Wanna hear a funny story?
I forgot that the Marquette men’s lacrosse game against #5 Penn State on Saturday started at 11am Central time. I had it in my head that it started at noon. So here I am, firing up the YouTube on my desktop computer and hitting the screen mirroring button to send it over to my TV in the living room and what do I hear?
“Third quarter coming up after this, Marquette’s leading 6-5.”
Two reactions to this.
- Wait, did they just say third quarter, shoot, did this start at 11? (I check my own preview that I wrote) Yep, it did, gosh darn it, missed the whole first half
- WAIT, DID THEY SAY MARQUETTE LEADS THE NUMBER FIVE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY AT HALFTIME?
They sure did!
After Penn State took a 2-1 lead with a little bit more than five minutes left in the first, Devon Cowan scored the first of his three goals on the day before the period ended, and that started off a 3-0 burst by the Golden Eagles that went five minutes into the second quarter. That was answered by a 3-0 set from the Nittany Lions to give them a 5-4 lead with three minutes to go in the half before MU slipped in two less than 30 seconds apart to make it 6-5 favoring the Golden Eagles at intermission. Shots were mostly even, 19-17 favoring PSU, shots on goal favored Marquette, 12-11.
If what I saw in the second half is roughly what Marquette looked like in the first half, then it 100% makes sense that the Golden Eagles were neck and neck with Penn State for the first 30 minutes. I saw a Marquette team that was energized on both ends of the field, I saw a Marquette team that was confident, that was connected, that was prepared for anything and ready to deal with anything, and perhaps most importantly, had zero fear of the other team across from them, even if they had that single digit ranking next to their name.
The two sides traded goals back and forth in the third quarter with MU scoring first to keep them out in front every time Penn State answered. This is the kind of thing that I was talking about relative to Marquette playing confident and engaged. Watch this Mason Woodward caused turnover as many times as you need to be able to realize what he did, it took me four tries.
This Mason Woodward takeway led directly to the second Bowman score. Woodward making huge plays all over the field for MU. #WeAreMarquette pic.twitter.com/cdd141wzDQ— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) March 18, 2023
The second Andrew Bowman score mentioned in the tweet is the goal that put Marquette up 8-6, and Bowman’s third of the game came with 5:02 left in the frame to put MU up 9-7. That’s where the trading goals stopped and the Golden Eagles managed to gain possession and close out the quarter with a Bobby O’Grady goal that is really more about Will Foster’s assist as all O’Grady had to do was paddle it into the net.
BOBBY O'GRADY!!— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) March 18, 2023
Golden Eagles up 10-7 on Penn State at the end of the third quarter!#WeAreMarquette pic.twitter.com/rek4WG1zea
10-7 Marquette with 15 minutes to go. The Nittany Lions scored first in the final period, but they couldn’t figure out the Marquette defense long enough to get looks at Michael Allieri to put more goals in the net. Luke Blanc scored a big time goal with 7:36 to play to make it a three goal game again, right at about the spot where MU just burning clock without pushing the Lions around started to worry you. It would take more than five more minutes before Penn State would score again, this time Chris Jordan finding space to make it 11-9 with 2:07 to go.
But Marquette won the draw thanks to Mason Woodward’s preternatural sense of how and where to be to pick up a ground ball, head coach Andrew Stimmel called timeout, and the Golden Eagles got a chance to close the game out… or so it appeared. Devon Cowan spun into space as Penn State went into a ride to try to force a turnover….. and he just missed the net wide on a point blank shot on an unattended net. MU managed to maintain possession, and then Cowan just kept bulling his way into a PSU double team until the referees decided to give him a call. Man up chance for Marquette, but they’re happy to burn the clock as PSU rides again, and this time Cowan popped it in, 12-9, 1:18 to go.
“But Andy, doesn’t the headline say 12-11?” IT SURE DOES. Penn State suddenly said “oh, crap, we’re in trouble,” and they won a couple of draws and hurried into shots on Allieri. 12-11, 36 seconds left.
How did Marquette close it out? By Penn State’s Hudson Bohn committing a violation on the face off, thus giving MU uncontested possession, and then O’Grady got trucked for an unnecessary roughness penalty with 22 seconds to go, and then it was just a fancy game of keep away to wrap it up for good.
Devon Cowan and Andrew Bowman both had three goals to lead the way for the Golden Eagles there, but Will Foster had a goal and three assists to lead Marquette in points with four. Mason Woodward had a game high seven ground balls while tying with Zach Granger and David Lamarca for the team lead in caused turnovers with two. Michael Allieri was great, finishing with nine saves, including two official saves and another quality defense of a shot in one sequence late in the third quarter to help propel Marquette to the win.
Two HUGE saves by Michael Allieri late in the third quarter led to the O'Grady goal and a three-score edge on the Nittany Lions heading into the fourth! #WeAreMarquete pic.twitter.com/9AnMvFsxeO— Marquette Lacrosse (@MarquetteMLax) March 18, 2023
Fun Fact I Did Not Know Before The Game: The reason why this was at McArthur High School on Long Island is because this was officially the Long Island Metro Cup. This means that Marquette gets a very nice trophy to bring home to Milwaukee.
WINNING TROPHIES REMAINS THE COOLEST AND BEST pic.twitter.com/wn0aFvgjWR— Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle) March 18, 2023
How about a full highlight package, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Varsity Network?
Up Next: Marquette will be back at home for their next game and ready to build off head coach Andrew Stimmel’s first win over a top 10 team. The opponent this coming Saturday will be St. Bonaventure, and first draw will be at Noon Central. The Bonnies are 1-6 on the year and will visit Syracuse on Tuesday before coming to Milwaukee.