After losing 18-8 to Ohio State a year ago, you have to figure that it's a little bit exciting to see MU (1-2) hang closer to a reeling Buckeyes team (1-2) that desperately needed to get a win in their home opener.
Things started out really well for Marquette, as they won two of the first three face offs of the game, and converted both possessions into goals to take a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Ohio State started out the season ranked for a reason. Over the next 18 minutes of the game, OSU would score six unanswered goals off the sticks of five different players, taking a 7-2 lead and kind of ending the game from there. A slashing penalty to Luke Howard allowed MU to break the Ohio State run as Kyran Clarke converted the extra man opportunity for his first ever collegiate goal.
Kyle Whitlow's second goal of the game would get MU within three, and Bryan Badolato would answer a Jesse King goal with one of his own to keep it at 8-5 at the start of the fourth quarter. Ohio State would get the first two strikes of the period to end Marquette's thoughts of an upset, but Whitlow did manage to finish his hat trick to give MU a 100% conversion rate with a man advantage on the day. The two goals from Whitlow and Clarke were the first two EMO goals given up by Ohio State on the season.
Whitlow and Tyler Melnyk led Marquette in scoring with three points each. Whitlow got all of his on his goals, while Melnyk had a goal and two assists. Jesse King had six points for Ohio State coming on four goals, including the game winner, and two assists. JJ Sagl made four saves in net for MU, while Greg Dutton made nine stops for the Buckeyes.
STAT WATCH: Marquette only won seven of the 21 face offs in the game, with Cullen Cassidy going 6-14 and KC Kennedy winning one of his four tries. 33% is a noticeable decrease from last year's 42.9%, but after the lousy face off performance against Lehigh in the opener, head coach Joe Amplo is more than aware of MU's struggles at the X so far this season. In more exciting news, only three of Marquette's eleven turnovers were of the unforced variety. With 25 possessions in the game, that's a rate of just 12 unforced errors per 100 possessions, a significant improvement on the rate of 27.5 from last year.
Up Next: Marquette heads back to New York next Saturday. They'll take on Marist in the Red Foxes' home opener. Marist is 1-1 so far this season, with the loss coming at the hands of noted Big East powerhouse Denver. Marist is currently losing 11-5 to Air Force in the third quarter, and they'll take the rest of the week off to prepare for the Golden Eagles.