Marquette women’s lacrosse played two games over the weekend. Based on the recent history of both opponents and their trajectory so far this season, the smart money would have been on the Golden Eagles picking up two wins. If you felt so inclined, you might have even thought that Marquette should win easily in both cases.
That was the case.
On Friday night, in a game hastily scheduled because Notre Dame has COVID problems, Marquette jumped all over Oregon to the tune of 16-4 at the final horn. After that, MU hopped on their travel implement of choice and headed out to the Cleveland area to tangle with Kent State on Sunday afternoon. That one ended with the Golden Eagles handing the Golden Flashes a 19-8 loss. With the pair of wins, Marquette is now 2-2 on the season with two non-conference games left to go before Big East play starts on March 19th.
Both games kind of went the same way: It took Marquette a bit of time to figure out what the opponent’s deal was, but once they did, it was curtains for them. Hanna Hilcoff scored her second goal of the game at right about the midway point of the first half on Friday night in the Valley Fields seasonal bubble to pull her Ducks within one of Marquette at 3-2..... and then Oregon didn’t score again until more than midway through the second half. The Golden Eagles blasted in nine straight goals in the meantime. The game went from 3-2 to 8-2 at halftime to 12-2 before Hilcoff scored again to break the MU run.
A 10 goal second half lead means that there’s a running clock in women’s lacrosse, and Hilcoff’s third goal of the game briefly deactivated the clock. It took Marquette about 90 seconds to turn it back on when Shea Garcia scored her second goal of the game to make it 13-3 with 12:21 to go. The Golden Eagles tacked on three more markers down the stretch before Hilcoff’s fourth of the game wrapped up the scoring with just over two minutes remaining.
Megan Menzuber was responsible for nearly a third of Marquette’s goals, as she scored five all by herself. Garcia put in two of her own and added two assists as well for four points, which was matched by the goal and three assists from Lydia Foust. Erin Dowdle topped the charts with four ground balls, while Jocelyn Miller had three caused turnovers on defense to lead MU in that department. Defense was a big deal for the Golden Eagles all night long. They nearly scored more goals (16) than they allowed shots (17) by Oregon.
Like I said a moment a go, Sunday kind of went the same. It just took a little bit longer for Marquette to lock in. Megan Kozar scored for Kent State to make it 7-3 with 8:46 to go. Definitely looked like Marquette was having a better time of it, but they weren’t running away with it yet.
At halftime, it was 9-3, as Hannah Greving and Mary Schumar tallied goals in the final eight minutes. Definitely a good start, and MU was doubling up the Golden Flashes in shots, 22-11.
Then the second half started.
Leigh Steiner broke the ice 37 seconds in for what would be the first of eight straight to start the second half and the third in a 10-0 run for the Golden Eagles. Caroline Steller’s goal with 17:02 to go made it 17-3 favoring Marquette, and things were pretty much over here. The running clock kicked in at 26:45 left to go in the game, and never got stopped. Kent State would outscore Marquette 5-2 in the final 16 minutes, but things were long since decided.
Steiner was the star of the day, leading Marquette in goals with a career high of four, and she added an assist to get her five points. She had to tie with Caroline Steller (3G, 2A) for the second most points on the day, though, as Megan Menzuber ran wild with three goals and three assists for six of her own. We have to shoutout Greving here as well, as she tallied a hat trick. Goalie Sophia Leva nabbed up five ground balls in her 32 minutes of action, which means that she picked up more stray balls (5) than the number she let past her (3). Leva also led MU in caused turnovers with three, so that was a busy half-hour of action for her.
How about some highlights, courtesy of KentStateSports.com and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be off until next weekend, but there’s only one game to be played.... at least that’s the schedule for now. In any case, it’s an interesting one, as MU will welcome Central Michigan to the Valley for the originally scheduled game between the two sides. CMU won the hastily scheduled contest up in Mount Pleasant, 11-10, back on February 21st in a game where Megan Menzuber was ejected after two yellow cards in the first half. That was the season opener for the Chippewas, and since they they lost 16-10 on the road to Vanderbilt and needed overtime to beat Oregon — yes, that Oregon — at home on Sunday afternoon.