Horning poised for big senior season

Juliana+Horning+%2831%29+gets+ready+to+clear+the+ball+in+Marquette%27s+17-6+win+over+Cincinnati+on+Feb.+14.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

Juliana Horning (31) gets ready to clear the ball in Marquette's 17-6 win over Cincinnati on Feb. 14. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

When Marquette women’s lacrosse head coach Meredith Black attended an Ultimate Goal Lacrosse club game in Pennsylvania five years ago on the recruiting trail, there was a player who left a surprisingly strong first impression.

That player was senior goalie Julianna Horning.

“When I was looking at her club team for other reasons, I was like, Wait, this goalie is active, involved.’ (I) could tell she was a leader on the field even then,” Black said. “I emailed her coach and was like, ‘Is she still available.’ It was just amazing how it all worked out.” 

Two of Horning’s former high school teammates played for Black, making Marquette a familiar name.

When the Berwyn, Pennsylvania, native came out to visit Marquette, she said there was a surprising feel of being right at home.

“I was pleasantly surprised by Milwaukee, the city and the different opportunities that Marquette presented academically and athletically and that is what drew me to pick Marquette,” Horning said. 

Now in her senior year with the Golden Eagles, Horning has thrived in the cage, but that was not always the case.

It wasn’t until her first year at Conestoga High School that she fully committed to the goalie position, as she had previously split time playing attack and goalie.

“It was a position that I got thrown into a lot, and it became more common for me,” Horning said. “Over time I realized I had developed some good fundamentals and skill.” 

Horning credits her experience in soccer for helping her transition to a fulltime goalie in lacrosse.

For Black, it is her senior captain’s incredible work ethic that stands out the most.

“She comes in and asks me every single day at practice what she did well, what she can do better,” Black said. “She is open to criticism, open to feedback, she watches film … she is just putting in the work that other people are not doing.” 

Horning, who is in her second season as captain, said she hasn’t changed her leadership style, but instead has added different elements to it.

“For us as seniors, just wanting to leave an impact and instill the culture of Marquette lacrosse that we have seen and have helped shape throughout our four years and bringing that to the young players so they continue that on,” Horning said.  

Horning said with a younger team this year, the leadership goes beyond the team’s three captains. 

“This year being a captain is obviously a great honor, but I think the leadership extends past the three of us which is nice,” Horning said. 

Black said she believes one of Horning’s strongest leadership qualities is her vocality.

“She is always talking,” Black said. “You want to do well by her because she is putting in the work herself and she is doing what she needs to do so it is very inspirational to have her lead.” 

In addition to being a great leader and role model, Black said there is a sense of confidence Horning brings on the field to every game.

“She has played in these games, she has been through these things before, so it is hugely important,” Black said.

In her sophomore season, Horning set the single-season program record with 153 saves. She sits as the program’s all-time wins leader with 21, leads the program in saves per game and is currently second in all-time saves with 393.

If she had been asked four years ago when she committed to MU if this would be her impact she left on the program, she said she wouldn’t have believed it.

“I don’t know if I can say,” Horning said. “It was always a goal to leave an impact. Statistically … I don’t think it is necessarily something that I had in my mind or realized it was a possibility.” 

With her graduation set for December 2020, the biomedical engineering major has one specific thing she is looking forward to in her final season.

Having the opportunity to get out and compete. I am a pretty competitive person,” Horning said. “You can’t mimic the opportunity you have as a college athlete to step out there and represent Marquette.”

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at john.leuzzi@marquette.edu or on Twitter @JohnleuzziMU.