Marquette men's lacrosse opened up their quest for the 2016 NCAA tournament with a 9-7 win over Bellarmine on Saturday afternoon. It was the first ever game for the men's squad down at Valley Fields, and junior Ryan McNamara led the way for the Golden Eagles with four goals.
It wasn't all seashells and balloons for the Golden Eagles, as they went down 3-0 to start things off and didn't get on the board for almost 13 minutes before McNamara broke through. McNamara's goal was the first of five straight for the Golden Eagles, though, and a last second marker from BU's Tucker Ciessau made it 5-4 favoring Marquette at halftime. The Golden Eagles dominated the game from a possession perspective, outshooting the Knights 26-9 with a 11-7 advantage on shots on goal.
Marquette continued to pound Bellarmine's defense with shots in the second half, but the two teams traded pairs of goals in the third quarter to keep it a closely contested affair. McNamara knocked home his fourth of the game with just two seconds left in the third quarter to give Marquette what would turn into the game winning goal. Both teams defenses went into lockdown in the fourth quarter, as no one scored until Kyle Whitlow got his second of the game with just 1:55 left to give Marquette a little breathing space at 9-6.
Historically speaking, Marquette has struggled a bit on face offs, never winning more than 45% in any of their first three seasons. Perhaps their fortunes will change this season, as sophomore transfer Zachary Melillo went 11-16 (69%) at the X after Marquette lost the first two draws of the game. Melillo did a lot of his own work on the draw, coming up with a game high five ground balls.
Who likes highlights, featuring the dulcet tones of Patrick Reed calling the action?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles head down to Virginia for their first road trip of the year this coming Saturday. They'll be squaring off with Richmond, and the Spiders are 2-0 this season with road wins over Fairfield and UMBC.