Senior Day was a big day for Marquette women’s lacrosse. The Golden Eagles got four point (or better!) outings from three different women as they held off a late Georgetown rally to snag the 14-12 victory at Valley Fields. The win moves Marquette to 8-8 on the season, but 3-1 in Big East play. Officially, Saturday’s losses for Villanova and Butler locked the Golden Eagles into one of the top four spots in the Big East this season and thus one of the four spots in the conference tournament semifinals. However, it’s nice that MU went ahead and got the win that would have put them in even if those other two games had gone a different way. Heck, it’s better than nice, as MU’s victory on Sunday afternoon leaves the door open for the Golden Eagles to secure a share of the Big East regular season title, which would be the first in program history.
But we’ll get to that at the end. Let’s talk about what happened in this game, because hooooooooboy was there a lot going on.
Marquette came out of the gate hot, getting a goal from Meg Bireley to start off scoring less than three minutes into the contest, and then Emma Soccodato cashed in a penalty on Georgetown to make it 2-0. Those were the opening two goals of a 5-1 start to the game for the Golden Eagles that lasted into the second quarter.
Things looked like they were going pretty dang great, but the Hoyas did outshoot Marquette 9-6 in the opening 15 minutes, and as the second quarter went on, that offensive advantage started to show up in the net behind MU goalie Amanda Rumsey. Ali Diamond scored while the Hoyas were up a woman to launch a 5-0 GU run where they scored five times in a little over five minutes but kept the Golden Eagles off the board for over 11 minutes. Things looked like they were going to head into halftime with Georgetown up 6-5 after Lily Tardif put the visitors out in front with 7:05 left in the period, but Lydia Foust’s third goal of the game, coming with 67 seconds left in the quarter, knotted the shebang at six a side at intermission.
Obviously not an ideal situation for Marquette after holding a four goal lead, but they were outshot 18-14 in the first 30 minutes, so it’s not like it’s an undeserved score at the break.
Things were kind of even-ish in the third quarter, with three of the four goals that went in a net on one side or the other coming by way of a penalty on the opposite team. Georgetown had the only goal at even strength, coming from Erin Bakes with 2:13 to go, but Kyra LaMotte’s strike for MU with just 18 seconds left tied the game back up at eight with 15 minutes to play.
If you were just looking at the score, it might have looked like this game was turning into a duel where the last team to score was going to end up with the win. Mary Schumar scored — with some really cool shot fakes — to put MU in front with 12:48 to go in the fourth, and Kylie Hazen answered for Georgetown — with the first free position shot goal of the game, no less — to tie it at nine less than a minute later. But if you dig into the box score, you’ll see that Marquette flipped Georgetown’s shot advantage in the third quarter. After the Hoyas had the advantage in both of the first two periods, MU outshot Georgetown 11-6 in the third quarter. It didn’t turn into goals, but the flow of the game was going their way.
That started to pay off as the fourth went along. LaMotte scored 39 seconds after Hazen’s goal to kick off a 4-0 Marquette run that had two Elise Smigiel markers in between the starter and finisher from LaMotte. Both of Smigiel’s goals were physically impressive, as she used her 6-foot frame to get up in the air to snag a pass from Schumar and slam it home, and then she posted up a defender to the left of the net and spun towards the endline to score. None of this is to disregard the physical nature of LaMotte’s goal that put Marquette up 13-9 with 6:27 to go, as she took a pummeling getting out in front and got the shot off before she lost her footing and crashed to the carpet.
The official team Twitter calling that insurance is a perfect description, as that LaMotte goal ended up being the game winner. While the clock was Marquette’s friend as the game wore on, Georgetown spent a 70 second window turning this one back into a competitive contest. Diamond scored twice just 30 seconds apart, and that was followed with a Bakes goal 40 seconds later to make it 13-12 with 3:19 to play. Still very much anyone’s ball game, and things were tilting towards Georgetown.
Things tilted a little further when the Hoyas came up with the ensuing draw control, giving them a fresh 90 seconds to find the tying goal. The play of the game might just be Molly Powers forcing the ball away from Hazen and then scooping it up off the turf with 2:34 to play. Marquette was able to clear it, burn some clock, and then Shea Garcia found Soccodato for the final goal of the game.
Socco-dagger is such a good turn of a phrase, I’m very jealous that I didn’t come up with it.
There was still 1:45 to play, though, and while that’s enough time for Marquette to burn the game away if they won the draw — and they did — it was still enough time for Georgetown to get a quick goal and have a solid chance to tie it. So, when Soccodato lost possession and Georgetown scooped it up with 1:27 to go, this thing was still not over. Shouts to Amanda Rumsey, as she made her 10th save of the game to stonewall Diamond and stop her from getting her sixth goal of the game with 68 seconds left, and that gave MU a chance to hold the ball and end the game.
Mary Schumar finishes top of the chart in points in this one, dishing out four assists and scoring a goal of her own to get to five. That beats out Kyra LaMotte who finished with four goals as well as Lydia Foust who had her three first half goals and an assist as well to end on four points in total. Schumar now has 41 assists on the season, which is just the second 40 assist season in program history, and she sits just two helpers behind Cate Soccodato’s 2019 campaign which set the team record at 43. With at least two more games guaranteed to be played this season, I feel like it’s only a matter of time before Schumar sets a new standard.
Wanna watch some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette closes out the regular season next Saturday afternoon out in Colorado when they make the trip out to face Denver. First draw in that one is set for 2pm Central time. With Denver at 4-0 in the league and Marquette at 3-1, the Pioneers have already claimed at least a share of the Big East regular season title, but the Golden Eagles have an opportunity to grab a share of it as well as opening the door to 3-1 Connecticut turning it into a three-way tie. If MU gets the win next weekend against Denver, the Golden Eagles will be the #1 seed in the conference tournament. Denver is 14-1 on the year after beating Villanova 16-8 on Saturday, and they currently hold an eight game winning streak since their loss to then-#1 Boston College. The Pios, who were ranked #9 in the country last week, will put that streak on the line on Wednesday night at home against in-state rival Colorado.