Hello, and welcome to a wildly delayed recap of Marquette women’s soccer’s 3-1 win over Villanova on Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields. Was I delayed because I spent several hours laying in shock on the floor because sophomore Alyssa Bombacino recorded a hat trick for the second straight game for Marquette? Let’s not rule it out, eh?
When Bombacino scored three of MU’s five markers in their shutout win against Seton Hall last time out, I figured that was more about Seton Hall being not particularly good at soccer this season. The sophomore from Naperville, Illinois, rubbed that idea to dust starting in the 27th minute when she scored her first goal of the match against the Wildcats. It was a bit of a mess after a Madison Burrier free kick, as a Wildcat and a Golden Eagle collided, but Bombacino bolted behind the ball and popped it up and in past a leaping Rebecca Gartner in the Nova net.
In the 40th minute, a great individual effort by Josie Kelderman to 1) keep the ball in bounds and 2) maintain possession of the ball eventually turned into a cross into the middle. That’s where Bombacino got involved to score her second of the match as well as what would turn into the eventual game winner.
Villanova busted up Maddy Henry’s clean sheet less than 12 minutes into the second half. Sam Rosette was able to clean up the trash out in front of the Marquette net, thereby cutting the MU lead in half. The lead was nearly wiped away completely in the 63rd minute, as Bombacino of all people ended up getting issued a yellow card on a foul inside the box. The whistle came surprisingly late after whatever the foul in question may or may not have been, and the Marquette players appeared to be very confused and upset about the call.
In any case, it was a penalty kick attempt for Kristin Barbour.... which was SAVED by Maddy Henry, but only deflected back at the rest of the field players. Makayla Stadler happened to be the one in the best position to take another swing at it, and her shot crashed into the crossbar above Henry’s head and ricocheted back out into play. Brice McInroy got her head on the ball for VU’s third shot in mere seconds, but she didn’t get velocity on it, and Henry easily yanked it out of the air.
With that bullet dodged, it was time for Bombacino to provide some insurance for the Golden Eagles. She ended up with lots of space off to the left of the Villanova net in the 64th minute, and after a quick dodge towards the middle, she lofted a shot at the net, which had exactly the right amount of power and movement to fly past Gartner to wrap up the hat trick.
The game wasn’t necessarily over at that point, as Henry would make three more saves for the Golden Eagles to preserve the lead and the three points. With the win, Marquette now has 10 points in Big East play, and is in a four-way tie for fourth place in the league. They’re just one point back of third place and two back of second place in the table,
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com? The penalty kick sequence is in here, which you have to see to believe.
Up Next: Believe it or not, we’re close enough to the end of the season for Senior Night. That comes for Marquette on Thursday, as they will host Xavier for the final home match of the season that night. First kick is set for 7pm Central, with the streaming broadcast scheduled for the Big East Digital Network. The Musketeers are currently the team in second place in the league with 12 points, so there will be a lot on the line for the Golden Eagles in that one.