They did it.
I don’t know how they did it but they did it.
48 hours after shocking the world with an 11-8 win over #2 ranked Denver, Marquette men’s lacrosse rallied from down 2-0 and 6-5 to beat Providence, 10-9, and win their second straight Big East tournament. With the win, Marquette earns their second straight automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
After falling behind 6-5 early in the fourth quarter, Marquette kept the Friars off the board for the next 15 minutes. The Golden Eagles only scored two goals in the interim - one from Tanner Thomson and one from Joe Dunn - but that was enough to push Marquette back out in front, 7-6.
Another look at Joe Dunn's first goal of the day and the Preisler feed. pic.twitter.com/8lWMoZT2IK— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) May 6, 2017
Brendan Kearns, PC’s leading scorer, pulled the Friars even on his second goal of the day, but then Marquette went to work. Senior attackman Grant Preisler got things started at the 8:23 mark of the fourth quarter, when he got Jarrod Neumann, the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year, to chase him behind the net and then just Tom & Jerry’d a goal past goalie Tate Boyce.
Another look at Preisler's roll around the cage to put MU ahead 8-7. pic.twitter.com/j1XWifVOtf— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) May 6, 2017
Kyran Clarke’s 10th goal of the year after a save by Cole Blazer and a ground ball by Nick Grill put Marquette up two with 5:49 to play, and that’s when history happened.
Ryan McNamara fired home his 100th career goal with four and change left to play to give MU a 10-7 lead. McNamara already had the career goals record to himself, and this makes him the first player in Marquette men’s lacrosse history with 100 carer tallies.
Pro Tip (and I mean Pro, because McNamara will be playing in the MLL in a few weeks): Don’t let Ryan McNamara have that much time and space to shoot from straight on the cage. It’s going to go in.
While Marquette led by three goals at that point, this team doesn’t do things the easy way. Providence’s Ryan Schaffer scored twice less than 20 seconds apart to make it a one goal game with 1:25 left to go. Things got even more tense when Nicholas Eufrasio got whistled for a pushing violation to give the Friars a man-up situation with 33 seconds left to play.
And then, after a restart on a missed shot with 11 seconds left, the Friars let the ball get loose and then stepped into the crease. Turnover. Marquette ball. The tournament ended with Cole Blazer, later named Most Outstanding Player, running into the free and clear away from the Friars as the horn sounded and the team exploded onto the field to celebrate.
Marquette holds on! Marquette wins their second consecutive Big East title and is going to the NCAA tournament. pic.twitter.com/lYr5mhYBKd— Dan Aburn (@danaburn2423) May 6, 2017
Marquette was powered by pairs of goals from Preisler, McNamara, and Thomson on the day, with Preisler wrapping up a seven point tournament with two assists as well. Blazer finished the game with 11 saves, with eight of them coming in the first half as the Golden Eagles bounced back from a 2-0 hole at the end of the first quarter to hold a 4-3 lead at halftime.
How about some highlights, courtesy of Fox Sports Go?
Up Next: The NCAA will announce the 2017 national championship bracket on Sunday night at 8pm Central. The Selection Show will be televised on ESPNU starting at 8pm Central, and the lacrosse team will be hosting a viewing party at the Sports Annex on campus. It’s a safe bet that Marquette will get partnered up with Notre Dame in the first round, but more on that tomorrow.....