Wetherell’s overtime goal snaps two game losing skid

Marquette+womens+soccer+celebrates+after+Katrina+Wetherell+scores+the+winning+goal+in+overtime+against+St.+Johns+Oct.+15.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

Marquette women’s soccer celebrates after Katrina Wetherell scores the winning goal in overtime against St. John’s Oct. 15. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Ever since joining the BIG EAST in 2005, Marquette women’s soccer has boated plenty of success against St. John’s, entering Thursday night with a 14-1-1 record against the Red Storm.

The Golden Eagles got win No. 15 and their fourth BIG EAST win of the season in a 4-3 overtime win Thursday night at Valley Fields.

“I got to give our team tons of credit, we came back from a long road trip where we learned a lot. We didn’t come on at the right end of it but they were able to regroup,” Marquette head coach Frank Pelaez said. “Everyone as a team is believing in what we’re trying to do and we could have easily folded our tents and said “it’s another really good team we’re playing and we’ll try hard but who knows if we’re gonna get a result.” But I think they came out of the locker room today before the game saying you want to take this one so I’m really proud of him.”

Thursday’s win snaps a two-game losing streak for Marquette.

The Golden Eagles started the match with a purpose, scoring in the ninth minute when redshirt junior midfielder Rachel Johnson finished a corner from redshirt junior midfielder Katrina Wetherell.

For the Omaha, Nebraska, native it was her fourth of the season.

Then five minutes later, redshirt junior defender Madison Burrier scored her first collegiate career goal when she sent a long ball into the box and with a bounce found its way to the back of the net.

Junior forward Isabelle Aviza brought St. John’s within one in the 23rd minute on her third goal of the season. The goal came just a few steps from the six-yard box.

Just three minutes later, St. John’s had an opportunity to even the score when sophomore forward Nicole Gordon took a shot on net but Marquette redshirt first-year goalkeeper Mikki Easter came up with the stop.

Seconds before halftime, redshirt junior forward Alyssa Bombacino took the ball to her right and fired one into the top right corner to give Marquette a 3-1 advantage. It was Bombacino’s first goal of the season.

It was the first time since Sept. 30 that the Golden Eagles went into halftime with a lead.

The start to the second half would be slow offensively as both teams combined for one shot through the first 13 minutes.

In the 68th minute, the Red Storm pulled within one again when sophomore defender Frederique St. Jean fired one from the far left corner of the 18-yard box into the back post on the right side of the net.

For the next 20 minutes, Marquette controlled possession and held their lead.

However, the Johnnies kept attacking in search of the equalizer.

In the 88th minute, first-year midfielder Athina Sofroniou converted the equalizer to even the score at 3-3 and send the match into overtime.

“For a team to come back from a deficit like that and put us into overtime is something special,” Pelaez said.

Marquette went into its third overtime game of the season but only had a 1-1 record in overtime coming into Thursday.

Pelaez said the message to his team heading was simple.

“When it’s over time, it’s just reset,” Pelaez said. “We got to come back out like we did in the first half, group, reset and you get one opportunity to put in put one back in the net and we practice these things every day. ”

Eight minutes into overtime, Johnson sent a corner kick into the box from the right corner. Then Wetherell worked her way through a cluster of players to get a header on the ball and score the golden goal.

“We are told to just jump so my only initial thought was to just jump and it (ball) just hit me in the back of the net and went into the goal,” Wetherell said.

The Peoria, Arizona, native finished with an assistant and a goal in the match.

“Team mentality,” Wetherell said. “My teammates have my back every day, every practice, every game just being there.”

Easter finished with six saves on the night while allowing three goals.

With the win, Marquette moves into fourth place in the BIG EAST with three games left in the regular season. If the season ended today, Marquette would be in the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 2017 hosting a first-round matchup.

Next up for the Golden Eagles (8-6, 4-3 BIG EAST) will be a Sunday matinee against the Xavier Musketeers in Cincinnati, Ohio at 12 p.m. CST.

“The next game is right away,” Pelaez said. “One (Xavier) of the best teams in the country right now. They’re hot..they’re beating everybody. We are going to regroup, enjoy tonight a little bit and then going to figure out how to make it difficult for them.”

This article was written by Matthew Valente. He can be reached at matthew.valente@marquette.edu.