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Turns Out Beating The #5 Team In The Country Is Hard

Marquette made a jaunt down I-94 and came back with an 11 goal loss to Northwestern.

Mary Schumar
Mary Schumar had a six point night down in Evanston on Monday.
Marquette University

There’s a list of things that you probably shouldn’t do. Not because they’re actually bad or anything, just because no one has fun doing them so why should you do it and not have any fun yourself.

On that list? Tangling with the #5 team in the country as they are fresh off dropping from #4 to #5 and as they come off getting doubled up by the #1 team in the country. Very specific, I know.

That’s what Marquette women’s lacrosse did on Monday evening as they ventured down to Evanston to face Northwestern. What did they get for their trouble? A 24-13 loss that moved both squads to 1-1 on the season.

It looked like things were going to go extremely poorly for Marquette as the first quarter went into its final third. Shea Garcia scored to make it a 4-2 ballgame favoring the home team with 4:56 to go, just inside that pole for the final five minutes of the period. From there, Northwestern scored the next three goals of the game, all in just over two minutes of game play. Even after Lydia Foust put one in for Marquette with just under a minute left, Lauren Gilbert scored her third of the game — yes, all in the first quarter — to make it 8-3 Wildcats after 15 minutes.

Looks bad, yes? But Marquette played with Northwestern in the second quarter. The goals were four each, and the shots were 8-7 favoring NU instead of 13-6 like in the first quarter. MU’s Mary Schumar flipped one in with 25 seconds left in the half and it was 12-7 at intermission. Same five goal margin as the last quarter.

The third quarter started going the same way. Northwestern scored twice in the first minute, but the Golden Eagles answered with the next two goals to get it back to five, 14-9. The two teams traded a goal back and forth, and Schumar’s second goal — and fifth point! — of the game made it 15-10 with 9:38 left in the third. A bad stretch in the first was the difference in this game, and with over 24 minutes left to play, Marquette was far from out of this one, as long as they could get stops.

They didn’t get stops.

NU scored twice in the 98 seconds following Schumar’s marker to start off a 5-0 burst to end the quarter. 20-10 heading to the fourth.

Marquette scored the first two in the final quarter to make it an eight goal margin with 12 minutes to play, and Northwestern said “that’s enough of that.” They scored the next three to burn just over four minutes off the clock, and that was definitely the end of whatever was left of MU’s faint odds of moving to 2-0 and getting just the second win over a ranked team in program history.

The real problem of the entire outing was Northwestern’s shot efficiency. 38 shots, 31 shots on goal, 24 goals. What are you supposed to do with that? Marquette wasn’t bad on their end, going for 27 shots, 19 on cage, and 13 going in, but at some point, the volume is just destroying you.

Mary Schumar finished with six points on the night with two goals and four assists as she nearly doubled up her career assist total to this point in one outing. No joke: Three assists last year and two against Cincinnati in the opener for five total, and four against the Wildcats. That’s something to be proud of, and relative to MU’s all-time assists chart, something to keep an eye on now that she’s at nine career assists.

Hannah Greving led MU in goals on the day with three, and she had an assist to finish second to Schumar in points. Schumar was tops in ground balls for MU with three, while Faith Chmielewski had two caused turnovers to lead the Golden Eagles there. Draw controls were spread out across the team, with Emma Soccodato getting eight, Ellie Henry grabbing seven, and Mary Blee snagging six.

Amanda Rumsey started in net for Marquette for the second straight game, and she made five of MU’s saves before being lifted for freshman Brynna Nixon for the fourth quarter. Nixon made two saves in her first collegiate appearance.

Up Next: A lot more traveling. Monday night’s contest was the first of six straight away from Milwaukee for the Golden Eagles. They’ll be out on the road for two this coming weekend. First up is a Friday morning start against Louisville, who started out the year with two losses out in the mountains to Colorado and #19 Denver. Apparently they tried to play the Colorado game in a damn blizzard before moving it indoors, so the highlights from the Buffs are jarring. Ohio State is 1-0 on the year with a home win over Robert Morris as I type this, but the Buckeyes will visit Cincinnati on Wednesday before MU comes to town on Sunday morning.