The best and most historic season in Marquette women’s lacrosse history came to an end on Friday afternoon. The Golden Eagles fell behind Richmond early in the first round of the NCAA tournament and the Spiders used that edge to end up defeating MU 18-8 and eliminate the Golden Eagles from the tournament in the first round. MU’s season is now over, wrapping up with a record of 15-4 overall.
Officially, it goes in the book as a come from behind victory for Richmond, as Lydia Foust opened up the scoring in the game about three minutes in with a goal to put Marquette up 1-0. Unfortunately, Marquette wouldn’t score again until there was 9:30 left in the second quarter, and that marker from Tess Osburn made it a 5-2 game. That doesn’t sound too bad, sure — other than that “it took over 20 minutes to score two goals” part — but the underlying numbers tell the tale of where this thing was going. Richmond outshot Marquette 13-4 in the first quarter, with more than half of their shots coming on frame, and they outdid the Golden Eagles 5-2 on draw controls as well. Those shot numbers added up to 17-5 after Osburn’s free position strike, and the Spiders won the draw afterwards on their way to winning all six draws in the second quarter, which is bad news in a category that Marquette has been strong in all season long.
At the half: Richmond 9, Marquette 3.
You get the idea here.
Richmond scored the first two goals of the third quarter, but Marquette answered with three straight to make it 11-6 with 3:27 left in the frame. Lacrosse can be weird — see also MU’s 7-0 run in about five minutes against Connecticut in the Big East tournament — so this thing was hardly over at that point. However, Richmond then went on a 4-0 run of their own that stretched into the fourth quarter, making it 15-6 with 13 minutes to play. Facts are facts: The Spiders figured out what worked against Marquette and made it work, and even though the shots and draw controls evened out in the second half, we can’t say the same for Marquette. Shea Garcia broke up the UR run but two more goals from the Spiders within 90 seconds of her marker made it a 10 goal game and activated the running clock, and that was that for whatever little chance Marquette had left.
The aforementioned Shea Garcia had a fantastic day individually to wrap up the year, firing in five goals on just seven shots with all five of her shots on goal going in the net. She was the only Golden Eagle to tally multiple goals, although Lydia Foust finished with four points by tacking on three assists. Part of Marquette’s problems in this game? Richmond held Mary Schumar without a point and without a shot, and induced four turnovers from MU’s career and single season assists leader. Brynna Nixon had a bad day in net, making just six saves for the Golden Eagles, but that’s the kind of thing that happens when shots end up 36-20 against you and shots on goal are 24-13 against you, too.
With the season at a close, we have to say farewell to Marquette’s seniors. A big Anonymous Eagle THANK YOU goes out to Mary Blee, Claire Conway, Lydia Foust, Carrie Froemming, Shea Garcia, Colleen Graham, Hannah Greving, Ellie Henry, Kate Pearson, Mary Schumar, Emma Soccodato, and Leigh Steiner. It is not an understatement to say that this group of amazing women has literally redefined what it means to play for Marquette women’s lacrosse. We can see the record books being re-written, we can see the accolades coming in, we can see the wins stacking up on the field, we can see the accomplishments and we know about all of that stuff. The stuff we don’t see, the work, the sweat, the rehab from injuries, the perseverance through hard times, all of that kind of thing? That’s what has really redefined this program, and it’s these seniors leading the way and pushing things forward that has been a big part of what we got to witness this season. Thank you so very much for everything you have done for this program, both on and off the field, and Marquette fans everywhere wish you nothing but the best in whatever comes next for you.