With Emma Soccodato and Lydia Foust out of the lineup on Friday afternoon in Buffalo, it was clear that Marquette women’s lacrosse was going to need somebody, probably multiple somebodies, to step up in a big way. Those two absences stack on top of the injuries to Leigh Steiner and Hannah Greving to leave the Golden Eagles with four of their seven expected offensive components — call them the starters if you want — for Friday’s game against Canisius.
It’s safe to say that head coach Meredith Black got those step ups that her team needed.
Kyra LaMotte and Shea Garcia had six and five points respectively as YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles go into Buffalo and knock off Canisius, 14-9! MU wins their second straight game to move to 3-3 on the year, while the Golden Griffins suffer their first defeat of 2022 to drop to 4-1.
We had a slow start to this game as Canisius broke the ice on the scoreboard with a goal from Kaitlyn Salce nearly five minutes in and there wasn’t a second goal until nearly 10 minutes had wound off the clock. Meg Bireley was the scorer there to get the Golden Eagles on the board for the first time, and LaMotte took advantage of Mary Blee’s draw control to score 34 seconds later to make it 2-1 MU after the first quarter.
LaMotte’s second of the day made it 3-1 at the 11:24 mark of the second quarter, and then we got some penalty weirdness. Canisius’ Megan Hoffman scored while the Griffs were down a woman, and then a penalty on Hoffman four minutes later let Garcia get on the board for her first goal of the game. The home team responded to that in a big way by scoring the next three goals of the game and keeping MU off the board for almost the entirety of the rest of the half. I say almost, though, and Garcia’s second goal of the game came 33 seconds after Canisius’ final goal and with just 15 seconds left in the half to knot the whole thing up at five goals each after 30 minutes.
Still anyone’s ballgame, and nothing about the third quarter changed anyone’s opinion on that. Canisius’ Katie Smolensky scored 47 seconds into the period to put her team up, but Samantha Galvin — thrust into the starting lineup due to the absence of Foust and Soccodato, so this helps towards the ol’ stepping up counter — tied the game back up at six and Garcia wrapped up her hat trick with 5:05 left in the third to put Marquette up one, 7-6.
That was the score as the game headed to the fourth quarter.... and that’s when things just completely went buck wild. Galvin and Garcia’s goals in the third ended up being the first two in a 5-0 Marquette run as Elise Smigiel came off the bench to open the fourth and LaMotte tacked on two more of her own to make it 10-6 Golden Eagles with 11:01 to play.
Technically speaking, LaMotte’s goal there was the game winner as it was MU’s 10th goal of the game and Canisius never got past nine. But when Paige Statchura and Caroline Netti scored back-to-back goals and Marquette went more than four minutes without scoring to make it 10-8 with seven minutes to play, it certainly didn’t feel like this game was already decided. Smigiel hit the net again at the 6:28 mark to make her impact in the stepping up department, and just seven seconds later, Josie Kropp won the draw and fed Mary Schumar for a goal. It was Schumar’s only point of the game, thus giving her at least one in every game this season, and it was a big one for the Golden Eagles. 6:21 to go, Marquette up four, 12-8.
Ultimately, Marquette would hold Canisius without a goal for over four minutes to pack away the lead, and as the clock wore down after Netti’s goal with 3:33 to go, things looked better and better for MU and their three goal margin. Just to be on the safe side, LaMotte and Garcia threw in their final goals of the game in the final minute to get us to that final 14-9 margin.
LaMotte finished with six points on five goals and an assist, while Garcia had four goals and a helper to get to five points. Smigiel was third on the team with two points on her two goals, and she was the only other Golden Eagle to rack up multiple points in this game. Audrey Brett joined Galvin and Schumar to lead the team with two ground balls each, while Schumar and Brett topped the caused turnover chart at two apiece. The aforementioned Josie Kropp was great on draws, snaring 10 of Marquette’s 15 as a team and nearly beating out Canisius’ 12 all by herself.
Up Next: It’s a short turnaround for the Golden Eagles on the road, but at least they won’t be doing much in the way of travel. On Sunday morning, Marquette will be just 25 miles up the road from Canisius to take on Niagara. The Purple Eagles are 2-2 on the season and coming off a 15-10 win on the road against Youngstown State in their most recent game. Sunday’s 11am Central time start will be their home opener, and it will be broadcast on ESPN+.