Marquette Routs Cal, 15-4, in Home Opener
Feb. 26, 2016
MILWAUKEE - The defense held steady, while the offense enjoyed the breakout performance it was looking for as the Marquette University women's lacrosse team cruised to a 15-4 rout over visiting California to register a victory in a chilly home opener at Valley Fields on Friday.
The 11-goal margin of victory for MU is the largest in the program's four-year history, while the 15 goals ties the most for the Golden Eagles since a 15-9 win over Detroit (3/2/14).
MU finished the contest with a distinct advantage in shots, outshooting California 37-14 and forcing the Golden Bears into 23 miscues throughout.
"We changed our focus from not just getting better each game, but finding that will to win, which I think we had overlooked," head coach Meredith Black said after the win. "Our team responded and came out with that mentality and that attitude the whole game."
The Golden Eagles (1-3) started quickly, continuing a trend of scoring the first goal in each of their four contests this season.
Junior Amanda Bochniak opened the scoring at the 27:05 mark with a free-position goal in the first half, followed by a Hayley Baas tally just 2 minutes later. After California (0-2) netted its first goal of the game, MU would go on to score five straight to end the half, taking a 7-1 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Golden Eagles finished the first stanza with a 23-4 advantage in shots, and forced 15 California turnovers. MU owned possession during much of the half, limiting the miscues to just seven.
"Our defense has always been the heart of this team," Black said. "Today, led by Kayce Haverstick, the unit was strong and they played together. They're capable of holding great teams to small amounts of goals when they dig in."
Elizabeth Pellechi would put Cal back on the board in the second half with 28:29 left in the game, but the Golden Eagles would respond with four of the next five goals and open up an eight-goal advantage.
"Nothing can match being at home," Black said after playing its first home game after three straight on the road. "We had a great crowd. The weather was great; it was cold, but for us this is awesome. We were in our element."
Marquette will stay at Valley Fields to conclude the weekend with Colorado on Sunday, Feb. 28. First draw is set for 1 p.m.
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