#10 Notre Dame went on a rampage in the second half against Marquette men’s lacrosse on Wednesday afternoon. An 8-0 run by the Irish led to a 13-6 loss for the Golden Eagles. Marquette is now 6-5 on the season.
Y’know, it all started out so well, too. For a while there, Marquette was making Notre Dame catch up to them. Bob Pelton and Tanner Thomson had MU up 2-1 at the end of the first quarter, and a goal from Andrew Romagnoli made it 3-2 with 8:10 left in the second quarter. Quite honestly, that’s a pretty great start against the #10 team in the country, and I’d go so far as to say that the 4-4 halftime tie was pretty good, too.
Things got even better less than two minutes into the second half when Thomson made a great play while losing his balance to put Marquette up 5-4. Again, Marquette was making Notre Dame catch up to them........ and catch up they did. ND faceoff man Charles Leonard won the ensuing draw to himself and bolted down the field for a goal just eight seconds later, and it was knotted again, this time at five each. That goal from Thomson gave Marquette their final view of a lead in this game, as Leonard’s goal kicked off the aforementioned 8-0 run.
Thanks to the fact that Marquette had the lead at the start of the run, it didn’t seem like things were collapsing on the Golden Eagles for a while. After three quarters, it was only an 8-5 game, and still clearly winnable for the visitors...... and then Bryan Costabile scored with 12:09 to go. Now it was a four goal game and it had been nearly 16 minutes since Marquette had scored. The two facts made it very bad, and it just got worse as ND added three more goals before Peter Henkhaus made a nifty move to get his hands free and snap the run. 12-6, 2:42 left to go. That’s that.
What ultimately did Marquette in on this particular day was an inability to take advantage of what Notre Dame was giving them. The Irish committed 14 turnovers in the first half, seven in each quarter. They were a complete wreck for a large chunk of the first 30 minutes of the game, flipping passes well out of control and so forth. Marquette just kept ending up with the ball, and with just six turnovers of their own in the first half, the Golden Eagles had their chances to find angles and lanes to fire on the net. They only managed four goals, though, and even with seven turnovers, Notre Dame still managed to outshoot Marquette in the second quarter, 10-7. As you might expect, ND got their turnover problem well under control in the second half, coughing it up just six times total in the final 30 minutes. Once they started holding onto the ball, there was basically nothing Marquette could do to stop them. The chance to earn the first ever win against Notre Dame had slipped through their hands while it looked like Marquette was actually playing right alongside them.
Thomson and Pelton both finished with two goals to lead Marquette on the day, and those goals were enough to tie for the team lead in points, too. Marquette finished the day without an assist, which probably tells you something about what Notre Dame was doing to the Golden Eagles defensively.
Up Next: With that mid-week trip to South Bend out of the way, Marquette begins their preparations for Providence on Saturday. You can check my math on this one, but I believe that the Golden Eagles will clinch a Big East tournament berth with a win over the Friars. PC is coming off a 17-15 loss to Georgetown last week Saturday, and they have lost two of their last three games.