A strong start to the game did not lead to a strong ending to the first half for Marquette women’s lacrosse on Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields. A string of six straight goals by the visitors flipped the game from a three goal MU lead to a three goal Louisville lead, and from there, the #17 ranked Cardinals were able to hold off the Golden Eagles and hand them a 14-10 loss. Marquette is now 3-3 on the season heading into the start of Big East play.
After Louisville’s Hannah Morris started off the scoring less than 90 seconds into the match, the Golden Eagles took control. Leigh Steiner evened it up at one each, and that was followed by goals from Lydia Foust and Hannah Greving. Foust hit the net again at the 19:05 mark of the first half, leaving Marquette with a 4-1 lead against the #17 team in the country. That’s pretty good stuff!
And then the good stuff stopped.
The next six goals were all from Louisville sticks, with Izzy Holmes scoring her first two goals of the season and Ally Hall wrapping up the 6-0 run with two straight, including one as a result of a yellow card on MU’s Ellie Henry. Louisville’s run took nearly 15 minutes off the clock. Marquette committed five of their eight first half turnovers in that stretch against just five shots, three of which came via free position attempts. In other words, three of MU’s five shots were just gifted to the Golden Eagles by the UL defense. That’s how you fall in a 7-4 hole after you led 4-1.
Anyway, Emma Soccodato did score for the Golden Eagles to snap the streak before the half, so it was just a two goal game with 30 minutes to play. Quite honestly, that’s not a bad situation against a ranked team, but you’re left with the sense that Marquette had let an opportunity slip away from them already.
Hannah Morris broke the ice on the second half, just like she did in the first half, and Marquette responded with goals from Caroline Steller and Megan Menzuber. That would end up being Menzuber’s only goal of the game and one of only two shots for MU’s top scorer so far this season. That made it an 8-7 game with 22:46 to play.
But Marquette would score just one time in the next 17 minutes, a marker from Greving with 15:09 to go. In the meantime, the Cardinals slowly grew their lead, putting five more goals past MU netminder Sophia Leva. 13-8 on a goal from Hall with 6:35 to go. That’s that. Sure, MU scored twice more around a third goal from Morris, but time had slipped away from the Golden Eagles at that point.
We should tip our caps to Leva, who went the distance in net for Marquette. She posted a career high 15 saves in the match, thus keeping her save percentage in the game north of 50% and tying Jules Horning and Molly Grozier for the fourth most saves in a game in MU history. The senior from New York did her damnedest to keep the Golden Eagles in the game, and that’s all you can ask for.
Steller led the team with four points on the day with two goals and two assists. She tied with Foust and Greving for the goals lead and was the only MU player with multiple assists. Three Golden Eagles, including sophomore Kate Pearson, racked up two ground balls each to lead the team, while Emily Cooper had a game high 10 draw controls.
Up Next: As mentioned earlier, it’s time for Big East play! Marquette will be playing a double round-robin with the other five teams in the league this season for a total of 10 games. Each weekend will give the Golden Eagles two games against the same opponent in the same location. Things start off this coming weekend when Connecticut comes to Milwaukee. First draw on Friday is set for 4pm Central, while Sunday’s game is set to start at Noon Central. The Huskies are 4-2 on the season after having a four game winning streak snapped on Saturday as they played their second straight overtime game against a UMass squad that was ranked #22 in the IWCLA poll for the first one.