Marquette women’s soccer went into Thursday thinking they needed to win their final game in order to claim a Big East tournament berth. Thanks to a snowstorm in Chicago and the lack of lights at Wish Field, that match got delayed til Friday. That allowed the rest of the league to finish up the regular season, and thus Marquette went into Friday knowing that they needed either a win or a draw to claim one of the six spots in the league tournament.
DePaul beat Marquette, 4-0.
Season’s over, y’all.
Senior goalkeeper Maddy Henry closed her collegiate career with six saves on the day, but at the end of the day, it’s the times that her defense let her down that determined the result. DePaul got the first — and ultimately game-winning — goal of the match in the 22nd minute, as Morgan Turner laid claim to the ball and bolted down the field. DePaul’s leading goal scorer on the year wasn’t deterred by the MU defense from closing on Henry, and Turner pushed her shot just far enough to Henry’s side to allow the MU keeper to put a mitt on the ball. But Turner’s shot was just far enough where Henry couldn’t do more that affect the ball’s path, not stop it, and thus the Blue Demons were up 1-0 with a lead that they would not lose.
Goal #2 came along 11 minutes later as Josie Kelderman attempted to deter Mikaela Hoard deep into the box in front of Henry. Kelderman successfully poked the ball away, but Hoard ended up on the ground in the process. Boom, penalty kick.
Avery Hay’s kick was close enough to Henry for her to put both mitts on the ball as it sailed upwards. But all the ball did was deflect upwards into the roof of the net for a PK goal. 2-0, Blue Demons with just a bit under 60 minutes left to play.
If that wasn’t particularly telling as to how this was going to go, Marquette had two shots when Turner scored her goal. Marquette then finished the half with two shots. The Golden Eagles didn’t record their third shot until well past the hour mark of the match. That’s DePaul soccer, though, as the Blue Demons came into the match allowing fewer than 10 shots per game.
Turner scored her second of the game in the 65th minute, not long after MU’s Emily Hess made a brilliant team save to keep the margin at two goals. The back half of Turner’s brace effectively ended the match, but Jade Eriksen-Russo knocked in one last goal with 13 seconds to play to give us the final margin.
Marquette ends the season with a record of 6-11-1. It is the second straight 10+ loss season for the Golden Eagles, which is the first time that has happened in program history, and the past two years have been the first two losing seasons under the direction of head coach Markus Roeders. With those results, MU has now not qualified for the conference tournament for the second straight season, which is the first two times that has happened in program history since Year #1 of women’s soccer at Marquette. It’s also the first time since the beginning of the program that MU has missed the NCAA tournament for three straight seasons. It took the Golden Eagles until Year #7 to make the NCAA tournament for the first time ever as a start-up team.
Those are the facts of the situation, and it would be inaccurate to avoid talking about them. Unfortunately, I need a transition, so this is what it looks like so I can put some space in here.
Why do I need the space? Because this is where we put the big Anonymous Eagle THANK YOU to seniors Maddy Henry, Emily Hess, Bri Jaeger, Erin Johnston, Mary Kate Simon, and Natalie Yass. It’s clear that their tenure at Marquette didn’t live up to their hopes and dreams and intentions. That didn’t stop them from turning up and doing the work every day, and we thank them for all the sacrifices that they made in their collegiate career at Marquette.
With that said, until next year, y’all.