Well, it certainly seems like Bobby O’Grady likes college lacrosse.
The freshman attackman from Massachusetts opened up his collegiate career with a game high four goals, and that includes the triple overtime game winner as YOUR Marquette go down to Louisville and pick up the 9-8 season opening win over Bellarmine. MU advances to 1-0 for the 2022 campaign, while the Knights fall to 0-3.
This one was a close one all the way through. The largest lead of the game came early in the second quarter when Devon Cowan scored with a man advantage for Marquette to cap off a 3-0 run to take a 3-1 lead. That came with 13:19 left on the clock before halftime, and Bellarmine’s Benjamin Hubbs scored at the 9:29 mark to make it a one goal game again.
Hubbs’ goal was the first of a 4-1 stretch by the Knights to close out the first half that left the home team up 5-4 at intermission. O’Grady was the Golden Eagle that scored in that run, and he’s the Golden Eagle who scored the first goal of the second half to even it out at five each. After Bellarmine had a 4-2 quarter in the second, it was Marquette’s turn to return the favor in the third period, and Aaron Joseph’s goal with just over a minute left put the Golden Eagles out in front, 8-7.
It looked like the two teams were pouring on the offense through the middle 30 minutes of the game, but that came to a halt in the fourth. There were just eight total shots fired off, four for each team, and only one went in. That one came out of the stick of BU’s Justin Wescoat, and that tied the game at eight goals each. Both teams would have their chances to take the lead late in regulation, including a man-up chance for Bellarmine, but a series of turnovers, including one by Cowan with 12 seconds left, sent things to the extra session.
And by session, I of course mean sessions, plural. Overtime sudden victory lacrosse is nothing but an ongoing cascade of chances to win the game, so it’s all very high tension stuff. But Bellarmine did themselves absolutely no favors in overtime. 1st: Crosschecking penalty and a turnover on their only possession. 2nd: Shot clock violation and a standard turnover on their two possessions and an unnecessary roughness penalty at the horn.
Officially, it wasn’t that penalty that let Marquette win the game. The Golden Eagles didn’t score on their one minute off extra man time, but O’Grady’s game winner did come five seconds after the penalty expired, so it’s almost like the penalty was the difference in the contest.
O’Grady’s goals were the difference, literally, in this game, but he doesn’t get top point total honors for the day. That goes to Russell Melendez, who had an assist on five of Marquette’s eight goals that he didn’t score in the game, and his goal in the first quarter gave him six points total on the day. Cowan finished with two goals to be the only other guy with multiple points for the Golden Eagles.
On the defensive end of the field, Mason Woodward did Mason Woodward things and led the field players with five ground balls and added two caused turnovers. David Lamarca’s first collegiate start had him creating a team high four caused turnovers and picking up four ground balls. Luke Williams took most of the draws for Marquette, winning six out of 13, but Thomas Washington had more success as he won seven of his nine face-offs. Michael Allieri got the start in net for the Golden Eagles in what was his first ever collegiate game after staying on the sidelines all of last season, and he made 12 saves, all in regulation, to pick up the win.
Up Next: It’ll be another road game next weekend for Marquette before they get to play at the friendly confines of Valley Fields. The weather might be better than in Louisville, though. Marquette will be down in Florida next week Saturday as they visit Jacksonville for an 11am Central time start. The Dolphins are 0-1 on the year after losing 11-8 to #16 Johns Hopkins back on February 5th. They have a Sunday afternoon road game against #2 Duke and a Tuesday night home opener against Mercer before MU comes to town.