When you take an 8-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of a women’s lacrosse game, all that’s left for you to do is just win the darn thing.
That was the case on Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields, as Marquette opened up a commanding lead on Niagara and never worried about it the rest of the way as they won 16-6. Marquette is now 3-2 on the year, marking the first time in 2020 that the Golden Eagles have been over .500, and MU is also still undefeated at home this season.
So here’s the deal: Niagara won the opening draw and took the first shot of the game. Most of the first five minutes were pretty normal back and forth lacrosse as neither team broke through. Hannah Greving said “enough of that” right before the 25 minute mark and put MU up 1-0, staking her Golden Eagles to a lead that they would not relinquish.
Things got remarkably easy for the Golden Eagles from there as they would win six of the next seven draw controls. When you’re playing make it/take it, this sport seems relatively easy. After Greving scored, Marquette put three more goals up before four minutes wound off the clock to make it 4-0.
Niagara started to get some footing as they started inducing offensive fouls from the Golden Eagles, but the visiting Purple Eagles were unable to convert that into goals. Logan Dobratz snapped a seven minute stretch without a goal for Marquette, and then MU got three more in less than four minutes.
Boom, 8-0, and they hadn’t even played 20 minutes yet.
There would be just two more goals for the rest of the half. One for Niagara, their first of the game, and one from MU’s Shea Garcia, which made it 9-1 at the break. After that rest period, both teams tacked on markers in the first two minutes, but it was all Golden Eagles for the next 10 minutes. Five more goals went flying in for Marquette, making it 15-2, and MU’s lead would peak at 16-2 when Garcia scored with 13:43 left to play.
Niagara would get four more goals in the final 10 minutes, but hey: Marquette had already dug deep into their bench, so do they really count for anything other than official Division 1 goals that really happened?
The highlight of Marquette pouncing all over Niagara in the early going was a quiet note in history. Megan Menzuber tallied an assist on three of Marquette’s first four goals of the game. It might have been three of the first three, but Lydia Foust got to throw in an FPS attempt immediately after a yellow card. The point is that the three points from the helpers were the only three points of the day for Menzuber and as a result, she pushed past 100 career points. She’s just the 10th Golden Eagle to score 100 career points.
Menzuber wasn’t the only one having a big offensive day. Caroline Steller had five points (3G, 2A), while Caroline Peterson had a hat trick in the first half alone and then tacked on a fourth goal after intermission. Foust also recorded a hat trick for MU, as did Greving.
Sophia Leva got the start in net for Marquette after doing a heck of a job on Canisius in the second half on Friday. She did the same again here, making six saves and allowing just one goal before giving way to Jules Horning at halftime. Ellie Henry and Emily Cooper didn’t have the scoring output that they did on Friday, but they helped Marquette dictate terms on draws, combining to win 16 of the 24 draws in the game.
How about some highlights, courtesy of MU TV and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Can I interest you in a trip to Arizona? Marquette will be out in Tempe on Thursday and Saturday for a pair of games. They’ll be on the road to face Arizona State (2-2) on Thursday afternoon before staying in town to face Fresno State (2-1) in a neutral site game on Saturday afternoon.