Alex Buckanavage did a number on Marquette men’s lacrosse on Wednesday afternoon in Ann Arbor. The Michigan attackman scored on his third, fourth, and fifth shots of the game in the first quarter as the Wolverines ripped off six straight goals and used that advantage to pick up a 13-12 win over the Golden Eagles.
That six goal run by the Michigan, starting with Rocco Sutherland at the 6:11 mark of the first quarter, continuing with the natural hat trick from Buckanavage in just 3:10 of elapsed time, and wrapping up with Bryce Clay finding the net with 54 seconds left in the quarter, moved the contest from a 2-0 Marquette lead to a 6-2 Michigan lead after 15 minutes were done.
At that point, Marquette head coach Andrew Stimmel pulled starting netminder Gabe Stein in favor of John Hulsman. Stein had allowed six goals and made two saves in the opening 15 minutes, so you can see why Stimmell pulled the trigger. This of course asks the question of why Hulsman lost his starting job to Stein, but that’s an issue for another time. It would seem that the goalie change woke Marquette up, as the Golden Eagles scored the next three goals of the game, all in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Suddenly, it’s a 6-5 ball game, and we’re looking at a competitive contest again.
UM outscored the Golden Eagles 3-1 the rest of the way in the second quarter to have a 9-6 lead at the half, but goals from Devon Cowan and Keaton Thomson pulled it back to a one goal margin at 7:05 left in the third quarter. Things massively slowed down in terms of back and forth in the third quarter, with just three goals scored total. Michigan got that last one, though, with just 12 seconds left to have a 10-8 lead with 15 minutes left to go.
That became 11-8 out of the gate, as Jake Bonomi scored with 12:24 to go. Marquette’s defense buckled up, forcing a shot clock violation and a turnover on UM’s next two possessions and got a save from Hulsman on the third. On the other end of the field, Ryan Fazio, Mason Woodward, and Chris Kirschner scored for the Golden Eagles to knot the thing at 11 each with 7:28 to go. If you’re paying close attention, you’re saying “wait, Mason Woodward plays defense!” You are right. The big freshman forced a turnover, picked up the ground ball, and did this:
POLE GOAL!!!— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) March 11, 2020
Mason Woodward with the caused turnover and ground ball before his first career goal.
U-M 11, MU 10 (8:30 Q4) pic.twitter.com/4mSbVpFocC
I don’t know what my favorite part of that is: Woodward scoring, Woodard desperately trying to do his job/get it to an attacker by passing to Devon Cowan, or Cowan saying, “No, big man, you did the work, you get the goal.” It’s so delightful, and yes, part of my delight might be the fact that I’m finally writing this down on Sunday, March 15th.
Michgan’s Kevin Mack put the Wolverines back out in front less than 80 seconds later, Marquette got that one back on a goal from Holden Patterson. Officially, it’s not a man-up goal for the sophomore, but UM had to play down two men for 18 seconds after pulling a 30 second penalty during a 60 second penalty. Patterson’s goal came 17 seconds after Michigan got back to full strength, but MU had maintained possession the whole time and was able to take advantage of a slightly drained Wolverine defense.
Knotted at 12, 4:08 to go.
It took Michigan 47 seconds to break the tie.
Rocco Sutherland notched what would turn into the game winner with 3:21 to go, after a little bit of drama around a ground ball by the Wolverines and a timeout to calm things down. Michigan won the ensuing faceoff, and was fine to just burn the 80 second shot clock and take the violation with 1:58 to go. Marquette burned two timeouts after that, but managed just one wide shot from Peter Henkhaus and one last second swing from Ryan Fazio.
And thus, the coronavirus shortened season came to an end, although we didn’t know it at the time.
The game was close on the scoreboard, close in the shot department, and close in the shots on goal department. Where it was not close was the faceoff department. Michigan won 22 of the 29 draws in the game. Six different Golden Eagles took a faceoff in this game, with the most success coming from Jared Hershman and his 5-for-15 mark. It’s one thing to be in a tight and close lacrosse game. It’s another thing to be in a tight and close lacrosse game when you know that every single time a goal is scored that you’re going to be starting out on defense. It’s a bad mixture, and honestly, it’s quite the accomplishment for Marquette to turn the thing into a four minute game at the end. Even more so after being down 6-2 after 15 minutes.
Cowan’s helper on Woodward’s first career goal was one of three on the day for the freshman and he finished with a team high in points with three. He was one of four different Golden Eagles to score twice in the game as well. Woodward also finished with three caused turnovers on the day, which was a big part of Marquette keeping the game close late.
How about some highlights, courtesy of..... actually I don’t know where. There’s no graphics or PBP, so it seems like it’s not from the BTN+ streaming broadcast. It’s from the official MU YouTube page, though.
Up Next: Nothing. Just the offseason. The season was called off on Thursday afternoon, so there’s nothing ahead for Marquette until fall ball.