Marquette Wire

Women’s soccer gets first back-to-back wins of season

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Photo by Valeria Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Photo by Valeria Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

The Marquette women’s soccer team ended non-conference play in a big way, shutting out No. 16 Kansas Friday night and beating Louisiana State 2-1 Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Eagles opened a four game home stand with its toughest opponent, Kansas. The Jayhawks came out and immediately challenged Marquette, but in the seventh minute the Golden Eagles gave fans something to cheer for.

Junior defender Jacie Jermier took a free kick from outside the box and launched it into the top right corner, past Kansas’s goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud. The goal was Jermier’s third off a free kick and made her Marquette’s leading scorer. She also earned Big East Defensive Player of the Week.

With Jermier’s goal, it was the first time the Jayhawks had allowed an opponent to score in the first half. It was also the first time they had trailed all season, and it broke a scoreless sheet that lasted nearly 300 minutes.

Kansas was not flustered, and continued to attack, but the Golden Eagle back line held steady. Junior goalkeeper Amanda Engel was only forced to make one save in the first half, and two in the second. The Golden Eagles managed possession throughout most of the game, but nearing the final buzzer, the Jayhawks increased pressure. Marquette responded by weathering the storm, and did not allow Kansas any serious chances in the final minutes.

Head coach Markus Roeders said he thought the defense played very well against the talented Jayhawks.

“I thought defensively we were really good,” Roeders said. “At times we had to absorb a little bit of pressure … I thought the effort was great.”

When the final buzzer sounded, Marquette had played one of its most complete games this year and handed Kansas its first loss of the season.

Jermier said it was a great feeling to get a signature win.

“That was a team that was undefeated,” Jermier said. “So it’s always great to knock a team down.”

Roeders said it was a very big win for the team.

“We played Kansas,” Roeders said. “They are in here nationally ranked, came in here undefeated, and we were able to do something for the first time that they hadn’t experienced all year long.”

Sunday afternoon pitted Marquette against LSU in its final match before Big East play. The Tigers came to Valley Fields on the last game of a four-game road trip, but fatigue did not show. The two sides played back-and-forth soccer, with neither side establishing a solid flow to the game.

The Golden Eagles were forced to make in-game adjustments to their game plan, as sophomore midfielder Ashley Handwork appeared to pull a muscle in her right leg while chasing down a through ball. Handwork came out of the game in the sixteenth minute and did not return. The two sides played out the rest of the half without any other causalities, but both sides had its fair share of scoring chances. Both keepers were forced to make three saves in the first half.

Marquette came out in the second half and kicked it into gear. The side established possession early and spent a significant amount of time in the attacking third. Marquette finally broke through in the 63rd minute, as junior forward Shalese Miller crashed the net and headed in a rebound. Two minutes later, freshman midfielder Eli Beard rocketed a shot from 25 yards out into the upper left corner of the net to give the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead.

Roeders said Miller was important to the team replacing Handwork.

“She’s a goal scorer,” Roeders said of Miller. “She was able to get to the right spot, follow up, kind of use the cross bar as her assist and put it away.”

LSU bounced back in the 73rd minute when the team caught Marquette sleeping. The Tigers got a free kick, and did a quick start while the Golden Eagles were trying to set up their defensive plan. LSU’s Summer Clarke got behind the defense and put a ball far post, out of the reach of Engel.

Roeders said the team was not ready for the Tigers’ set pieces.

“We let our guard down a little bit on their set plays,” Roeders said.

The Golden Eagles recuperated and played solid defense for the rest of the game, notching their first back-to-back win of the season in the 2-1 victory against the Tigers.

Miller said the two wins were great to get right before conference play.

“We’ve played well, but we haven’t really put all the pieces together,” Miller said. “To get two wins in a row, especially versus these two teams, is awesome.”

Roeders said he looks to carry the momentum into the Big East season.

“It’s a great way to jump into conference play,” Roeders said. “I’m excited for our group and our team.”

Marquette kicks off Big East play Thursday night against Creighton at Valley Fields. Start time is at 7 p.m.

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