I spent most of Thursday night thinking that the western net at Engelmann Stadium on the east side of Milwaukee had a magnet attached to it or built into it.
After all, shots were 9-1 favoring Marquette in the first half when they were shooting at that net and Milwaukee keeper Kendall Edwards. Three saves by Edwards in the opening 45 minutes kept things scoreless even with that shot differential running in the Golden Eagles’ favor.
Then, after halftime, it suddenly started to feel like whatever Marquette was doing right in the first half just went away. Overall, in the final 45 minutes, shots were 12-6 in favor of Milwaukee as they were the ones now sending balls in a westerly direction, now with MU’s Mikki Easter patrolling on that end.
But, then, in the 84th minute, Josie Bieda made a play, one that she had been working really hard to get a chance to make for most of the second half:
GOAL!!!! Josie Bieda battles through contact and MU has the lead with six minutes left! pic.twitter.com/zATQl5mzUx— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) September 8, 2023
She had to work to get that one too, but she did the work and it went sailing past Edwards to put the Golden Eagles up late. Both keepers would make one more save, with Easter’s stop coming just 25 seconds after Bieda’s goal, and that would be that. It’s Marquette’s second win of the season, and Bieda’s game winner is MU’s first run of play goal of the season, as it is just their second goal overall in six matches. The win snaps a 19 match home winning streak by the Panthers as well, and it moves the two squads back into a tie at 11-11-8 all time in this series.
All told, Easter made three saves in this match to record her third shutout of the season. It was also a much better performance overall by Marquette than last time out against UIC, as the Golden Eagles lost that match 3-0 on three very specific miscues that led to each of the Flames’ goals.
Up Next: Hopefully that overall better performance thing carries westward over the weekend. Marquette will return to action when they visit Wisconsin for a 1pm Central start on Sunday. The Badgers are 4-1-2 on the year after beating Loyola-Chicago 3-2 on Thursday night.