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Marquette Falls In Their Season Opener

And it wasn’t close, either

Mikki Easter
Mikki Easter made six saves but didn’t get much help on the three goals that she allowed.
Marquette University

The Marquette women’s soccer season got started on Thursday night. While it’s a long season, the first match of the campaign was decided pretty early. Thanks to a pair of goals in the first eight minutes, two goals just 44 seconds apart, put #15 Notre Dame up 2-0. That first goal was enough, and thanks to an 18-1 shot advantage, the Irish held off Marquette and handed them the 3-0 defeat.

Let’s take a look at the goals and see if there was really anything Marquette could have done about them.

First one, from Olivia Wingate, in the 7th minute:

Yeah, that’s not the kind of defense you want to see in the first 10 minutes against the #16 team in the country.

Goal #2, just seconds later, from Leah Klenke:

Okay, a weird one given the bounce and so forth, but given that Marquette had just gone down 1-0 less than a minute earlier, that needed to be handled much better.

It was 2-0 at intermission, and Wingate made it 3-0 in the 74th minute:

That one feels more like great play by Wingate, but it’s also not great news for Marquette that they had to be scrambling back that hard while down 2-0 and getting outshot as badly as they were…. But also if they wanted to have any chance to make a rally they had to push forward, so we’ll call it a wash?

Marquette’s lone shot in the game came in the second half. Tennessee transfer Isabella Cook was the shooter, missing wide right. The bigger problem? That shot didn’t come until after the Irish were up 3-0. Cook was one of five players making their Marquette debut on Thursday night as head coach Frank Pelaez dug deep into his bench to use 19 different women along the way. The most notable absence from the lineup? Josie Kelderman, who is apparently still working her way back from the knee injury that cost her all of the 2021 campaign.

Keeper Mikki Easter made the start and went the full 90 minutes. If there’s a piece of good news for the night, it’s that Easter made six saves, two in the first half and four in the second, to keep the Irish to just three markers.

Up Next: Marquette will stay out on the road and travel a bit up north for their next contest. They’ll be in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, for a Sunday afternoon clash with Central Michigan. That match, set for a 12pm Central time start, will be the Chippewas’ home opener after falling 1-0 on the road against Morehead State on Thursday night.