After a weird game against Detroit Mercy last week, both in how it went and the hastily rescheduled nature of it, Saturday’s Marquette men’s lacrosse contest against a Bellarmine squad that was receiving votes in this week’s Inside Lacrosse top 20 poll felt like a good time to get things rebalanced and back on track for Andrew Stimmel’s Golden Eagles.
Maybe that happened, maybe it didn’t, maybe the Knights are pretty good and Marquette only figured them out much too late. What we know happened for sure is that the Golden Eagles let a manageable but also not very good halftime deficit of 4-2 balloon into a 10-4 deficit late in the third quarter. That six goal lead ended up being enough for the visiting Knights to hold on and get an 11-10 victory over Marquette. The Golden Eagles are now 3-3 on the year.
We can’t say that things were going poorly for Marquette. They were even with Bellarmine in shots in the first quarter, 9-9, and down just one, 8-7 in the second. When the game flipped over in BU’s favor, the Knights only outshot Marquette 12-10 in the third period. Turnovers were mostly even through three quarters, 15 for Marquette, 14 for Bellarmine. MU was putting shots on goal, with 12 of them through the first 45 minutes.
And yet, it was 10-5 Bellarmine with 15 minutes to go, and it was only that close because Zach Granger threw in a pole goal with eight seconds left in the third quarter. The underlying numbers say this was going at least decently well, but it was Bellarmine finding ways to put the ball in the net and Marquette just wasn’t doing that.
And then the fourth quarter started and it almost felt like Marquette was a representation of that old adage about a boxer who’s not really invested in the fight until they see their own blood. Devon Cowan scored twice in the first 3:15 to make it a three goal game, and then he scored again on the other side of a marker from BU’s Jesse Roth to make it 11-8 with just over nine minutes left.
Nine minutes is a loooong time in lacrosse, and with Cowan’s scoring invigorating the rest of the team, they kept making plays to get themselves in position to do some stuff. Luke Blanc tallied with just under eight minutes to go, and right before the five minute mark, Jake Stegman found the back of the net to make it an 11-10 ballgame.
Marquette forced a shot clock violation that was at least 25% Bellarmine just killing off a slashing penalty. Marquette caught a break on a crease violation by the Knights. Chances were created or just lucked into. The opportunity was there to make this comeback happen.... but nope, Marquette just ran out of time.
What would have happened if MU had played with that kind of fire for 45 minutes? Since the UDM game wasn’t streamed, I don’t know what Marquette looked like in the first half of that one when they fell behind 4-2 and then scored eight unanswered in the second half and nearly shut out the Titans for the final 30 minutes. Why is it that Marquette came out in this game, just a little over a week after the trip to Detroit and looked so lackluster against Bellarmine? Is that just Bellarmine’s influence on the game, or is there a bigger problem at hand here?
Both Cowan and Blanc finished with a hat trick, and Stegman had two goals and an assist to match them for the team high in points with three. Mason Woodward was his usual self on the defense end, leading the team with six ground balls. Grant Evans was great on draws in this one, winning eight of the 12 he took. Michael Allieri made nine saves for Marquette, with eight of them in the first three quarters as MU’s offense wasn’t doing him any favors on the other end.
How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
Up Next: Marquette will be away from Milwaukee next weekend, but they won’t be playing a road game, not officially. They’ll be at McArthur High School in Levittown, New York, for a neutral site game against Penn State. The 5-1 Nittany Lions were ranked #8 in the country last week, and will probably be moving up after a 10-6 road win over #3 Cornell on Saturday.