Michigan dropped in six straight goals bridging the first and second quarters on their way to handing Marquette their third straight loss by a final of 12-7. The Golden Eagles are now 3-3 on the year after opening up with three straight victories and headed into a very difficult stretch on their schedule with a lot of questions to be answered.
Kevin Mack was a whirlwind for the Wolverines in the first quarter, recording a hat trick in just a shade over nine minutes. His first goal snapped a 1-1 tie, and his third goal put UM up 5-1. Brent Noseworthy scored twice in the first quarter as well, and when Chase Young scored his second of the game just 58 seconds into the second quarter, Michigan was up 7-1. That’s pretty the story of the game right there.
Marquette scored the next three goals of the game to make it interesting, pulling within three goals at 7-4 with 6:51 left in the second, but Mack tacked on his fourth goal of the game as the half ended. 8-4 at the half turned into 10-4 with 6:34 left in the third quarter as Rocco Sutherland and Mack tacked on goals. MU would score three more times in the game, but two goals from Noseworthy were enough for the Wolverines to keep Marquette at arm’s length.
Joe Amplo and Griffin Fleming react to Saturday's loss at Michigan and the start to BIG EAST play next week against Georgetown. pic.twitter.com/duFKmjZJJm— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) March 17, 2018
It wasn’t necessarily a bad showing by Marquette. They outshot Michigan 33-15 over the final 45 minutes, which is a way bigger margin than merely “Michigan isn’t taking chances.” Marquette had the ground ball advantage, 30-24 for the game and 25-17 over the final 45 minutes. The only real weakness MU showed was going 10-for-23 on faceoffs, suffering on the draw for the second straight game without Zachary Melillo, their preseason all-Big East faceoff specialist. Still, with the ground ball advantage and the shot advantage, the faceoff deficit didn’t make that much of an impact on the game.
Shots just weren’t going in. More specifically, they weren’t on target. Michigan goalie Tommy Heidt saw just 17 of Marquette’s 41 shots go on frame, and only 13 of the 33 in the final three quarters. Heidt made 10 saves, which is some pretty impressive work on his part to keep things in Michigan’s favor, but Marquette’s aim did a lot of work, too.
On the other end of the field, Marquette’s defense was giving Michigan too many shooting lanes. Cole Blazer made just three saves, one each in the first, second, and fourth quarters, which means, to a certain extent, Michigan only shot if they saw an alley to beat him. 15 of their 26 shots came on frame, which is just way too high of a ratio for a Golden Eagles squad that makes their bones on defense.
Up Next: Things get very difficult very quickly for Marquette. The good news is that four of the next five games are at home. The bad news is that the road game is the only opponent that hasn’t earned at least a vote in the Maverik media poll at some points this season. The next two games, both at home come against teams currently ranked in the top 15. First up is #11 Georgetown in the Valley next Saturday. The Hoyas are 6-1 on the season following their first loss of the season on Saturday, a 15-10 defeat on the road against Drexel. They’ll play a mid-week home game against #8 Loyola-Maryland before heading to Milwaukee to kick off Big East action.