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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette opens 2024 season with 18-12 win over Cincinnati

(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette women’s lacrosse — coming off a historic 2023 campaign — had a lot to prove in its 2024 season-opener against Cincinnati.

The two highest-scoring Golden Eagles were no longer on the team and the roster became full of young talent, so it was known people were going to have to step up. In walked attackers junior Meg Bireley and sophomore Tess Osburn to answer the call.

Bireley finished with a career-high seven goals and Osburn put in four herself, propelling the Golden Eagles (1-0) to an 18-12 win over the Bearcats (0-1) Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields.

“It feels pretty good to help our team win,” Bireley said. “I’m just lucky that there’s so many good teammates on our team that will pass me the ball, have great defense and get the ball for us in the draw.”

Silencing responses

Marquette found itself up by two 12 minutes into the first quarter. Despite Cincinnati’s best efforts, the Golden Eagle defense consistently pushed any attacks by the Bearcats away from the net.

With only 2:38 left in the first, senior midfielder Leigh Steiner made a break up the center on Cincinnati’s half of the field — something she did all game. Steiner fed it behind the net to fifth-year attacker Hannah Greving, who passed it to Osburn, who slotted it into the back of the net past Cincinnati goalie Victoria Marces.

“Our team is very connected,” Marquette head coach Meredith Black said. “Our defense and offense are talking throughout the whole game which was huge and doesn’t always happen. The defense would say ‘We’ll get a stop for you’ and the offense would say ‘We’ll score a goal for you.'”

Cincinnati wouldn’t put any score on the board until 13 minutes later in the second quarter.

Creating momentum and trying to keep it

After a give-and-take stretch of goals coming out of halftime, Marquette was up 10-5 over the Bearcats.

At 8:27 left in the third quarter, first-year CJ Meehan was given a free position attempt. As she charged on the right of the net, she worked through two defender’s sticks to make a bouncing shot past the left of Marces.

The goal started a four-goal streak for the Golden Eagles and helped cement their win over the Bearcats.

“I felt like we had really good opportunities and we took advantage of them when they came up,” Black said. “When we found that confidence as a team, we knew we could score the goals. We just had to go out there and do it.”

Up next

The Golden Eagles will travel to Kentucky to face the Louisville Cardinals Friday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. CST. This will be the beginning of a five-game road stint for Marquette.

This article was written by Ben Hanson. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @benhansonMU.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Hanson
Benjamin Hanson, Sports Reporter
Ben Hanson is a sophomore from Minneapolis, Minnesota studying journalism, digital media and advertising. He is a sports reporter and the assistant social media producer for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. When he's not in the newsroom, he likes creative writing, being with friends and going to sporting events. He is excited to be able to spread the word of the Marquette Wire because it has done so much for him while also refining his sports writing.

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