Marquette drops BIG EAST opener, snapping three game winning streak

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Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Alex Campana (19) sends a kick in the box during Marquette’s 1-0 loss to Butler Sept. 23.

Marquette women’s soccer entered Thursday night looking for its fourth straight game and first win of BIG EAST play.

However, the Butler Bulldogs had other plans as they defeated the Golden Eagles 1-0 at Valley Fields in the BIG EAST Regular Season Opener.

“Our tactics coming in was to anticipate and we did a great job anticipating,” Marquette head coach Frank Pelaez said. “Soccer can be a cruel game. I am proud of them. Butler had one opportunity in the second half and it scored. That is soccer for you.”

It was a battle between both teams defenses in the first half as both teams combined for six shots.

The Golden Eagles went into halftime tied 0-0 for the second straight game.

Both teams second halves would not be much different as both struggled to capitalize on opportunities.

In the 60th minute, redshirt junior midfielder Rachel Johnson took a shot on next but it sailed far right of the goal.

Then four minutes, off a corner kick redshirt sophomore forward Alex Campana got a touch on the ball but it was saved by Bulldogs first-year goalkeeper Emma Martin.

In the 83rd minute, Marquette had its best opportunity of the half when first-year forward Kate Gibson took a shot from down center but it sailed above the crossbar.

Then in the 90th minute with seconds away from reaching overtime, graduate student defender Maddie Monticello was called for a handbox giving Butler a scoring opportunity just outside the 18-yard box.

From roughly 20-yards out, junior midfielder Aliya Diagne fired the free kick just below the crossbar into the back of the net to give the Bulldogs the 1-0 win.

Pelaez said he was once again pleased with the fight he saw out of his team.

“Our foot was on the pedal,” Pelaez said. “I thought today we probably played one of our best games when it came to all around team. Anyone who came off the bench or was on the field was attacking. Our attack was our best defense because they (Butler) weren’t able to do things they were doing to us last semester.”

Marquette held Butler to a season low six shots in a match.

“It started up top making tackles and then throughout the midfield (and) the defense held tight,” first-year forward Maggie Starker said. “Everyone did their job. Everyone made big tackles, everyone worked hard to make sure that people behind them had an easier job to and then the defenders as always just put in the work.”

Campana and Johnson each recorded a shot on goal tonight for Marquette.

First year goalkeeper Mikki Easter did not record a save on the night while allowing the lone goal.

Next up for Marquette (4-4, 0-1 BIG EAST) will be a two-game road trip beginning on Sunday at Villanova at 12 p.m. CST.

“When you have a game like this, the best thing to do is get on a plane and go play somebody else,” Pelaez said. “Especially from out east because over there you don’t know what you’re going to get.”

This article was written by Kelly Reilly. She can be reached at kelly.reilly@marquette.edu or on Twitter @kellyreillyyy.