For about 18 minutes on Saturday afternoon in the Mile High City, it seemed like the sun was shining on Marquette women’s lacrosse. They had a 4-2 lead on the #10 team in the country at the end of the first quarter, and things were proceeding in roughly the same manner in the second quarter. It’s hard to not get excited about an early lead in a game where your team has a chance to win their first ever Big East championship.
And then Denver remembered that they’re the #10 team in the country AND that they just suffered their second loss of the season earlier this week AND that they were kind of peeved about how the last five quarters of lacrosse had gone.
The Pioneers scored five straight goals to start the scoring in the second quarter to take a 7-4 lead on Marquette, and then after the Golden Eagles broke that run, Denver started a 6-0 run that lasted from the 4 minute mark of the second quarter until just 18 seconds left in the third. 13-6 Denver there, and a woman-down goal by Shea Garcia with 18 seconds left in the third made it 13-7 with 15 minutes to play.
It was an 11-3 run by the home team, and that flipped the game in their favor. MU would score twice in the fourth, but quite obviously, that never had any impact on where the score was going in this game as the Pioneers got the 18-9 win to finish Big East play at 5-0 and secure sole control of the conference’s regular season title. Marquette wraps up at 3-2 with losses to the two ranked opponents that they played.
It’s not all bad news, I guess, even if how this played out wasn’t fun. MU traveled to Denver with a conference tournament berth already locked up but with the knowledge that they could still finish in any of the four spots in the semifinals. That changed on Friday as Georgetown not only shocked #14 Connecticut, but beat the doors off the Huskies, 22-12. As a result, that locked UConn into 4th place and Georgetown into third by way of tiebreakers between the two and with the Golden Eagles, no matter how Marquette’s game with Denver went. MU, GU, and UConn all finish at 3-2, and goal differential between the three — largely helped by the Hoyas thrashing the Huskies, obviously — locked MU into a top two spot before their Saturday game even started. The loss means the Golden Eagles are the #2 seed, and thus they manage to avoid playing either of the two teams that they lost to in league play in the semifinals and instead will face off against Georgetown.
Lydia Foust finished with a five point day for Marquette on a hat trick and two assists, while Shea Garcia matched Foust in the goals department. It was, as you might have expected, a rough day for Amanda Rumsey in net, as she made just five saves in 60 minutes.
Up Next: It’s that Big East semifinals game against Georgetown! Denver is hosting the conference tournament, so MU will be staying in Colorado until Thursday, when they’ll play the Hoyas at 5pm Central time at Peter Barton Stadium. FloSports will have the stream of that contest, and if MU advances to the title game on Saturday — it would be their first ever BE championship game appearance if they do — that game will be on FS2.