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Marquette Women’s Soccer Rallies To Beat Villanova

An auspicious start to the Golden Eagles’ first road game in league play was not a bad omen for the final result.

Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson had a goal and an assist against Villanova.

Marquette women’s soccer suffered an awful loss in their first Big East game of the year back on Thursday when a handball call with just seconds left led to a free kick goal from just barely outside the box to break a 0-0 tie in Butler’s favor. On Sunday, the Golden Eagles were in action out in Pennsylvania against Villanova with an eye on bouncing back from that loss, and well, it didn’t start well.

In the 20th minute, Katrina Wetherell tried to keep a Villanova attacker from making a play on a ball passed right in front of the Marquette net. She succeeded in her goal, but Wetherell also inadvertently accomplished a Villanova goal because her play popped the ball into the net as MU keeper Mikki Easter went the other way to defend the direction the ball was heading before Wetherell touched it.

1-0 Wildcats.

Not great.

Things that were great, though? Marquette’s reaction to Wetherell’s miscue. This happened just 74 seconds later:

A perfect combination of loft on the move by Kylie Sprecher, directional heading in the air by Elsi Twombly, and maybe questionable goaltending by VU’s Megan McClay led to the equalizer in the 22nd minute.

And MU wasn’t done. Twombly’s goal was the first of three that the Golden Eagles would score in a span of 12 minutes and nine seconds. Here’s the second one, which officially came in the 31st minute:

A fantastic swing of the leg by Rachel Johnson to take advantage of the unsettled nature of things, as she timed it exactly right to make her first touch pop into the net past a diving McClay. This would go as the game winner by the time we were all said and done, and I think my favorite part about it is Johnson’s very simple celebration.

Goal #3 came by way of honestly just terrible back end play by the Wildcats. Knowing that Marquette is pushing up on you to make it complicated to build out of the back, you can’t just lazily shove balls to your teammate, and Maggie Starker made the Wildcats pay for their lack of seriousness.

That was officially in the 34th minute of the game, and that 3-1 lead stood at halftime and again at the final horn after 90 minutes elapsed. Marquette was all over the Wildcats in the first half with a 13-5 shot advantage, and MU continued to control the action in the second half as they held Villanova to just four shots to snuff out any thoughts of an attempt at a rally. They only had four shots total, but Lauren Schill, off the bench in relief of Easter at halftime, did have to make three saves in order to keep the game at its 3-1 margin.

Here’s a 47 second highlight package for you, courtesy of FloFC and It appears to just be all three Marquette goals in one tidy place.

Up Next: Marquette looks to keep the points rolling in to the Big East standings this coming with another home/road split. The Golden Eagles will be in Nebraska on Thursday night for a date against Creighton at 7pm Central before returning home to host Seton Hall on Sunday at noon Central. The Bluejays are 6-3-2 overall and 0-1-1 in Big East play after drawing with Georgetown and losing in overtime to Providence. The Pirates are 6-4-0 on the year and 1-1-0 in the league with a win at Villanova and a loss at Butler. Hey, that’s kind of like what Marquette did.