Marquette men’s lacrosse went to overtime with #3 Duke on Saturday on Long Island, but the Blue Devils got a game winner on their third possession of the extra session for the 10-9 victory. MU drops to 6-7 on the year after dropping their third game in 11 days and fourth in their last five.
The closest ever margin between Marquette and Duke in the seven game history of the series didn’t seem particularly likely after the first four minutes. Duke scored three of the first four goals of the game to lead 3-1 at the 11:09 mark, and given how the two teams’ seasons have gone up to this point of the year, it seemed like we were headed towards a pretty solid Duke victory in Battle At BethPage VI.
But John Wagner had a thing or two that needed to be said on this day. Wagner answered Duke’s third goal of the day just 41 seconds later, and his second of the day led to a 3-3 tie after the first quarter.
John Wagner ties things 3-3 with No. 3 Duke late in the first quarter on this beauty. pic.twitter.com/uqARtsvTzO— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) April 20, 2019
Marquette’s defense did the team some favors, holding Duke without a goal for over 22 minutes, and a man-up goal from Connor McClelland had Marquette up 4-3 for the middle chunk of the second quarter.
In retrospect, Duke may have actually won the game here in the middle of it. they went on a 4-1 run between the 3:19 mark of the second and the 8:11 mark of the third. By the end of that, Duke had a 7-5 lead and Marquette had to fight back to keep it interesting. That’s exactly what happened, as Wagner scored twice more, with the second coming on a man advantage to knot the game at seven each.
CJ Carpenter tossed one in for Duke right before the horn at the end of the third to break the tie, but Wagner’s game high fifth goal pulled MU even at eight and Andrew Romagnoli put one on the board on an assist from Jack Zerrillo to put Marquette up 9-8 with 10:34 left to go.
I want to go ahead and isolate this point, because it’s important: Marquette led #3 Duke with just under 11 minutes left to go. This is the closest that Marquette has ever been to a win over the Blue Devils. Well, the fact that they had the lead with eight minutes left is actually the closest, but you get the point here.
The lead lasted until Carpenter’s second of the game tied it with 7:23 left to go. Marquette had their chances down the stretch to win it in regulation. Turner Uppgren made two saves in the final five minutes for the Blue Devils with shots being even at five each after Carpenter’s goal. John Hulsman made a save for Marquette as time was expiring, which sent things to sudden victory.
Marquette had the best possible chance to win the game through the first three minutes of the extra period. Uppgren committed a turnover 16 seconds after Duke won the faceoff, and Marquette couldn’t put a shot on net. The Blue Devils turned it over again, giving the Golden Eagles another chance, but they handed it right back with 1:36 left in the extra session. Duke finally got a chance to play on their offensive end, and Brad Smith put it past Hulsman on their third shot of the possession. 10-9, MU loses a thriller.
Up Next: It’s time for the regular season finale, and it’s kind of important. Marquette heads into their final game of the season without a spot in the Big East tournament in their pocket, and what’s worse is that I’m pretty sure a win won’t be enough to get them in. MU will host #13 Denver (8-4, 3-1 Big East) on Friday night at Valley Fields, with first draw set for 8pm Central on FS1. There will be a Rally In The Valley starting at 6pm, including a beer garden and food trucks. Marquette is currently in a three-way tie for third place in the Big East, with only the top four teams getting to the conference tournament. The good news is that Marquette holds a win over Georgetown, but the bad news is that Providence holds the tiebreaker over Marquette, if things come down to that.