Marquette men’s lacrosse scored at least three goals in every single period, but the timing of all of them weren’t all that great and neither was the defense, as Utah prevailed, 18-16, at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Marquette falls to 1-1 on the season.
There’s two notable points at which this game came apart at the seams for Marquette. One of them is pretty much right out of the gate. In the first five minutes and seven seconds of the game, Utah jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Marquette, and they did it on their first five shots of the game. That is no good and it actually got worse. After Bobby O’Grady scored the first of five goals for him on the day while MU was busy killing off a checking penalty on Logan Kreinz, Utah tacked on two more goals for a 6-2 lead over the Golden Eagles with 5:36 left to go in the first period.
Four goal margin, lost by two. You can see how maybe this was notable in the outcome.
And yet, perhaps it wasn’t, as Matt Winegardner’s second goal of the game kicked off a 5-0 Marquette run bridging into the second quarter. Winegardner’s third goal of the game was the fifth one in the run, coming with a man advantage, and it gave Marquette a 7-6 lead with 10:49 to go before halftime. Hey, look at that, things are turning around!
Marquette takes its first lead of the game, 7-6, on this EMO goal from Matthew Winegardner. The junior transfer now his his first hat trick at in Blue & Gold. #WeAreMarquette pic.twitter.com/xZ24tfkrcg— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) February 11, 2023
Aaaaaand then Utah threw in four straight of their own. Another EMO goal from Winegardner broke up the run, so it was 10-8 Utes at intermission. O’Grady’s fourth goal of the game broke the ice on the scoring for the second half, and that pulled MU within one. In the middle of the quarter, goals from Jake Stegman, Luke Blanc (on the EMO here again), and Hayden Miller pulled Marquette even once again, this time at 12 goals each. 7:08 left in the third quarter, all even, brand new game.
A tiny-ish 3-1 burst from the Utes in the final four minutes of the quarter sent things to the last period with the home team up 15-13. Lots of goals, lots of shots, lots of everything, still seemed to be a game that was very much up for grabs. All Marquette needed to do was make one or two or three plays to even it out and have a chance to win.
And... they .... just didn’t. Well, kind of didn’t. First, Utah’s MJ McMahon scored just 51 seconds into the quarter to make it a three goals game. Then, the offense disappeared for the Golden Eagles as Utah held MU without a goal for the first 13 minutes of the fourth quarter, but freshman Lucas Lawas came off the bench in relief of starting goalie Michael Allieri and made save after save after save to give Marquette a chance that they just never grabbed onto. Marquette didn’t even fire off a shot in the fourth quarter until nearly halfway through the frame.
Jared Andreala scored for Utah with 2:07 to go, making it 17-13, and things certainly looked over. Except Jake Stegman got a great bounce off the pipe on a low angle shot with 97 seconds left. And then Utah took a pushing penalty, and Nate Surd slung in a goal. 17-15 Utah, 79 seconds left.
Mason Woodward picked up one of his TWELVE ground balls in the game and said “eff this, I’ll get it done, “ and hurled in a pole goal with 65 seconds left. 17-16.
And then Woodward picked up the groundball on the ensuing faceoff and MU called timeout with 1:11 to play. One chance to score, that’s all Marquette needed to tie the game and force overtime. Get the goal early, and maybe have a chance to get another draw and another shot to win.
Except MU couldn’t connect on a pass to out in front of the net, turnover, Golden Eagles vacate the net trying to force a turnover, Utah hucks the ball in the net long range for a two goal lead, Utes win the ensuing faceoff, and that’s that.
If not for the bad starts to the first and fourth quarters, maybe we’re writing a different story here, but they happened, and MU is left to figure out to avoid that in the future.
Bobby O’Grady paced the Marquette offense with five goals and tacked on an assist on Matthew Winegardner’s first man-up goal to get to six points. Winegardner himself had four goals on the day plus an assist of his own. Jake Stegman was MU’s only other multi-goal and multi-point guy, scoring twice and handing out an assist for three points. Mason Woodward was absolutely ridiculous, recording 12 ground balls and forcing four turnovers on top of his late goal, which was the fourth of his career and second in as many games this season.
Up Next: It’s a massive test of where Marquette is at after two games, as they’ll be on a short turnaround to head out on the road for a midweek game on Wednesday. The opponent? Preseason #7 Notre Dame. The Irish haven’t played a game yet this season, so Wednesday evening’s contest in South Bend will be their opener. The 4pm Central time start will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.