Women’s lacrosse goes winless on opening weekend

Grace+Gabriel+scored+five+of+Marquette%27s+eight+goals+in+a+loss+to+Louisville+Sunday.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Grace Gabriel scored five of Marquette's eight goals in a loss to Louisville Sunday.

Playing on the road against two teams receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse Top 20 poll was never going to be an easy task for Marquette women’s lacrosse, and it proved to be just as challenging as expected.

The Golden Eagles lost 14-7 to Johns Hopkins in Maryland Friday and 16-8 to Louisville Sunday.

“We’ve got to learn how to come out with more confidence,” head coach Meredith Black said in a team-released video after the loss to John’s Hopkins.

After a free position goal from junior Grace Gabriel, the Blue Jays went on a six-goal run that included two goals by senior Emily Kenul and two by senior Shannon Fitzgerald.

A perfect 19-19 clear record also aided the Blue Jays’ offense. Marquette was not able to cause a single turnover in transition.

“I think we played with some first-game jitters, especially in the first half,” Black said.

Marquette pulled the game back a bit, scoring twice in the final 37 seconds of the first half and twice to start the second half. That 8-6 deficit was as close as the Golden Eagles would get for the rest of the day. Six consecutive Johns Hopkins goals put the game out of reach.

Sunday’s bout with Louisville followed a similar script. Once again, Marquette found itself in a big first half hole, as the Cardinals jumped out to a 6-1 lead. The Golden Eagles fought back again to cut Louisville’s lead to 9-7, mostly due to Gabriel’s offensive efforts. She scored three of her five goals during that Marquette run, all of them off free position looks.

Just as it looked like the Golden Eagles may make a game of it, Louisville won three of the next four draw controls to power a 7-0 run, which removed any lingering doubt. Junior Tessa Chad led the Cardinals with five goals.

After a tough road trip, Marquette returns to Valley Fields for its home opener Friday against Central Michigan, the first of a three-game homestand.

“We just got to know what we’re capable of,” Black said Friday. “We can beat any team in the country if we put our minds to it.”