For more than a week, the Marquette women's soccer team waited for a decision that was out of its control, and Monday night, it received the bad news. The Golden Eagles were not selected to the field of the NCAA tournament, ending a run of consecutive seasons in which it had earned such a berth.
Marquette (12-4-4) watched from its locker room in the Old Gymnasium as the names of five Big East teams flashed across the screen when ESPNnews revealed the brackets. Louisville (13-5-2). Notre Dame (15-4-2). Connecticut (12-5-1). West Virginia (15-4-2). Georgetown (14-7-0).
But the name the Golden Eagles most wanted to see never appeared.
"If you look at what has happened, the selections came down very much along the lines of the (Ratings Percentage Index)," head coach Markus Roeders said. "If we get a couple more wins instead of a couple more ties, we don't know where that would have led to."
Indeed, Marquette tied two late-season matches that may have played a role in the demise of its NCAA tournament hopes. The Golden Eagles played to a 0-0 draw with Syracuse (7-8-4, 3-6-2 Big East) Oct. 14 at Valley Fields. They also tied Cincinnati (6-10-2, 3-7-1 Big East) 1-1 on the road Oct. 21.
After getting off to a 9-0-1 start, Marquette dropped a 5-0 decision at Connecticut and finished the season 3-4-3. All four of the Golden Eagles' losses came at the hands of conference opponents that earned berths in the NCAA tournament.
Despite the disappointing conference season, several women's soccer players were recognized for their play. Senior forwards Allison Mallams and Christy Zwolski were All-Big East second team honorees. Senior goalkeeper Laura Boyer and junior defender Katie Kelly were named to the All-Big East third team.
"We had a very good season, and I'm extremely proud of what our team has done," Roeders said. "The NCAA tournament is always our goal, but we don't rate our season based on getting into the NCAA tournament or not."