And then Marquette got outscored 40-11 across two games against the Chippewas and #11 Northwestern, and hoooooooboy, that was not great.
The worst part about the two losses is that Marquette was essentially never in either game. CMU scored twice in the first seven minutes to put MU behind to start, and then they ripped off the last five goals of the first half to be up 8-2 at the midway point. Marquette scored consecutive goals just once in Mount Pleasant, and that came midway through the second half when Lindsey Willcocks scored twice less than 90 seconds apart.... to pull Marquette within five. They would also never score again before Central Michigan won 16-7.
The home game against Northwestern on Saturday night was much worse. In MU’s first home game in a month, Grace Gabriel scored first, putting MU up 1-0 just 31 seconds into the game. Then Northwestern scored the next 16 goals of the game, outshooting MU 27-16 across a span of nearly 40 minutes. In between goals, Marquette had just one more shot (16) than they had turnovers (15). Your final from the Valley: 24-4.
Marquette wasn’t completely shutdown against Northwestern, for whatever it’s worth. The first half shot totals only favored the Wildcats by seven, 21-14. Marquette was getting chances. Not as many as perhaps they needed or wanted, but the chances were there. NU’s Julie Krupnick made nine first half saves to tilt things away from the Golden Eagles and wipe those chances away.
After the season opening 19-4 loss to Notre Dame, a team that is now ranked #8 in the country and 9-0 on the year, the loss to Northwestern isn’t surprising, and while the margin was perhaps bigger than anyone could have anticipated, it maybe/probably wasn’t going to go well anyway. The Central Michigan loss, though.... shoot. Marquette came in undefeated in three meetings in each of the last three seasons against the Chippewas. Yes, the lone game in Michigan was a 12-9 affair, but MU won by double digits in both meetings in Milwaukee. I’m not saying that this should have guaranteed a Marquette victory or anything, but I feel that the recent history should have guaranteed a closer margin than nine goals.
Up Next: Marquette begins Big East play next week Saturday when they host Villanova at Valley Fields. The Wildcats are 6-4 on the season after beating Columbia on the road in overtime last week Tuesday. With Denver ranked and Georgetown hovering just outside the Inside Lacrosse top 20, it’s going to be pretty important for Marquette to handle their business against Villanova if they want to find themselves playing in the Big East tournament that will be held in Milwaukee this season.