It turns out that a nine goal edge with 16:30 to go is exactly what Marquette women’s lacrosse needed on Saturday afternoon in Arizona. That’s what they had, and the Golden Eagles withstood a furious rally from Fresno State in the final 16 minutes to hold on for an 18-17 victory. Marquette moves above .500 on the year at 4-3 by recording their first win away from Valley Fields. Step one: Neutral site win. Step two: Road win. Patience.
Goals came fast and furious out of the gate in this game. Marquette held a 6-4 lead after 10 minutes, and then 7-5 after 12 minutes were gone. FINALLY, we had three minutes roll off between goals, but it was the Bulldogs scoring twice 19 seconds apart to knot the game at seven each with 13:10 to go.
Shea Garcia answered 74 seconds later to put the Golden Eagles back out in front, 8-7, and as it would turn out, kick off a massive run. Sure, MU wouldn’t score again until Garcia put one in over eight minutes later, but Marquette tossed in four goals in the final four minutes of the half to make it a 12-7 game at the break. Caroline Peterson took her time to score the first two goals of the second half — 26:42 and 23:55 to play — and extend the run. MU tacked on goals from Caroline Steller and Lindsey Hill, getting her first goal of the season, to make it 16-7 with 16:30 to go.
And I’ve already spoiled what happened from there, didn’t I?
As much fun as a 9-0 run across 25+ minutes is, giving up six straight in less than five minutes kind of bursts that balloon. The first three were rapid fire, with Jaimi Pollack getting a free position shot strike 26 seconds after Hill’s goal. Hennessey Evans scored 20 seconds later for the Bulldogs, and Marina Mayo popped one in 25 seconds after that. 45 seconds of time elapsed between Fresno State’s three goals, and really before Marquette knew what was going on, their lead had gone from 16-7 to 16-10 with 15 minutes to go.
FSU added two more goals in relatively short order, and in what might be the most appropriate goal scored in women’s lacrosse history, Portia Card scored her first goal of the season while MU was a woman down because of a yellow card (get it) on Ellie Henry.
Bang. 16-13, 11:35 to go. Not even five minutes off the clock and all of a sudden Marquette was in a real game again.
Erin Dowdle secured the ensuing draw, and the two sides traded turnovers. Hill came up big again for Marquette, drawing a foul and firing home her FPS. The yellow card loomed large again for the Golden Eagles as Emily Cooper ate one right off the draw and Sydney Skalstad took advantage for one of her four goals on the day to make it 17-14 with just over eight minutes to go.
Things slowed down. Marquette made a defensive stop, backed by two saves from Sophia Leva. Lydia Foust found the back of the net with 5:47 to play to give Marquette an 18-14 lead. Maybe it didn’t look like it at the time, but this was a critical goal at a critical moment for the Golden Eagles, as it would eventually turn into the game winner.
Marquette forced a turnover on FSU’s ensuing possession, but ended up giving it back and a foul by Kate Viviano led to a Mayo FPS. 18-15, 4:11 left.
A turnover by Hannah Greving led to a yellow card for MU’s Emma Soccodato, and the Bulldogs cashed that one in as Skalstad scored with 2:53 to play. 18-16.
Fresno State won the draw, but an offensive foul by Skalstad turned it over. Marquette burned a minute off the clock but eventually lost control on a turnover by Madison Kane. Not what you want to see with 62 seconds to play. However, Marquette’s defense got things just mucky enough to force the Bulldogs to waste time. They got an FPS opportunity, but Kayla Galet fired it high. FSU maintained control, but there was only 37 seconds left. Marquette did enough to keep the clock moving, but Evans’ goal with 13 seconds left made it an 18-17 margin.
One draw for the game, then.
Shouts to Erin Dowdle, who pulled that one up. It was her sixth and final draw control of the game, but there was probably none that were more important.
Steller and Foust led the way for Marquette in goals with four each, and two assists for Steller gave her the top of the chart in points with six. Dowdle tied with Leva for the team lead in ground balls with four. Those four by Leva were pretty crucial ones, as all four came after halftime since she split the game in net right down the middle with Jules Horning. Leva finished allowing 10 goals against nine saves, while Horning made 11 first half saves and let in seven Fresno State goals.
Up Next: It’s time to return to Valley Fields! Marquette will play their next two matches in Milwaukee, and four of the next five in fact. They’ll host Central Michigan for a noon start on Wednesday. The Chippewas have played just twice this season, falling 24-4 to #7 Notre Dame and beating Butler 14-2. They have a Sunday afternoon road trip to Cincinnati to take care of before they make their way to Milwaukee.