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Marquette Men's Lacrosse Suffocates Richmond, 7-2

It's the fewest goals ever given up in a game by the Golden Eagles.

B.J. Grill helped anchor the most impressive defensive performance in program history.
B.J. Grill helped anchor the most impressive defensive performance in program history.
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A year ago, Marquette and Richmond combined to score three times in the final minute.  MU scored twice to first tie the game, then take the lead, but the Spiders bounced back to get a last second goal and force overtime.  The Golden Eagles eventually prevailed in the extra session.

"Eventually prevailed" can probably be applied to this year's version of Marquette vs. Richmond, but more in the category of "this was decided a while ago" as opposed to "persevered."  Marquette took a 5-0 lead midway through the third quarter before eventually defeating the Spiders, 7-2.

Both offenses were going nowhere fast in this game, right up until Richmond's Austin Cates took a slashing penalty with 5:32 left in the first period.  Marquette's John Wagner cashed in the extra man opportunity for his first career goal and got the MU train rolling.  A penalty on UR's Alex Hatem at the 2:21 mark of the first gave MU's EMO crew another chance, and Kyle Whitlow cracked the ball past Spiders goalie Benny Pugh to make it 2-0.

Richmond actually outshot Marquette in the second, and not by a small margin.  The Spiders racked up 13 shots in the period, but only three found their way on net and all three were stopped by Jimmy Danaher.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Ryan McNamara continued his hot streak by staking Marquette to a 3-0 lead that would hold up as the halftime score.  Wagner and McNamara both scored early in the third to make it 5-0 and pretty much end any chance Richmond had.  Dan Ginestro did score an EMO goal for UR in the third period, but that was the closest they came to a rally.

Richmond ultimately outshot Marquette 32-24 by the time the final horn sounded at Robins Stadium, but MU's defense didn't provide them with good shooting lanes.  Only 10 shots found their way on frame, with Danaher making eight saves to record the lowest number of goals against in program history.  Liam Byrnes and B.J. Grill showed why they were all-Big East honorees at the start of the season, with both men recording three caused turnovers and combining for eight ground balls.  Grill led the team in that category with five.

After an outstanding performance at the X last weekend, Zachary Melillo struggled on faceoffs this time out.  Melillo went 4-12 as Richmond's Peter Moran and Kyle Buser took turns swiping draws away from the Golden Eagles.  Can't be amazing every time, I guess.

Up Next: It's a big weekend for MU coming up.  They'll be in Columbus, OH, for the Midwest Lacrosse Classic.  Marquette will take a swing at Ohio State on Friday evening, and then follow that up with a joust with Detroit on Sunday.  The Buckeyes are 3-1 on the season and dropped out of the Cascade/Maverik Top 20 last week because of their loss to UMass.  Detroit is 0-3 on the season, but they've already seen that ranked Ohio State team and are coming off a loss to #1 Notre Dame.