First Place Women's Lax Takes on Butler, Vandy This Week
April 3, 2018
MILWAUKEE – The Golden Eagles continue to play its best lacrosse of the season and, quite possibly, the best lacrosse in program history, following a 7-2 stretch that has them sitting tied for first place in the BIG EAST.
Marquette (7-4, 3-0 BIG EAST) won its fifth-straight league contest dating back to 2017 when it upended Temple at home on Saturday in dominating fashion. The Golden Eagles raced out to a 4-0 advantage and never looked back, leading 11-2 at halftime and ending with a decisive 16-4 win.
MU faces a pair of BIG EAST opponents this week in Butler, which seeks its first BIG EAST win in its second year as a program, on the road before hosting Vanderbilt with a chance to move to 7-0 inside the dome.
It was a memorable day for Grace Gabriel on Saturday as she became the second MU player to score 100 career goals. She scored four on the day and now has a career-high 43 goals - two more than last year. Julianna Horning had herself a career day in net, earning the win with her fifth double-digit save performance of the season. Both were honored as BIG EAST players of the week. Cate Soccodato had two goals and four assists, marking her third-straight game of six or more points.
Butler’s only win of the season came in a 16-7 triumph at Howard, but in three BIG EAST contests, the Bulldogs (1-10, 0-3 BIG EAST) have been outscored, 55-14 with their most recent setback at then-No. 25 Denver, 16-1. MU defeated Butler, 19-2, in their first-ever meeting last season.
Vanderbilt (7-4, 2-1 BIG EAST) started the season 5-1, but has since dropped three-of-five. The ‘Dores suffered a heartbreaking 11-10 loss to then-No. 6 Florida in the league opener, but have knocked off both Butler and Villanova to sit a game out of first place.
MU’s offense (14.91 goals/game) continues to improve, leading the league with 51 goals in BIG EAST play, while the defense follows suit, ranking fourth with just 31 goals allowed.
Following Sunday’s home tilt against Vanderbilt, MU heads to co-BIG EAST leader and No. 8-ranked Florida in what could be a deciding factor in the regular season champion on Saturday, April 14.
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• Marquette is 7-2 over its previous nine games with the lone losses coming against ranked teams on the road, (No. 17 Notre Dame; No. 9 Northwestern). Marquette pushed its unblemished home record to 6-0 inside the Valley Dome.
• The team’s 3-0 league start is a program first and just one win shy of tying their most wins in a BIG EAST season of four, which was accomplished in both 2016 (4-3) and 2017 (4-5).
• Soccodato earned her first-ever BIG EAST Attacker of the Week honor on March 27 and currently ranks third on the team with 40 points on 16 goals and 24 assists. The 2018 season has truly been a breakout year for Soccodato after having only scored a combined 34 points through her first two seasons at Marquette.
• The Golden Eagles rank atop the BIG EAST during league play with 51 goals scored and fourth with just 31 goals allowed. Overall, they are first in draws per game (16.91), points per game (22.00) and second in assists per game (7.00).
• Lane achieved the mark after scoring her second goal of the day and 81st of her career with 3 seconds remaining in the first half, while Gabriel reached the mark with a free position goal, her 89th career score, midway through the second half.
• Gabriel was one of the fastest MU players to reach 100 career points, doing so in 42 career games, second only to Claire Costanza (‘17), who hit the milestone in two fewer games.
• The six home victories set the single-season record for home wins, surpassing the 5-3 record at Valley Fields back in 2016.
• Diving a little deeper, it’s worth noting that MU is 28-5 all-time when recording more shots than its opponent and 22-7 when gathering more groundballs (5-1 this season).
• The current scoring trend during the team’s current eight-game (6-2) stretch is quite impressive. MU is averaging 16.6 goals per game. Marquette is on pace for more than 250 goals scored in 2018, which would shatter last year’s record-breaking season of 219 goals.
• MU is outscoring opponents, 148-136 (+12), through 10 games this season.
• Additionally, the Golden Eagles have boasted the BIG EAST’s leader in draws per game in each of the past two seasons. Last season, Grace Gabriel set the Marquette record with 81 total draws and led the league with 5.67 draws per game following a 2016 campaign that saw Allison Lane lead the BIG EAST with 3.43 draws per contest.
• This season, Gabriel’s 5.82 draws/game leads the BIG EAST and ranks 24th in the country, while Lane’s 4.73 average is eighth in the league and 48th nationally.
• The offense ranks 19th in scoring (14.91 goals/game), while ranking 11th in points/game (22.00) thanks to an average of 7.09 assists per contest, which is 12th-best in the country.
• Individually, Grace Gabriel’s 43 goals scored ranks fourth in the country behind Sam Apuzzo of Boston College, who boasts 53 goals already. Gabriel’s 49 points ranks 19th-nationally, while Riley Hill’s 46 points (31st) and 24 assists (8th), as well as Cate Soccodato’s 24 assists (13th), also rank among the nation’s elite.
• Marquette features a program-record nine home games in 2018, which is three more than last year and one more than its previous high of eight back in 2016 when it went 5-3 at Valley Fields. MU will put its 6-0 home record on the line when it takes on BIG EAST-foe Vanderbilt on Sunday, April 8 (2 p.m. CT).
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