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Hess’ first career goal pushes Marquette past Kentucky

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

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Marquette’s matchup against Kentucky wasn’t the prettiest or most glamorous of affairs. Neither team scored in the first half, and each team had just two shots. The high humidity and 81-degree heat added a tiring factor as well. “It seemed like a little bit of an uphill climb,” head coach Markus Roeders said.

The Golden Eagles’ uphill climb was victorious, however, edging Kentucky 2-1 Sunday at Valley Fields.

After a grueling first 63 minutes, midfield/forward Carrie Madden put the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard with a goal off teammate Darian Powell’s blocked shot. However, Kentucky quickly struck back with a goal of its own — a shot off goalkeeper Maddy Henry’s arms by Eva Mitchell.

For Marquette, extra time seemed to be a likely possibility until a free kick by senior Madison Dunker. Redshirt freshman Abby Hess took possession of the dangerous free kick off a bounce, gathered her dribble and rocketed it past goalkeeper Evangeline Soucie into the top of the net.

“I just thought if someone’s going to be at the end of this, I wanted it to be me,” Hess said. “I had someone on me, so I just thought too strong and put it in.”

According to Hess, Dunker’s free kick from the other side of midfield was essential for the goal. “It takes a lot from Dunker to play such a good ball into the back corner,” Hess said. “It was a perfect service.”

The Golden Eagles had plenty of other opportunities in the half, outshooting Kentucky 16-5. “We had some outstanding chances in the second half and just didn’t finish those,” Roeders said. “Based on that, maybe we could’ve scored two or three more.”

The Golden Eagles’ first win of the season came on short rest after hosting second-ranked Stanford last Friday. “We were pretty dialed in today,” Hess said. “We had some tired legs but pushed through.”

Marquette will have a few days to enjoy its first win of the year before hosting Drake Friday.

“It’s such a good feeling being home, and then getting a win at home is even greater,” Hess said. “So we’re looking forward to Friday and preparing and recovering until then.”

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