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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Schumar serves in ‘quarterback’ role in No. 2 ranked offense

Photo by Marquette Wire Stock Photo
Schumar holds all-time records for points and assists in a single season.

While standing behind the goal with the ball in her stick, senior attacker Mary Schumar reads the defense like an NFL quarterback, trying to anticipate an open teammate through a crowd of defenders.

Then, Schumar sees senior attacker Shea Garcia break open to which she fires a pass and Garcia puts it in the back of the net.

The crowd cheers and those on the Golden Eagles break into their celebration dances.

“She’s our quarterback, the ball goes through her hands more than anybody else,” Wolf said. “She’s our biggest decision maker and she sees everyone ahead of her.”

Schumar has been able to become that quarterback for the women’s lacrosse team through her improved decision making from a year ago.

“One thing we have really worked on her with is walking that line of taking risks but no turning the ball over too much,” Wolf said. “She’s gotten so much better at that this year (and) that’s what has separated herself (from others).”

Those improvements have led to a historic season for Schumar this year.

Schumar has broken two all-time single season records this season for points (84) and assists (65) against then-No. 24 UConn April 15 and Ohio State April 4 respectively.

Those historic numbers for Schumar have led to impressive numbers for the offense as a whole.

Through 15 games, Marquette ranks No. 1 in the nation in shots and shots on goal per game at 38 and 28.5 respectively. Additionally, the Golden Eagles hold the second best scoring offense in the country at 17 goals per game, behind No. 2 Northwestern. 

Marquette’s breakout offensive success this season comes after finishing in the Top 40 in several offensive categories last season, including No. 25 in scoring.

Schumar said the jump has started back before the team played their first game.

“It honestly started since the first day of practice in the fall, our class really emphasized that this is the year for the Big East championship,” Schumar said. “We need to buy in, we need to do the extra work, this has to be it.”

While putting in the hard work, Schumar has been able to balance that with her fun and goofy personality.

On the sidelines of every game, Wolf said Schumar is doing more than just getting ready for the game.

“She’s dancing, she’s telling jokes and she’s having fun,” Wolf said.

Schumar said it’s all just part of who she is.

“I always tell the coaches thank goodness, especially Caitlin (Wolf), you let me be goofy and weird,” Schumar said.

Senior midfielder Lydia Foust said Schumar’s loose and positive attitude has spread throughout the rest of the offensive group.

“It’s been huge for us this year,” Foust said. “We have all the confidence in the world that if someone makes a bad decision, whether it’s me shooting a horrible shot or Schoo (Schumar) throwing in a feed that maybe she shouldn’t, we know that the next play that person is gonna try to be better. We all are so connected and (we) are having fun when we’re down there.”

Through that belief and positivity, Schumar said it has created a selfless offense.

“It doesn’t matter who scores or who has the best game mentality and I’ve never felt that in my four years playing at Marquette for an offense,” Schumar said. “Each different game someone has stepped up. As long as we win as a team, we’re all in (and) it has been growing in that field more than it ever has in the past four years.”

Eight different players currently have scored 10 or more goals this season, with Foust leading the charge with 51 netters.

Wolf said the versatility of Marquette’s offense has given teams trouble when trying to execute their game plans.

“I’m always talking to Jill (Rizzo), our defensive coordinator and (ask) ‘What would you do? What do you pick as our biggest strength?'” Wolf said. “That puts teams in a really tough position because it’s hard to have a defense that can protect against everything.”

Foust said the Golden Eagles scoring depth proved to be a challenge for then-No. 24 UConn April 15, when the Golden Eagles scored 10 first half goals.

Marquette enters the final week of the regular season currently tied for first place with Denver at a 14-1 overall record and 3-0 Big East record. It’s the first time the Golden Eagles have been opened league play at 3-0. 

Despite breaking many offensive records this season, Wolf said the unit hasn’t reached its peak yet.

“The sky is the limit for this group and that is what is really exciting,” Wolf said. “We’ve never made it past the Big East semifinals, so that’s step one to get to and win the Big East championship. I have so much trust that this team is going to leave everything they have in this season.”

Marquette finds itself in an unprecedented situation come Saturday’s regular season finale against No. 3 Denver as it has a chance to lock up its first Big East regular season title.

Schumar said with this on the line, she is focusing on keeping the same level of energy from each game this season.

“Before every game it’s always ‘Mary just have fun’ because that’s why you’re here,” Schumar said. “I always just try to bring that whether it’s dancing on the sidelines or picking up my jacket, but (just) having that fun mentality.”

This story was written by Jackson Gross.  He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU.

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