The score at the end of 15 minutes at Cooper Field back on Thursday night was ever so slightly misleading. With one quarter played, #4 seed Marquette was sitting in a 2-2 tie with top seed and #2 team in the country Georgetown. 45 minutes to go, and it seemed like the Hoyas might be in for a fight to get out of this Big East semifinal and into Saturday’s championship game.
That, uh, was not the case. Underneath that 2-2 tie, Georgetown had outshot the Golden Eagles 13-4 through the first 15 minutes, indicating the the Hoyas were controlling the game to a much steeper degree than the scoreboard indicated. One step further, GU goalie Owen McElroy, maybe the best goalie in the entire country this season, had yet to make a save on two shots on goal.
Armed with this information, are you surprised that Georgetown knocked Marquette out of the Big East tournament and into the offseason by a final score of 15-5? I don’t think you should be.
Georgetown made the point emphatically as the second quarter got started. The Hoyas scored three times in the first five minutes of the period to make it 5-2 as they held the Golden Eagles without a goal. That defensive stand by the regular season champs lasted until Bobby O’Grady’s goal at the 3:20 mark of the second quarter, meaning that MU had gone more than 15 minutes, a full quarter’s worth of time, without scoring a goal. O’Grady made it an 8-3 game, and that margin held til halftime.
The Hoyas scored first in the third to make it 9-3, but goals in rapid succession from Will Foster and then from Cole Emmanuel as he won the ensuing draw to himself made it 9-5 with less than five minutes gone since halftime. Technically, if you want to be optimistic about it, this was a very good sign for Marquette, because 25 minutes is a very long time in a lacrosse game.
You all have strong reading comprehension skills though, and so you’ve figured out that the Golden Eagles never scored again in those 25 minutes. Georgetown closed the game on a 6-0 run, and that was that, season’s over.
I don’t think we can say this is a case of Marquette beating themselves. They ended up getting outshot 47-39 overall and 27-17 on shots on goal, but MU had just one more turnover than Georgetown did, just three fewer ground balls, and both teams failed just one clearance. Marquette even carried the day on the draw, winning 15 of the game’s 24 faceoffs. Georgetown’s just better, and eventually, the number of shots that they peppered MU goalie Michael Allieri and his defenders with went in the net. That’s the way it goes when you play the #2 team in the country sometimes.
Heck, given the score of the regular season meeting between the two teams, this was a good performance by MU against Georgetown. Last time out, the Hoyas scored 20 goals, so holding them to 15 is an accomplishment of a sort. Of course, Georgetown limited Marquette to just five goals after they tallied 10 in the regular season game, so it’s not all good news in that department.
The season is over with Marquette wrapping it up at 4-11 overall, and so we have to pay tribute and give a big Anonymous Eagle THANK YOU to MU’s seniors. It’s a long list, so deep breath: James Amorosana, Quintin Arnett, Anthony Courcelle, Jack Devine, Patrick English, Jacob Hallam, Aaron Joseph, Moey Lardy, Jett Leonard-Bedier, Noah Lindner, Kyle McNeill, Garrett Moya, Holden Patterson, Trevor Peay, Mitch Salanty, Jordan Schmid, Dan Shay, and Thomas Washington.
These guys occupy a very weird spot in Marquette lacrosse history as they were being recruited to Milwaukee in the wake of the Golden Eagles winning back-to-back Big East championships.... but their time at MU has not lived up to that kind of billing, largely speaking for reasons completely out of their control. Joe Amplo left for the Navy job after most of these guys’ freshman seasons, then the 2020 season was shut down early after just seven games during Andrew Stimmel’s first campaign as the new head coach, and the 2021 season was one of the strangest seasons in NCAA lacrosse history much less MU history just because of COVID protocols, much less the oddity of the 10 game Big East schedule featuring six contests against top 25 caliber teams, and then, finally, this season where Marquette had to deal with injury after injury after injury that limited the ceiling of what the team could accomplish.
In short, it’s been a rough time to be a Golden Eagle, but these guys kept showing up. That’s an especially important note to keep in mind here, as astute followers of the men’s lacrosse program will notice that there is not a glut of high profile names on this list of seniors. These are guys who, by and large, had to keep showing up and keep busting their tails to get whatever playing time they could possibly squeeze out of the coaches, guys who maybe just kept going because they just really loved lacrosse, and that’s what they wanted to do with their free time more than anything else. Every practice, every road trip, every strength and conditioning session, every physical therapy appointment, the whole nine yards. We remember the headliner guys, but guys like these seniors are the lifeblood of a men’s lacrosse program. We say THANK YOU to them for everything that they’ve given over to the team in their time in Milwaukee, and wish them nothing but the best in whatever comes next for them.