After last year’s offensively challenged 6-8 season, there was a question or two (or three or four) to ask about how Marquette men’s lacrosse would approach the 2019 campaign, particularly with the new 80 second shot clock.
Well, the questions appear to be answered now, and the Golden Eagles didn’t wait all that long to answer them.
Marquette scored on their first three shots of the game and on four of the first five as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then a 7-2 lead at the end of the first quarter on their way to a 15-9 victory over Bellarmine. The Golden Eagles are 1-0 on the year.
Andrew Romagnoli, Luke Anderson, and Peter Henkhaus were responsible for those first three goals on the first three shots of the game, and for a split second, it looked like it was going to be all Marquette all the time in this one. Bellarmine withstood the heat by capitalizing on a Marquette penalty to break onto the board, and Landon Trout scored another goal just a bit over two minutes later to make it a 3-2 game.
Marquette launched into the attack again, scoring four goals in a bit over four minutes. First it was freshman Holden Patterson scoring in transition, giving MU two transition goals already in the game after Anderson ripped one in while shifting the field. With the 80 second shot clock requiring you to clear the ball before the clock reads 60, the fact that Marquette is taking advantage of the short time frame to clear to strike is incredibly interesting and also good in the long term. John Wagner got his first goal of the year in a very fancy one handed dangle shot while coming around the cage, Noah Richard scored another transition goal, which is always impressive for a long stick midfielder, and Henkhaus became MU’s first multi-goal scorer of the season to make it 7-2.
I want to make this clear here: Marquette averaged 7.86 goals per game last season. 7.86 per 60 minutes of lacrosse. They had seven in 15 minutes, and really, seven in less than 12 minutes. This is potentially very good.
Those seven goals chased Bellarmine Ian Reilly from the net, but Marquette didn’t struggle all that much against Jordan Dondoyano in the second quarter. MU outscored the Knights 4-2 in the second quarter behind two goals from Tanner Thomson, who was making his return after missing all of 2018 due to an injury. That sent it to the half at 11-4, and things started slowing down from there. Ultimately, Marquette was outscored 5-4 by the Knights in the second half, but it took three fourth quarter goals by Bellarmine as well as Marquette going deeeeeep into their bench to make that happen.
John Hulsman played just over 37 minutes in his Marquette debut before giving way to the other goalies on the roster. He made six saves while allowing five goals, and hey: Any time you’re over 50% save percentage, that’ll end up working out. Henkhaus, Thomson, Wagner, and Andrew Orsini all tallied two goals to lead the way for Marquette with both Orsini and Wagner adding an assist for the lead in points on the day. Anthony Courcelle was flying all over the field making plays and finished with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette returns to action on Friday when they make the trip down Florida way to tangle with Jacksonville. The Dolphins are 0-2 on the year after a road loss to Detroit and a home loss to Duke.