When Sydney Watson scored to make it 4-1 UConn just over seven minutes in to the game on Saturday at Valley Fields, things were not looking super great for YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles, especially since the lone goal to that point was a shorthanded strike.
Marquette answered with four straight goals of their own to take a 5-4 lead, and it was on from there. The two teams played it mostly close all the rest of the way, with Connecticut taking an 8-6 lead at halftime operating as the largest margin either way. Yet, at the end, Marquette had tied the match with just over three minutes to go, but lost 14-13 on a goal by Watson — of course — just 30 seconds later. The Golden Eagles had chances to tie it back up, but they never came through by the final horn. MU is now 3-4 on the year and 0-1 in Big East play.
I don’t even know what else I should tell you about this. Neither side got off on run after MU’s four straight. This might be a situation where it would be easier to recap if they played 15 minute quarters instead of 30 minute halves. Those natural breaks help tell a story about what’s going on. Instead, it was a game with both sides throwing punches and counterpunches and countercounter punches.
Ultimately, the game came down to Marquette not being able to contain Lia LaPrise. She scored back-to-back goals after Madison Kane had put Marquette up 12-11 with just over under minutes remaining. The first was 84 seconds after Kane’s strike, and less than two minutes after that, LaPrise found the net again to make it 13-12 Huskies. Nearly three more minutes would wind off the clock before Marquette would tie it at 13, so we’re left wondering what happens if MU gets a stop on just one of LaPrise’s goals instead. LaPrise finished with six goals in the game, so it really was an all game long problem for the Golden Eagles.
Caroline Steller was in fact stellar in this game, getting Marquette going on the scoreboard with that early shorthanded goal and following it up with four more in the course of the game. She was joined in Hat Trick Land by Hannah Greving, who was the one who scored goal #13 on the day late in the match. Goalie Sophia Leva and Audrey Brett tied for the team lead in ground balls with two, while Erin Dowdle and Ellie Henry did the same thing on the same number for caused turnovers. Leva made 10 saves in the match while taking the loss.
One thing that Marquette is going to have to work out for next time? Megan Menzuber and Lydia Foust went without so much as a point in the game. They were #1 and #2 in points on the stat sheet going into Saturday’s contest, and it took five goals by Steller to bump Foust down into third place for the time being. Both Menzuber and Foust ended up with three shots each, but I think it’s safe to say that if either one could have gotten into the net, things may have ended up better for the Golden Eagles at the final horn.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: The Huskies again! The Big East went with a “one weekend, same opponent, two games” schedule for league play this year, so that means that UConn will be back in the Valley Fields seasonal bubble for another game on Sunday afternoon. First draw is set for Noon Central time, and you can watch it all on GoMarquette.com.