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Marquette Bests Central Michigan

The Golden Eagles have matched the program record for road wins thanks to the pair of W’s in Michigan this weekend.

Isabelle Casucci
Isabelle Casucci had a hat trick to help lead Marquette on the offensive end.
Marquette University

I don’t know if there was ever a true turning point, an inflection point, whatever you want to call it as Marquette women’s lacrosse beat Central Michigan 17-9 in Mount Pleasant on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Eagles picked up their ninth win of the season — one short of the program record for a season with seven games to play — and moved to 5-0 on the road this season — tying a program record for road W’s in a season — merely by, in the words of John Cena, forcing CMU to feel them.

Central Michigan actually led in this game. Audrey Whiteside and Sadie Hinkle scored 43 seconds apart early in the first quarter to answer MU’s Tess Osburn and her game opening goal, so it was 2-1 Chippewas with 10 minutes to go in the first frame. Marquette answered with three straight in a three minute window, including two straight from Hannah Greving. The second one isn’t going to go into the record books as the most spectacular play that you’ve ever seen, but it is one of the craftier goals you will ever see as Greving moves into open space as the defense slides to defend Leigh Steiner on the doorstep.

4-2 Marquette at that point, with still five minutes left to go in the quarter, and Shea Garcia answered a CMU goal just 21 seconds later to make it 5-3 heading to the second quarter. Like I said, forcing the Chips to feel them. That continued in the second quarter as the Golden Eagles held CMU without a goal for almost all of the first nine minutes of the quarter while tacking on three more of their own. 8-3 Marquette at the seven minute mark.

Central Michigan broke up the run with the second goal of the game for Whiteside, but Marquette got an answer just over two minutes later, this time from Greving, and once again, craftiness came into play.

This — not this particular play — has been happening a lot with Marquette this season. They’re getting tricksy with the free position attempts. Officially, Greving’s goal is not an FPS goal. She’s not the one who drew the foul, she’s not the one who started the FPS reset with the ball. But Marquette did score of the FPS attempt, and they repeatedly running set pieces off of FPS attempts, making a quick pass, in this case to someone charging up undefended from behind or sometimes across the fan, to find creative ways to score instead of letting the goalie get a good look at where the shot is coming from.

Greving’s third goal of the game there was the last goal of the half, sending Marquette to the locker room up 9-4 and riding an 8-2 run. Three goals here, four goals there. They’re not running away with the game, but CMU is becoming very aware of how much trouble they’re in... and Brynna Nixon making four of her seven saves in the second quarter helped spell that out.

That last goal of the first half was, like Garcia’s at the end of the first, the start of another 4-0 Marquette run bridging the quarter break, or in this case half break. Steiner scored 34 seconds into the third quarter as Marquette held the Chippewas without a goal for almost the entire first half of the third period. Tess Osburn made it 12-4 with 8:54 to play, and that is an 11-2 Marquette run spanning over half an hour. You’re going to win a lot of lacrosse games while taking more than half the game to go on an 11-2 run. CMU’s Kelly Hoyt broke up the run, but the Golden Eagles added on three more goals in the quarter — including a woman-down score by Osburn for her hat trick — to make it 15-5 and briefly activate the running clock before Hoyt turned it off with 45 seconds left in the third.

The running clock wouldn’t come back as Hoyt’s late 3rd quarter goal was the start of a 3-0 burst for the Chippewas. It was a largely fruitless run though, as that only made the game 15-8, and when it takes you 48 minutes to score eight times, you’re not scoring seven times in 12 minutes. Even if that wasn’t the case, MU tacked on two more goals, including a power play goal from freshman Isabelle Casucci to round out her hat trick with 9:34 to go.

Mary Schumar and Hannah Greving led Marquette in the points column with five each. Schumar got there all on assists, while Greving used a hat trick and two helpers. Tess Osburn and Isabelle Casucci tied with Greving in the goals column for the team lead there, while Leigh Steiner was runner up in the points department with a goal and three assists. MU’s active career scoring leaders — Shea Garcia and Lydia Foust — didn’t have bad days, not by a long stretch with both women scoring twice, but this is where Marquette’s offense is truly dangerous. When the other team has to respect your secondary options, that starts freeing up tons of space for your primary offensive tactics.

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Up Next: Big East play! Non-conference play isn’t over yet, MU has a home date with Ohio State lurking on April 4th, but for now, they’ll be off until next weekend when they start off conference action on the road. MU will be in Washington, D.C., for a tilt with Georgetown, with first draw scheduled for 2pm Central time on FloSports. The Hoyas are 5-6 after an 11-10 road loss to Penn on Sunday afternoon.