The Golden Eagles, who played four games over nine days, used the help of freshman Liz Bartels’ game-winning goal in the team’s 2-1 win over Creighton and received its lone goal from junior Mady Vicker in a 1-0 decision against the Wildcats. Beginning the Big East schedule with two solid road wins is the confidence Marquette needs to further establish its conference dominance.
“It sends a message to the other teams, especially being in the position we are and being the previous Big East champs,” sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Engel said. “We have a lot to live up to. I think coming out and getting these two wins definitely helped us make a statement.”
Creighton and Marquette had not met in nearly 17 years before Thursday’s match. The Golden Eagles struck first when senior midfielder Cara Jacobson scored in the 14th minute, yet the Bluejays evened the match on an unassisted corner kick in the 44th minute, rattling Marquette’s cage entering the second half.
The Omaha, Neb., native Bartels would not hold her heroics back for long. Senior Vanessa Legault-Cordisco fed Bartels a pass 10 yards from the net and the freshman drilled it in for the score in the 57th minute.
The Golden Eagles outshot the Bluejays 26-4. Engel attributed that to the pace the team plays at and the possibility that Creighton was not prepared for a team of Marquette’s caliber.
“The teams that are new to the league have a different style of play than we’re used to,” Engel said. “We’re used to all the East coast teams, which are very physical and work the full 90 minutes and don’t give up.”
Coach Markus Roeders was satisfied with the result even though Marquette had several opportunities to put the match out of reach.
“We possessed well and had a couple of really good chances early but only sprung the 1-0 lead,” Roeders told GoMarquette.com. “Credit goes to our squad for the focus and energy in the second half after Creighton tied the score.”
Villanova, a more familiar opponent for Marquette, proved a more difficult obstacle than the Golden Eagles hoped for. Fresh off a win over nationally ranked Butler, the Wildcats did a more efficient job of containing Marquette’s offense than Creighton did. The Golden Eagles managed 14 shots and their only goal came in the 13th minute from Vicker.
Villanova had a chance to tie the game in the 86th minute when it won a penalty kick. For Engel, who made the save to preserve the shutout, it’s those pressure moments that show her true ability.
“I was a little bit nervous at first,” Engel said. “I just kind of calmed myself down and didn’t let it get to me. I didn’t focus on the precedence. I focused on me and what I needed to do to be able to make the save I needed to make and keep the team ahead.”
Marquette is an impressive 39-3-3 in the Big East since 2009, and it will look for its next win this Thursday against St. John’s at Valley Fields, where Marquette has gone unbeaten in 15 consecutive matches.
“As a team we’ll work on coming out and being prepared for the whole 90 minutes and staying in tune to be ready to play,” Engel said.