Well, Marquette men’s lacrosse probably wasn’t going to go undefeated this season. Their undefeated streak ended in game #3 on Saturday as Jacksonville handed the Golden Eagles an 11-9 loss down at Valley Fields. The Golden Eagles are now 2-1 on the season as Andrew Stimmel takes his first defeat as MU head coach.
Things started out well enough, as Garrett Moya tallied his first goal of the season less than two minutes in off a feed from Holden Patterson, but Marquette was quickly headed to Adversity Town after that. The Dolphins scored the next four goals of the game, including a natural hat trick by Jacob Greiner, to take a 4-1 lead with 4:19 left in the first quarter.
Connor McClelland turned things around for Marquette before the quarter ended to make it 4-2, and after Greiner (yup, again) scored to open the second period less than a minute in, the Golden Eagles then held Jacksonville without a goal for the rest of the frame. Along the way, MU scored three of their own, including twice on extra man opportunities to knot the whole shebang at five each at halftime.
That’s good! So is Peter Henkhaus scoring the first goal of the third quarter, and so is Anthony Orsini putting one in to answer JU’s Alec Drosos getting the first Dolphins goal of the half. That had it 7-6 favoring the Golden Eagles with 12:30 left in the third quarter.
Seems okay, right?
Welllllll, turns out Marquette forgot to get off the train when it reached Adversity Town, and then it kept on going to Disaster-ville. Orsini’s goal would be the last marker for the Golden Eagles for more than 22 minutes. Jacksonville rammed in five straight goals across the end of the third and the start of the fourth, including another goal from Greiner (sheesh), to put the Dolphins up 11-7 with 6:28 to go.
Chris Kirschner gets a gold star for doing his part to get Marquette within shouting distances, scoring at the 5:19 mark and the 1:31 mark, but that’s as close as Marquette would get. The Golden Eagles got a decent quick look from Thomas Washington on the ensuing faceoff, but Patterson took an unnecessary roughness penalty with 59 seconds to go. That left MU down a man for the remainder of regulation, and even though they immediately forced a JU turnover to get the ball back, playing 5-on-6 is no way to try to wipe out a two goal margin. Marquette didn’t get a shot off until after JU’s Jack Dolan ate a 30 second holding penalty with 36 seconds to go, but at that point, time was just disappearing for Marquette at too quick a rate.
Kirschner finished with a hat trick to lead Marquette on the day, both in goals and points. Mason Woodward was a terrifying force on defense, snaring six ground balls away from the Dolphins. John Hulsman made 11 saves, including a number of big ones in the second half even while Jacksonville was pulling away, to finish with an even 50/50 split on his save percentage for the day. Hopefully he’s okay, as Chris Rolfing came in for the final minute. I suspect that might have been a tactic towards a 10 man ride by Stimmel, but we’ll never know for sure because MU forced a turnover with relative ease five seconds later.
Up Next: It’s time for another road game for the Golden Eagles after two straight home dates. On Saturday, February 22, they’ll visit Detroit Mercy at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac Michigan. I presume that’s so they can play it indoors. The Titans are 1-1 on the season with a 15-14 road win over this same Jacksonville squad as well as a 23-9 loss on February 4th on the road at then-#12 Ohio State. They haven’t played since, although they will have their home opener on Tuesday afternoon against the Bellarmine team that Marquette beat last week. Weird how there’s so much overlap so early in the season, huh?