Well, the good news is that Frank Pelaez and Marquette women’s soccer came away from their first weekend of action this fall with the best expected record of 1-1-0. That’s what happens when you open with two on the road and the first one is against the #16 team in the country.
However, the Golden Eagles went about acquiring their goals in their 2-1 win over Central Michigan in maybe the most awkward way possible.
The first half of soccer in Mount Pleasant was, to keep it brief, not good. Neither side managed a shot at all first nearly the entirety of the first 20 minutes of the game with CMU breaking through first just seconds before that barrier. MU didn’t get their first shot of the game until nearly the 35 minute mark, and given that the Golden Eagles had just one total shot against Notre Dame in the season opener, that’s not a good sign.
Eventually Marquette did start to show signs of a persistent push on offense, outshooting the Chips 5-3 across the first 45 minutes. In the final minute of the first half, that push turned into a corner kick that was taken by Molly Keiper, making her second appearance in a MU uniform after transferring from Villanova.
And it went in.
Molly Keiper had just checked into the match and her corner is deflected off a CMU defender for the opening score of the season. MU leads 1-0 at halftime. pic.twitter.com/jyYFXi0zOF— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) August 21, 2022
“It went in” is the most generous thing I can say about this. It was originally declared to be an own goal by the event staff at CMU, at least according to the streaming broadcast. About midway through the second half, MU’s Twitter mentioned that the scoring had been changed to give the goal to Keiper. I don’t disagree with the ruling, as an own goal should really have more of an obvious causation to put the ball in the net other than “it went off a defender’s shoulder to a spot where the keeper had no chance to stop it.” It’s just weird that it took that long to decide that to be the case.
Onwards to the second half, which was more of the same of the first half. You could probably say that Marquette was showing themselves to be the better side, but it’s not a strong statement. Neither side managed a shot after intermission up until grad transfer Elizabeth Bueckers was notably and obviously dragged down from behind in the box by a CMU defender. One of the more obvious penalty kick calls you’ll ever see in your life, as it was a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity. The only surprise about it is that it didn’t generate a yellow card, but it also wasn’t particularly violent, just from the blind side.
ANYWAY, Tennessee transfer Isabella Cook took to the spot and snapped it home for a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute.
65' | MU - 2 | CMU - 0 | Elizabeth Buechkers drew the foul in the box and Isa Cook did the rest! pic.twitter.com/fbtjJruJWY— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) August 21, 2022
Yes, I know it says 65th minute in the tweet. The play-by-play has it at 57:50. It took a minute to capture the video and post it. These things happen.
2-0 Marquette, just over 30 minutes to play, and the Golden Eagles have held Central Michigan without a shot in the second half so far. All they need to do is bring the ship in, annnnnnnd then Megan Logue decided to make up for her foul in the box on Bueckers.
Here is the look on Megan Logue's goal. #FireUpChips ⬆️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/AxJXau2RiD— CMU Women's Soccer (@CMU_W_Soccer) August 21, 2022
Honestly, that looks like a really great play by the Chips. Well placed, great aerial work by Logue to time it and beat MU keeper Mikki Easter to the back of the net.
But it came in the 80th minute. 2-1 Marquette, and the Golden Eagles managed to limit CMU to one final shot and a pair of rapid fire corner kicks, all in the final four minutes before securing the win.
A weird win, but a win nonetheless.
No assists on the day, so only Keiper and Cook tallied points for Marquette on the day. Easter made two saves, one in each half, to get the win on her ledger.
Up Next: Hopefully scoring a goal with passing and shooting like a normal soccer team! I kid, I kid. Mostly. For real, though, Marquette will be back in action on Thursday when they have their home opener. It will be UW-Milwaukee providing the opposition with a 7:30pm kickoff following the MU men’s team hosting #11 Tulsa to start their season at Valley Fields. That will be the first of three straight home dates for the Golden Eagles. The Panthers are 0-1-0 on the season after starting off with a road loss to Wake Forest on Thursday night.