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Marquette And UC Davis Just Kept Scoring Goals

The Golden Eagles hold off the Aggies’ late push to return to Milwaukee with a 19-17 victory

Mary Schumar
Mary Schumar was flying around for Marquette against UC Davis.
Marquette University

Back in 2015, Marquette women’s lacrosse played UC Davis for the first ever (and before Sunday, only) meeting between the two teams. Your final in overtime: Marquette 5, UC Davis 4. I don’t think I’m stepping out of bounds to say that this was not the world’s most wonderful lacrosse game to watch, not even in the pre-shot clock era.

Apparently, even though both rosters have turned over twice since that game happened, both programs have some residual guilt about that 5-4 result embedded in them. Why do I say this? Because they spent Sunday making up for it.

The Golden Eagles and the Aggies combined for THIRTY-SIX goals at UC Davis Health Stadium, dancing in between the raindrops in northern California to keep the twine on both nets shaking at all times. In the end, it was YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles who took the win, coming out ahead 19-17. MU is now 5-1 on the year, the best start in program history, with only a competitive loss to then-#3 Northwestern marring their record.

It looked like, to start the game, that Marquette was going to run wild. The Golden Eagles scored three goals on their first six shots of the game, all in the first four minutes, all before the Aggies got off even one shot and as they committed two turnovers along the way. That 3-0 lead turned into 5-1 by the five minute mark of the first quarter, and while there’s still 50 minutes of lacrosse to go, you could see how this was going to keep going in Marquette’s direction.

UCD’s Grace Gebhardt disagreed with that assessment, and she scored twice in the final five minutes to make it 5-3 heading to the second quarter, and apparently her teammates felt emboldened by seeing the ball go in the net. Before five minutes wound off the clock into the second period, it was 8-6 favoring the home team, and this game was officially going cuckoo bananas. Lydia Foust got the engine back in gear for Marquette to start off a 3-0 burst for the Golden Eagles, but UCD added two more before the half ended, and the home team went to the locker room up 10-9. The difference in the game at the moment? Marquette goalie Brynna Nixon getting called for a foul with two minutes left in the half. That meant a free position shot for Gebhardt, and since the foul was on Nixon, by rule, she had to be standing behind Gebhardt for the attempt. Yes, that meant MU’s net was unattended and undefended and yes, it was The World’s Easiest Goal.

I think it’s safe to say that Marquette won the game in the third quarter. After the two teams combined for 19 goals in the first 30 minutes, there were just five scored in the third period..... and all five belonged to the Golden Eagles. Neither team got one in for the first seven minutes, but Foust’s second of the day triggered the start of Marquette’s 5-0 run.

That one pulled Marquette even at 10-10, and Leigh Steiner’s goal with just over a minute to go in the quarter made it 14-10 Golden Eagles with 15 minutes to play. That one was her second straight goal and third of the day. That gave her a hat trick, which was her first since going for three goals in the 2022 season opener. Steiner missed all but the first two games of the 2022 campaign with an injury, and this was her second multi-goal game of the 2023 season. If she’s getting on track..... well, as the official team Twitter said, look out.

Foust scored to break the ice on the fourth quarter and turn it into a 6-0 Marquette run and put MU up 15-10 with 13:59 to go. A quality lead, but it’s lacrosse, and specifically lacrosse against a team that put up nine goals in 20 minutes in the first half. MU had an advantage, but they were going to have to close this one out. All they had to really do was trade goals with the Aggies, and that’s what Marquette did. Back and forth for the next nine minutes, and Foust scored — yes, again — with 5:12 to go to post the game’s only woman-up goal as well as MU’s only free position goal on MU’s only FPS attempt.

19-14 Marquette, just over five to play. Same margin as with just under 14 to play, just later on. A little bit safer, but not entirely safe. UC Davis got two goals just 37 seconds apart to make it a 19-16 game with 3:57 to play, and that definitely changed the tenor of the thing. Marquette used a timeout to gather themselves and their thoughts, but it wasn’t looking particularly great when the Aggies won the ensuing draw. Winning draws was a problem all game long for Marquette, one of the best DC teams in the country to this point of the year, as UCD would end up with a 23-17 advantage on that line on the stat sheet at the end of the game.

But UC Davis couldn’t get a quick look, and the clock was Marquette’s friend here. More than a minute went by, and finally Brooke Tokushige lost control of the ball, Nixon picked it up for Marquette, and they got a much needed clearance to burn some more clock. The Golden Eagles used most of the shot clock before giving the ball back to UC Davis, but by the time they got it clear into their offensive end, there was only 79 seconds left to play. Gebhardt tacked on one final FPS goal, one of seven on 10 tries in the game, but Steiner came up with one last draw control for Marquette and they were able to play keep away with their two goal advantage.

Because that’s how it goes sometimes, I went this entire recap without mentioning Mary Schumar a single time. That’s hard to do, because she had a hand in nine of Marquette’s 19 goals. Four went in off her own stick, and she had the helper on five more. Leigh Steiner and Lydia Foust matched her in goals with four each to tie for the team high on the day, and Shea Garcia scored three times as well. Brynna Nixon made six saves, with all of them coming in the middle two quarters, to get the win here, and she led the team in ground balls with three as well.

How about some highlights, courtesy of and UC Davis’s Facebook page?

Up Next: It might be Spring Break on campus, but that’s not going to stop Marquette from getting in some games. The Golden Eagles will return to Milwaukee for their next contest and will play a two-fer on Thursday and Sunday. It will be Niagara coming up at noon on March 16th and Louisville coming to town on March 19th. The Purple Eagles are 6-2 on the year after beating Delaware 12-11 in overtime on Saturday, while the Cardinals are 4-3 with a pair of losses to ranked opponents already. They’ll host UNC on Thursday before coming up north for Sunday’s game.