Marquette Prevails Past Cincy On Senior Night, 8-7
Julianna Shearer, Riley Hill and Allison Lane led the way with two goals apiece for the Golden Eagles (7-10, 4-3 BIG EAST), who set single-season programs for overall wins and conference victories. Lane’s goal with 6:44 remaining ultimately proved as the game-winner after she snatched an errant Cincinnati pass and cashed in on a fast-break opportunity.
“I’m so proud of our team. Cincinnati played a great game, but we pulled it out,” head coach Meredith Black said. “We finished and I think if it was the same game in February, we might not have been able to come out with the win. We’ve really grown as a team and were able to overcome a close game. I’m so proud that we’ve won four games in the BIG EAST and been able to do what’s in our control to be in position for a BIG EAST (tournament berth).”
Marquette now awaits the conclusion of Saturday’s decisive match-up between Georgetown and Temple to determine the final two qualifiers for the four-team BIG EAST tournament set for May 5-7 in Washington, D.C.
A Georgetown victory solidifies the No. 4 seed for the Golden Eagles, while a Temple win by one, two or three goals could propel MU to the No. 3 seed. Should the Owls win by four or more goals, however, Marquette would actually miss out on the postseason tournament due to the tie-breaker based on goal differential.
Tonight’s regular season finale started as a defensive struggle as MU held a 1-0 lead until under 5 minutes to go in the first half when Sam Mlkvy got the Bearcats (4-13, 0-7 BIG EAST) on the board with 4:57 left before halftime. Marquette would take a narrow 3-1 advantage into the locker room thanks to a pair of first-half tallies by Julianna Shearer.
Cincinnati freshman Katie Stegmann opened the second-half scoring to close the gap to a goal, but a score by Hayley Baas extended the Marquette lead to two. However, Cincinnati scored two straight to pull even at four. From there, the game went back-and-forth until Marquette seized a 7-6 lead after Grace Gabriel cashed in off a rebound with 8:15 remaining and the Golden Eagles never trailed again.
After a goal by Lane, Mlkvy scored her third of the game to draw the Bearcats within one with just over 2 minutes to play and Lane would provide insurance shortly thereafter. With 6:44 remaining, Lane forced a turnover, picked up the ground ball, and had a one-on-one break with only the goalie to beat before she notched her second score of the game and 33rd of the season.
A last-minute turnover by Marquette gave Cincinnati one last chance to tie the game, but a timely block in front of the net by senior Elizabeth Goslee denied the Bearcats’ a game-tying goal.
Goslee led a defense that came up big at several points in the win. Fellow Cincinnati native, Baas, collected career-high with six ground balls and five caused turnovers to hold the Bearcats at bay. Lane added four caused turnovers and a draw control to go along with two goals and an assist in an all-around effort.
“’Biz’ and Baas are two Cincinnati natives and they are so key every year in this game,” Black said. “’Biz’ was huge. She took care of the ball for us and saved that ball at the end. Baas was so hugely important and if it wasn’t for her I don’t think we would’ve won that game.”
In a pregame ceremony, Marquette honored its 13-member senior class consisting of: Elizabeth Goslee, Molly O’Brien, Hayley Baas, Lauren Hooker, Sarah Priem, Emma Salter, Claire Costanza, Taylor Smith, Kenzie Brown, Emma Kern, Jacqueline Borzillo, Nicole Lankford and Kayce Haverstick.
“I couldn’t really keep it together before the game,” Black said after the game. “I just love this senior class so much. They have done everything for this program. They just mean the world to me and I’m so proud of every single one of them. It meant a lot to win this game. It’s a tough day, I don’t want it to end with this group, but I know what they have built is a great legacy for us to continue with.”
The Golden Eagles will now sit back and wait for Saturday’s Georgetown-Temple result to find out if their season will roll on.
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