Top 10 women’s soccer games in the last 15 years

Alyssa+Bombacino+%2815%29+in+a+match+against+Utah+State+last+season.+Bombacino+would+go+on+to+become+the+first+player+in+program+history+to+have+back-to-back+hat+tricks.+

Photo by Katerina Pourliakas

Alyssa Bombacino (15) in a match against Utah State last season. Bombacino would go on to become the first player in program history to have back-to-back hat tricks.

Throughout the years, the Marquette women’s soccer program has seen many shocking upsets, game wins and milestones since the team’s first season in 1993.

Check out the list below for some of the best games over the past 15 years.

 September 29, 2005: Upset reigning NCAA Champions No. 5 Notre Dame

The No. 18 Marquette Golden Eagles were set to face off against the defending national champions — No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Down at Valley Fields, packed to full capacity, the crowd was eager to watch the contest.

Twenty minutes into the game, the Fighting Irish struck first, but the Golden Eagles would soon respond with a goal by forward Meghan Connolly. After the tying goal, Marquette took control of the game with help from junior forward Alison Loughrin, who scored two goals for the Golden Eagles. Marquette went on to stun the defending champs by a score of 4-1, and for Loughrin and the rest of the team, it was a game they would never forget. 

Loughrin said that the victory over Notre Dame helped prove to the women and the fans that they were capable of playing with the best teams in the country.

Loughrin, who battled ACL injuries her senior year of high school and had to ultimately walk on to the team her sophomore year, meaning she needed to tryout to be on the team, said that this game was one that will touch her heart forever. 

Loughrin also mentioned that this game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that she will never forget because she was able to help her team achieve such a big milestone. She said the team was extremely happy that they played such a competitive game to give the fans an entertaining night that they will never forget.

October 5, 2007: Program’s 100th win at Valley Fields 

The No. 24 Marquette Golden Eagles beat the Villanova Wildcats 1-0 to give the program their 100th win at Valley Fields. Not only did the Golden Eagles achieve this special milestone, but they also handed Villanova their first loss of the season.

Both teams could not find the back of the net in the first half, but in the 66th minute, sophomore forward Anna Sawicki scored the go-ahead goal, which would eventually be the difference. Senior goalkeeper Laura Boyer made an amazing save in the final minutes of the contest to secure the win in the 10th shutout of her career.

November 2, 2010: Marquette advances to semifinals of BIG EAST Tournament with 3-0 win over DePaul 

Marquette, the two-time BIG EAST American Division champion, went up against DePaul Nov. 2, 2010 at Valley Fields. The win expanded Marquette’s win streak to 12, the fourth best winning streak in the nation at the time. 

Marquette’s head coach at the time, Markus Roeders, talked about the Blue Demons’ defense after the 3-0 win.

“Give DePaul credit, their defense was outstanding for a majority of the game,” Roeders said after the game. “But we were able to break through in the first half and added a few at the end.”

The Golden Eagles were not to be denied, even with strong defense from the Blue Demons, as they scored their first goal in the 30th minute on a cross.

The Marquette Wire’s Michael LoCicero reported that Rachel Brown’s 30th minute goal off a perfect cross from senior forward Ashley Bares was Marquette’s first goal in a first half since a 4-0 win against Cincinnati Oct. 15. 

Marquette added two goals in the second half to advance to the semifinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament.

November 13, 2011: Marquette beats Toledo to advance to second round of NCAA Championships with OT winner 

Marquette advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships Nov. 13, 2011. They took down Toledo in a closely contested game.

Marquette won the match 1-0 after a goal from sophomore midfielder/forward Taylor Madigan in the first period of overtime. Sophomore midfielder/forward Maegan Kelly played a deep ball to Lisa Philbin, who flicked it forward to Madigan. She put the shot near the post, which ended up being the golden goal for the Golden Eagles.

Toledo’s keeper, Vicki Traven, saved seven of eight shots, but was unable to block the shot that would send the Rockets home.

The Golden Eagles, who were 18-3-0 at the time, outshot the Rockets 14-3 and held the 8-1 advantage in shots on goal. The strike marked Madigan’s eighth of the season and her second overtime win, the first coming against Notre Dame earlier that season. Marquette advanced to the second round, where they would face No. 4 Penn State.

November 4, 2012: Golden Eagles win first BIG EAST title 

The Marquette women’s soccer program won its first-ever BIG EAST title Nov. 4, 2012, defeating Georgetown 1-0. The winning goal came from junior forward Taylor Madigan in the 81st minute off an assist from senior forward Rachael Sloan. This secured the victory.

The game was closely played by both teams throughout the entirety of the contest until Madigan broke the tie. The Golden Eagles’ defense proved to be a brick wall, as they only allowed Georgetown to take three shots, and first-year goalkeeper Amanda Engel had two saves.

Madigan said she was ecstatic to help deliver this special win because the team had put in the work necessary to get to that point.

“Amazing, exciting,” Madigan said. “We worked so hard to become the best team in the BIG EAST and it certainly paid off.”

Madigan said she was so proud of her team for staying composed throughout the entirety of the game.

“We just never quit. The whole team worked together,” Madigan said. “We were always supporting each other. Being the hardest working team wins championships.”

October 13, 2013: Golden Eagles upset No. 6 Georgetown and snap their 13-game winning streak

The Golden Eagles shocked the No. 6 Georgetown Hoyas with a 4-0 shoutout in the grand opening of the new stadium at Valley Fields Oct. 13, 2013. With the win, Marquette snapped a 13-game win streak and expanded their own win streak to seven games.

The Golden Eagles’ defense was stellar, allowing just six shots, four of which were saved by sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Engel. Senior forward Taylor Madigan proved to be the driving force in the win for the Golden Eagles, scoring the winning goal and tallying one assist.

Madigan said she was happy to not only have another game-winner, but to also secure another win against Georgetown.

“So happy and excited! We worked as a team to be the best in the BIG EAST and showed everyone who Marquette was,” Madigan said. “Nothing feels better than being one of the best teams out there. We were so determined and such a competitive team that winning these championships really meant a lot to us. They are some of my greatest memories at Marquette.”  

August 22, 2014: Powell sets MU record for shortest elapsed time between two goals in 2014 season opener

In Marquette’s season opener in 2014, sophomore forward Darian Powell connected on two goals, the second just 34 seconds after the first. The two strikes gave Powell the record for shortest elapsed time between goals in Marquette women’s soccer history, a record that she still holds today. 

The Golden Eagles beat Loyola Chicago at Valley Fields to open the season. However, the goals did not come until after 80 minutes of action. Sophomore forward Ashley Handwork scored in the 81st minute before Powell expanded the lead with two goals in the 89th minute.

Powell spoke about the game and why she remembers it so well.

“That’s actually one of the best memories I have at Marquette. I was hurt my first two years and this was my very first game back. I scored one goal which was awesome, and then somehow I ended up scoring another goal,” Powell said. “It was obviously really meaningful for me because I had went through so much hardship (and) heartbreak those first two years, so to score two goals my first game back was like the best feeling in the world.”

Powell also remembers the reaction from her teammates as well.

“Tears, hugs, after the game I have a picture of everybody storming to me and hugging me. Markus (Roeders) and I shared a good moment too. Just hugging, and I was crying because it really was so meaningful to me,” Powell said. “It was just a lot of happiness that day.” 

November 4, 2016: Carrie Madden’s bicycle game-winner against St. John’s in overtime 

The Golden Eagles faced off against the St. John’s Red Storm at Shaw Field in the nation’s capital Nov. 4, 2016. 

St. John’s struck first in the 28th minute, but not long after, redshirt sophomore forward Carrie Madden evened up the score. The rest of the game was played closely, with both goalies making a stand, as there was no scoring for the rest of regulation.

Overtime was also played until the 96th minute when Madden scored on a bicycle kick to give the Golden Eagles the overtime win. It was Madden’s second goal of the game and it sent Marquette to the BIG EAST Tournament championship game. 

I think the first feeling I had was shock that it was actually a goal,” Madden said. “It’s moments like that that athletes live for. It’s the reason why I fell in love with the sport. It’s a feeling of complete happiness that I’ll never forget.”

Madden went down with a leg injury at the end of regulation, but pushed through because she knew that was what she had to do. 

“In that scenario I knew it wasn’t a serious enough injury for me to stop playing, so I just pushed the pain to the back of my mind and focused on my teammates who were counting on me to finish the game,” Madden said. 

October 12, 2019: Macey Shock delivers game-winning goal in double overtime to complete comeback and stun St. John’s 

Sophomore forward/midfielder Macey Shock scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to complete a comeback against the St. John’s Red Storm Oct. 12, 2019.

The Golden Eagles had to overcome an early setback, as they were trailing 2-0 at the half. The Red Storm had everything going right on both ends of the ball until Marquette first-year midfielder/forward Alex Campana scored in the 61st minute to cut the lead to just one. Then junior forward Kylie Sprecher tied the game for the Golden Eagles with a goal in the 83rd minute.

It wasn’t until the 101st minute, but Macey Shock would go on to deliver the final goal of the game to seal the deal. Shock said this was the turnaround the team needed because she knew they were capable of more.

“We all just knew that the way we were playing wasn’t a representation of us or how we play,” Shock said. “We really wanted to turn the game around and not give up and fight for a result.”

The sophomore forward said the moment meant a lot to her because she was able to prove that she deserved to be on the field and play in those big moments.

“It meant a lot for me because in the beginning of the season I wasn’t seeing the playing time I wanted,” Shock said. “So, I pushed myself in practice every day to get better and every time I stepped on the field I tried to make an impact.”

October 20, 2019: Alyssa Bombacino making program history by scoring back-to-back hat tricks 

On Oct. 20, 2019, junior forward Alyssa Bombacino made Marquette women’s soccer program history by becoming the first player to ever score a hat trick in back-to-back games.

The Golden Eagles defeated Villanova 3-1, their first win against the Wildcats since 2016. Not only did she make program history, but she also helped give the program it’s 100th win in the BIG EAST. Bombacino said being in the Marquette record books meant everything to her. 

I was really excited to be included as part of Marquette’s history and to leave a mark on the program,” Bombacino said. “I was excited to have more achievements at the college level that I could continue building on.”

Bombacino also touched on the importance of helping to deliver the 100th BIG EAST win for the Golden Eagles.  

“It’s always nice to be rewarded for hard work, so I know our team and coaches were excited to have an achievement to represent the hard work they all put in,” Bombacino said. “I was glad I could help play a role in our team’s success because of how much the team means to me.”

This story was written by Bryan Geenan and Kristin Parisi. Bryan can be reached at bryan.geenen@marquette.edu. Kristin can be reached at kristin.parisi@marquette.edu or on Twitter @kristinparisimu.