Villanova's Fast Start Upends Marquette, 10-6
March 28, 2015
MILWAUKEE -- A furious finish proved to be too little, too late as the Marquette University women's lacrosse team dropped its BIG EAST opener to visiting Villanova University, 10-6, at Valley Fields this afternoon, March 28.
The Golden Eagles (4-7, 0-1 BIG EAST) scored the game's final four goals to trim what looked to be a convincing win for the Wildcats (7-4, 1-0 BIG EAST) into one that needed a little extra attention down the stretch. Villanova used an efficient first half to stake a 7-3 lead at the intermission, converting 7-of-10 shots into goals, and kept Marquette off the scoreboard for the first 17:07 of the second half.
"We let up too many goals in the first half," head coach Meredith Black said. "We can't let them score seven goals in the first half. I thought we played a really nice second half. We fought to the end really well and showed what we're capable of, but we can't let them put up seven goals in one half. It's too much."
Kelsey Denihan and Carolyn Dottino led the Wildcats with three goals apiece in the win, while Jessica Mucci dished out a game-high six assists. Marquette saw six different players reach the scoring column, led by Claire Costanza's 17th goal of the season.
Despite the loss, MU outshot Villanova, 23-16, while holding a 23-18 edge in ground balls and forcing 20 Wildcat turnovers as compared to just 18 for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette opened the game by looking to maintain long possessions and did so for the most part. However, key turnovers would plague MU as Villanova capitalized en route to an early 4-0 lead less than midway through the first half.
Costanza finally got the Golden Eagles on the board with 14 minutes remaining in the opening stanza, but the Wildcats would add three unanswered on consecutive scores by Denihan to open a 7-1 advantage.
Hayley Baas gave MU a bit of momentum heading into halftime as she scored the half's final tally with 40 seconds remaining.
Just 3:41 into the second half, Meghan Breen made it 8-2, followed by two more scores by Dottino and Shannon Galvin to put the Wilcats up 10-2 with 18:08 remaining in regulation.
"They're fighters and not ones to give up," head coach Meredith Black said of her team's comeback effort to close out the game. "What we need to understand is the way we played the last 15 minutes, we're capable of playing like that for 60 minutes and we're still learning how to do that."
Showing great resolve, the Golden Eagles appeared hopeful to make a miraculous comeback, but there just wasn't enough time left to cut into the four-goal deficit any more.
Marquette will be back in action Saturday, April 4, as it heads to Storrs, Connecticut to take on UConn. First draw is set for 11 a.m. Central time.
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