We got Marquette women’s soccer on Friday night for the first time since November 1, 2019, and it was pretty great. The Golden Eagles celebrated the debut of Frank Pelaez as head coach with a 5-0 victory over Chicago State. Five different Golden Eagles scored as the squad outshot the Cougars 31-5 across the 90 minutes of action.
I don’t want to say that I expected the final score to be lopsided in this match, because that sounds awfully mean to Chicago State. However, as I pointed out in the preview, the Cougars are just 3-106-2 in program history, so yeah, there was a certain amount of “well, you’d like to think that Marquette should win easily enough here, yeah.”
Alex Campana put any worries to rest in the 15th minute with what turned into the game winner on what was Marquette’s fourth shot of the game. It came off a free kick by Katrina Wetherell, and it’s not one for the all-time highlight reels, but it still counts as a goal for the sophomore from Massachusetts.
Meredith McGuire tacked on an insurance goal in the 30th minute for Marquette’s only other marker before halftime. This one is a bit more fun to watch, as McGuire timed her flight on Rachel Johnson’s cross nearly perfectly.
The first half ended with Marquette up 2-0 on the scoreboard, but up 14-2 in the shot department. At that point, the outcome was pretty much decided after 45 minutes as long as the Golden Eagles kept up the same tone and tenor after the half. Kylie Sprecher made sure of that with this clean up on a feed from freshman Alexa Maletis just 25 seconds into the second half:
Starting the second half off STRONG Sprecher finds the back of the defense on a pass from Maletis.— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) February 6, 2021
53': MU - 3 | CSU - 0 pic.twitter.com/zRQng4H4uj
Maletis got free kick duties later in the second half, and her launch is credited with finding redshirt freshman Maddie Tabor for her first career goal in her first career appearance in the 68th minute.
That looked like it was going to be the final for the match, but a last second extra chance at playing the ball for freshman Elsi Twombly gave her the fifth goal of the game with the clock reading 89:59, officially.
Perhaps because it was the first match of his head coaching tenure and the first match of the season and perhaps because Marquette was up big and easily controlling the match, Pelaez went deep into his bench in this one. 16 field players came off the bench for a stretch at some point, and no one played more than the 78 minutes logged by Maddie Monticello.
Redshirt freshman Mikki Easter made her Golden Eagles debut in net and made two saves in 78 minutes before departing for freshman Lauren Schill for the remainder of the match. Both of Easter’s saves came in the second half, and they came relatively back-to-back in the 56th and 57th minutes, although not exactly on the same ongoing chance on the net. Easter faced all five CSU shots in the match, as the Golden Eagles did not allow one while Schill was in the net.
Up Next: It’s a quick turnaround as things usually are for women’s soccer. They’ll be back in action at Valley Fields on Sunday afternoon against Illinois State. That match has a scheduled first kick of 4pm Central, but it is following a men’s soccer match that is scheduled to start at 11am. Three hours between the scheduled end of the men’s match and the start of the women’s match seems like enough time to empty the seasonal bubble and go through whatever COVID protocols the event staff needs to, but better safe than sorry and if things have to be delayed, then so be it.