Marquette women’s soccer took advantage of a verrrrrry early goal to smother out Western Michigan and secure a 2-0 win in their non-conference finale on Thursday night. The victory moves the Golden Eagles to 4-3-1 through their first eight matches of the season.
As mentioned, Marquette got on the board extremely early in this one. Not only was it in the fourth minute of the game, but it was also on the very first shot of the contest.
GOAL!!!— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) September 16, 2022
Maggie Starker gives the Golden Eagles the early lead in the fourth minute. Campana and Twombly assist on the goal. pic.twitter.com/Mv3PXpkBRX
That’s just high quality textbook soccer. Alex Campana pushes it down the sideline around the defender to Elsi Twombly who maintains control and knocks it to the middle for Starker to easily pop it into the net. Literally could not have drawn it up better.
Western Michigan started to show signs of life after falling behind so quickly, rattling off the next three shots of the game over the next nine minutes. This is something of a key point of the match here: The underlaying statistics make it look kind of even. MU won on shots, 13-10; very few corners with the Golden Eagles holding a 3-2 advantage at the end of 90 minutes, fouls were almost perfectly even at 12-11. But that early goal gave Marquette the opportunity to dictate how things were going.
It could have been 2-0 a little earlier than it was as Starker had MU’s second shot of the match cleared off the line by a WMU defender instead of keeper Hanna Sargent. It took til the 44th minute of the match for the Golden Eagles to find the back of the net again, and this time it was a different trio of players combining for the goal and two assists.
44' | MU - 2 | WMU - 0— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) September 16, 2022
Kate Gibson scores the second goal of the match near the end of the first half! pic.twitter.com/hrK3mDjIWX
The video jumps in after Isabella Cook feeds Josie Bieda, and it’s a mostly simple pass to Kate Gibson from there. Gibson realizes that she has an open space, both relative to defenders and Sargent’s placement at the moment and she takes a quick swing on it to catch the inside of the post and deflect it in past Sargent.
2-0 heading to the locker room, and Marquette’s defense made life easy for Mikki Easter after she subbed in for starting keeper Chloe Olson at halftime. Olson had made one save in the first half, but Easter didn’t have to make one at all after intermission on just three WMU shots.
It was the first goal of the year for Starker, and that combined with Gibson’s goal leaves them tied for the second most points on the team right now with four. Both women trail Cook, who has six on two goals and now two assists after the helper on Gibson’s marker. Cook and Gibson are the only two Golden Eagles with more than one goal on the year as Marquette heads into Big East action.
Up Next: Marquette starts off conference action with a pair of road contests next weekend. First up is DePaul on Thursday afternoon because Wish Field still doesn’t (and presumably never will) have lights. First kick against the 2-5-0 Blue Demons is set for 4pm Central. After that, it’s a quick trip down the road to see Butler on Sunday, September 25th. The Bulldogs are 3-4-1 at the moment and will start Big East action against Xavier next Thursday before MU comes to town.