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Marquette’s Season Ends In The Big East Semifinals

The Golden Eagles couldn’t mount enough of a comeback against Georgetown.

Shea Garcia
Shea Garcia tied for the team lead in points in her final game as a Golden Eagle.
Marquette University

In the regular season meeting between Marquette and Georgetown, the Golden Eagles sprinted out to an early lead before finally holding off the Hoyas down the stretch.

The Big East women’s lacrosse tournament semifinal this past Thursday evening? Things went the other way.

The Hoyas went up 5-1 in the first eight minutes, and while Marquette closed it to a one goal game midway through the third quarter, Georgetown was able to punch back and hold them off. Your final from Denver: Georgetown 17, Marquette 13. The Hoyas advanced to Saturday’s title game, while Marquette’s season came to an end with a record of 8-10.

Things started off as they do, with the two teams trading goals in the first two minutes. The next six minutes went towards the Hoyas, as four different players tallied a goal, all unassisted, two on free position attempts, and it was 5-1 GU with 7:15 left in the first quarter. Since MU had gotten their goal from Lydia Foust? Two total shots by Marquette. Georgetown scored their first three goals of the run without Marquette even touching the ball as they played make it/take it lacrosse. Emma Soccodato put one in to snap the run with a little under two minutes left in the period, but GU’s Emma Gebhardt pulled it back to keep it at a four goal margin, 6-2, after one quarter. Less than three minutes into the second, and Ali Diamond’s second marker of the game made it 7-2.

Yes, there was over 42 minutes left in the game, but as it played out, this is where the game ended. Marquette’s biggest problems to this point were A) not having the ball and B) not getting stops. Amanda Rumsey made the start in what will end up being her final game with Marquette, and she made one save in the first quarter, on Kylie Hazen with 5:28 to go, and then head coach Meredith Black pulled her for freshman Brynna Nixon. Marquette committing two turnovers on their first two possessions of the second frame did Nixon no favors, and while she stopped the first shot on goal she faced, the second one was Diamond’s goal. To this point, Marquette was getting outshot 15-6. Georgetown was popping off shots every 72 seconds, and that’s how you end up down five goals.

Marquette got their act together after this. The next three goals of the game all came off MU sticks and kicked off an 8-4 burst for the Golden Eagles that carried all the way into the midway point of the third quarter. Marquette was able to take advantage of two Georgetown penalties along the way, with Meg Bireley scoring both goals with the woman advantage to push her towards a hat trick at the end of the day. Kyra LaMotte’s 43rd goal of the season was the final Marquette goal in that run, and that made it 11-10 Hoyas with 8:09 to go in the third.

The next time Marquette had possession of the ball, they were down 13-10. Georgetown won the draw after LaMotte’s goal, and then won the ensuing draw after Hazen scored and then tacked on a strike from Erin Bakes. Toss in a turnover and penalty by Mary Schumar, womp, 14-10, two minutes left in the period. Georgetown scored after winning the first draw of the fourth quarter, and it’s 15-10 with 14:18 to play, and it’s like the intervening 28 minutes never happened.

Marquette would get two goals, including Bireley’s third, yet again on the EWO, to make it 15-12 with just under 10 to play, but Marquette had just let too much time go by at this point. Georgetown clawed two goals back, making it 17-12 with seven minutes to go, and that was that.

Bireley had an assist to get to four points in her first ever Big East tournament game, and she shared the team lead with Shea Garcia (2G, 2A). Lydia Foust also had a hat trick for the Golden Eagles on the day. Nixon ended up making five saves in her 45 minutes of relief work. While MU nearly made it stand up for her, the Hoyas scored on all three shots that they attempted in the fourth quarter, and that’s generally speaking not super great.

With the season over, we have to say THANK YOU to the Marquette seniors. In addition to grad transfers Kyra LaMotte and Amanda Rumsey, Thursday’s semifinal game was also the final game at Marquette for Caroline Blandford, Rebecca Cappaert, Lydia Foust, Delaney Friel, Shea Garcia, Ellie Henry, Maria Mulvihill, and Lauren Shaw. It’s been a strange time in college for all of these women what with the 2020 season getting shut down midway through and the 2021 season involving more COVID protocols than you can shake a lacrosse stick at. But they kept at it and kept working, and kept pushing even as this season took some weird twists and turns, mostly due to injuries to their teammates. They became the first ever senior class at Marquette to ever play for a Big East title when it was on the line against Denver in the regular season finale, and if we’re being quite honest about it: Being within a goal of the opponent with 22 minutes to play is the best performance that Marquette has had in a Big East tournament game.

The overall record might not show it this season, but the program brushed up against new heights this season, and a lot of that is because of all of the work and hustle and sweat that these women put into their team. Not just this year, but through their whole time in Milwaukee as well. We send them a gigantic THANK YOU for everything that they have done for Marquette, and wish them nothing but the best in whatever comes next for them.