Okay, okay, we’ll recap the game, fine, you win.
On Sunday afternoon, Marquette women’s lacrosse lost contact with Oregon late in the second quarter and never recovered on their way to a 16-9 loss. MU drops to 4-6 on the year after losing both games on their Spring Break trip out west, and have now lost three of their last four games.
It was a perfectly reasonable lacrosse game for about 20 minutes, just a few seconds past that. The two sides essentially just traded goals back and forth, and a goal from Marquette’s Emma Soccodato, the second of three on the day for her, knotted the game up at six with 4:46 left in the second quarter. Cool, fine, 35-ish minutes of lacrosse left to go.
And then Oregon scored the final three goals of the first half, including one with 14 seconds left to lead 9-6 at the break........ and then they scored three more in the first five minutes of the second half to go up 12-6.
Game’s over at that point.
Well, okay, maybe not riiiight there because weirder things have happened in lacrosse, but that’s what tipped it over. Marquette ultimately went without a goal for over 11 minutes before Lydia Foust’s second goal of the game snapped UO’s streak at six in a row with 7:28 left to go in the third. The real problem is that Foust’s goal there was Marquette’s only goal for over 18 minutes. Foust would score again with under a minute left in the third after Oregon had tacked on two more. 14-8 heading to the fourth quarter with the Golden Eagles needing to, essentially, hold the Ducks scoreless for 15 minutes while scoring just as many goals in that time as it took them 45 minutes to score already in the game.
You see the problem.
Meg Bireley scored MU’s final marker of the game with 13:55 to play and the Ducks stifled the Golden Eagles’ offense to the tune of outshooting MU 9-5 in the final 15 minutes, and that was that.
We are left wondering if the game would have been different if Marquette did not switch goalkeepers at halftime. Amanda Rumsey started for Marquette, as she has all season. She let in nine goals on 16 total shots and 12 shots on frame. Not great work, especially with the Ducks scoring on their final three shots of the half in the last four minutes, but you can’t really pin all of it directly on Rumsey, either. Head coach Meredith Black went to Brynna Nixon to start the second half, and it’s entirely possible that this was the plan from the start of the game. We’ve seen Black hand the freshman from Washington State an entire second half already this season..... but MU was also up 15-7 and 15-1 in those two cases, not down 9-6. It’s also possible that because of how the first half ended, Black wanted to shake things up to energize her roster to wipe that lead out.
The point of the story is that Nixon let in three goals on four shots in four minutes and 20 seconds, and Black went back to Rumsey after a timeout. The one shot that didn’t get past Nixon didn’t even make it to the cage, as it’s officially in the play-by-play as a blocked shot. Rumsey’s back in the game at the 10:40 mark of the third quarter, and now she’s in charge of a 12-6 deficit. Not fun, I’m sure.
Either way, Nixon’s rough four minutes in the net didn’t actually cost Marquette the game, so I don’t want pin the thing on her, either. Let’s be honest about it: Scoring three goals in the final 34:45 of the game is bad. So is Shea Garcia and Kyra LaMotte, two of Marquette’s top three point scorers to this point of the year, going without a point in this game. Six shots for Garcia came up empty on the day, four of them saved by Oregon’s Cassidy Eckert, and the Ducks held LaMotte to just one shot.
Even in the loss, Emma Soccodato had a pretty good game for Marquette. Two goals on just three shots, two assists on Marquette’s other seven markers in the game, two ground balls, and a game high seven draw controls. Soccodato accounted for essentially half of MU’s 15 draw controls in the game, which is pretty good stuff even if the offense couldn’t deliver on the promise of the 15-13 lead in that department.
Up Next: It’s not the last non-conference game of the year, but it’s the last one before Big East play starts. Coming up on Sunday, Marquette will host Central Michigan at Valley Fields. First draw is set for 12pm for a game that I presume will still be played in the seasonal dome in the Valley. The Chippewas are 4-5 on the year after losing 12-11 on the road against the Cincinnati team that Marquette beat to open the season on Friday afternoon. CMU will host Akron for a mid-week MAC contest against Akron before coming to Milwaukee over the weekend.