Marquette Falls to No. 5 Notre Dame, 17-9

Julianna Shearer

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March 28, 2016

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MILWAUKEE -- The Marquette University women's lacrosse team put forth a strong effort in its non-conference finale, but in the end, fifth-ranked Notre Dame was too much to handle en route to a 17-9 result at Valley Fields on Monday afternoon.

Eight Golden Eagles found the back on the net with Julianna Shearer leading the way with the lone multi-goal effort. The Westminster, Maryland native recorded two goals on a team-high seven shots, including three on goal, while Marquette amassed 17 total shots on target overall. Notre Dame had three players record three goals, led by Rachel Sexton who also added two assists in the win. The Fighting Irish (10-2) finished the afternoon with 27 shots on goal.

"I think it was a good response from Friday's performance (against Denver)," head coach Meredith Black said. "I thought we could have taken advantage of some more opportunities, putting the ball in the back of the net a couple more times in the second half would have made a big difference. You can't let a team like Notre Dame get too big of a lead and I thought we allowed that by coming out a little flat to start the second half. Overall, though, I thought we played pretty well and I'm happy with our performance."

ND got off to a quick start, rattling off three straight tallies and forcing the Golden Eagles (3-7) to call an early timeout. MU would answer by responding with three-in-a-row to square the contest at 3-3.

"I just said `Listen, we felt now what they're fast break looks like, we're settled in. Let's be aggressive and be confident," Black said of her team's response following Notre Dame's quick start. "When we did that, we were able to have some success."

After Amanda Bochniak pulled MU to within one at 5-4, Notre Dame would go on to score five of the next six goals to take a 10-5 lead. MU scored two straight to end the half, entering the locker room with a 10-7 deficit.

The two squads combined to fire 25 shots in the first stanza, led by Notre Dame which recorded 15 attempts on goal.

After a scoring frenzy during much of the first half, and the opening minutes of the second, both teams went on a 12-minute scoring drought, which resulted in multiple missed opportunities for Marquette.

Notre Dame would end the drought by scoring three consecutive goals and commanding a 15-8 lead.

The two teams would again increase their scoring outputs, recording six total goals in the final 12 minutes of play.

MU goalie Sarah Priem finished in double figures in saves with 10 and added three ground balls and a caused turnover in the loss. ND goalie Samantha Giacolone made eight saves in earning the win. 

The Golden Eagles concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule and will now enter the final seven games of the regular season facing BIG EAST opponents, beginning with Villanova on Saturday, April 2.

"We played some really strong non-conference opponents and battled them tough," Black said. "That should be a good message to the team heading into conference play that we are capable of performing at a really high level and we need to learn how to do it consistently. If we can do that, take care of the ball a little better and play confidently, I think we'll make some pretty big strides down the stretch."

Five of Marquette's 10 opponents this season were either ranked among the top-20 teams or receiving votes in one of the major polls. MU went 0-5 against those teams, but put together a 3-2 record and outscored its opponents by a total of 59-35 in games against unranked teams.

The Golden Eagles will face unranked Villanova in Philadelphia for the BIG EAST opener on Saturday, April 2 with first draw slated for an 11 a.m. Central time start.




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