At halftime of what was expected to be a competitive contest, Marquette found themselves trailing Vanderbilt 8-7 after Melanie Becker scored on a free position shot with one second left in the half, thus freeing MU’s Jocelyn Miller from the remainder of her yellow card imposed timeout.
The problem for the Golden Eagles, though, is that Becker’s FPS opportunity came as a result of a yellow card foul on Bella Falcone, which meant that Marquette was going to start the second half still down a woman for almost two full minutes.
Allison Lane didn’t care.
With time winding down on Falcone’s penalty, the senior from New Jersey threw in the first of her three second half goals to kick off a 5-0 Golden Eagles run — capped by yet another Lane shorthanded goal — that propelled MU to a 13-11 victory over the Commodores at Valley Fields on Sunday. With the win, Marquette moves to 5-0 in Big East play for the first time ever, reaches nine wins in a season for the first time ever, and clinches a winning record in Big East play for the first time ever.
Kind of a big deal.
As important as Lane’s two shorthanded goals were — the first one tied the game and the second one ultimately ended up as the game-winner, you can make the argument that it was Lane’s third and final goal of the afternoon that was the most crucial goal of the game. While Marquette’s 5-0 run was important not just because of the streak itself, it was the time involved that dictated the tone of the second half. Lane’s second shortie came with 9:50 remaining in the game and left Marquette with a 12-8 lead. The ‘Dores scored the next three goals of the game, all from three different women, all in a two minute span, to make it a one goal game, 12-11, with 4:29 left to go. Very quickly, this game had tilted from “Hey, Marquette seems to have seized control of this for good” to “WOAH, HEY, WHAT’S GOING ON NOW??!?!”
Thus the importance of Lane’s third goal. Just 67 seconds after Vandy’s Gabrielle Fornia had slashed the lead to only one, Lane responded to finish her hat trick and give Marquette a cushion to play with down the stretch. Marquette got two big caused turnovers in the final three minutes to put the game away as well. Alex Gambacorta ended Vandy’s possession coming immediately after Lane’s goal, and goalie (!) Julianna Horning recorded the CT on MU’s final defensive possession of the game. The Commodores took a chance feeding a pass through the middle of the field to get a shot out in the middle of the field, but Horning accurately gambled and won by stabbing Hadley Brown’s pass out of the air to give MU the chance to burn out the final minute of play.
While the caused turnover might end up being the most notable play of the game for Horning, her full 60 minute effort was great. The sophomore from Pennsylvania made eight saves on the day, including six in the second half, all of which came during the 24 minute stretch to open the half where MU held Vanderbilt scoreless. As important it was for Marquette to score five times in that time, Horning stonewalling the Commodores was just as important if not more important.
Lane had to share the team high in goals on the day with Charlotte McGuire, who was one of the other participants in the game-deciding five goal run. Riley Hill had a goal and three assists in the game to share the team high in points with Lane, who also had a helper during the five goal streak. Grace Gabriel tallied two goals in the game to move her to 51 goals on the season, making her the third Marquette woman to hit the 50 goal mark. The only other one to get there was Julianna Shearer, who recorded her program record 55 goals last season. Gabriel needs four goals to tie both Shearer’s single season AND career records for goals, but with seven assists in 2018, Gabriel is at 58 points on the year and thus just two away from Shearer’s single season points record.
Up Next: IT’S GO TIME! Well, it’s time for the most important game in Marquette lacrosse history, everyone. On Saturday, the Golden Eagles take their 5-0 league record down south to settle up the first place tie with 5-0 Florida. Someone is coming out of that 6-0 and in complete control of their destiny in terms of the Big East regular season title. As of this writing, Monday’s Cascade media poll hasn’t been released, but the Gators were ranked #8 in last week’s poll and they have won four straight games after Sunday’s 18-8 victory over Villanova. The last three wins have all been by at least 10 goals.