Marquette Wire

WLax seniors left mark despite lack of postseason

Megan+Bianco+%28center%29+celebrates+with+her+teammates+after+scoring+her+first+career+goal.
Megan Bianco (center) celebrates with her teammates after scoring her first career goal.

Megan Bianco (center) celebrates with her teammates after scoring her first career goal.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Megan Bianco (center) celebrates with her teammates after scoring her first career goal.

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Marquette was a well-oiled machine against Butler University on senior night. By the time Marquette pushed the lead to 10-0, much of the fanfare should have waned. However, this goal will be etched into the minds of many because it wasn’t scored by one of the usual suspects.

With 16:34 left in the first half, senior defender Megan Bianco, who only played 13 games over her four-year career, picked up a ground ball and sprinted toward the goal. She powered a shot by the Butler goalie Haley Rayburn for her first career goal. Her teammates showered her with excitement.

“It just gave me chills just thinking about her scoring,” senior Amanda Bochniak said.

The Golden Eagles finished the year 6-11 overall and 4-5 in BIG EAST play, failing to reach the conference tournament yet again. Marquette ended their season with back-to-back wins on senior night against Butler and Vanderbilt this past weekend. On paper, the team didn’t reach its goal, but that’s not what the nine graduating seniors will remember from their last season at Marquette.

“Even though it didn’t always go the way we wanted, we set a lot of records and had a record-breaking season,” senior attacker Claire Costanza said. “We set a high standard for future teams, and now it’s up to them.”

Despite the team knowing the season would not extend into the postseason well before their final games, the seniors knew their job at Marquette was unfinished.

“As seniors, the only thing we could do when it didn’t go our way was to work hard and prepare the team for next year to be successful,” Bianco said. “We want them to ultimately have that season we didn’t.”

The senior group set numerous individual and team records, beginning with Costanza, the programs all-time leader in points with 169. The fifth-year graduate student finished with 100 career assists, the first Golden Eagle to do so. Amanda Bochniak sat behind Costanza with 138 points and was the third Marquette player in history to join the 100-point club earlier this season. Defensively, the team was anchored by Fran Meyer, who passed Elizabeth Goslee with 90 caused turnovers all-time.

Another 100-point member, and perhaps Marquette’s brightest star in history, is senior attacker Julianna Shearer, who ended her prolific scoring career with 115 goals. Her 55 tallies on the season led the entire BIG EAST. It’s records like these Costanza refers to that will eventually have to be broken if the team wants to reach their goals.

“We faced a difficult schedule, and if future teams want to break these records, they are going to have to beat these tough teams,” Costanza said.

The seniors have gone from losing to top teams by large margins as freshman to hanging with nationally ranked teams as seniors. It’s progress, even though Marquette didn’t end up on the winning side of those contests.

“Coach Black could easily make an easy schedule, and we could have a better record. But that’s not what we want,” Bochniak said. “We want to be playing hard teams, and that’s what brought us to this point. I feel like if we weren’t playing these teams, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

The seniors invested countless hours in the weight room and on the field to help the team reach where they are today. However, it’s moments like Bianco’s goal the group will cherish and take away from their time at Marquette.

“I scored, and the reaction from every single person was so overwhelming,” Bianco said. “It made me stop and think this is the program I committed myself to the last for years, and I could not be happier about it. That’s the kind of thing you want to remember.”

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