In what was billed as Marquette women’s soccer team’s most challenging match of the season, the Golden Eagles made their win over No. 6 Georgetown a cake walk.
Marquette defeated the Big East powerhouse Hoyas 4-0 at Valley Fields Sunday, moving to 5-0-0 in conference play and gaining much-needed breathing room in first place. The Golden Eagles sit five points ahead of Georgetown for the No. 1 seed with four games remaining.
“For us, it came down to having a complete effort,” coach Markus Roeders said. “I thought we played extremely well in all areas, from goalkeeping to the way we organized ourselves defensively.”
Senior midfielder Taylor Madigan started the scoring attack by finishing on a cross in the 11th minute after Georgetown’s keeper lost her footing.
Freshman midfielder Ashley Handwork notched her second goal of the year in the 38th minute when she broke free from defenders and drilled in a shot from 15 yards out.
The Golden Eagles were aware that a 2-0 advantage at halftime was by no means a cozy lead. Two more scores to open the second frame gave them the insurance they wanted.
Senior midfielders Maegan Kelly and Cara Jacobson tallied goals quickly from the break– Kelly’s in the 50th minute and Jacobson’s in the 56th. Jacobson fought through three defenders just outside the penalty box for the hard-earned score.
“One thing kind of led to another and before I knew it, I had a look on goal, slotted in far post and the goalie couldn’t get to it,” Jacobson said. “It was kind of a little bit of luck too.”
Entering Sunday, the Hoyas allowed eight goals for the entire season and outshot their opponents 218-87. Four goals tells the Golden Eagles plenty about how well they dismantled the Hoya defense.
“I would put the four goals into perspective for us that it’s a win,” Roeders said. “Even if it was 1-0, we would be just as happy. I think, more than anything, we had a complete effort, and that’s what we needed to have today against a very good Georgetown team.”
Georgetown, shut out for the first time this season, appeared uncharacteristically flustered all afternoon. It had difficulty converting on corner kicks and had all of its crosses intercepted in the box by Marquette defenders. The Golden Eagles added to their confident lead heading into the final stretch of matches, and having that poise for the rest of the fall will be vital to their success.
“I think we know that anything can happen in any of the games in the Big East,” Madigan said. “It’s not necessarily breathing room, but we’re just going to have to come out and take it game by game.”
Marquette had all of last week to practice for Sunday, and Roeders used the time to his advantage, preparing the players for what could be a tie-breaking match for the top seed in the conference.
“I think we worked on physically and mentally getting ourselves back,” Roeders said. “We were able to kind of refocus this week and open, so to speak, another chapter. We just tried to prepare and polish our overall game just on getting better.”
The Golden Eagles look to extend their seven-game winning streak at Seton Hall Thursday and then make a stop in the Windy City for a battle with DePaul Sunday.