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Marquette’s Offense Scuffles Against Niagara

The Golden Eagles couldn’t score goals with the clock running, and that made things harder for their defense in upstate New York.

Through 10 minutes of lacrosse on Sunday in Niagara Falls, Marquette women’s lacrosse had a 3-1 lead on Niagara. However, all three goals came by way of fouls handed out by the Purple Eagles and were free position attempt goals. If that doesn’t sound like solid footing for the entirety of your offense in a game of lacrosse, well, you’d be right.

Marquette didn’t score a run of play goal until nearly midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s game as the offense struggled in a 12-9 loss to Niagara. MU drops to 3-4 on the year at the end of their season high six game road trip.

The 3-1 lead was nice, but the lack of goals with the clock running came back to hurt MU almost immediately as Niagara had the game tied at three at the end of the first quarter. Those two goals to tie it up were the first of six straight from the Purple Eagles as they took a 7-3 lead, and only an FPS attempt by Lily Dietrich for her first collegiate goal with 11 seconds left before halftime snapped the Niagara run.

Marquette finally got a run of play goal from Mary Schumar with 7:55 left in the third quarter with that goal doubling as the first goal of the second half as well. 7-5, so all things considered, not too bad.

And then Niagara scored three straight in a span of 2:37. Boom. 10-5, 2:14 left in the third. Shea Garcia pulled one back for the Golden Eagles before the quarter ended, but the way things were going, there just wasn’t going to be time. Especially not after Lois Garlow scored her fourth of five goals in the game to open up the scoring in the fourth quarer. 11-6, 11:54 to play in a game where Marquette was getting outshot 25-16 at the end of the third quarter.

Goals from Kyra LaMotte (on her first shot of the game after back-to-back five goal games to give you an idea how completely stifled MU was here) and Elise Smigiel trimmed the margin to just three, but it took Marquette more than six minutes of game time to do it. Maybe with a few more minutes they could have done something, pouring on the pressure as they inched closer and closer, but they just didn’t have the time. Garlow’s fifth goal made it a four point game with 2:05 to play, and that was that, even with Schumar tacking on one more in the final 90 seconds.

That last one from Schumar gave her a hat trick on the day as well as the team high in points with four. No one else on the roster had more than a goal, and only Caroline Blandford’s goal and an assist managed to get past one point. Faith Chmielewski had a big day picking up strays with four ground balls and she added two caused turnovers as well. Gaining possession of the ball wasn’t a problem for Marquette as Josie Kropp won eight draws to help MU to 16 total on the day, and Kropp nearly beat out Niagara’s nine all on her own. It’s just that MU couldn’t do anything with the ball once they got it.

Up Next: Finally another home game. Marquette hasn’t played at Valley Fields since they opened the season with a 16-13 win over Cincinnati. On Saturday, March 12, they’ll be back in the Valley to face Kent State. The Golden Flashes are 2-5 so far this season and are coming off back-to-back home losses to Robert Morris and Cincinnati. They’ll visit Central Michigan for a MAC contest on Thursday afternoon before coming to Milwaukee for a 3pm start as part of a doubleheader with men’s lacrosse.