Marquette misses playoffs for fourth straight year despite win on Senior Night

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Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Elsi Twombly (22) celebrates with a teammate after Twombly’s goal in Marquette’s 2-1 win over DePaul Oct. 28.

Marquette women’s soccer headed into Thursday night’s BIG EAST Regular Season finale hoping to break a two-game losing skid while making the conference tournament for the first time since 2018.

And despite re-entering the win column thanks to a 2-1 victory over DePaul, the Golden Eagles miss out on the BIG EAST Tournament for the fourth straight season.

Prior to the match, the team honored its 10 seniors on Senior Night.

“The best feeling in the world for coaches to have a team who wants to keep playing and does not want the season to end,” Marquette women’s soccer head coach Frank Pelaez said. “There’s so many programs out there (that) kids just want the season to end, none of these girls wanted to end, the seniors didn’t want to the end. And then the kids that were the players that that are around them, don’t want to see them go either so it’s to me it’s a win win.”

On a rainy Thursday night at Valley Fields, DePaul struck first.

In the 11th minute, sophomore defender Grace Phillpotts crossed the ball into the box where then first-year forward Katie Godden took a one-touch shot to put it past Marquette redshirt first-year goalkeeper Mikki Easter.

Then three minutes later, the Blue Demons created an opportunity to enlarge their lead but Easter came up with the stop deflecting the shot out of bounds.

In the 24th minute, redshirt first-year forward Elsi Twombly put the equalizer behind DePaul goalkeeper Mollie Eriksson. Graduate student midfielder Elaina Eckert and graduate student defender Maddie Monticello were awarded the assist.

Marquette was not done in the first half.

In the 40th minute, redshirt junior midfielder Katrina Wetherell connected on a corner kick opportunity to put the Golden Eagles up 2-1 prior to halftime.

“We worked on corner kicks the day before, it was just something we have been trying to do all season and it was just a nice one to get it in there and get the win for the team,” Wetherell said.

Pelaez said it felt great to see Wetherell end her Marquette career with a goal.

“We work on these dead ball situations every day,” Pelaez said. “She’s capable of doing that (score) all the time. I’m just so excited for her because she’s a team leader, who is so unselfish and wants to be able to just get a W.”

For the first time since Oct. 14 vs St. John’s, Marquette went into halftime with a lead.

Both teams would create scoring opportunities in the second half but strong defensive performances from both sides would not allow any to find the back of the night.

DePaul did not stop attacking in hopes of finding the equalizer.

In the 86th minute, the Blue Demons create a break away opportunity heading towards the Golden Eagles goal but it would be broken up by Marquette’s defensive third.

Marquette and DePaul finished tied in shots on the night with six a piece.

Easter finished with three saves on the night while allowing just the lone goal in the 11th minute.

Marquette concludes the season with a 9-8, 5-5 BIG EAST record. It is the second straight winning season for the Golden Eagles under Pelaez.

Pelaez said though his team missed out on the playoffs, he is very happy with what he saw from his team this season.

“We’ve built the foundation,” Pelaez said. “The foundation in this program is really strong right now. Somebody told me a house isn’t built in one day, you got to (build it) brick by brick and all these bricks are starting to fit into place. I look at them everyday and say we’ve got to live in the moment, live in the day, think about what we’re doing today and not worry about tomorrow or other outcomes. They did that today and they showed it here by winning it.”

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