Midway through the first half of women’s soccer Friday night clash against the Drake Bulldogs, the Marquette pressure was palpable and still building. The Golden Eagles relentlessly probed both the right and left flanks, teeing up several in-play chances to put one in goal. Further squeezing the Drake defense, the squad nabbed a some key corner kick opportunities as well as a choice selection of free kicks just outside the 18-yard-box,
It was just a matter of time.
With 23:22 raining in the half, a hard Drake tackle afforded the Golden Eagles yet another set play, this one from 25 yards outside goal. Forward Carrie Madden’s noggin played the role of the pot of gold at the end of senior attacking mid Eli Beard’s rainbow cross, perfectly placed just a yard past the back post. Madden’s header pinballed through the scrum of Drake defenders and across the mouth of goal before graduate forward Darian Powell sent it into the side of the net for her first goal of the season.
“Carrie made a great play,” Powell said. “It was really all her, I was just there to put the ball in the net.”
From then on, it seemed the bubble had burst.
Not two minutes inside the second half, Madden again positioned herself to be in the perfect place at the perfect time. The red shirt junior punched a one-touch volley into the back of the net at the end of her far post run off a corner kick, putting the Golden Eagles up 2-0 with 43:05 to go in the game.
Nine minutes later, Madden created the Golden Eagles’ third goal when she knifed through the Drake backline, intercepted a weak pass, then darted into the keeper’s box from the corner. A slick pass slipped by Drake’s charging keeper Haley Morris, easily finding the trailing Powell for a clean one-touch goal.
“We’ve been playing together two years now, and I think we’ve really gotten into a flow together,” Madden said. “I just love being out there with her because I know she’s gonna put one away if I put it across the goal. It’s just really fun.”
Marquette’s veteran forwards and mid-fielders continued their steady dominance through the rest of the first half, applying constant pressure on the Drake back line and controlling the pace of the game, giving keeper Maddy Henry only one needed save and some relaxing views from the six yard box. Platoon goalie Sloane Carlson picked up a pair of saves as well after being subbed in late in the second half.
The 3-0 victory pushed the Golden Eagles to 2-1 for the season ahead of their Sunday matchup in Kentucky against the Louisville Cardinals.