Marquette women’s soccer went in to Thursday’s regular season finale knowing a few things. #1? Their season was over no matter what the result of the match was, as they couldn’t surpass Creighton in the standings and get one of the two conference tournament berths out of the Midwest Division. #2? A win would move them to 6-4-0 on the year, a winning record by all calculations, while a loss would make them 5-5-0, which is not a winning record. The Golden Eagles did not have winning records in either 2018 or 2019, so merely getting to that point at the end of Frank Pelaez’s first season as head coach would be something worth celebrating.
And so, in the 52nd minute, sophomore transfer Hailey Block snapped this beaut of a shot from wide right, and floated it up and over Xavier keeper Olivia Jenkins for what would become the decisive goal in a 1-0 win for Marquette.
51' | GOAL!!!! - Hailey Block with her second of the year and MU leads 1-0 at Xavier. pic.twitter.com/St8FVwGL0G— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) April 8, 2021
And that’s how you wrap up the year at 6-4-0.
All in all, I don’t know if we can call it a particularly pretty match as the two sides combined for 12 total shots in 90 minutes. That’s a lot of bouncing around in the midfield area without actually threatening the net if we’re being honest. But when it came time to threaten the net, Marquette was the more productive team. All four of Marquette’s shots in the game, including Block’s game winner, were shots on goal. Only half of Xavier’s shots did the same, although that includes this free kick attempt from XU’s star forward Molly McLaughlin in the 82nd minute.
85' | MU 1, XU, 0 | Lauren Schill with a big-time save to keep Xavier off the board! pic.twitter.com/bEcQBwjHjc— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) April 8, 2021
That’s just great cat-like speed and reflexes by keeper Lauren Schill to poke that one up and over with the right amount of force to make sure the ball went out of bounds. Schill would add one more save to her afternoon with just nine seconds remaining in regulation to preserve the clean sheet that she split right down the middle with Mikki Easter.
How about some highlights, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network and GoMarquette.com?
This would normally be the part of the show where we tell you what’s up next for Marquette, but like we said at the top of the show, this was the season finale since MU was already eliminated from conference tournament contention before this match even started. With that in mind, we have to throw a big Anonymous Eagle THANK YOU to Maggie Lena, the only senior that Marquette recognized on Senior Day. Lena was a reserve player for her first three seasons in Milwaukee, but she broke through to appear in four matches this spring and get the start in three of them. She picked up her first career point earlier this season when she was credited with an assist on what turned into Katrina Wetherell’s game winner on the road against DePaul on March 7th. The California native wasn’t relied on to play a big role through her first three years of collegiate soccer, but she kept showing up and kept doing the work, and that paid off as she played more minutes this spring than she did in her first three seasons combined. It’s nice to see someone get rewarded like that for all of their blood, sweat, tears, and hard work over the years. It hasn’t been the most fun collegiate soccer career in terms of wins and losses and not to mention all of the [gestures broadly] that the past 12 months have been, but Maggie Lena kept on going and helped her team as much as she could. We tip our cap to her now that her time at Marquette is coming to an end, and we wish her the best in whatever comes next for her.