Notre Dame silences Marquette’s offense in 1-0 loss

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Photo by Izzy Bonebrake

Marquette women’s soccer’s defense takes on a Notre Dame forward.

Coming off a 4-3 win last Thursday night to Central Michigan, Marquette women’s soccer entered Sunday afternoon looking to stay undefeated in the young season.

However, Notre Dame had other other plans, as the Fighting Irish defeated the Golden Eagles’ 1-0  at Valley Fields.

“We came out with a game plan and we executed the game plan like we wanted,” head coach Frank Pelaez said. “Our efforts were there I thought. It’s a good stepping stone to what we are trying to get to.”

For the second time this season, Marquette had an opportunity to strike early in the first five minutes.

In the sixth minute, redshirt-first year Elsi Twombly sent a cross pass into the box, but redshirt sophomore Alex Campana’s shot was saved by Notre Dame’s goalkeeper Mattie Interian.

Then in the 25th minute, the game was sent into a 27-minute rain delay due to torrential downpour.

Notre Dame broke the game open in the 28th minute when first-year Sophia Fisher worked up the middle half of the field before finishing a pass and go with Kiki Van Zanten. It was Fisher’s first goal of the season.

The Fighting Irish outshot the Golden Eagles’ seven to four in the first half.

In the 61st minute, Notre Dame had an opportunity to extend their lead, but Marquette redshirt first-year goalkeeper Mikki Easter came up with the a catch in the air.

Seven minutes later, redshirt junior Rachel Johnson took MU’s second shot of the half from outside the 18, but Interian was there with the save.

Marquette did not stop their fight there.

In the 83rd minute, the Golden Eagles had a pair of opportunities to tie it up inside the box on shots from redshirt junior Katrina Wetherell.

Both of Wetherell’s shot were saved by Interian. The Notre Dame goalkeeper would leave the game with an injury following the scoring attempt.

Notre Dame outnumbered Marquette in several categories, including outshooting the Golden Eagles 18 to 8 in the match.

“Thought Notre Dame’s defense was very good,” Pelaez said. “Thought we were very fortunate to in  the first half to have several opportunities to put in the back of the net. Even at the end, we had some opportunities.”

Wetherell earned her first start of the season and finished with a tied team-high of two shots on net.

Campana added two shots on net of her own. The Natick, Massachusetts, native now has four shots on goal in the first two games.

“I wish I would have finished those,” Campana said. “It’s just getting precise on those right in front the goal. But yeah, I would say I’m pretty integrated in the offense. A lot of us go through rotations and I think that’s really cool. We can just get a lot of legs in and just get a lot of momentum towards the goal.”

Easter finished with six saves on the afternoon while allowing just one goal. The Culpeper, Virginia, native, now has a .889 save percentage on the season.

“Mikki was solid,” Pelaez said. “She’s organizing well. She’s communicating with the facts very well. She’s a good leader. She’s a team player and those are the type of people I want on my team.”

Marquette (1-1) will now head out to Utah for a two-game road trip. The Golden Eagles first match will be on Thursday at 8 p.m. CST against No. 24 Brigham Young.

“Another team that’s should be in the top 25 if they’re not already,” Pelaez said. “I have been out there before during the Sweet 16 and you’re looking at 4000 people plus just on you. The experience to me is what I want them to be able to overcome, embrace and then maybe do some special out there.”

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