Women's Lax Set For BIG EAST Opener vs. Villanova

Hayley Baas has seven goals on the season, including four in the last two games.
March 27, 2015

2015 Marquette Women's Lacrosse - Game 11
Villanova (5-4) at Marquette (4-6)
Date Saturday, March 28 | Noon CT
Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.
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MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's lacrosse team concluded its non-conference slate and is ready to open BIG EAST Conference play when it welcomes Villanova to Valley Fields Saturday, March 28, for a noon Central time start.

Live statistics (GameTracker) will be available courtesy of GoMarquette.com.

The Golden Eagles are coming off a disappointing performance against Notre Dame last time out in which they allowed a season-high 18 goals in a loss. 

Head coach Meredith Black's squad can look back to a solid start as something to gain from the setback. After allowing two quick goals to the Irish, the Golden Eagles responded with three-straight goals to hold a narrow one-goal lead in the early going. It was back-and-forth for the majority of the first half before Notre Dame scored the final three goals in the first stanza and opened the second half with four straight tallies to take a commanding 14-5 lead.

From there, Marquette was unable to slow down what was an offensive juggernaut in the Irish attack. MU will certainly look to bounce back defensively when it hosts Villanova Saturday. Afterall, the Golden Eagles continue to lead the BIG EAST in scoring defense.

Sarah Priem, who has 10 starts in net, also leads the BIG EAST with a 9.16 goals against average, while ranking fourth with a solid .405 save percentage.

Villanova (5-4) is winners of three straight and carries a lot of momentum into the BIG EAST opener, but the Wilcats have struggled on the road this season, as they are just 1-4 away from home. 

Offensively, Villanova is led by Jackie Forcarro, who ranks second in the league with 28 goals already. Jessica Mucci is second in the BIG EAST in assists with 17, sitting just four behind Marquette's Claire Costanza for the league lead.

In their last outing, the Wildcats defeated Lafayette, 13-11, to remain a perfect 4-0 at home this season. Froccaro had a game-high six goals in the victory, while Jessica Mucci dished out four assists.

Marquette is hoping a year makes all the difference as it tries to avenge a narrow 10-9 loss to Villanova in a match-up at Hart Park last year.

Following Saturday's contest, MU will head east to take on UConn in the BIG EAST road lid-lifter Saturday, April 4, at 11 a.m. Central time.

·  Three-straight goals over a span of 6:27 of the first half gave Marquette a brief 3-2 lead over perennial national power Notre Dame at home on Wednesday. However, the Fighting Irish responded with three-straight of their own on the way to racking up 18 goals on the Golden Eagle defense, which proved to be a season-high. Notre Dame led 10-5 at halftime and completed a 7-0 run at the 13:46 mark of the second half to take a commanding 14-5 advantage en route to an 18-8 win.
·  UND's Cortney Fortunato found the back of the net five times to give her 32 goals on the season. Rachel Sexton added five goals as well, while Heidi Annaheim chipped in a hat trick.
·  Marquette was led by Claire Costanza's hat trick to go along with an assist for a four-point effort. She now has 37 points (16g, 21a) on the season. Emily Donovan chipped in two goals as well. In net, Sarah Priem made eight saves with four coming in each half.

·  The Wildcats finished middle of the pack in 2014 with an 8-8 overall mark and a 3-4 record in BIG EAST play, good for a fourth-place tie. Villanova returned five of its top-six scorers this season and are off to a 5-4 start, including three-straight wins and four wins over its last five games overall.
·  Last time out, the Wildcats defeated Lafayette, 13-11, to remain a perfect 4-0 at home this season. Leading scorer Jackie Froccaro had a game-high six goals in the victory, while Jessica Mucci dished out four assists to set the program record with 85 career helpers. The `Cats took an 8-7 lead into halftime and overcame a 10-9 deficit late to dispatch Lafayette for the win.
·  Leading the way for Villanova this season has been Froccaro, who missed all of 2014 due to injury, but has come back with a vengeance. The senior, who led the team with 39 goals in 2013, already has a team-high 28 goals through nine games. Jessica Mucci is second on the team with 25 points (8g, 17a), followed by Meghan Breen (15g, 6a). In net, Jaclyn Fraum leads the team, going 4-4 with a 10.27 GAA anda .458 save percentage.

·  Saturday's match-up will mark the third all-time between both squads with Villanova winning both previous meetings, including last season's narrow 10-9 result at Hart Park.
·  In their previous meeting, Marquette staged a furious comeback effort, nearly climbing all the way back from a 10-4 deficit. Nicole Gleason and Amanda Bochniak each recorded individual back-to-back tallies before Hayley Baas cut the deficit to 10-9 with 12:10 remaining in regulation. Neither team would break through again the rest of the way. 
·  Claire Costanza netted two first-half goals to go along with two assists to match Bochniak's four-point effort. For `Nova, Chelsey Henderson tallied four points, including three goals, while Jessica Mucci and Meghan Breen each recorded two scores.

·  In Marquette's lone BIG EAST Conference opener, it registered a 14-6 win over Cincinnati at home (March 28, 2014). MU scored six of the game's final seven goals in the win.
·  Claire Costanza and Hayley Baas each scored four times with Costanza also dishing out three assists. Kenzie Brown came off the bench to net a hat trick for the Blue and Gold as well. Also notching goals were Nicole Gleason and Taylor Smith
·  Sarah Priem made a pair of stops in the win.

·  Sophomore defender Fran Meyer raked in a career-high five ground balls in the 13-5 win over Detroit March 24. She added two caused turnovers and helped a dominant defense limit the Titans to just seven second-half shots. With 18 ground balls through nine games this season, the Oak Brook, Illinois native has already matched her 2014 total.

·  As of March 27, Marquette boasted the BIG EAST's best scoring defense, allowing opponents just 9.30 goals per game. 
·  A big part of that has been junior goalie Sarah Priem, who leads the league and ranks 34th-nationally with an 9.16 goals against average.
·  Offensively, junior attacker Claire Costanza ranks first in the BIG EAST and seventh-nationally with 21 assists (2.10 apg) through 10 games.

·  Junior attacker Claire Costanza became the first Marquette player in program history to surpass 100 career points when she registered a career-high 10 points in the 15-4 win over St. Mary's. The Webster, New York native scored three goals and dished out seven assists in the win. She added a six-point effort in a win over Detroit (March 22) and now sits with 120 career points (55g, 65a) as a Golden Eagle. As of March 27, she led the BIG EAST and ranked seventh-nationally with 21 assists on the season.

·  The Golden Eagles have been active supporters of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its fight against pancreatic cancer over the past two years and will host their third annual Pan Can game on Saturday, April 18, at 5 p.m. against Georgetown at Hart Park in Wauwatosa as part of a doubleheader with the men. Marquette raised over $10,000 in support of the fight against pancreatic cancer last season and has raised over $12,000 in 2015. Further information on the disease and the organization can be found at http://www.pancan.org/.
·  Make your voice heard and donate today by clicking here: http://go.mu.edu/MUWLAXPanCan

The Last Meeting
April 19, 2014
Hart Park
Marquette Falls to Villanova 10-9 at Hart Park
The Marquette University women's lacrosse team dropped its second one-goal game in its last three BIG EAST Conference contests with a 10-9 defeat at the hands of Villanova on Saturday afternoon at Hart Park.




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