Marquette claims BIG EAST regular season title in OT
Oct. 28, 2016
MILWAUKEE – Junior midfielder Eli Beard scored the golden goal 57 seconds into overtime to lift Marquette University women’s soccer team to the BIG EAST Conference regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming league tournament with a 3-2 comeback win against DePaul on Friday night at Valley Fields.
“Congratulations to our team, unbelievable,” Marquette head coach Markus Roeders said. “We’re champions, or obviously we’re co-champions because DePaul won the regular season title as well and they’re a great team – Erin [Chastain] does a great job with them. We had to scratch and claw to get ourselves back into the game, but I think you’ve got to give our players, and our team, and everyone involved, the administration, a ton of credit. It just showed how resilient they are, and they persevered, they scratched and clawed and when we looked like we were out of it, we found a way to get back into it. I couldn’t be more proud.
The Golden Eagles (11-6-2, 7-2-0 BE) claimed their first BIG EAST regular season title since 2013 and sixth total since joining the conference. Marquette and DePaul (10-6-2, 7-2-0 BE) both tied with 21 points in conference play, but MU claims the tiebreaker with the head-to-head win and earns a bye into the semifinals as the conference tournament’s top seed.
Beard’s heroics came just under one minute into the first overtime period as she beat DePaul keeper Lauren Frasca at the near post for the match winner. Freshman defender Emily Hess cut up the left flank to start the rush and was able to get near the goalline after a pair of DePaul players collided near the Blue Demon bench. Hess then slotted the ball across the top of the goal area to Beard while senior forward Molly Pfeiffer shielded her defender away from the ball.
“It’s just kind of a magical night,” Roeders said. “Here you are, you get to play on Senior Night for a championship. They chips are down, we get back in it, I mean, that was a heck of a rip Morgan (Proffitt) put out there just to tie it 1-1 and then we get the PK back and even overtime, we jumped on them pretty quick and we played the ball across. There’s Eli finishing it off.”
Beard’s goal is her first since Sept. 21, 2014 during her freshman campaign and all three career goals for the Portland, Oregon native have been match winners.
MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Morgan Proffitt helped the Golden Eagles erase 1-0 and 2-1 deficits with her fourth and fifth goals of the season earlier in the match. Her first marker came on an absolute bullet from 24 yards out as she ran in to a ball that the Blue Demons had attempted to clear from the top of the box.
Her second tally came on a penalty kick at the 78:24 mark and she went right to beat Frasca.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Maddy Henry tallied seven saves in her 11th win of the season for the Golden Eagles, who held a 5-4 edge in corner kicks, but faced an 18-8 shot deficit.
DePaul struck first in the 38th minute with a goal by defender Taylor Schissler as she collected a pass in front of the goal box. After Proffitt knotted the match, 1-1, Abby Reed scored her 11th of the year just over a minute into the second half to retake the lead for DePaul.
Prior to the match, Marquette honored its 10-player senior class and had a special ceremony recognizing Markus Roeders’ 300th career victory on Sunday afternoon.
“To our seniors, those 10, what can I say? Love them, appreciate everything they have done,” Roeders said. “There have been difficult times, there have been losses over the years when it was like ‘We were so close to winning’ and it kind of comes full circle. They wanted it as freshman and here they are on Senior Night with great support. Couldn’t be happier for them and all of us. It’s a moment we will all enjoy and now we can carry it forward.”
The Golden Eagles receive a bye into the BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4 at 10:30 a.m. Central time at Shaw Field in Washington, D.C. They will face the winner of Tuesday’s quarterfinal match between Providence and St. John’s.
Keep up with the Marquette women’s soccer program all season long through social media by following on Twitter (@MUWomensSoccer) and Instagram (@MarquetteWSOC) and ‘liking’ on Facebook (/MUWomensSoccer).
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