Guys, you’re never going to believe this, but Marquette men’s lacrosse picked up a win with a one goal margin on Saturday, and junior attackman John Wagner was responsible for the goal that provided the margin of victory.
Oh, wait, that explains four of Marquette’s five wins this season. Three of them, including Saturday’s 11-10 expedition on the road against St. John’s have been in overtime. The Golden Eagles are now 20-7 all time in one goal games, which defies all kinds of logic and description.
Marquette is now 5-4 on the season and 2-1 in Big East play with two league games left to go.
If we’re being honest, though, it shouldn’t have come down to Wagner’s marker in the extra session. Marquette’s Jack Zerillo took advantage of a slashing penalty on the Red Storm late in the second quarter to take a 6-3 lead into halftime, and Zerillo’s second of the game put them up 7-4 at the 13:42 mark of the third quarter. Of course, St. John’s wasn’t just going to go quietly, and they clawed two back before Wagner’s second of the game nudged MU’s lead back to two at 8-6 with 1:46 left to go in the frame.
That lead didn’t last even til the fourth quarter, though, as Jason DeBenedictis and Joe Madsen, SJU’s two leading scorers, both found the back of the net in the final 66 seconds to even things at eight each with 15 minutes to play. Madsen’s goal was particularly absurd, as one of St. John’s long pole players just whipped the ball in the direction of Cole Blazer and the Marquette net as time was expiring. Madsen stabbed it out of the air and flung it past Blazer for the game-tying goal.
That last minute flurry from the Red Storm powered them up in the early goings of the fourth quarter. getting goals from DeBenedictis and Duffy in the first eight minutes of the period to take a two goal lead. Remember when MU was up three? Yeah. Zerillo provided the goal that snapped the 4-0 run by the Johnnies, wrapping up his hat trick on the day, and Connor McClelland followed that one up quickly to even things back at 10 each.
Connor McClelland's second goal of the day ties the game 10-10 with St. John's. Still 6:09 left in the fourth. pic.twitter.com/RH8I36z3Ed— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) April 7, 2018
Neither team was able to score for the rest of regulation, including Marquette being able to hold onto the ball for most of the final two minutes mostly due to a penalty on the Red Storm. Wagner missed the net on a shot in the closing seconds, sending things to the extra session.
Marquette got the first look in overtime, which ended on a Matt Hanley save on a boomer of a Peter Henkhaus shot. On the other end, Blazer made a save and then corralled a ground ball neat the net to flip possession back in MU’s favor, leading to this nifty dodge and score by Wagner.
Johnny Clutch.— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) April 8, 2018
ICYMI - John Wagner's fourth game winner of the season in the final 10 seconds of regulation or OT, propelled #mulax to an 11-10 win at St. John's on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/p7By1oV7sb
Just bananas. St. John’s knew it was going to Wagner, I knew it, you knew it, the squirrels in the nearby trees knew it, and there was nothing the Red Storm could do about it.
Up Next: And now, the most stress inducing time of the year for fans of Marquette men’s lacrosse. We’ve reached the final four games of the year, and as tradition seems to dictate, that means it’s time for MU to play their three toughest opponents. Things kick off on Wednesday evening at Valley Fields, as the Golden Eagles will be hosting #12 Notre Dame. The Irish (5-4) may not be ranked that highly when they make it to Milwaukee, as they suffered their fourth defeat of the season and third in their last three games on Saturday, falling 8-2 to #6 Duke. That’s an unpleasant thought for MU, as the Golden Eagles will be visiting the Blue Devils on April 20th.