Earlier this season, in game #2 of the Marquette women’s lacrosse schedule, the Golden Eagles made a hastily scheduled trip out to Mount Pleasant in Michigan to face Central Michigan. They were set to play the Chippewas in Milwaukee later in the year, but due to a COVID issue with Notre Dame, the two sides were left without a game, and they decided to play each other.
It was a closely contested game with CMU outshooting Marquette 29-27 at the final horn and getting the 11-10 win after the Golden Eagles couldn’t tie the game up in the final three minutes.
It was, let’s say, not great.
Since then, Marquette unloaded with both barrels on Oregon and Kent State to the tune of 35-12 across two games.... but the questions lingered heading into Friday afternoon’s home game against Central Michigan. Is CMU a bad matchup for Marquette? Is Marquette just that much better than Oregon and KSU? Did MU figure something out in their last two games that unlocked the offense and/or the defense? Could that theoretical something be applied to a rematch with the Chippewas?
Well, we have a result that attempts to answer the questions.
Behind hat tricks from Megan Menzuber and Lydia Foust, Marquette absolutely trounced Central Michigan on Friday. Your final score from the seasonable bubble at Valley Fields? 15-4, and it wasn’t that close. Marquette was up 7-1 at the half before scoring the first three goals of the second half to hold a 10-1 lead and not really worry about CMU the rest of the way.
From the 20 minute mark of the first half through the 24 minute mark of the second, Marquette scored seven unanswered goals. The 7-0 run was capped off by a power play goal by Caroline Peterson, the only extra woman goal of the entire game.
Remember we mentioned the shot totals from the previous meeting? Yeah, so. Marquette outshot Central Michigan 21-6 in the first half and 20-11 in the second. Totals for the game? Marquette 41, CMU 17. 30 of Marquette’s shots were on frame in this game, so honestly, it’s impressive work by Sierra Savage, the Chippewas’ netminder, to get in front of 15 shots and keep Marquette under 20 goals.
While the offense was on fire with well placed shots all afternoon, the defense made big plays, too. Central Michigan committed 18 turnovers in the game, with 11 coming in the first half while MU built up most of their lead. Marquette was also very disruptive in transition, forcing two failed clears by CMU in the first half and another three after intermission. Can’t score a goal if you never get the chance to get into your offensive end to get a quality shot off, after all.
Marquette’s defense was smarter, too. On the road earlier this year, MU surrendered eight free position shots to the Chippewas, all coming in the first half. That accounted for three of CMU’s goals, and hey, look, there’s your ballgame in a one goal game. In this game, sure, Marquette allowed another eight FPS to Central Michigan..... but it was eight spread across the entire 60 minutes. Five were in the second half, and all of them came after Marquette was already up 10-1. Three of the eight in the game came in the final four minutes of the game when 1) Marquette was up 15-4 and the running clock had been activated for over four minutes already and 2) head coach Meredith Black had emptied the bench. Can’t really fault the deep bench for getting a little overexcited/overaggressive once they got on the field.
Menzuber and Foust both had hat tricks in the game, and Menzuber added an assist on Hannah Greving’s goal that got the scoring started to lead the team in points with four. Caroline Steller added an assist to her two goals to match Foust in points. Menzuber and Erin Dowdle both had three ground balls to top the chart there, while Madison Kane, Emma Soccodato, and Ellie Henry all created two CMU turnovers each. Dowdle and Emily Cooper were their usual selves on the draws, winning five each to help MU hold a 13-8 advantage there in the game.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: One final non-conference game, again at home. Next Sunday, Louisville comes to Valley Fields for a game. First draw is set for 11am, and as always, streaming will be available on GoMarquette.com. The Cardinals are 2-1 on the season as I write this, but they have a Saturday game at #8 Virginia before stopping by — hey, look at this — Central Michigan on Friday on their way to Milwaukee. Louisville is receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse media poll and ranked #23 in the coaches poll. Obviously, both rankings would improve if they upset the Cavaliers.