With the win, Marquette did two things. First, they got their record on the year back up over .500 at 4-3. Second, they posted a second straight consistent performance to point the season onwards and upwards as things get much more difficult starting next week.
The first half of the game featured two quarters that were relatively similar in storyline. Michigan scored first and last in both quarters, while the Golden Eagles shredded the Wolverines with goals in between. Marquette ripped off five straight goals in the middle of the first quarter, and it was four straight in the middle section of the second. Thus, at halftime, Marquette was rolling around with a 9-4 lead after the Wolverines scored right as time expired to send things to the break. All told, it was a pretty dominating half. Marquette outshot Michigan, 21-14, and beat them out on ground balls, too, 20-9. A lot of the ground ball margin had to do with MU’s domination on faceoffs, winning 11 of the 15 draws, including all seven in the second quarter. Jared Hershman did some very heavy lifting to help Marquette on this day, going 22-for-27 on faceoffs.
Marquette opened up the second half with the fifth goal of the game from Thomson and John Wagner’s second tally of the contest. That made it 11-4, and in retrospect, that’s probably where MU won the game. The two sides would trade goals across the rest of the period up until Michigan threw in two in the final 30 seconds to make it a 14-9 game with 15 minutes to go. It was very clear that Marquette’s gameplan changed at halftime or at the very least changed after the Thomson and Wagner goals. The Golden Eagles became much more deliberate as time wore on in the second half. They took their chances where they had an advantage, but if they didn’t, they were sure to keep track of the ball and make the smart play.
We got two quick goals in the fourth quarter, one from MU’s Andrew Romagnoli and one from UM faceoff man Nick DiCaprio just 13 seconds later, with the last one at the 13:36 mark of the frame. That made it a 15-10 ballgame after Marquette had led by seven for most of the third quarter. There was still a lot of lacrosse left to go.... but there was a big of defense and a little luck that paved the way to a win for Marquette. The Golden Eagles got two turnovers from Michigan, one forced by Jackson Ehlert, and two Wolverine shots hit the post over the next eight minutes. John Hulsman added a save on a shot by UM’s Kevin Mack, and finally, when Ryan Fazio threw one in with 5:55 to go, Marquette was up six and just needed to keep burning clock.
That’s one of the advantages of the new 80 second shot clock this year, by the way. There’s nothing anyone can complain about when Marquette elects to take 70 seconds to fire a shot. They’re not stalling, at least not in the way that would earn them a stall warning a year ago. They’re just using the rules of the game to their advantage. Michigan scored fairly quickly after Fazio’s goal thanks to a faceoff violation by the Golden Eagles, but Hershman won the next draw, and Marquette was able to wind more time. Michigan added a goal with 3:22 to go, but two more turnovers, one forced by Ehlert and one forced by Brendon Connolly helped keep the Wolverines from adding more. Time just disappeared out from under them as Marquette made the smart plays down the stretch and the timely plays as well to keep things under control.
Tanner Thomson’s five goals were tops on the team, with Romagnoli and Peter Henkhaus chipping in a hat trick’s worth each. Henkhaus added an assist to bring his day to four points, and Wagner had two each in goals and assists to match him. Noah Richard was running around with a pitchfork out there, snatching up a non-Hershman high four ground balls, and Connolly’s late CT gave him a game-high three in that department. Hulsman wen the full 60 minutes for Marquette for the first time since the Jacksonville game, making seven saves pretty evenly distributed around the 60 minutes.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: As Jim Ross might say upon hearing glass shattering, business is about to pick up. Next week Saturday, Marquette will be out in Washington, D.C., to play their first Big East game of the year. It will come against Georgetown, which is currently ranked #14 in the country in the Inside Lacrosse media top 20. The Hoyas are 7-1 this season after beating Drexel 13-10 on Saturday.