You can absolutely walk away from Marquette women’s lacrosse’s two weekend home games against #19 ranked Denver and say, y’know, they almost had them there. One of those “almosts” is a little bit more honest than the other, but if you take the whole picture of every minute played, it’s more true than it’s not.
On Friday afternoon, Marquette went into halftime knotted up with the #19 team in the country at five goals each. They lost 16-6 after Denver scored the next 11 goals of the game. That, obviously, is the not quite very honest “almost.”
On Sunday afternoon, things changed around. 4-2 Denver after 13 minutes turned into 5-5 even at halftime which turned into 9-5 Marquette with 14 minutes to play. Aaaaaand then the Denver run started again, leading to 11-9 Denver, but Marquette forced overtime before eventually falling 12-11 in the second overtime period.
Marquette is now 5-9 on the year and 2-6 in Big East play. I’m not sure about the math, but at the very least, letting these two matches slip by them have put the Golden Eagles on the precipice of missing the conference tournament if not in fact actually eliminating them.
I don’t know if there’s much to say about a game where MU gave up 11 straight goals and lost after being tied at the half, other than it stinks and I hate that it happened to the team. Imagine playing 30 great minutes of lacrosse, thinking you’re right there with the #19 team in the country, and then 10 minutes into the second half and you’ve allowed just as many second half goals as you did in 30 first half minutes. It won’t surprise you to find out that Marquette got outshot 23-8 in the second half of that game after a 16-14 Denver advantage before the intermission. The worst part about it is that Marquette actually cleaned up their turnovers a bit, going from 10 in the first half to just eight in the second.
Let’s move on to Sunday’s game, which was a bit more engaging.
For a flicker of a minute there, it almost looked as if Marquette was going to do to Denver what Denver did to Marquette on Friday. It was tied 5-5 at the half for the second straight game, but this time it was MU coming out guns blazing in the second half. The Golden Eagles got a goal from Megan Menzuber, then Hannah Greving, then Menzuber again, then Madison Kane, all in the first 15 minutes of the second half to stake themselves to a 9-5 lead. They were rocking and rolling all over the #19 team in the country..... and then everything just flipped on them. Suddenly, nothing was going right for Marquette as Denver scored the next six goals of the game, including four straight just from Mackenzie Wallevand.
Four minutes left, Denver up 11-9. It looks bad to say the least, but that’s when Lindsey Hill turned it on.
Just watch this spin move! You can literally watch it on a loop here!
GOAL! Hill puts the defender in the spin cycle and gets to the goal! The score stops a 6-0 Denver run and brings Marquette within 1, with a score of 10-11 pic.twitter.com/9f0GGTyUsI— Marquette Women’s Lacrosse (@MarquetteWLax) April 18, 2021
And if that wasn’t awesome enough, check out this game tying goal by Hill with just four seconds left in regulation after Marquette’s Audrey Brett came up with a game-saving ground ball off a turnover with 24 seconds left:
GOAL! With 4 SECONDS to go, Lindsey puts it between the legs of the keeper to send the game to OVERTIME! pic.twitter.com/7qJvLm2sC3— Marquette Women’s Lacrosse (@MarquetteWLax) April 18, 2021
Sets her feet, catches the ball, lowers her stick, fires it low, boom, all tied at 11.
And so, on to overtime.
Marquette almost won it in the first overtime. Caroline Steller had three straight free position attempts in the final 40 seconds, but she never even got a shot off... although that’s largely because she kept getting fouled before getting a shot off on the first two.
While things went very much in MU’s favor in the first three minutes, things went all the way around the bend to Denver in the next three extra minutes. Maybe it’s just a lucky end of the field at Valley Fields. Denver maintained possession for the entire three minutes, mostly due to a save by Sophia Leva that let the Pioneers reset the shot clock, and finally, Hannah Liddy curved around from Leva’s left side and snapped a low and close shot into the net for the 12-11 final score.
A frustrating 126 minutes of lacrosse, to be certain.
No highlights from Friday, but you can check this reel out from Sunday’s action.
Up Next: One final weekend to the regular season. On Friday afternoon, Marquette will be down in Indianapolis for the first of a weekend set against Butler. The Bulldogs are 1-9 overall but 0-9 against Division 1 teams after losing twice to Georgetown over the weekend. First draw on Friday will be at 2pm Central, and Sunday’s game is set for 11am Central at Varsity Field. Both games will be streamed on Butler’s YouTube channel.