Omaha, Neb. — Trailing 2-0 early in the second period senior Lauren Sullivan breathed new life into her squad with an unassisted goal, then delivered the knockout blow in double overtime with a golden goal in the 108th minute lifting the Creighton women’s soccer team to a 3-2 win over Marquette on Sept. 25.
The win lifted the Bluejays to 6-1-2 on the season and 1-0-0 in BIG EAST action, while Marquette fell to 4-5-2 overall and 0-1-0 in conference play.
The match didn’t get off to the start that head coach Ross Paule wanted as the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals in the 23rd and 25th minutes. Marquette’s first goal came on a crossing pass from Carrie Madden to Molly Pfeiffer, who punched in her fourth goal of the season from five yards out.
Bluejay goalkeeper made a diving save moments later stopping a Golden Eagle scoring chance, but the ball bounced out of bounds to set up a Marquette corner kick. The ensuing play saw Meegan Johnston send the entry pass to Pfeiffer. She headed the ball to Carrie Madden for a shot from seven yards.
Meola appeared to have saved the shot, but the officials ruled the ball had crossed the goal line, crediting Madden with her second tally of the season.
Down 2-0, the Bluejays looked to their leader for a boost. With just over ten minutes remaining, Sullivan responded. Taking a pass from junior Gabriela Braga on the Creighton side of midfield, Sullivan split three defenders to the top of the box. After slipping past another Golden Eagle at the top of the box, Sullivan beat Marquette’s Maddy Henry to make it 2-1.
Sullivan’s goal sent the Bluejays into the half with the momentum. The close of the half gave Creighton the confidence to return as the aggressor in the second half. The Bluejays controlled possession early in the second period, earning the equalizer in the 79th minute.
Freshmen Taryn Jakubowski put the play in motion, beating her defender along the right side of the pitch just outside the box. The Illinois native centered a pass to fellow youngster Ashleigh Cearlock, who blasted home her first goal of the season from 12 yards out.
Having watched its 2-0 lead evaporate for the third consecutive match, Marquette became more aggressive in the final ten minutes but the Creighton defense rose to the challenge to send the match into overtime.
The first extra period saw both teams create chances as Creighton sent shots on frame in the 93rd and 98th minutes only to have Henry make the saves. Marquette, meanwhile, forced consecutive corners in the final minute only to have a header saved by Meola.
In the second overtime the Golden Eagles created a corner kick in the second minute, but were unable to get off a shot.
The decisive play of the match saw Sullivan send a pass from the top of the box out to wide on the right side to sophomore Kaira Houser. After corralling the ball just before it went out, Houser sent it back towards the junior Darby Hugunin, who tapped it back for Sullivan to send the Bluejays into celebration from 12 yards out.
It was Sullivan’s seventh goal of the season and the seventh time in her career she recorded a multigoal match, moving her into a three-way tie for second in school history with Brittney Neumann (2009-12) and Marcy Gans (2005-08).
Following the match Paule credited Sullivan’s first goal with changing the course of the match.
“That is what [Sullivan] does, she takes it on her shoulders to get this team back,” said Paule. “What’s special about this group is that we don’t panic, we keep playing, fighting and believing in one another.”
Sunday marked the first victory for Creighton over Marquette since the two teams became BIG EAST foes in 2014. The Bluejays last win over the Golden Eagles came in 1994, a 2-1 win on Oct. 8.
Creighton returns to the pitch on Thursday, Sept. 29 as the Bluejays will travel to Chicago to face DePaul at 3:00 pm