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Marquette Women’s Soccer: One down and onto the next round

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Sophomore midfielder Taylor Madigan scored her second game-winning goal of the season to help advance Marquette to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Photo by Aaron Ledesma/ aaron.ledesma@marquette.edu

Survive and advance. That is the mantra for any team, no matter who the opponent is come tournament time. That is exactly what the Marquette women’s soccer team (18-3-0) did Saturday night with its 1-0 overtime victory against Toledo (14-7-2).

A golden goal from sophomore midfielder Taylor Madigan in the 97th minute sent the Golden Eagles to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will play fourth-seeded Penn State in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Friday.

“We’re happy, obviously, that we got the win, and I think on paper you always have to be cautious. But I think we knew how tough Toledo was based on the year that they had and knowing them and their personnel,” coach Markus Roeders said. “I thought they were quite efficient in what they were trying to do, but at the end of the day we came through when we needed it, and I think that shows the character of our team.”

Marquette had a difficult time finding its groove in the first 45 minutes but came out energized in the second half. It had a few chances to end the game in regulation that were turned away by senior goalkeeper Vicki Traven.

Roeders credited the offensive difficulties to a lack of game time. Marqutte has played three games in the last three and a half weeks.

“As much as we practice, you can’t simulate game situations or how to do things in the game when you’re practicing,” Roeders said. “We had some decent chances, especially in the second half when we ramped it up a little more.

“At the end of regulation, we had one of our best stretches because we settled down again and tried to connect, and out of our build-up came the throw-in that ultimately led to the goal.”

For Madigan, it was her second overtime game-winner this season, with the other coming in a 3-2 win over Notre Dame on Sept. 25.

“We were all determined to score, and I just was there and finished it,” Madigan said. “We needed to score to win, and I had the best opportunity. I’m glad I could finish.”

The game was reminiscent of the Golden Eagles’ 1-0 win over Central Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Then-junior forward Rachael Sloan’s goal was the deciding factor in that game.

Marquette dominated much of the game in the second half, firing six shots, including sophomore forward Maegan Kelly’s blast from the top of the 18-yard box that was turned away by Traven. Madigan also had a chance from point-blank range later in the half but was again stonewalled by Traven.

Eventually the Golden Eagles were able to break through, sending them into the second round of the tournament for the second straight season. It is the sixth time that Marquette has advanced to the round of 32.

“We’ve been here two times now (in overtime in the NCAA Tournament) so I was like ‘this is how it’s supposed to be,’” senior goalkeeper Natalie Kulla said. “I kind of knew we were going to score.”

“People have to understand that this is the NCAA Tournament, and you’re trying to survive and play your game and make it entertaining. But more than anything you’re trying to win and move on,” Roeders said. “The games aren’t going to get any easier, so if nothing else, I think this was a great test against a good team.”

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