You know that old saying about Major League Baseball? You can’t win the pennant in April, but you can definitely lose it? That was Marquette men’s lacrosse on Saturday afternoon in Rhode Island as the Golden Eagles gave up five unanswered goals in the first quarter and ended up taking a 16-14 loss to Providence at the end of the contest. Marquette drops to 5-4 overall this season, but more importantly, they drop their Big East opener to start out league play at 0-1.
It was a great start to the game, no doubt about that, as Devon Cowan spun around to the front of the cage and scored just 52 seconds in. Good stuff. The next 14 minutes and eight seconds were not. Michael Chabra scored less than a minute after Cowan to start off a 5-0 run for the rest of the quarter for the Friars and a 7-1 run spanning nearly 16 minutes. 7-2 Providence, 12:43 left in the second.
Even worse when you consider that Marquette has been wildly inconsistent this season and a glance at the overall tenor of the Big East this season says that this game was a must win for MU if they wanted to qualify for the four team conference tournament.
Marquette did steer out of the skid to make it competitive, with Will Foster scoring one of his five goals on the day with 3:43 left before halftime to pull the Golden Eagles within two at the break. That’s admirable, because it’s lacrosse, and weird things can happen in the scoring department. What you should not do when you do that, however, is allow Providence to score the first two goals coming out of the locker room to knock that margin back to four at 10-6 with just 63 seconds played in the third quarter.
The Golden Eagles managed to answer with a pair of their own, but they couldn’t keep the run going. The two teams traded goals for the rest of the period with MU scoring last to make it 13-11, effectively meaning that they had battled PC to a standstill for 15 minutes. Generally speaking not a problem, but when you’re trying to rally back from down five goals, you’d like to get the advantage at some point to get the feeling that you’ve completed the rally.
That point never came for Marquette, as the Friars held them without a goal for over seven minutes to start the fourth quarter and tacked on two of their own. 15-11 at the 9:48 mark, and Luke Blanc’s goal just past the eight minute mark was rendered somewhat mott when Matt Grillo hucked in his fifth of the day with 3:24 to go. 16-12 Providence, and they could just start burning clock. Marquette did add on two more goals, but the second one came with just 66 seconds left in regulation and that didn’t leave the Golden Eagles enough time to do anything else to get closer.
We did see a pair of career highs here, as Will Foster’s five goals and Jake Stegman’s five assists were both the best performances in blue and gold for them. Stegman’s helpers gave him 20 on the season to tie him with Conor Gately’s single season record, which was set in 2013. Devon Cowan recorded his fourth hat trick of the year in this one, and moved him within two points of 100 for his Marquette career.
How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
Up Next: Well, given that result, Marquette’s chances of competing in the Big East tournament — which they’re hosting, by the way — pretty much lay entirely in winning their next game. The Golden Eagles will be back at home next weekend for a Saturday contest with St. John’s, with the first draw set for 11am Central time. The Red Storm dropped to 0-10 on Saturday after an 18-8 loss on the road against #6 Villanova to open conference play for them.