Women’s lacrosse earns first win in program history in overtime thriller

Freshman midfielder Hayley Baas lifted the women’s lacrosse team to its first victory in program history Sunday, scoring the game-winning goal just 1:39 into the second overtime period against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in Conway, S.C.

Freshman midfielder Kenzie Brown led Marquette’s offense, scoring five goals and tallying two assists, as the Golden Eagles outlasted their opponents and won 12-11. Brown credited her offensive success to the team’s execution of the gameplan.

“What helped me go to the goal so many times was (that) the attack pulled out and they gave me the space,” she said. “Luckily, the defense didn’t catch on that I was going to the goal each time.”

By the end of regulation, with the score tied, Brown already had four goals and Baas had one. During the first overtime period, which is not sudden-death, Coastal Carolina struck first, giving the Chanticleers their first lead of the game. Brown answered with an unassisted goal of her own only 1:41 later, knotting the game up at 11-11.

Neither team gained an advantage for the rest of the first overtime, so the game entered a sudden-death overtime period. With Coastal Carolina playing shorthanded due to a penalty, Baas cut through the middle of the defense, while freshman attacker Claire Costanza hit her with a pass from behind the net and scored from about five meters away.

Coach Meredith Black said she was proud of her team’s resilience and ability to pull out the win against the Chanticleers.

“Yes, (Coastal Carolina) came back and they tied it up, and we could have put our heads down,” Black said. “But no, we are going to fight until the end. They do that every day in practice, so for them to do that in the game was not surprising at all.”

Marquette’s marathon victory came only two days after a loss to the Winthrop Eagles in the team’s season opener in Rock Hill, S.C. Anna Muzika, a freshman midfielder and a South Carolina native, cited nervousness as the main reason for the Golden Eagles’ 17-7 loss Friday.

“That first game was basically just a lot of nerves,” Muzika said. “That’s just not how we play.”

Winthrop jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes before freshman midfielder Lauren Hooker got Marquette on the board with an unassisted goal. Brown scored in the first half, too, but Winthrop’s offense was simply too much, as the Golden Eagles went into halftime trailing 10-2.

The Eagles opened the second half with a 5-0 run, but Marquette came back with a 5-0 run of its own, making the score 15-7 with 7:12 remaining. Winthrop scored two more times before the end of the game and handed the Golden Eagles their first loss.

Despite the loss, Black said there are positives to be taken from Marquette’s season opener.

“We did go down by a lot in the beginning, but they didn’t put their heads down. They just kept playing hard,” Black said. “They saw that they are capable of doing things … so I think we learned a lot from that game. I think it’s important to lose every now and then, because you can learn so much from a loss.”

Next up for Marquette is the team’s home opener against Duquesne at noon on Saturday at Valley Fields.