After Marquette women’s lacrosse needed to hang on to the final horn to beat Niagara on Thursday, it felt like the Golden Eagles could use a much more definitive performance against Louisville on Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields.
They got it. It was competitive, it was entertaining, it was good, but at the end of the day, Marquette stacked up a 5-1 run over the final 18 minutes of the game to turn a 10-10 tie into a 15-11 victory. That’s a much more declarative statement of a win than holding on while the Purple Eagles threw goals in late. With the win, Marquette is now 7-1 on the season as the best start in program history continues and only #3 Northwestern has figured out a way to defeat the Golden Eagles.
It was a back and forth first quarter, although Marquette wasn’t winning draw controls, something that they have excelled at all season long. A goal from UL’s Nicole Perroni with less than 90 seconds to play made it 3-3 heading to the second frame. MU’s luck on draws turned around at the start of the second period as Josie Krupp started taking them, but the goals were going in for the Cardinals. The visitors scored the first three goals of the quarter to take a 6-3 lead at the midway point…. But only just barely as MU’s Lydia Foust tallied at the 7:24 mark, six seconds past midway, to break the run. That would the start of a 3-1 push for Marquette til halftime, so it was 7-6 favoring Louisville as the two teams huddled up at the intermission.
That turned into 8-6 less than a minute into the second half as Allegra Catalano took advantage of a penalty against the Golden Eagles for her third goal of the game. That’s particularly notable since she came into the game with just one goal all season so far. Marquette’s defense buckled up for a while, holding the Cardinals without a goal for the next eight minutes. In the meantime, MU went on a tear on the other end. Hannah Greving pitched in a goal at the 9:35 mark of the third to start off a 4-0 Golden Eagles run that took less than three minutes to get through. That had them up 10-8, but UL’s Hannah Morris broke up the run just 39 seconds later. Yet another goal from Catalano tied the game at 10 with 3:31 left in the period, and it definitely felt like this was going to be a battle til the end.
And then the defense picked up again. That goal from Catalano would mark the start of a more than nine minute long stretch by the Golden Eagles where they held UL without a goal again. Lydia Foust tallied late in the third to send Marquette into the fourth period with a one goal lead, and goals from Tess Osburn and Meg Bireley, both of whom had a hat trick in this one, in just a shade over the first four minutes of the fourth meant Marquette was up 13-10. Morris made it 13-11 with 8:48 to go. Was that battle looming again?
Maybe, but that’s as close as it got. MU would answer Morris’ goal with a strike from Leigh Steiner just over two minutes later to make it a three goal margin again… and then MU just made solid play after solid play. The biggest play that happened in there was Brynna Nixon coming up with a save, one of 12 in the game for her, with 2:52 to play, and Ellie Henry snagged the ground ball to get Marquette clear to the other end to burn off the clock. Emma Soccodato provided the exclamation point with less than a minute to go, and that’s how you close up a win.
Mary Schumar led the Golden Eagles with seven points, getting there on two goals and a game high five assists. Both Meg Bireley and Tess Osburn tallied hat tricks as part of a group of four women with three points on the day. Henry’s late ground ball gave her five on the day, and that goes along with five draw controls and a team high three caused turnovers. Josie Krupp led the team in draw controls with seven as she turned the tide of that part of the game once she started taking them.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
Up Next: Marquette will be out on the road for a pair of games next weekend as they try to keep this start to the season going. First it will be Eastern Michigan on Friday morning at 10am Central, and then they’ll stay in the Mitten State until Sunday for a date with Central Michigan on Sunday morning with first draw set for 11am there. The Eagles are 1-5 on the year after a 16-3 loss to #17 Michigan on Sunday, while the Chippewas are 2-5 following a 9-4 loss at home to Cincinnati on Friday afternoon.