Bob Pelton curbed Jacksonville’s enthusiasm on Friday evening with his first career hat trick to help Marquette men’s lacrosse pick up the 14-12 victory down in Florida. The Golden Eagles are now 2-0 on the season.
It looked, for a moment, that Marquette was going to be off to the races against Jacksonville at D.B. Milne Field. MU put up three goals in the first 6:10 of the game, including Pelton’s first of the evening to jump out to a 3-0 lead, and when John Wagner scored to give the Golden Eagles three man-up goals in three opportunities with 24 seconds left in the quarter, it was 6-1. Maybe not quite as great as the seven goal outing last week against Bellarmine, but still the same five goal margin after the first 15 minutes. Can’t really argue about that.
A look at MU's second goal of the night, a dodge by Bob Pelton from the midfield. pic.twitter.com/1m4t2n2pYm— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) February 16, 2019
John Wagner scored the final goal of the first quarter with 24.9 seconds left. He faked low and went high to beat JU's Hunter Sells. pic.twitter.com/kan9z0ztLM— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) February 16, 2019
Things slowed down goals-wise in the second quarter, and shots wise, too. MU got off half as many shots in the second frame (8) as they did in the first (16). No one scored at all until nearly the midway point when JU’s Jeremy Winston hit the net to make it 6-2. Andrew Romagnoli didn’t answer for Marquette until more than four minutes later, and a late period goal from the ‘Phins sent the teams to halftime with MU up 7-3.
That’s mostly fine.
Evan Tyler’s late 2nd quarter goal was the start of a 4-0 Jacksonville run, though, as the Dolphins scored three times in the first four minutes of the third. All of a sudden, Marquette was catching some business and it was a one goal game, 7-6. Pelton’s second of the game broke the run, and after another Tyler goal, MU ripped off three straight with Romagnoli, Pelton, and Wagner all scoring. 11-7 Marquette lead, 6:32 to go.... except we were a loooong way away from this quarter ending. Jacksonville would end up outshooting Marquette 14-9 in the third, which helps explain why they tallied two more goals to make it 11-9. Peter Henkhaus scored for Marquette right before the quarter ended, and a three goal lead felt pretty manageable.
Noah Richard got his second goal of the season off the draw to open the fourth to make it 13-9. Much more comfortable.
Noah Richard scores off the opening draw of the fourth on a feed from Luke Anderson. pic.twitter.com/xqKsl8sW8r— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) February 16, 2019
Andrew Orsini scored to answer back to a Jack Pucci goal, and 14-10 with 10:01 to go seemed okay. It was, for the most part. No one would score at all for five minutes, which helped Marquette out in a big way here. The Dolphins would score two goals about two minutes apart late in the quarter, but Jared Hershman won the ensuing face-off by snaring the ground ball himself, but a turnover sent it back Jacksonville’s way. Big ups to Nick Singleton for the caused turnover and ground ball with less than 80 seconds left, and John Hulsman made his ninth save of the game as time wound down on MU’s victory.
That got a little more exciting than it needed to, huh? It seemed obvious that Marquette took their foot off the gas against Bellarmine as head coach Joe Amplo went deep into his bench and pulled Hulsman from the game fairly early. This was a different animal as Marquette had to fend off a feisty Dolphins attack over the final 40 minutes. Hopefully that’s not a trend that continues, although there are worse ways to go through life than “jump out to a big lead and then eventually win close while never being in danger of giving up said lead.”
Pelton was the goals leader for the Golden Eagles on the night, but it was Romagnoli with the points lead on two goals and two assists. Wagner had two goals and one assists, and Henkhaus added two goals to the effort, too. Nick Grill was a walking talking ground ball magnet with a game high six ground balls for non-face-off guys, and four Golden Eagles including Grill and Singleton all had two caused turnovers.
Up Next: As is mostly the case in lacrosse, Marquette will be off until next weekend. They’ll be back at home for that one, with Detroit Mercy coming to town as the opposition. The Titans are 1-0 on the season with a win over Jacksonville as of this writing, but they’ll be squaring off against #9 Notre Dame on Saturday night in South Bend.