Junior midfielder Andy DeMichiei turned DaSilva Memorial Field into a personal playground on Saturday as he set a new Marquette record with seven goals as the #17 ranked Golden Eagles defeated St. John's 11-7. Marquette moves to 3-0 in league action (8-1 overall) and becomes the first team to clinch one of the four Big East tournament slots.
As you can tell from that final, Marquette needed every single one of those seven markers from DeMichiei to edge their way past the Red Storm. It was actually worse than the final score looks, as SJU was leading 4-3 at the end of the first quarter and 6-4 at halftime. Marquette was a total mess in the first half, making sloppy passes and doing a poor job defending in front of goalie Cole Blazer. The sophomore was making his second start in net after being named NCAA Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding effort against #6 Villanova a week ago, but didn't have it in Queens on Saturday. He didn't make a save on seven SJU shots in the first quarter, but thankfully made seven on 17 shots in the second period to keep the game close.
The Red Storm used a 5-0 run bridging the first and second quarter to assume control of the game in the first half, with all five goals coming from a different attacker. Kyran Clarke broke Marquette's nearly 15 minute long scoreless streak with his fourth goal of the season with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half. Neither team would manage a goal after Clarke's strike, which was the start of Marquette's comeback.
Head coach Joe Amplo changed goalies at the half, going from Blazer to Jimmy Danaher, and the Red Storm changed it up as well just like they have over the last few games. This worked out better for Marquette than it did for St. John's. DeMichiei ripped off three goals in the first four minutes of the second half for a natural hat trick and move him within one goal of Jordan Greenfield's single game record. Ryan McNamara scored his first of two goals in the game off of a penalty on SJU's Ricky Cotton to give the Golden Eagles an 8-6 lead.
From a statistical point of view, not much changed for Marquette in the second half. They were allowing pretty much the same number of shots as the first quarter, as well as shooting the same. Turnovers for both squads stayed roughly even throughout the game. But somehow, and maybe it was just because they were scoring goals, Marquette just seemed more put together after halftime. Perhaps merely Amplo rattling their cages by yanking Blazer was enough to get their attention and get them to dial in.
DeMichiei broke the ice on the fourth quarter with his record tying goal with 12:14 left in the game and McNamara would provide more insurance with his 28th goal of the season less than two minutes later. SJU's Corey Haynes would provide a flicker of life for the Red Storm by making it a three goal game with 7:40 left, but DeMichiei snapped Greenfield's record before two more minutes wound off the clock to lock up the win for the Golden Eagles.
Andy DeMichiei started the season with just 19 career points in two seasons and just eight goals. He has 19 points this season on 11 goals and eight assists. Amazingly enough, he's only moved from ninth to a tie with Clarke for eighth on MU's all time points list. Blaine Fleming is just one point in front of both Clarke and DeMichiei.
Conor Gately advanced his program record in points and assists with a helper on DeMichiei's fifth goal of the game. Ryan McNamara had two goals and two assists to continue his assault on the Marquette record books. He now has 28 goals on the season, eight short of Tyler Melnyk's record of 36, and his 33 points tie Kyle Whitlow's 2014 season for the seventh best total in program history.
Up Next: Things get ultra interesting for Marquette as they play their first mid-week game of the season. Amplo and his staff will have to come up with an answer on their goaltending situation by Wednesday when Marquette travels to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish (7-1) are currently ranked #1 in the country in the Cascade/Maverik media poll, but that could change as they host #13 Duke on Sunday at 11am Central. That game will be on ESPNU, while Marquette's adventures against ND will be on ESPN3/WatchESPN.