Despite second half comeback Marquette drops BIG EAST opener

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Photo by Alex DeBuhr

Shea Garcia (21) in Marquette’s 19-13 win over Central Michigan March 27.

Marquette women’s lacrosse opened up BIG EAST Conference play Saturday in the Constitution State taking on UConn and despite a second half comeback, the Golden Eagles fell to the Huskies by a score of 18-15 at Morrone Stadium.

Kate Shaffer found the back of the net 18 seconds into the match to put the Huskies up early. Shaffer’s goal sparked an 6-0 run for UConn as Marquette did not get on the board until the 2:17 mark off a goal from senior midfielder Lydia Foust.

Marquette head coach Meredith Black made a change in net at the nine minute mark of the period as first-year Brynna Nixon replaced graduate student Amanda Rumsey.

After the first quarter, UConn led Marquette 6-1.

The second period was not much different for the Golden Eagles as Nixon allowed six more goals, giving the Huskies a 12-2 lead at halftime. Senior attacker Shea Garcia score the second goal for Marquette.

It is the fifth time this season that Marquette went into the locker rooms with a halftime deficit.

The Golden Eagles opened up the third quarter on a 3-o run with goals from first year attacker Elise Smigiel and Garcia, which forced the Huskies to call a timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, Marquette continued its momentum with four more goals to bring the deficit within five at 12-7 with 4:37 left to go in the period.

UConn would then respond with two goals from Grace Coon and Lia LaPrise to build its lead back to seven at 14-7.

With 41 seconds winding down, Meg Birely scored to send Marquette into the fourth quarter down 14-8.

Smigiel and junior midfielder Emma Soccodato closed the deficit to four with two early goals in the fourth quarter, which prompted UConn to call another timeout.

After the timeout, Garcia found the back of the net for her fourth goal of the afternoon to bring the score to 14-11.

With four minutes remaining, UConn held a five goal lead following goals from Syndey Watson, LaPrise and Kate Shaffer.

Marquette would then get within two at 17-15 after Soccodato’s back-to-back goals, but it would not be enough to pull off the comeback as UConn’s Sydney Watson sealed the win for the Huskies with a goal in the final seconds.

Garcia, who recorded her sixth hat trick of the season, led the way for Marquette on the afternoon with four goals.

Soccodato finished with three goals on the afternoon for her third hat trick of the season. Along with her one goal and two ground balls, junior attacker Mary Schumar recorded a career-high six assists on the afternoon.

Rumsey finished the game with five saves while allowing 12 goals, meanwhile Nixon allowed six goals with no saves on the afternoon.

The Huskies led the Golden Eagles in draw controls 20-17.

Marquette (5-7, 0-1 BIG EAST) will return to Valley Fields April 9th to take on the Villanova Wildcats at 12p.m. CST.

This article was written by Kelly Reilly. She can be reached at [email protected] or found on Twitter @kellyreillyyy.¬†