A Wisconsin Division 1 men's lacrosse record crowd of 4,575 was on hand on Saturday afternoon at Hart Park as #6 Duke outlasted #15 Marquette, 15-8.
I know, it sounds hard to believe that a seven goal victory goes into the book as "hung on to win," but that's the case. After the two teams took turns scoring consecutive goals to start the game, Duke scored the next five to take a 7-2 lead after 15 minutes had elapsed. From there, Marquette played Duke completely even until there was less than four minutes left in the game, including cutting the lead to just three goals halfway through the second and down to four with 6:23 remaining in the final period. With the exception of a four minute stretch in the first quarter, Marquette proved that they belonged on the field with one of the most dominant lacrosse teams of the past decade.
What worked against Marquette for the duration of the game was teeny tiny mistakes. Repeatedly, Marquette found themselves committing turnovers that were just a fraction of a second off, passes going just an inch high or wide, or even just off the tip of a stick instead of nestling safely inside the crosse. Nothing particularly heinous like throwing it straight to a Blue Devils defender, just unforced errors. Maybe against another team, these unforced errors would be survivable, but Duke has Myles Jones.
Jones became Duke's all time leading scoring midfielder early on in this game with what would turn out to be the goal that gave the Blue Devils the lead for good at 3-2. Jones finished with three goals and an assist, which is actually a slow night for him, as he's hit five points or more on seven different occasions.
Jones wasn't the only guy setting records in this game. Marquette's Conor Gately has been MU's all time leading scorer for a few weeks now, but he did something no one else has ever done for the blue and gold with his efforts against Duke. Gately's assist on Ryan McNamara's goal to start the scoring in the second period was his 100th career point, making him the first Golden Eagle to the century mark.
Up Next: Things do not get easier. #5 Denver (10-2) comes to town on Saturday afternoon for the final game of the regular season. It'll be broadcast on CBS Sports Network for those of you that can't make it to Hart Park for Senior Day.