Marquette Golden Eagles men’s lacrosse shook off an early defensive scuffle against Utah on Saturday at Valley Fields, but at the end of 60 minutes, the Golden Eagles didn’t have enough in the tank to beat the Utes. At the horn, it was the visiting team celebrating as Marquette lost their home opener, 12-11. The Golden Eagles are now 1-2 on the season
The first four-ish minutes of action at Valley Fields this season? That was mostly fine. Russell Melendez cashed in a Utah penalty at the 10:24 mark to tie the game up at one goal each. Things went quickly sideways on the Golden Eagles as it took Utah nine whole seconds to score as the guy who picked up the ground ball on the faceoff got it to Samuel Cambere for the quick strike. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cole Brams won the faceoff after Cambere’s goal and then scored one himself six seconds later. 15 seconds wound off the clock after Melendez’s goal, and Utah was up 3-1. Two minutes later, it was Ruben Santana scoring for the visitors, and it was 4-1 Utah.
The first quarter continued to go just completely off the rails, but more in the “wow, would you look at what is happening here for both teams” kind of way. Pierce Washburn’s second goal of the season tied the game at four with 2:39 left in the period, and with 16 seconds left in the quarter, freshman Bobby O’Grady knotted it back up at five each to give us the score after 15 minutes of lacrosse.
Fr. Bobby O'Grady with a goal, tying the game up again. pic.twitter.com/JzP8gjIKVO— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) February 26, 2022
15 minutes, 10 goals. Nuts!
The second quarter was more whackadoodle lacrosse, with the two teams combining for six more goals. Utah scored four of them, though, and Jordan Hyde’s marker with 26 seconds left in the period sent the Utes to the locker room up 9-7 over Marquette.
Marquette held the fort through the first stretch of the third quarter, holding Utah without a goal for over 12 minutes. Griffin Fries and Devon Cowan scored along the way so it was tied back up at 9-9. A poorly timed cross-checking penalty on Cowan at the 3:19 mark led to a Tyler Bradbury man-up goal, and Utah went to the fourth quarter up 10-9.
Will Foster got on the board for his first goal in a Marquette uniform, and that tied the whole shebang back up again, this time at 10 goals a side. There was 12:45 left on the clock, so lots of time left to go.
Will Foster with his first carrer goal pic.twitter.com/gGbpWHy2Pu— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) February 26, 2022
But Utah would hold Marquette without a goal for nearly the entire rest of the game while scoring twice more themselves. Hyde took a tripping penalty for the Utes with just under a minute to go, and that gave MU’s Melendez a chance to score a man-up goal with 37 seconds left. 12-11, so Marquette had a chance to tie it up and force overtime for the second time this season.
Thomas Washington won the draw to himself, and after a timeout from head coach Andrew Stimmel, the Golden Eagles had their chance.
They couldn’t even get a shot off. With clock evaporating, they turned it over trying to get anything going to the net, Utah scooped it up, and that was that.
A five point day from Devon Cowan led the way for Marquette, as he put two goals and three assists on the board. Melendez led in scoring as that late power play goal gave him a hat trick on the afternoon. Mason Woodward was a terror in MU’s defensive end, scooping up seven ground balls and forcing six turnovers, and fellow close defender David Lamarca had a great game with five GBs and two caused turnovers. Michael Allieri went the distance in net for Marquette and made five saves on the afternoon, including two in the crucial fourth quarter.
How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
That brings us along to MU’s first mid-week game of the season.......
Game #4: vs #16 Michigan Wolverines (5-0)
Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Time: 1pm Central
Location: Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble, Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: Marquette Athletics on YouTube
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax
Marquette is 1-2 all time against Michigan. The Golden Eagles won the middle one out of the three contests, and the only one that’s been played in Milwaukee. This is picking up the series where it left off after three straight years were interrupted by COVID protocols last spring.
You don’t have have to struggle to figure out that things are going well for Michigan so far this season. That zero in the loss column goes a long way there. Heck, if you want a 1-to-1 comparison for Marquette, you can look at both teams’ openers, since they both played Bellarmine. While it took triple overtime for the Golden Eagles to beat the Knights, the Wolverines won easily, 22-13. A 7-1 second quarter was the difference there, and an 8-3 third quarter didn’t hurt, either.
Big scoring totals have been the MO so far for Michigan, and failing that, they go with large margin of victory. That 13 goal total by Bellarmine is the most goals that they’ve allowed all season while holding three of their other four opponents under 10 goals. Meanwhile, on the offensive end, the Wolverines have scored at least 20 goals in every game except their most recent contest. In that one, they merely beat Cleveland State 13-5 this past Saturday afternoon. They shut the Vikings out completely in the middle two quarters of the game in that one.
For whatever it’s worth when trying to measure these things, every single Michigan game has been at home so far this season. Well, technically at home. They’ve all been in Michigan, and their opener against Bellarmine was at the Detroit Country Day Fieldhouse just to protect against the kind of weather than you can have on February 5th in Michigan. The other four have all been at UM Lacrosse Stadium in Ann Arbor, so we’ll see if playing somewhere else has a major impact on how things go for them.
Goal #1 for Marquette’s defense is stopping Josh Zawada. The junior from North Carolina has, and this is not a joke, 23 goals and 17 assists this season, both of which are team highs. He is averaging — AVERAGING — eight points a game for the Wolverines. Zawada scored at least four goals in Michigan’s first four games, and he took a day off and only scored twice on seven shots against Cleveland State on Saturday.
Michael Boehm (14G, 12A) and Ryan Cohen (11G, 10A) are following the Zawada playbook relative to both passing and scoring effectively this season and thus both men are averaging north of four points a game. Jake Bonomi is fourth on the team in points at 17, but he’s third on the squad behind Zawada and Boehm in goals with 13. To put it simply: Michigan is not lacking for options on offense, and Marquette’s probably going have to play their best defensive game of the season to have a chance to beat the Wolverines.
Shane Carr will be the netminder for Michigan on Tuesday afternoon. He’s played all but 45 minutes this season, and that’s been spread out with one of his backups playing in three different contests. Carr is allowing a microscopic 5.68 goals per 60 minutes this season, and that’s not just because Michigan’s offense is running wild and protecting him from shots. Carr is at least deflecting 64.7% of shots on goal this season, so he’s doing his part to let those margins of victory balloon upwards to say the least.