the second half.
Up Next: Kind of a quick turnaround for Marquette this time around, as they’ll be out on the road on Wednesday afternoon. MU will be in Indianapolis with an eye on moving to 4-0 in league play with a game against Butler. The Bulldogs are 1-10 on the season and 0-3 in Big East play. It’s just year two for the Bulldogs, but it’s still an important game for the Golden Eagles as they continue to chase a top four finish and a Big East tournament spot.