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Women’s lacrosse earns historic bid to BIG EAST Tournament with victory over UConn

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Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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The women’s lacrosse team made program history Saturday afternoon, winning a berth in the BIG EAST tournament for the first time after a 15-14 win over the University of Connecticut. Senior midfielder Allison Lane scored the game-winning goal with 1:55 left in the second half.

“I had no thoughts going through my mind, but I think that’s when I play the best,” Lane said. “I just caught the ball and shot.”

With the first-ever program win over UConn (8-9,4-5 BIG EAST), the Golden Eagles (10-7, 6-3 BIG EAST) finish their regular season home slate at 8-1, a program-best.

“I’m, like, speechless,” head coach Meredith Black said. “I mean I’m not in shock because I knew we could do it, so it wasn’t like a surprise that we won. It’s just surreal you know that its finally here.”

The Golden Eagles quickly got on the board with a goal from Lane, but Grace Nolan answered back a minute later for the Huskies with an unassisted goal to spark a 3-0 run.

Marquette could not get their momentum going early on, as UConn stretched the lead to 6-2. Sophomore attack Megan Menzuber ended the dry spell for the Golden Eagles with a goal, igniting a 3-0 run off of a feed from junior attack Cate Soccodato. Menzuber and senior Riley Hill each scored four goals.

Hill scored unassisted to start the second half and sparked a 2-0 run to tie the game at nine. UConn quickly shut down Marquette’s momentum with a 5-0 run over eight minutes of play to make it 14-9. Gabriel ended the Husky run with a feed from Hill to start a 6-0 spree for Marquette. Senior Charlotte McGuire scored two and Hill, Menzuber and Lane each had one to put Marquette ahead.

The Golden Eagles’ defensive unit, anchored by sophomore goaltender Julianna Horning, held the Huskies scoreless for the final seventeen minutes of the half. Horning made nine saves.

“Our defense this year has been our hero. I think they have just been able to dig in in the moments that matter the most,” Black said.

The Golden Eagles will travel to Gainesville, Florida next week to take on No. 1 seed Florida Gators in the semi-finals of the BIG EAST tournament. The first draw is set for Thursday, May 3 at 3 p.m.

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