Gibson leads Marquette to third straight shutout win


Photo by Colin Nawrocki

Marquette women’s soccer celebrates after first-year forward Kate Gibson’s game winning goal in the 106th minute against North Dakota State University Sept. 17.

Marquette women’s soccer entered Friday night looking for their third straight win and finish their non-conference schedule on a high note.

And the Golden Eagles did just that, defeating the North Dakota State University Bison 1-0 in double overtime at Valley Fields.

“First off credit to them, they came out with a game plan. They were very organized physical, defensively their sound and they look for their opportunities,” Marquette head coach Frank Pelaez said. “It was hard to break through it. Took us all the way to the end to breakthrough it.”

Despite outshooting them six to two in the first half, the North Dakota State University’s defense brought struggles to the Marquette offense resulting the score to remain nil nil at halftime.

“They were compact, physical and savvy,” Pelaez said. “They know how to slow the game down and control the tempo. We were a little bit frantic and weren’t controlling the ball as much as we wanted to.”

Marquette’s second half would not be much different.

In the 56th minute, the Golden Eagles had back to back scoring opportunities from first-year forward Kate Gibson and redshirt sophomore forward Alex Campana. However, Bison junior goalkeeper Sofia Howe came up with both saves.

Then in the 81st minute, Marquette was awarded a free kick after a handball penalty was called against NDSU.

Redshirt junior midfielder Katrina Wetherell fired a shot from 30-yards out but Howe was there with the save.

Three minutes later, sophomore forward Olivia Lovick broke past the Marquette defense on a breakaway giving the Bison their best opportunity of the night. Lovick’s shot was stopped by Marquette redshirt first-year goalkeeper Mikki Easter and then cleared by redshirt junior defender Madison Burrier.

Marquette had an opportunity to end the game themselves as redshirt sophomore midfielder Hailey Block connected on teammate Alyssa Bombacino’s pass in front of the box but the shot went far left.

It was the Golden Eagles’ second game this season that a match went into overtime.

Despite outshooting NDSU two to one in the first overtime, Marquette went into double overtime for the second time this season.

Then in the 106th, redshirt first-year forward Elsi Twombly and Burrier created a scoring opportunity for Marquette where Gibson finished it for the golden goal.

“Elsi is a great ball handler and we had just talked before the start of the second part of overtime how playing that down the line ball is going to work every time,” Gibson said. “Elsi took it and went with it. She did everything right and I was just there to be a part of it.”

For Gibson, the game winning goal marked her first goal of her collegiate career.

“(It’s a) great feeling, especially overtime everyone coming out,” Gibson said. ” Hope to get more.  I hope this adds some momentum but it’s great feeling.”

Pelaez said he was pleased with the fight he saw out of his team throughout the entire match.

“That’s one of the biggest things we want to do is make them believe that whenever anyone comes here, it’s gonna be a fight,” Pelaez said. “Hopefully it’s starting to impact them. I think they’ve done a really good job of just believing in the message.”

Easter recorded her third straight clean sheet as she finished with three saves on the night. Meanwhile Howe finished with 12 saves while allowing the lone goal.

With the win, the Golden Eagles finish their non-conference schedule with a 4-3 record.

“I’ve told them every game we’re trying to prepare for conference games,” Pelaez said. “Today, we I think was a great preparation because this was a BIG EAST game. It’s physical, it’s tough, everyone’s running back and forth. I’m excited for BIG EAST, because I think we’ve done everything we can to prepared them. We’ve played very, very good teams in very difficult situations and we’ve come out learning every time, this is a good stepping stone for what we’re trying to do.”

Next up for Marquette (4-3) will be their BIG EAST regular season opener against the Butler Bulldogs Sept. 23 at Valley Fields.

“They’re one of the one of the best teams in the conference,” Pelaez said. “They’re probably the best coached. They got some of the best players in there. They got all the accolades. They’re on fire right now. It’s going to be a big challenge but I think we’re ready for it.”

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