There are a lot of good things that happened for Marquette men’s lacrosse on Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C. Absolutely none of them helped the Golden Eagles win though, as the #2 ranked Georgetown handed them a 20-10 loss. MU is now 4-8 on the year and 2-1 in Big East play.
Good Thing #1: Bobby O’Grady scored five goals, tying GU’s Dylan Watson for the game high. This was his fifth of the game, which came early in the fourth quarter:
As you can see from the tweet, that gave O’Grady 41 goals on the season. His fourth goal of the game made him just the second player in program history to score 40 goals in a season, and that one going past Owen McElroy pushed him past Ryan McNamara’s single season record of 40 goals in a campaign. McNamara set that mark back in 2016, and it took him 16 games and an NCAA tournament appearance to get there. O’Grady did it in 12 games. As a freshman.
Good Thing #2: Part of the reason why O’Grady was able to score five times in this game is because the Golden Eagles’ offense did a tremendous job framing shots against the extremely good Georgetown defense. They knew they had to take the best shots possible to have a chance against the Hoyas, and they executed that. All six first quarter shots were on goal, and that propelled MU forward to putting a whopping 23 of their 32 shots on frame in the game. That’s 72% of their shots in the game, and as a team on the season, the Golden Eagles are only putting 59% of shots on goal.
Good Thing #3: Marquette was going to have their work cut out for them against Georgetown’s defense. As we mentioned in the preview, there was reason to call them the best defense in the country, and reason to call goalie Owen McElroy the best goalie in the country. Marquette tallied 10 goals against the Hoya defense, when they came in allowing just 8.2 per game. Can’t argue with doing better than Georgetown’s average.
Good Thing #4: Michael Allieri was a machine out there in net for the Golden Eagles. Georgetown’s great, that’s no secret, they have that #2 next to their name for a reason. If Marquette was going to have anything resembling a shot against the Hoyas, Allieri had to have a great day in net, and he absolutely did. He made five saves in the first quarter and then just kept adding one to his number in each successive quarter. The redshirt freshman from Massachusetts tied the Marquette record for saves in a game on Georgetown’s first shot of the fourth quarter and then became the first MU goalie to ever record 20 saves in a game on GU’s second shot of the final period. By the time that Jamie Grant came on in relief with just over two minutes to play, Allieri had posted 26 saves, absolutely blowing the record set by Cole Blazer in 2017 and tied by Sean Richard last year out of the water.
Unfortunately, this game was decided by other things than those four, and that’s how you get Marquette losing by 10. MU’s biggest problem? 27 turnovers in 60 minutes, with 22 of them getting notched as caused by the Hoyas. The Golden Eagles didn’t make mistakes in this game, not really, not at least unforced errors. GU’s defense is great, not just because they don’t allow goals. That tore Marquette apart in this one. 27 turnovers is how you end up with things like “Georgetown outshot Marquette 63-32.” 63 shots is how you end up with Allieri stopping 26 shots but still allowing 19 goals before he exited. At some point, if you want to knock off the #2 team in the country, you can’t make any kind of mistakes, not even the ones that the other team forces you to make.
There’s not a lot of reason to go through the play-by-play of what happened here. You could probably argue the whole game flipped over on Marquette in the first quarter, as the Hoyas scored six of their seven goals in the period in the final seven minutes. They scored three in a minute to push it from 1-1 to 4-1, and then another two in the final 65 seconds to make it 7-3. When they scored the first three of the second quarter to make it a 5-0 run, they were up 10-3, and that’s too much of a hole to overcome against a national title contender. MU was able to claw it back to a four goal game, 10-6, on a man-up goal from O’Grady with 6:06 left in the second quarter, but y’all can do math. Marquette got outscored 10-4 over the final 36 minutes.
Up Next: Marquette has to shake this off and chalk it up to the cost of doing business. At 2-1 in the Big East, the Golden Eagles are tied for second in the conference standings with both Villanova and Denver. As luck would have it, those are the only two games remaining for Marquette. First up, though, is Villanova. MU will host the Wildcats next Saturday with an 11am Central time start for Senior Day at Valley Fields. Villanova is coming off an 18-13 victory over Providence on Saturday and they have won three of their last four games. Depending on how things go in the voting on Sunday, the Wildcats might be back in the Inside Lacrosse top 20 when this game rolls around.