The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

SEASON PREVIEW: Women’s lacrosse focusing on the ‘little details,’ becoming ‘road warriors’ this season

Photo by Alex DeBuhr

After its first trip to the Big East Tournament since 2019, the Marquette women’s lacrosse team is focused on the little details in order to not only win its first conference tournament game in program history but its first Big East title.

“Obviously, our goal is to win that ring, win that Big East championship, but you can’t do that in a blink of an eye,” junior midfielder Emma Soccodato said. “You have to do it day-by-day, moment-by-moment, so my goal for our team is just to win each day together.”

With much of the core team returning for the 2023 season, senior defender Ellie Henry said that this team is hungrier than ever, especially after being picked to finish fourth in the preseason coaches poll.

“(It) lets us prove them wrong, it’s one of those things where we know our identity isn’t in what they say, but what we continually prove every single day and they haven’t seen that this off-season,” Henry said. “I was joking around that my ring size is an eight and I’m ready to write that on the paper, sign my name (and) put my number behind it.”

The first step to reaching that championship goal that Marquette head coach Meredith Black focused on was for the team to become “road warriors.” The Golden Eagles went 2-8 on the road last year, including 0-2 in Big East play.

“If we want to be Big East champions, it’s gonna be the games away you gotta win,” Black said. “We really made that a hyper focus in the fall and the girls totally bought into that.”

Black said being a “road warrior,” means building key habits.

“We started the season talking about small habits that create a champion,” Black said. “Sticking to your schedule, if you say you’re going to come down five minutes early to shoot, (you) come down five minutes early to shoot.”

The Golden Eagles kick off their season at home against San Diego State Feb. 12 at 12 p.m. CST.


The Marquette attack will have five of the top seven goal scorers return from a year ago, including senior Shea Garcia, who is returning for her fifth season. The Manhasset, New York native led the team in goals with 45 last season.

“A big reason was because of COVID, it just gave me another opportunity to help my team a chance to win the Big East,” Garcia said on what led her to her return. “(But) also to further my education, so it’s kinda like a win-win in a way.”

Beyond returning a vast majority of their scoring, senior Hannah Greving will be returning to the lineup after only playing two games last season due to a knee injury.

“It’s exciting because we didn’t know when exactly when she’d be back,” Garcia said. “It’s exciting because we lost them (Greving and junior Leigh Steiner) in the second game of our season, so it’s really exciting to have them back and have some success with them.”

Senior Mary Schumar was named to the All-Big East Preseason team after tying Marquette’s program record with 67 points in a season.

“I definitely didn’t like to celebrate the tie, so definitely looking to break it (the record),” Schumar said. “That’s always the goal but also to get everybody involved and get more team wins and win the Big East.”


Senior Lydia Foust leads the midfield group after she was named to the Preseason All-Big East team. The Redwood City, California native set career highs across the board in 2022 with 40 goals and 18 assists.

However, Foust said she is focused on the team accomplishments, rather than individual stats.

“I think this year the goals are different because we are returning (almost) our entire offense and so my goals have shifted,” Foust said. “I really don’t have a set specific numbers I want to hit this year. It’s more like this is our year to win the Big East.”

Most of the starting midfield also returns with Foust, Soccodato and sophomores Meg Bireley, Samantha Galvin and Josie Kropp.

After suffering a knee injury two games into the 2022 season junior Leigh Steiner will return to the lineup for the 2023 season.

“Having Leigh back has just been amazing, she’s my partner in crime on and off the field,” Soccodato said. “She is literally one of the best I have ever had in my life and (she) is so supportive and just seeing her come back, she hasn’t skipped a beat.”

The group did lose sophomore Elisie Smigiel, who transferred to Penn State during the summer of 2022 after putting up 26 points in 17 games.

Even with that loss, Foust said she is excited about the team’s new found depth after adding three first-year players.

Our midfield is super strong,” Foust said. “Last year and the years before we haven’t had a lot of depth in the midfield, so it will be interesting how having depth this year will play out.”


Much like its offense, Marquette returns its core on defense.

“We have a lot of girls coming back,” Henry said. “We have a solid eight girls that are competing every single day for a spot on the field. That just makes us that much better and heightens us to that much higher of a level every day.”

Over the offseason, Black brought in graduate student transfer Claire Conway from Detroit Mercy.

“She was a great player at Detroit, lot of experience, all conference for her conference, and so to us, that’s a no brainer,” Black said. “She is amazing, she’s a great fit, she has a great personality, she adds a light to our team for sure, so we’re really happy with that.”

Led again by three-time captain Henry, who complied 25 ground balls and 12 turnovers last season, said there’s a long way to build from last season, and it starts in practice.

It’s buying into every rep, and I think that’s something we’ve really harped on this pre-season,” Henry said. “The ball gets on the ground and that happens a lot, but we sometimes miss those second chances to get those ground balls.”


The Golden Eagles are carrying two goalkeepers this season, sophomore Brynna Nelson and first-year Ava Sprinkel. Black said she is unsure who will earn the start in the season opener at this time.

Last season, Nelson played in nine games, totaling 28 saves with 53 goals scored against her. In high school, Sprinkel was named to the Under Armor Top 150 list and led her team to the state finals.

But even with two young goalies, Black said to expect good things out of the two.

“We’ll have a young goalie in cage, but that’s alright because they’re both strong,” Black said.

This story was written by Jackson Gross and Emma Kroll. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected] or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU and @emma_kroll_.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emma Kroll
Emma Kroll, Executive Social Media Producer
Emma Kroll is a sophomore from Janesville, Wisconsin studying journalism and public relations and is the Executive Social Media Producer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as a sports reporter. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with her fellow Alpha Chis, exploring her community, and spending time outdoors. She is excited to start this new role and be creative in her reporting.

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *