The Musketeers winning streak sits at six after two wins last week over Big East opponents
By Jackson Hare, Staff Writer
Earning their sixth consecutive win with a final score of 3-1, Xavier women’s soccer prevailed in a matchup against Marquette last Sunday.
After their win last Thursday against DePaul the Musketeers headed into their 17th game of the season on Oct. 17 against the Golden Eagles.
Right off the bat, both started the game with a strong offensive push, but no goals were scored. This began a standstill for a greater part of the first half.
However, with about 20 minutes left in the half, senior forward Sarah Owusu scored the first goal of the game — a goal that Head Coach Nate Lie distinguished as the turning point of the match.
“We think we can be pretty potent in attack once we figure out the timing, the patterns and the spacing,” Lie said.
This became evident after senior midfielder Molly McLaughlin carried their offensive momentum into the very beginning of the second half, scoring off a penalty kick from a Marquette handball.
With the score at 2-0, Marquette responded with a goal of their own from freshman forward Alexa Maletis.
Critical of the Musketeers’ performance, Lie felt that after going up 2-0, the team became too comfortable with the lead, leaving them vulnerable to a strong Marquette offense.
“When this team has urgency, goals and opportunities are going to happen. We just have to make sure that that lasts for 90 minutes or close to it,” Lie said.
Marquette’s goal reenergized the Musketeers for another offensive push that would lead to a goal from freshman forward Mathilde Rasmussen. This would secure the game for a Xavier 3-1 win to continue their winning streak. Rasmussen’s goal was a rebound off freshman Shelby Sallee’s shot, which hit the post.
“Shelby has been, in my opinion, our best attacking player since the Big East season began,” Lie added.
While the Musketeers’ offense was scoring goals, the defense — anchored by graduate midfielder Carrie Lewis, who was recently named Big East Defensive Player of the Week — helped maintain their lead. Up until their matchup with Marquette, the defense sustained a streak of over 500 minutes without a goal from an opposing team.
The Musketeers now remain first in the Big East standings with only two matches left. Lie feels confident about the upcoming matches.
“I still think we have a lot better soccer in us in a lot of phases of the game, but I do think we continue to grow, and we’re turning into a pretty good team,” Lie said.
The wins put the Musketeers at No. 17 in the United Soccer Coaches National Poll this week, heading into a matchup with Butler tonight and UConn on Sunday.