Marquette women’s lacrosse’s third game of the year did not go so well. A rampaging start by Louisville was answered by the Golden Eagles, but it was (mostly) all Cardinals from there. Your final from Kentucky: Louisville 18, Marquette 9, and it wasn’t that close, honestly. The Golden Eagles are now 1-2 on the season.
Through the first 10 minutes or so on Friday morning, the big question was mostly “what will Marquette be able to do once they actually have possession of the ball?” Louisville had it in their offensive end a whole bunch, and that ultimately led to Caroline Blalock’s goal with 4:16 to play in the period that put the Cards up 6-1.
But Marquette would actually start getting some offensive presence going, and they scored the final three goals of the first quarter, and Lydia Foust’s free position swing just 24 seconds into the second quarter made it 6-5 Cardinals. Looks like we’ve got ourselves a ball game!
Across a stretch of less than five minutes, honestly closer to four, Louisville scored five times. 11-5 home team, and that was pretty much that. It was 12-6 at the break, and when MU couldn’t punch through in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, the writing was on the wall. UL scored four goals in the final five minutes of the third, two each on opposite sides of a Mary Schumar strike for MU, and it was 17-7 after three quarters.
Heck, it was 17-7 with 38 seconds left in the third off Hannah Morris’ fourth goal of the game, but that means a 10 goal lead and that means a running clock. No new draw after the goal, and the fourth started off with that clock just buzzing along. Only three total goals were scored in the fourth, largely due to that running clock, although Meg Bireley’s marker with 12 seconds left forced the margin to nine and required one final draw.
If you’re wondering “hey, what’s wrong with Marquette’s offense” as they got outshot 39-22 in this one, I’ve got a pretty straight forward answer for you: Leigh Steiner and Hannah Greving on crutches, or at least unavailable for this game. The ACC Network extra broadcasting crew indicated along the way that both women suffered injuries during MU’s loss to Northwestern. They also made it sound like they were the kind of injuries that require crutches as they saw said crutches going in and out of Marquette’s huddles during the game. Steiner and Greving combined for four goals and an assist in MU’s season opening win over Cincinnati, so you can see how head coach Meredith Black’s squad might be a little disjointed on that end of the field for this one.
Emma Soccodato finished with a hat trick, which retrospectively feels like a bummer since she had all three goals in the first quarter. Kyra LaMotte ended up with the top Marquette point total of the day as she assisted on four of the eight MU goals that she didn’t score.
On to Columbus.....
Game #4: at Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0)
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 11am Central
Location: Woody Hayes Athletic Center, Columbus, Ohio
Streaming: B1G+, which means you’ll need a subscription
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax
Marquette is 0-2 all time against Ohio State. The two teams met in back to back seasons in 2019 and 2020 with one meeting in each home town. Both games were decided by just two goals, including 16-14 at Valley Fields in March 2020.
If you’ll recall from the Louisville preview, we put off this preview because of the timing of Ohio State’s second game of the season. After they dismissed Robert Morris at home in relatively easy fashion — they were up 8-1 heading to the second quarter, won 17-5 — the Buckeyes followed that up with a trip down I-71 to face Cincinnati on Wednesday. That one wasn’t quite the plow through that the RMU game was, but OSU still won 18-9 at the end. The Buckeyes went up 4-1 after one quarter, but it was 8-3 at the half and 12-8 after three. However, that 12-8 after 45 minutes was stuck in the middle of an 8-0 run by Ohio State that lasted from three minutes left in the third alllllmost all the way through to the end of the game. Only a Cincy goal with 39 seconds left broke up the run.
The Cincinnati game is an interesting marking point here, as it means that both Marquette and Ohio State have played the Bearcats this season. I’m not quite sure that the Buckeyes had an easier time of things. Marquette was up 13-8 at the start of the fourth quarter, technically speaking, that’s one goal better than Ohio State’s margin heading into the final frame. The difference, of course, is that Marquette was playing at Valley Fields while OSU was on the road for their game. Ohio State also blew Cincinnati away down the stretch, while Marquette was “only” up 16-10 before the Bearcats tacked on three meaningless goals in the final three minutes.
It’s also worth noting that the Marquette team that played Cincinnati won’t be the team that plays Ohio State. With Leigh Steiner and Hannah Greving out of the lineup, that alters what head coach Meredith Black is doing. It’s not quite a straight up comparison of the two teams to see how they did against UC, but that won’t stop the coaches from using the game tape for whatever advantage they can muster.
Through two games, Nicole Ferrara is your top scorer for Ohio State. She has a team high eight points, which means she’s beating out Jamie Lasda by just an assist. The two women are tied for the team lead in goals with five each. Four more women have hit the net four times each, so it’s clear that the Buckeyes are not lacking for scoring options. Marquette’s sticks are going to have to be wary around Jane Cowley, as she’s already racked up four caused turnovers this season.
Regan Alexander and Claire Morris have each started a game in net for Ohio State this season. Morris started the opener against Robert Morris, but split the game straight down the middle, 30 minutes each, with Alexander. Obviously then, Alexander was the starter on Wednesday in Cincinnati, but at least from how the ol’ stat sheet works here, and the plan was to turn the net over to Morris at halftime. That happened, but when Morris allowed five goals in just over 10 minutes and let the Bearcats pull within two, head coach Amy Bokker went back to Alexander. That certainly sounds like Alexander will be the starter against Marquette, but if the Buckeyes want to keep alternating goalies, it is Morris’ turn to start. Either way, it seems very possible that MU will see both netminders at some point. Alexander’s stats are much better, with just 4.54 goals allowed per 60 minutes and a brick wall of a save percentage at .778 through nearly 80 minutes.