MILWAUKEE – No. 4 seed Marquette topped Illinois State 3-0 in a high-paced NCAA championship first-round match Friday night at Valley Fields. MU advances to the second round for the third consecutive year.
Marquette (17-2-2) received a pair of first-half goals from junior Lisa Philbin and senior Ally Miller, while sophomore Mary Luba notched MU’s final tally midway through the second half. The shutout victory is Marquette’s 16th clean sheet of the season, tying a program single-season record set in 2009. It was also the only time this season that Illinois State was held scoreless.The Missouri Valley Conference champions conclude their season with a 13-5-2 overall mark.
Marquette wasted no time getting on the board, scoring just four minutes into the match. Senior Rachel Sloan took the ball down the far side of the field and into the box, where she sent a slow, dribbling pass to the near post. Philbin got a foot on the ball and tapped it into the net, giving MU the early 1-0 lead.
After a relentless offensive attack for the majority of the half, MU managed to tack on another goal in the 27th minute, when Miller launched a shot from 25 yards out that went through the keeper’s hands and into the net. The goal was Miller’s sixth of the season, and sent the Golden Eagles’ into halftime with a 2-0 advantage.
MU outshot the Redbirds in the opening stanza 10-1 and held a 3-1 edge in corner kicks.
Illinois State came out of the locker room with a renewed intensity and created several scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half. The Redbirds’ best chance came in the 55th minute when Rachel Tejada placed a shot into the upper corner of the net that forced freshman goalkeeper Amanda Engel to knock it over the bar.
Engel notched three saves in the victory, and collected her seventh shutout of the season.
An ISU foul in the 69th minute set the stage for MU’s third goal. Junior Emily Jacobson sent a pass into the middle of the box from about 40 yards out that found Luba, who one-touched the ball past the keeper to extend MU’s lead to 3-0.