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#16 Marquette Men's Lacrosse Clinches Big East Tournament Berth With 14-10 Win Over Providence

Two years in the Big East, two conference tournament spots.

Sophomore midfielder Ryan McNamara has 19 goals on the season after scoring three vs Providence
Sophomore midfielder Ryan McNamara has 19 goals on the season after scoring three vs Providence
Maggie Bean/

Marquette outscored Providence 9-2 in the middle two quarters of the game as the #16 ranked Golden Eagles cruised to a 14-10 win over Providence on Saturday afternoon in Rhode Island.  Marquette moves to 3-1 in Big East play and thus clinches a spot in the Big East semifinals coming up on April 30th.

Marquette could end up anywhere between 1st and 3rd place by the time the regular season ends, although a first place finish would require the Golden Eagles to defeat #5 Denver in two weeks and Georgetown to lose to St. John's in their final league game.  Marquette's most likely placement is third place, as Georgetown already holds the tiebreaker due to head-to-head results, and MU has the tiebreaker on everyone else below them in the standings.

The middle 45 minutes of this game was completely controlled by Marquette as they outscored the Friars 14-4.  But it started out poorly for MU as they fell behind 4-0 in the first seven minutes of the game.   Four different Friars found the back of the net before Ryan McNamara got Marquette on the board with 6:14 left in the opening period.  MU would pull it back to 4-3 before Michael Perrettine scored his second of the quarter to make it 5-3 after 15 minutes.

Kyle Whitlow broke Tyler Melnyk's career goals record with his 60th career tally to open the scoring in the second quarter.  Jacob Richard knotted it at 5 with his 4th goal of the season coming out of the defensive midfield, and McNamara's second gave Marquette their first lead of the game.  That was short lived, as Perrettine scored exactly 60 seconds later, but Jordan Greenfield's team leading 29th goal of the season came 50 seconds after that to give Marquette the lead for good.  We got a dead period of the game when it comes to scoring over the rest of the half, with just a Blaine Fleming marker with 49 seconds left giving MU an 8-6 lead at the half.

The Golden Eagles seized control of the game in the third quarter with goals from Kyran Clarke and Henry Nelson boosting the lead to four goals.  Will Mazzone scored the first of three goals in the game in the middle of the frame to show some fight from the Friars, but Fleming's second and McNamara's third made it a five goal margin with 15 minutes to play.

PC did outscore Marquette 3-2 over the final frame, but that deserves a major asterisk: Only Mazzone's second of the game came against Jimmy Danaher, Marquette's starting keeper.  Danaher was lifted for Cole Blazer with 5 minutes left, and after he gave up Mazzone's third, he was replaced by Matt Barone for the final 2:30.  The game's final tally came with 38 seconds left, as the game ended the way it started: a goal from Greg Fitzmaurice.

Liam Byrnes continued his run of stellar play at the long stick midfield position.  If it was just the six ground balls and three caused turnovers, you'd still give him a gold star for the day, but the 6'3" junior from West Islip, NY, found time to deal two assists in the game, too.  That gives him six points on the season and 14 for his career, which is kind of nutty for an LSM.

Up Next: BRACE FOR IMPACT.  Marquette has just two regular season games remaining, and they're both at home AND both on CBS Sports Network.  However, they're both against opponents ranked in the top 7 of the country on Sunday morning.  Duke is first coming up this Saturday afternoon at Hart Park.  The Blue Devils are 7-4 right now and riding a three game losing streak.  As I type this, they have a 4-2 lead on #6 Virginia in the first quarter.