The Marquette women’s lacrosse team can exhale now that the program’s first ever game is in the books.
The Golden Eagles played Big East rival Notre Dame on Saturday in South Bend, Ind., in their first game of the fall exhibition schedule. An official score was not kept, but coach Meredith Black was satisfied with the effort put forth.
“It was very exciting for everyone, the coaches and the players,” Black said. “We’ve only been practicing for two weeks, so the things we had gotten done in practice over those two weeks we did well on the field. That’s really all we can ask for as coaches. They worked hard, and it was a really fun experience.”
Black noted the Irish had much more success finding the goal than the Golden Eagles did, but she still gave praise to the defense for competing against a team of Notre Dame’s capability.
Freshman midfielder Hayley Baas thought one of the reasons the Irish played well was due to their experience level and the type of the competition they play, but she has confidence the Golden Eagles will one day match their level of play.
“They’re a very, very good team,” Baas said. “They’re definitely a better team than us right now because they’ve been together for so long, but I think if we work as hard as we did for the last couple of weeks and continue to improve throughout the year, we can get on their caliber.”
Marquette scored two goals on the day, the first coming from senior midfielder Katie Bathon. The Pleasantville, N.Y., native said scoring the program’s first goal did not cross her mind as she took the shot, but she is proud to be a part of history.
“I didn’t know what to do right after (I scored),” Bathon said. “Then I realized that I had just scored against Notre Dame, and I got really excited. I started jumping on my teammates, and they started hugging and grabbing me. It was a great feeling, and I’m so honored to be a part of it.”
Bathon hopes the team can take the time over the fall to improve on some skills that the Golden Eagles will need in order to keep up in the Big East. Among those include going after ground balls, running the ball up the field, and taking a shot on goal even when it may not go in.
“Just the little things like that which are easily fixable,” Bathon said. “I think that we’ll definitely work on those over the next couple months and be ready when we face them again in the spring.”
Up next for Marquette is its first home game in team history. The Golden Eagles will square off this Saturday against Grand Valley State at Valley Fields.
Black was not looking ahead to Saturday’s match before the Notre Dame tilt, but now she is excited for the team to play on its own territory.
“We do like to take it one game at a time, so now that the first game’s over, I think it’s going to be all about this weekend,” Black said. “I think it’s going to be great to be home. Now that they know what it’s like to travel, playing at home will make it that much more fun.”
Baas echoed Black’s eagerness.
“We’re really excited to show our school what Marquette lacrosse is,” Baas said.