Ranked opponents overwhelm women’s lacrosse

Courtesy of Marquette Athletics
Courtesy of Marquette Athletics

For the second weekend in a row, the women’s lacrosse team faced two ranked opponents. It again failed to win, falling to No. 19 Connecticut and No. 5 Syracuse.

The Golden Eagles fell to 2-14 on the season, and their scoring woes continued.  They scored a combined three goals in the first halves of both games.

“Syracuse and UConn are both amazing teams, so whether we won or lost I think we would have competed a little better if we had more belief in our abilities in the first halves of those games,” coach Meredith Black said. “The outcome would have been completely different.”

In the first game, on Friday, the Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Marquette responded with freshman attacker Claire Costanza’s first of three goals on the day, but the Huskies scored five unanswered goals before Marquette scored again. The Golden Eagles trailed 10-2 at the break, with both goals coming from Costanza.

Down by eight, the team took a nothing-to-lose mentality into the second half and played much better, only giving up five goals and tacking on two for themselves. Marquette lost the game 15-4.

Costanza’s hat trick, the first of her career, was a bright spot.

“I just kind of ran around out there and wasn’t afraid to take any chances,” Costanza said.  “I just got some lucky shots off, and I had a lot of support from the teammates around me.”

After a day of rest, the team traveled north to play the Orange in the legendary Carrier Dome Sunday.

Once again, the team came out flat-footed. Before the half was 15 minutes old, they trailed 10-0 to the Orange. Nothing seemed to go right against the No. 5 team in the country, and at halftime, Marquette trailed 13-1, with its lone goal coming from freshman midfielder Kenzie Brown.

Freshman goaltender Sarah Priem had a busy day in the cage, playing the full 60 minutes. She faced a total of 39 shots in the contest and made 13 saves on the day.

The second half was another slow-paced grudge match, as Marquette fought to keep the score within reason. The Golden Eagles tied the Orange in the half with five goals apiece and looked much better than in the first half.

Aside from Priem’s performance, sophomore attacker Nicole Gleason was the best offensive performer for the Golden Eagles with three points (2 goals, 1 assist), all coming in the second half.

“I didn’t come out strong in the first half, but the second half I just didn’t care,” Gleason said. “I was playing like I should be playing; I wasn’t timid. The second half I just really sparked it up, because we had nothing to lose. We had everything to gain from this game, and I just had that mindset in the second half.”

With one game left on the schedule, Marquette hopes to make Black proud as it takes on her alma mater, No. 10 Notre Dame.  The game is next Saturday in Notre Dame, Ind., and will conclude the team’s inaugural season.