Marquette Opens BIG EAST Play at Villanova
April 1, 2016
MILWAUKEE -- The Golden Eagles faced a difficult non-conference schedule with hopes of it preparing them for BIG EAST Conference play and, finally, MU will open league action with a challenging road matchup against Villanova on Saturday, April 2.
Saturday’s game in Philadelphia is slated for 11 a.m. Central time. Live statistics will be available, as well as a pay-per-view live video stream via Villanova.com.
Marquette has dropped two-straight contests following a convincing 17-4 victory over Central Michigan back on March 19. The Golden Eagles fell on the road to Denver 11-5 before returning home to take a 17-9 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame last time out.
Individually, Grace Gabriel turned in a couple solid performances to earn BIG EAST Freshman of the Week accolades for the second time this season. Hayley Baas also had a couple fine outings, setting the single-game mark with six ground balls and tying the program record with four caused turnovers in the loss to Denver. She leads MU with 15 caused turnovers and ranks third on the squad with 15 goals in 2016.
Julianna Shearer also notched four more goals to maintain her team-lead with 25 scores on the season.
Villanova enters Saturday with a 2-9 overall record and coming off a 13-8 loss to UConn in its BIG EAST opener on the road. The Wildcats have had a disappointing season offensively, ranking 97th (7.64 goals/game) out of 110 Division I teams, and scoring double-digit goals just twice with both resulting in victories.
Saturday’s matchup will mark the fourth meeting all-time between both teams with the previous three all going to the Wildcats. Last season, Villanova claimed a 10-6 win in Milwaukee behind a four-point effort from Kelsey Denihan, who currently ranks second on the team with 17 points behind Jackie Froccaro (22 goals, 7 assists).
Following Saturday’s matchup against the Wildcats, Marquette will await upstart UConn for a pivotal clash in the BIG EAST home opener at Valley Fields on Saturday, April 9. The game will feature a free live web stream via GoMarquette.com.
• In the loss to Denver, Marquette went a stunning 23-plus minutes without scoring a goal, going from holding a 3-2 lead to trailing 8-3 over that span. The Golden Eagles couldn’t revive the offense in time to overcome the deficit against the Pioneers, but did receive a couple nice defensive efforts as Hayley Baas set a program record with six ground balls and tied the team mark with four caused turnovers. Sarah Priem also had three ground balls and three caused turnovers to go along with eight saves in net.
• MU held its own in the first half against the fifth-ranked Irish, posting seven first-half goals and trailing by only three heading into halftime. Julianna Shearer scored twice to extend her team-lead to 21 goals on the season, while adding three ground balls, a draw control and two caused turnovers. Amanda Bochniak, Taylor Smith and Grace Gabriel each had a goal and an assist in the loss as well.
• In the team’s last outing against UConn, ‘Nova scored the game’s first three goals before the Huskies answered right back. After Frocarro scored her third of the game to tie it at 6-6 with just over 23 minutes remaining, the Huskies scored six unanswered goals, while the Wildcats remained scoreless for nearly 20 minutes. ‘Nova committed 20 turnovers and were outshot 30-18 in the loss. The Wildcats collected just three of 16 ground balls as well.
• Jackie Frocarro leads five Wildcats registering double-digit point totals this season with 29 points on 22 goals and seven assists. Kelsey Denihan and Chelsea Henderson are close behind with 17 and 16 points, respectively. In net, time has been split almost evenly between Jaclyn Fraum and Julia Michaels with Fraum starting all eight contests she has appeared in, registered a 1-7 record with a 10.22 GAA and .384 save percentage. Michaels has a 1-2 record in two starts with an 11.31 GAA and a .410 save percentage.
• This will be the second straight year that Marquette opens BIG EAST play against the Wildcats. Last year, ‘Nova jumped out to a 7-2 halftime edge and never looked back despite a furious comeback attempt by the Golden Eagles, who scored the game’s final four goals over the last 12:53. Two Wildcats registered hat tricks, including Denihan, while Jessica Mucci tallied six assists in the win. Six different players scored for the Golden Eagles.
• Villanova registered a 10-9 win at Marquette in 2014 following a 19-8 win in the first-ever meeting back in 2013.
• Gabriel totaled six draw controls and three ground balls, while scoring a goal and adding an assist last week. She registered a goal, an assist, two draw controls and a ground ball against No. 5/6 Notre Dame, following a four-draw control, two-ground ball effort at Denver.
• The Westminster, Maryland native tied a career- and program-record with five goals in a 17-4 win over Central Michigan. All of her scoring, including one assist, came in a 12-goal outburst for Marquette in the first half. She sits just two points shy of 50 for her career with 41 goals and seven assists in 32 career games.
• Shearer also leads the team with 28 draw controls, which ranks third in the BIG EAST. She set the single-game record with eight in a 14-5 win over Detroit back on March 6.
• Not just a scorer, Lane has filled up the stat sheet this season by leading the team with 44 shots and totaling 17 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.
• Perhaps most importantly, the Asbury, NJ native has solidified play for MU in the draw circle. An area of weakness leading up to this season, she has 21 draw controls, which is second on the team. Not only that, but Marquette is fourth in the BIG EAST with 10.9 draw controls per game after finishing 2015 in last place with just 8.65 draw controls per contest.
• Marquette set a program records in the win over CMU for most goals scored (17), tied for fewest goals allowed (4), largest margin of victory (+13), most goals in a single half (12) and tied for the most players to record a goal in a single game (8).
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