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Dramatic overtime goal pushes women’s soccer past Xavier

Photo by Jordan David

Photo by Jordan David

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Sixth-year striker Darian Powell’s path to Senior Night was not the most straightforward. Injuries kept the 5-foot-6 forward off the pitch until her junior year, but a strong rebound helped her climb to eighth in the program’s all-time scoring list.

“(After) what she’s gone through and what she’s suffered, she kept plugging away and got healthy,” head coach Markus Roeders said. “She persevered.”

Powell persevered once again on Senior Night, scoring her 23rd career goal in the 93rd minute to propel Marquette past Xavier, 1-0, Saturday night.

“It feels amazing,” Powell said. “It was so fun … a great way to end Senior Night.”

The header came in the 93rd minute. After redshirt junior Ryley Bugay crossed the ball from about 45 yards out, Powell chipped the ball above Musketeer goalkeeper Toni Bizzarro and nearby defenders for the game-winning goal, the 10th of her career.

“To be here tonight at the end of the ball that (Bugay) played in is unbelievable,” Roeders said. “I’m really kind of speechless.”

“It happened so fast,” Powell said. “Someone crossed it in, and I just went up for it and got at the end of it.”

The win was one misplaced touch away from not happening, though. In the 53rd minute, Xavier freshman Sydney Schembri sent a shot off the post and the ball bounced to redshirt senior Tori Doss. Wide open from about two yards out, Doss’ shot sailed well above the net.

“That was a scare for sure,” Powell said. “It gave us a little kick in the butt to get going (and) really work for that goal.”

For Roeders, the missed shot was a bit of “divine intervention.”

“That’s when you say maybe things are supposed to bounce your way today,” Roeders said. “That was a great chance for them … definitely dodged a bullet there.”

Rain throughout the game slowed the pace of play and resulted in several off-line passes. “There were probably spells in there where you wish, ‘Oh hey, take another touch here. Connect one more time here,’” Roeders said.

Maddy Henry finished the night with her third shutout in the last four matches. She now has 76 saves and seven clean sheets this season.

With the win, Marquette is now 3-3 in BIG EAST play and in fifth place in the conference standings. The top six teams advance to the BIG EAST tournament. “It is a huge result for us,” Roeders said. “To get those three points puts us in a much better spot.”

The victory also gives the Golden Eagles a newfound sense of confidence after dropping three of its first five BIG EAST matches. “It puts us in a really good spot,” Powell said. “We’re really excited going forward for what can happen and what’s ahead.”

Marquette is not in the clear yet. Roeders and company will head out to Washington, D.C., to take on reigning conference champions and consensus preseason favorite Georgetown.

“Georgetown has always been a huge game for us,” Powell said. “So we’re really excited for what’s ahead.”

The Golden Eagles have not beaten the Hoyas on the road since 2010. Six of the eight matchups between Marquette and Georgetown have been decided by two or fewer goals.

“They got a really good group,” Roeders said. “But at the same time, Creighton kind of showed that you can get a result in any given game.”

Those concerns are for tomorrow, though. Tonight, Roeders and his team are celebrating a season-saving victory. “You make movies out of that,” Roeders said.

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