by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Sports Editor

It may have been the ISU soccer team’s third trip to the NCAA tournament in four years, but it was not the one to make history as the Redbirds once again fell in the opening round of the tournament, this time to No. 4 seed Marquette, 3-0 on Friday in Milwaukee, Wisc. The game marked the first time this season that the ’Birds were shutout.

“Our girls battled, worked hard and gave it all they had,” ISU head coach Drew Roff said. “It just wasn’t enough tonight. We’re keeping our heads [held] up high. We lost to a great team. To win this one, we had to really play well and get some breaks, but that didn’t happen tonight.”

The Golden Eagles scored in the fourth minute to give MU an early 1-0 edge.

“Our main focuses this week was starting off strong, and not giving them anything in the first 15 minutes,” Roff said. “Unfortunately, sports don’t always go as scripted, and we just couldn’t keep them off the scoreboard like we hoped to.”

MU struck again in the 27th minute of play with an unassisted long shot from roughly 25 yards out to go up 2-0, which was the score heading into the half.

ISU was outshot in the half 10-1 with sophomore Rachel Tejada sending a shot over the crossbar.

The Redbirds regrouped entering the second half with Tejada and junior Anna Stinson each firing off a shot early on in the second half.

“I thought we came out really strong in the second half,” Roff said. “We were searching for a goal, and I think a goal at that point would have really changed things.”    

But MU added to its lead and took the momentum with a third and final goal to make the score 3-0. Despite keeping better pace with the Golden Eagles and only being outshot by an 8-6 margin, the ’Birds were unable to make a dent in their deficit as the game wrapped up.

Marquette extended its unbeaten streak to 15 games while ISU finished its season with an overall record of 13-5-2.

With the end of the season also comes the end of the careers for the six seniors. Together, Rachel Bostick, Sarah Carlson, Kristin Cooley, Mara Kremenovic, Kelly Rosenthal and Heather Sterling have tallied 47 wins in their four seasons, more than any other class of Roff’s. They are also the first group in program history to head to the NCAA tournament three times.    

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