For the second time this week, Marquette men’s lacrosse went to overtime and won. This one was a little bit different than the win over St. John’s on Wednesday, though, as Marquette’s 7-6 win over Providence on Saturday was wrapped up in the fourth overtime period by this goal by Devon Cowan:
The big difference is that Saturday’s game went to more than one overtime period. In fact, this four overtime game is the longest game in Marquette men’s lacrosse history, and it is not be a close margin. The Golden Eagles have only been to double overtime once before, a 7-6 loss to Bellarmine back in 2018. Every other overtime game in program history has wrapped up before the end of the first extra session, so this one blew right past the Bellarmine double overtime game, straight through triple overtime and nearly made it into quintuple OT, as Cowan’s game winner came with just three seconds remaining on the clock.
Marquette is now 3-7 on the year and 2-6 in Big East play after winning consecutive games for the first time all season. The win keeps the door to a Big East tournament berth cracked open for Marquette, as they are just a half-game behind Providence in the standings. MU has two games left to play, while Providence has just one.
Let’s dial this backwards, because this game was not nearly as thrill-a-minute as you would think from a game that involved nearly 16 full extra minutes to decide. In fact, let’s be honest about it: This game was not interesting to pay attention to on the live stats thanks to Providence’s Premium Content Subscription wall, not until the final four minutes of regulation.
It was 2-1 Marquette at the end of the first quarter.
It was 4-2 Marquette at halftime.
It was 5-2 Marquette at the end of the third quarter.
It was 6-3 Marquette with 10 minutes left.
Nothing about this screams edge of your seat excitement. In fact, had this game ended in regulation without Providence tying it up, six goals would have set a new Marquette record for fewest goals scored in a victory, surpassing the previous low of seven which has happened more than once in the past.
Of course, lacrosse is weird, and that wasn’t a safe margin. But, the way things were going, it was also starting to feel pretty safe for the Golden Eagles. After all, if you can hold a team to just three goals in 50 minutes, and then 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 minutes as the clock keeps winding down, you start to feel pretty good about the fact that you’re probably not going to allow three goals in four minutes.
And yet, that’s what happened.
Evan McGreen scored with 3:15 to go. John Hoffman scored with 1:44 to go. 6-5 Marquette.
And then Matt Grillo, the guy who had five of Providence’s 12 goals in the first meeting this season, fired one in off a pass from Ryan Nawrocki with just nine seconds remaining in regulation. Boom. 6-all. On to overtime we go.
Credit must be paid to MU goalie Sean Richard, who tied Cole Blazer’s record for saves in a game here with 18. 16 of those came in regulation, four of them in the fourth quarter as he did his part to preserve MU’s lead down the stretch. He made one save each in the first and second overtime periods to prevent the Friars from swiping the win out from underneath the Golden Eagles as well.
Cowan’s game winner may be one of the weirdest goals I’ve ever seen, when you take the time and score of the game into account. With just seconds left on a restart after a Ryan Fazio shot missed wide, Marquette’s other five attackers all take up a position backed away from the net so Cowan could pass to them if he had the chance. Providence’s defenders all follow the MU attackers out there to cut off the passing lanes. Then, Cowan’s defender, knowing where the net is relative to the starting position, covers Cowan’s movement by putting himself between Cowan and anyone he might pass to...... thereby giving Cowan a free run to the front of the net because none of his teammates are playing anything resembling close defense.
In other words: Cowan’s defender let him go inside instead of pushing him outside, and none of the other PC defenders bothered to move towards Cowan as he went inside. All Cowan had to do was get his hands free and beat the goalie. And he did.
Cowan ended up with three points on the day with two goals and an assist. Connor McClelland scored twice for MU, and Griffin Fleming had a goal and an assist for two points. Zach Granger was a human vacuum, gathering up a team high five ground balls along the way. Anthony Courcelle contributed a team high two caused turnovers to the proceedings.
Up Next: Marquette will be back in action next week Saturday when they visit Villanova. The Wildcats are now 5-3 this season with all eight games coming in Big East action. VU is coming off a 23-8 shelling of St. John’s on Saturday, and this will be Villanova’s last scheduled Big East game of the season unless a postponed home date with Denver gets rescheduled.