Marquette women’s soccer split a pair of matches last weekend in South Bend, Ind., falling to No. 4 UCLA 2-1 and trouncing Oakland 4-1.
Competing in the Notre Dame Adidas Invitational, the Golden Eagles (2-2) challenged UCLA by scoring 45 seconds into the match on freshman forward Ashley Handwork’s first collegiate goal.
The lead, however, would be short-lived. UCLA answered by scoring three minutes later to tie the match, and scored again in the 61st minute to give the Bruins the lead. Marquette senior midfielder Taylor Madigan came close to evening the score in the 83rd minute, but her shot was blocked.
The No. 20 Golden Eagles were the clear underdog heading into the match, but creating discomfort for the Bruins encouraged head coach Markus Roeders.
“Our team has a strong will and we played UCLA toe to toe,” Roeders told GoMarquette.com. “Although we have dropped a couple games early on this season, we won’t hang our heads. Our squad has made great improvements within a week and the potential for our team is tremendous.”
In the win over Oakland Sunday, Marquette quickly fell behind when the Golden Grizzlies found the back of the net less than two minutes into the game.
Marquette came up empty on its first eight shots of the day, including three by junior midfielder Mary Luba, but Luba found clearance inside the box in the 22nd minute to tie the match 1-1.
Junior midfielder Mady Vicker scored her second goal of the season on an assist from senior forward Maegan Kelly in the 25th minute to give the Golden Eagles the advantage. It was Kelly’s 31st career assist, and she is three shy of becoming the program’s all-time leader.
Marquette went into halftime with a 3-1 lead when junior midfielder Alex Heffron scored in the 33rd minute. Senior Ashley Stemmeler scored the team’s fourth goal in the 72nd minute to effectively put the game out of reach. Sophomore goalie Amanda Engel recorded one save in 62:25, while junior Sophie Schunk tallied two saves in 27:35.
It was the first meeting between the two schools in nine years, and Marquette now holds a 4-1 lead in the all-time series. Oakland had lost to No. 7 Notre Dame 4-0 Friday and its defeat to Marquette extends its overall losing skid to three.
“After a while, we got into the flow, started hammering away and got four goals,” Roeders said. “We’ve had multiple goal-scorers, so that’s a positive for us. Those are all pluses that I think will carry us forward.”
Contributions are indeed coming from many sources — the eight goals by Marquette thus far have come from seven players.
Madigan and senior defender Emily Jacobson were named to the all-tournament team. Jacobson led a defensive unit that allowed only seven shots on goal for the weekend.
“Friday was a highly contested match versus UCLA and we spent a lot of mental and physical energy, so for us to manage the game the way we did today, put everything forward to create chances and score goals, hats off to the ladies for responding,” Roeders said.
Marquette will play its next three matches at home. The team will host the Marquette Invitational at Valley Fields this weekend, the first in the team’s history. The Golden Eagles will play Saint Mary’s Friday night and Colorado College Sunday afternoon. Saint Mary’s enters the meeting 0-3 on the road and 1-3 overall, while Colorado College owns a 0-2 away record and 1-2 overall.