Women's Lacrosse

Marquette Travels to No. 6/9 Florida in Battle for First Place

April 12, 2018

2018 Marquette Women's Lacrosse - Game 14
Marquette (9-4, 5-0 BIG EAST) at No. 6/9 Florida (10-3, 5-0 BIG EAST)
DateSaturday, April 14 | 11 a.m. CT
LocationDonald R. Dizney Stadium | Gainesville, Fla.
Stats | VideoLive Stats | Live Video
Social Media@MarquetteWLax (in-game) | Facebook
Media MaterialsGame Notes Get Acrobat Reader

MILWAUKEE - The two best teams in the BIG EAST Conference will meet on Saturday as the Golden Eagles and No. 6/9 Florida Gators meet in Gainesville at 11 a.m. Central time.

Marquette (9-4, 5-0 BIG EAST) won its seventh-straight league contest dating back to 2017 when it upended Vanderbilt on Sunday to remain undefeated (7-0) at home. The Golden Eagles trailed at halftime, 8-7, before scoring the first five goals of the second half and holding off the Commodores, 13-11.

Allison Lane and Charlotte McGuire paced the offense with three goals apiece, while Grace Gabriel capped her second-straight Midfielder of the Week bid with two goals, an assist, five ground balls, nine draws and three caused turnovers. Riley Hill added a goal and four assists to give her a league-leading 30 helpers on the year. Julianna Horning was once again sensational in net, making eight stops to preserve her fifth-straight win.

MU has sailed into uncharted territory this season with the opportunity to register its first-ever 10-win season and inch closer to clinching its first-ever BIG EAST Tournament berth with a win on Saturday.

The Gators (10-3, 5-0 BIG EAST) are riding a four-game winning streak after an 18-8 win over Villanova on Sunday. While their offense ranks right behind BIG EAST-leading Marquette, their defense has held three-straight opponents under 10 goals.

Like Marquette, Florida has five players with 30 or more points this season led by Shayna Pirreca's 52 points, including 39 goals. Lindsey Ronbeck has missed three games, but still ranks second on the team with 45 points, including 35 goals. Haley Hicklen is 10-3 in goal for UF with an 11.13 GAA and a .485 save percentage.

The Gators have two losses at home this season, dropping a close battle to then-No. 1 Maryland, 16-14, in the second game of the season, and later on to then-No. 14 Towson, 14-11.

Following Saturday's matchup, the Golden Eagles return to the Valley Dome to face No. 25/RV Denver on Wednesday, April 18. First draw is scheduled for 2 p.m. Central time.

- Marquette seeks its first-ever 10-win season when it takes on the team it's tied with at 5-0 atop the BIG EAST standings in No. 6/9 Florida on Saturday. The Gators are 10-3 overall and represent MU's fourth ranked opponent this season. A win would be MU's first-ever over a ranked team, having gone winless in its previous 29 such instances leading up to Saturday.

- Grace Gabriel (8 goals, 9 points, 11 ground balls, 13 draw controls, 8 CTs) picked up her second-straight BIG EAST weekly award. Florida goalie Haley Hicklen also earned a league distinction after going 2-0 with 5.55 GAA and .526 save percentage and attacker Lindsey Ronbeck made the honor roll after notching 11 points, including nine goals, in two games.

- Marquette is 9-2 over its previous 11 games with the lone losses coming against ranked teams on the road, (No. 17 Notre Dame; No. 9 Northwestern). MU is 7-0 at home in 2018.

- Marquette's 5-0 league start is a program first and sets a record for BIG EAST wins in program history, surpassing the four-win mark set in both 2016 and 2017.

- Junior Grace Gabriel just collected her second-straight BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week award following a stat-stuffing week that pushed MU's winning streak to five games. Gabriel totaled eight goals, nine points, 11 ground balls, 13 draw controls and eight caused turnovers in wins over Butler and Vanderbilt.

- The Lancaster, New York, native features a 38-game goals and points streak dating back to her freshman season in 2016. She ranks among the nation's leaders this season in several categories, including: Goals (5th), Shots on Goal/game (6th), Shots/game (7th), Points (19th), Draw Controls/game (19th), Caused Turnovers/game (33rd).

- Sophomore netminder Julianna Horning has been a force for Marquette during its current five-game winning streak, holding opponents to just 9.63 goals/game with 44 saves, including two double-digit save efforts during the stretch. Against Temple, Horning set a career-high for fewest goals allowed (4) and registered her fifth double-digit save performance of the year en route to her first career BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week award. She followed that up with just three goals allowed in a dominating win over Butler.

- It's been an impressive run for junior attacker Cate Soccodato, who has seven goals and 16 assists in her last five games. After tying the single-game school record with seven assists in a win over Cincinnati, Soccodato set a career-high with five goals in a win over Villanova, and then her third-staight six-point effort against Temple.

- Soccodato earned her first-ever BIG EAST Attacker of the Week honor on March 27 and currently ranks third on the team with 45 points on 17 goals and 28 assists. The 2018 season has truly been a breakout year for Soccodato after having only scored a combined 34 points during her first two seasons combined.

- MU aims for its eighth-straight BIG EAST victory, dating back to 2017, when it takes on No. 6/9 Florida on Saturday. Prior to the streak, MU had only won as many as two consecutive games in league play.

- The Golden Eagles rank atop the BIG EAST during league play with 83 goals scored and third with just 45 goals allowed. Overall, they are first in draws per game (16.31), points per game (22.08) and second in assists per game (7.00).

- Two more Golden Eagles surpassed the 100 career points mark after both Allison Lane and Grace Gabriel hit the milestone against Northwestern (March 10) and joined Riley Hill, who accomplished the feat just three games prior. The exclusive club now has seven members.

- Lane achieved the mark after scoring her second goal of the day and 81st of her career with 3 seconds remaining in the first half, while Gabriel reached the mark with a free position goal, her 89th career score, midway through the second half.

- Gabriel was one of the fastest MU players to reach 100 career points, doing so in 42 career games, second only to Claire Costanza ('17), who hit the milestone in two fewer games.

- Marquette is unbeaten this season when certain things happen in their favor. For instance, when they take a lead into halftime, the Golden Eagles are 6-0. When they record more shots than their opponent, they are 7-0. And, after the win over Temple, they are 6-0 at home.

- The six home victories set the single-season record for home wins, surpassing the 5-3 record at Valley Fields back in 2016.

- Diving a little deeper, it's worth noting that MU is 28-5 all-time when recording more shots than its opponent and 22-7 when gathering more groundballs (5-1 this season).

- Twice already this season, Marquette has broken the single-game record for goals with the latest occurrence taking place in a 23-15 home win over Niagara on March 3. It surpassed the previous-high of 22 goals set in a win over Stetson just six days prior. Before that, MU's highest scoring output was 20 goals, accomplished in wins over both Kennesaw State and Villanova during the 2017 season.

- The current scoring trend during the team's current 11-game (9-2) stretch is quite impressive. MU is averaging 16.5 goals per game. Marquette is on pace for nearly 260 goals scored in 2018, which would shatter last year's record-breaking season of 219 goals.

- MU is outscoring opponents, 196-154 (+42), through 13 games this season, including a 30-goal margin over the past three games.

- MU has improved their draw controls average from 8.65 draws per game in 2015 (last in the BIG EAST) to a whopping 14.71 in 2017, which ranked second in the league and 15th in the nation. So far this season, the Golden Eagles rank eighth in the country (16.31 draws/game).

- Additionally, the Golden Eagles have boasted the BIG EAST's leader in draws per game in each of the past two seasons. Last season, Grace Gabriel set the Marquette record with 81 total draws and led the league with 5.67 draws per game following a 2016 campaign that saw Allison Lane lead the BIG EAST with 3.43 draws per contest.

- This season, Gabriel's 5.92 draws/game leads the BIG EAST and ranks 19th in the country, while Lane's 4.69 average is eighth in the league and 49th nationally.

- Marquette ranks first in the BIG EAST and eighth in the country with 16.31 draw controls/game. MU recorded a whopping 24 draws in a record-breaking win over Central Michigan earlier this season and has reached 20-or-more draws in a game five times.

- The offense ranks 16th in scoring (15.08 goals/game), while ranking 11th in points/game (22.08) thanks to an average of 7.00 assists per contest, which is 11th-best in the country.

- Individually, Grace Gabriel's 51 goals scored ranks third in the country behind Nicole Beatson (60 goals) of Winthrop. Gabriel's 58 points ranks 19th-nationally, while Riley Hill's 52 points (31st) and 30 assists (9th), as well as Cate Soccodato's 28 assists (13th), also rank among the nation's elite. Lane has also cracked the top-20 in ground balls (3.23/game).

- The Golden Eagles are off to a fast home start in the Valley Dome with a 7-0 record, outscoring opponents, 125-74, with an average of 18.14 goals per contest.

- Marquette features a program-record nine home games in 2018, which is three more than last year and one more than its previous high of eight back in 2016 when it went 5-3 at Valley Fields. MU will put its 7-0 home record on the line when it takes on BIG EAST-foe and 25th-ranked Denver on Wednesday, April 18 (2 p.m. CT).

- Fun was had by all at the team's inaugural ping pong fundraising event at Evolution Milwaukee that raised over $2,400 for the Women's Lacrosse Excellence Fund. Proceeds will benefit an overseas service trip in 2020 to a destination yet to be determined.

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