Two second half goals less than eight minutes apart were the difference on Wednesday afternoon in Minnesota as YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles rallied to beat St. Thomas, 2-1. MU is now 3-2-1 on the season and have won consecutive matches for the first time this season.
The first half ended with the match still scoreless and shots tied at four each. St. Thomas’ shots were the most productive, as they induced MU keeper Chloe Olson to make two saves to keep the match level. You could still argue (as the team Twitter did) that Marquette was a bit more productive though, as they had five corner kicks to the Tommies’ 1 after 45 minutes.
The second half started with the home team grabbing the shots advantage out of the gate, and then 102 seconds into the second period, this happened.
I mean, come on, what is anyone supposed to do with that? Maybe if Chloe Olson was six inches taller, sure, then she has a chance. That’s just a ball hucked in the general direction of the net, and it carried in. You can’t possibly tell me that Camryn Rintoul legitimately thought that was going to turn into a shot on goal when she let it rip much less actually beat Olson. I mean, look at this:
Rintoul is the blonde player on the left side of the screen, Olson is the keeper in the neon on the right. It’s not like she was trying to catch Olson way out of the box or something! A bit of skill to launch it that far, sure, but also heavy doses of luck involved here. Can’t be the slightest bit upset about it.
Anyway, 1-0, but still more than 43 minutes of soccer left to go. If shots attempted is a measure of how a game went, then Marquette clearly got pissed off and locked things up after Rintoul’s goal. The Tommies would not get another shot off until the final three minutes of the match.
But while they had the advantage in play, it wasn’t turning into goals. At least it wasn’t turning into goals until Isabella Cook took a rocket launcher to a feeble UST attempt to clear a corner kick in the 61st minute:
66' | Isa Cook with her second of the season ties the match at 1-1. pic.twitter.com/pJ88Lcv9Bd— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) September 8, 2022
Much like Rintoul’s goal, there was nothing the keeper was doing about that strike from the transfer from Tennessee. That’s definitely on the St. Thomas defense for lightly deflecting that corner kick out towards Cook as opposed to.... I don’t know, literally any other decision, really.
The literal next shot of the game came in the 68th minute.
Elizabeth Bueckers, a transfer from IUPUI, nets her first goal as a Golden Eagle in her first start with the team. 2-1 MU at the 69:23 mark. pic.twitter.com/jW8axCO8is— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) September 8, 2022
That’s Maggie Starker sliding a perfectly placed pass to Bueckers right as the window to slide said pass was closing on her. No one was getting to that ball other than Bueckers, and the three defenders near Starker weren’t going to recover to help the attack on the net. Wonderful play to create the chance and a terrific strike by the IUPUI grad transfer for the game winner.
Marquette generated two more quality looks just seconds apart in the 83rd minute, one from Cook and one from Aislinn Boyle, but both were saved by UST keeper Annie Bantner to prevent the Golden Eagles from tacking on some insurance. That possession kept on going with two more corner kicks as MU tried to keep the game tilted into their offensive end. As mentioned a little while back, St. Thomas did get one final chance, but an 88th minute shot from Kaitlynn Delveaux came up empty and UST’s only corner kick of the second half — and only their second of the game — turned into nothing as well before MU closed it out for the win.
Cook’s equalizer was her second goal of the season, making her the first Golden Eagle to score twice this fall. As expected then, she leads the team in points with five, although there is a 10-way tie for second place with two points. That tie includes both Bueckers thanks to her winner in this one as well as Starker, who had her second assist of the year on that goal.
Up Next: Marquette will stay up in the Twin Cities until Sunday when they will face Minnesota. First kick with the Gophers is scheduled for 1pm Central time and the match will be streamed on B1G+. Minnesota moved to 3-3-1 on the season on Thursday thanks to a 2-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha. Both goals came in the first half and the Gophers outshot the Mavericks 23-1 in that contest.