Marquette men’s lacrosse suffered a 16-8 loss to #2 Denver on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon at Valley Fields. The Golden Eagles wrap up the 2017 regular season with a record of 6-7 and a 2-3 record in Big East play. That’s still good enough for the #4 seed in the Big East tournament, though, but that does mean a rematch with the Pioneers coming up on Thursday.
It was over pretty quickly in Milwaukee. While the Golden Eagles struck first when John Wagner struck first on a man-up opportunity, the Pioneers made it a 4-2 game at the end of the first quarter and tacked on four more in the first four minutes of the second quarter. That left the score at 8-2 after just 19 minutes of play, and Marquette couldn’t get any closer than five goals over the next 24 minutes as the two teams traded goals up to a Denver lead of 11-6. The Pioneers scored the next five goals after that to put an exclamation mark on the game and that was that.
As you could probably have expected, the game turned on Denver’s ability to win face-offs. Trevor Baptiste went 18-for-26 on draws in the game, and while that (69%) actually worse than his season average coming into the game (75%), letting the Pioneers re-take possession immediately after scoring is a bad way to go through life. Four times in the game, Denver scored a goal within a minute of the previous goal, and there’s also one that they scored 61 seconds later. When you have two of the 20 best point-per-game scorers in Connor Cannizzarro and Ethan Walker on the other side of the field, you can’t give them rapid chances to score, but that’s what Marquette did. Cannizzarro made his case for Big East Offensive Player of the Year with three goals on four shots, while Walker put a stamp on his Freshman of the Year campaign with four goals and three assists.
Joseph Dunn showed out on his Senior Day, scoring three goals to lead the Marquette attack. Andy DeMichiei had a nice outing in his final home game as well, recording three points on a goal and two assists.
Up Next: It’s that aforementioned rematch with the Pioneers in the Big East semifinals. Marquette did bounce back from a loss to Denver last season before defeating DU in the Big East tournament one week later, so I suppose it’s not out of the question that they could do it again on Thursday. Game time is yet to be decided, but CBS Sports Network will have the broadcast.