The good news from Thursday night at Valley Fields was that Marquette women’s lacrosse was within a goal, 13-12, of the #3 team in the country for three of the four quarters of the game, and also because MU tallied up 14 goals in the game, Mary Schumar was able to record a team record eight assists on the night.
The bad news is that Northwestern is the #3 team in the country, and that’s why they outscored Marquette 8-2 in the second quarter and used that six goal edge to get themselves a 21-14 win over the Golden Eagles. The loss ends Marquette’s three game winning streak to start the season, but we can’t say that it’s not MU’s best start to the season any more because the Golden Eagles have never been 3-1 before this year. Small blessings, etc.
Officially, this one goes in the book as a come from behind victory for Northwestern, as Meg Bireley opened up the scoring in the game to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. Northwestern scored the next three, Marquette tied it at three and again at 4, but a marker in the final minute from Erin Coykendall gave the visiting Wildcats a 5-4 advantage after 15 minutes was done. A good first quarter for Marquette: Struck first, took a punch from the #3 team in the country, fired their own punch back, kept it tied with a minute to go.
Unfortunately, Coykendall’s goal was the first of four straight for the Wildcats as they took an 8-4 lead at the 8:20 mark of the second quarter. Bireley scored to break it up, and then Northwestern threw in four more in a row for a 12-5 lead. Not great! The two sides traded goals in the final minute of the quarter, so it was still a seven goal NU advantage at halftime.
If the lopsided second quarter didn’t make it clear what was going on in this game, the start of the third quarter did. While Marquette scored first, Northwestern scored the next three, with two of them coming as part of the eight on the day from Izzy Scane. 16-7 Northwestern, 7:47 left in the third. Scane scored two more, technically just 23 seconds apart but across the third and fourth quarter breaks, and it was 18-9. Marquette fell victim to the 10 goal running clock rule shortly thereafter, so in a way, it’s actually kind of neat that the Golden Eagles were able to get this thing within seven at the final horn after trailing 19-9 with 14:21 to go and the clock continuously running.
For the record, Schumar barely got the single game assists record. She got it on Marquette’s final goal of the game, a strike from Hannah Greving with just 19 seconds remaining. If MU doesn’t manage to finagle the margin back under 10, she would have run out of time to pull it off.
Schumar’s eight assists were enough to give her the points lead on the night for Marquette, although Meg Bireley wasn’t far behind with a team high five goals and an assist. Tess Osburn came off the bench to tally a hat trick for the Golden Eagles, while Lydia Foust put up two each for goals and assists.
Considering that Marquette got outshot 51-30 in this game, it could have been so much worse, so a big tip of the cap to Brynna Nixon, who posted 11 saves to keep Marquette neck and neck with the #3 team in the country for 75% of the game. She also had a team high six ground balls.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports? There’s no PBP early on because there was no PBP on the broadcast early on either.
Up Next: Marquette is off until March. Sounds impressive, but it’s not. The Golden Eagles will take a little bit more than a week off before hosting Detroit Mercy on Sunday, March 5th. First draw against the Titans at Valley Fields will be at 12pm Central time. UDM is 1-1 so far this season with the win coming as an 11-10 road conquest of first year program Xavier. They’ll host Butler this Sunday before coming to Milwaukee the following week.