Creighton spoils Marquette’s hot start to Big East play

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Photo by Katie Craig

After riding high for the last two weeks behind a balanced scoring attack, the Marquette women’s soccer team suffered its first setback in Big East play.

Creighton (5-2-4, 1-2 Big East) — who entered the night winless in Big East play — defeated the Golden Eagles (6-4-1, 2-1 Big East) at Valley Fields, 1-0, playing spoil Marquette’s hot start to league play.

“Thought we came out a little but slow,” head coach Frank Pelaez said. “They got some really good pieces on their (Creighton) team that can just take advantage of that right away. The second half I thought we did a little bit better competing. We will learn from this and our job is to learn, get better the next day and come out for UConn.”

Marquette never led Thursday night.  For the second time in their last three games, the Golden Eagles found themselves in an early deficit.

The Blue Jays broke the silence in the 22nd minute when senior forward Juelle Love lofted a ball right in front of the box from midfield.

Sophomore defender Hannah Luke then made a one-touch pass to junior midfielder Lara Kazandjian, who fired a shot under the crossbar and past Marquette sophomore goalkeeper Chloe Olson.

The Golden Eagles created a late push in the latter part of the half, including a shot from sophomore forward Kate Gibson in the 38th minute that bounced off the left post, but were unable to find an equalizer.

Pelaez said his team wasn’t proactive in the first 45 minutes Thursday night.

“We weren’t able to connect passes in the beginning and whenever they had the ball, we’re chasing a bit,” Pelaez said. “We’re reactive instead of proactive and we can’t play that way. That’s not the way we practice, it’s not the way we talk about in the locker room all the time. We have to be proactive, we weren’t and they were.”

The defense that held their opponents to just two goals through its first four home games, doubled that number in just one night.

Creighton extended its lead in the 74th minute when senior defender Jordy Rothwell headed home a cross kick from senior midfielder Aida Kadovic.

Olson, who has become the starting goalkeeper over the last seven games,  finished with five of saves on the night while allowing two goals.

Pelaez provided an update on senior midfielder Katrina Wetherell, who has been out with a left leg injury since the start of the month. Wetherell participated in pregame individual drills prior to the match.

“She’s just started to jog just two days ago with cleats so baby steps,” Pelaez said.

Marquette (7-3-1, 3-0 Big East) will look to re-enter the win column Sunday when it welcomes in the UConn Huskies at 1 p.m. CST.

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