Apparently the Florida sun did Marquette men’s lacrosse a world of good.
Griffin Fries scored twice as part of a 5-0 Marquette run in the first 10 minutes of their game in the Southwest Florida Shootout on Saturday afternoon, and the Golden Eagles used that great start to keep themselves out in front of Michigan on the way to a 14-9 win. Marquette is now 2-2 on the year and, because Michigan was earning votes in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week, I believe this qualifies as head coach Andrew Stimmel’s best victory.
Sometimes the sport doesn’t have to be complicated. By the time that Michigan got a shot off at all in this game, more than six minutes had wound off the clock and Marquette was up 3-0. That possession for the Wolverines still ended with a turnover, their fourth of the game, and that turned into Fries’ second goal of the game and a 4-0 Marquette lead. Michigan won the faceoff, hit the post on a shot which turned into a transition opportunity for Marquette and a pole goal from Zach Granger, his first of the season.
5-0 Golden Eagles, 5:40 left in the first.
The Wolverines broke through finally, firing two past MU goalie Michael Allieri, but on the ensuing possession, Michigan turned it over again and that turned into another transition attempt and Marquette’s second pole goal of the game, this time from Logan Kreinz. 6-2 Marquette at the end of the first quarter, and then they added two more goals to open up the second frame, including this nifty bit of passing by Luke Blanc and smart use of angles from Hayden Miller:
Saying “the first two goals of the second” doesn’t quite get it across because even Marquette didn’t score until nearly nine minutes in. That’s the kind of thing you can do when you’re up 6-2 and holding the other team scoreless anyway. Michigan got their act together, helped out by a holding penalty on MU’s Luke Williams, to grab three quick goals before halftime, but that still only made it 8-5 Marquette at the break.
Marquette held the line to start the second half again, holding Michigan scoreless for 12 minutes while potting two goals to go back up five. You can win an awful lot of lacrosse games by going on 12 minute long 2-0 runs, especially when you generate four turnovers along the way. Michigan finally found a goal in the third, but Jackson Rose pulled that one right back just over a minute later for an 11-6 Marquette advantage with 15 minutes to play.
And then Luke Williams did a scoop and score to open up the fourth quarter.
My favorite part of this clip is the Michigan FO guy turning around to get the ball and Williams is already halfway to the net.
That made it 12-6 Marquette. Michigan would go on a little 3-1 run over the next 8+ minutes to pull within four goals, 13-9, but the Golden Eagles rallied to start forcing the Wolverines into turnovers again to turn the spigot off for the final six minutes. Devon Cowan made his season debut off the bench for Marquette on Saturday, and he got to provide the dagger with under a minute to play.
Do you know what I didn’t mention here? Sophomore attacker Bobby O’Grady doing anything of note. That’s right, kids, MU’s shooting star on offense was held without a point in this one for the first time in his Marquette career. Seven shots in the game, five on cage, but he came up empty.... and that didn’t really have an impact on the game, maybe perhaps the Golden Eagles got 19 turnovers from the Wolverines, with 10 of them registering as caused by the MU defense. Credit to Michigan goalie Hunter Taylor, who made 13 saves along the way including the five on O’Grady, because it’s very clear that this could have gone much, much further in Marquette’s direction if Taylor isn’t making all those stops.
Griffin Fries finished with four goals to lead the Golden Eagles, while Jake Stegman and Luke Blanc both got to the net twice as the only other multi-goal scorers. All three men added an assist, and they were the only multi-point scorers on the day. Mason Woodward was a ball magnet on the defensive end, coming up with a team high seven ground balls and creating two turnovers. Michael Allieri made seven saves, including four in the third quarter to hold the Wolverines to just one goal after they had nudged back in Marquette’s direction right before halftime.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and BTN+?
Up Next: Marquette will be back in action this coming Saturday, and they’ll be on the road again. This time they’ll be in the state of Michigan, just not facing the Wolverines. Detroit Mercy will be their host, and first draw is scheduled for 11am Central time on March 4th. The Titans are 0-2 so far this season after dropping road games against VMI and High Point, and they have been inactive since garnering just two goals against HPU on February 11th.