Two improving Big East teams were no match for Marquette this weekend, even on the road.
The Golden Eagles pounded Seton Hall 4-0 on Friday before knocking off Rutgers 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Marquette is now 4-0-0 since consecutive losses to nationally ranked Duke and North Carolina two weekends ago.
“I think we’ve played really well as a team lately, and that continued this weekend with two really good first halves,” coach Markus Roeders said.
Marquette scored five of its six goals in the first 45 minutes this weekend, putting the pressure on its opponents and forcing them to get desperate early on.
Senior forward Rachael Sloan scored in the third minute against Seton Hall. Senior midfielder Rachel Brown and junior midfielder Kate Reigle added goals in the 13th and 38th minutes, respectively, to put the game out of reach.
“I thought Friday was one of our better performances of the year,” Roeders said. “It was good to put an entire game together against a quality opponent.”
Freshman goalkeeper Amanda Engel continued her strong play in the net, recording two more clean sheets, and was named Big East goalkeeper of the week on Monday.
Engel recorded seven saves in the two games and is now a perfect 4-0 this season with three shutouts.
Engel also earned College Sports Madness’ Big East Player of the Week accolades.
Senior defender Ally Miller was also named to the Big East honor roll Monday after helping anchor a backline that allowed just eight shots in the two games.
Against Rutgers, the Golden Eagles scored twice in three and a half minutes, with goals coming from junior midfielder Taylor Madigan and junior forward Maegan Kelly.
“As a team we did a great job coming to an unfamiliar environment at Seton Hall and then erasing a bad memory against Rutgers,” Kelly said.
The Golden Eagles lost to South Florida, 3-2 in the semifinals of the Big East conference tournament in 2010 when the tournament was played at Rutgers. Kelly was a freshman at the time, and Marquette hadn’t been back to Piscataway, N.J., since.
The two wins improved Marquette to 7-2-1, and it will play five of its last seven games at home, where the Golden Eagles haven’t lost in the regular season since 2010.
The 3-0 Big East start has Marquette on top of the American Division of the Big East, two points clear of Syracuse, which it does not play in the regular season.
“Getting off to a fast start is always great,” Kelly said of Marquette’s Big East mark. “Our division is definitely competitive, and getting three road wins isn’t easy to do.”
As has almost always been the case when things are going well, Marquette was able to outshoot its opponents last weekend and now has 110 more shots than its foes.
The Golden Eagles had 19 shots compared to just six for Rutgers and led the Pirates 17-8 in the shot department on Friday.
“When we’re putting pressure on opposing defenses, we’re tough to beat,” Kelly said. “When things are going right, that’s what we do best.”