The Golden Eagles opened their inaugural season with a Division 1 lacrosse record nine straight road games, but finally came home (to Hart Park rather than Valley Fields to accommodate a crowd of over one thousand fans) on Saturday night. Detroit Mercy got on the board first, but Tyler Melnyk scored the program's first home goal when the Titans made the mistake of unleashing the fury of one of the ten best man up offenses in the country. Kyle Whitlow scored the next three Golden Eagle goals: the first two kept Marquette even with Detroit and the last one gave them their first ever home field lead.
Marquette's 4-3 halftime lead exploded in the third quarter: Connor Bernal got the scoring party started early, but Tom Masterson answered within 20 seconds to pull the Titans back within 1. It was the last whiff of victory Detroit would have as the Golden Eagles scored four unanswered goals (MELNYK! BADOLATO! BERNAL! SMITH!) to pull away for good. Melnyk finished with 4 goals on the night to lead Marquette in scoring and seven Golden Eagles notched a goal in the match.
As the offense kicked into high gear, JJ Sagl and the defense locked it down on the other end. Sagl finished with 11 saves in the game with 5 in the last quarter as the Titans attempted to rally. Detroit scored 2 early in the fourth quarter to cut Marquette's lead to 10-7, but the Eagles scored another four straight to squash the comeback and secure their first ever home victory. The 14-9 beat down was the first ever NCAA Division 1 contest in Wisconsin state history. Yeah, that's right, STATE history.
Up Next: Marquette will go back on the road for two matches, including this Tuesday against Bellarmine, before returning to Hart Park to close out their season on May 5th against 7th ranked Duke.