The first sporting event of National Marquette Day weekend went off pretty much without a hitch. Tommy Casey got Marquette men’s lacrosse on the board just over a minute into the game, Carsen Brandt recorded his first career hat trick, and at the end of 60 minutes, the Golden Eagles moved to 2-0 on the year with a 16-5 win over Lindenwood in the 2024 home opener.
Casey’s game opening goal was the first career goal for the junior midfielder from New York, and he just saw a gigantic open space in the middle of the field and ran straight at the net, hollering until Brandt passed him the ball for the relatively easy strike and the 1-0 lead. Devon Cowan made it 2-0 just 14 seconds later, and it went like this: Turnover by Lindenwood’s faceoff man, Joseph Sarno, ground ball Brandt, pass to Jake Stegman, flip across the cage to Cowan, bingo bango bongo.
Goal #3 was from Cowan as well, this time just dodging around the outside to the front of the cage and snapping a short range shot in. That prompted a timeout from the Lions, and after both sides got a chance to turn the ball over, O’Grady found Brandt sitting on the doorstep for the 4-0 lead.
There was 11:07 left in the first.
Now, that would actually be Marquette’s final goal of the quarter, and the visiting Lions broke through to make it 4-1 after 15 minutes. Marquette even felt a little clogged up, not quite running as smoothly on offense as they did to start the game. The goals kept coming as Marquette kept building their shot advantage. 13-9 in the first was followed by 13-8 in the second quarter, and that came with a 3-1 goals edge too. Brandt got his second of the game with 7:12 left in the half, and that was the final goal of the first 30 minutes....... but it was just the beginning of a Marquette run.
The Golden Eagles came out of the locker room and scored the first six goals of the second half, capped by a man-up goal from Bobby O’Grady, and ta-da, that’s a 13-2 lead. Mission accomplish, nothing left to do here but burn out the clock.
I mean that nearly literally, as O’Grady scored with 4:21 to go, and Luke Blanc made it 14-3 after three quarters with a marker with 71 seconds to go. When MU came out for the fourth quarter, head coach Andrew Stimmel had pulled every single one of his starters off the field. Did they get outshot 12-9 by the Lions? Yes. Did they go to a 2-2 draw in the final 15 minutes? Yes. Did it matter? No.
By the way: We saw program history in the third quarter. Mason Woodward picked up two ground balls in that frame, giving him four for the game before he exited at the start of the fourth. His winner on the faceoff after Marquette’s eighth goal of the game tied Liam Byrnes’ program record for ground balls in a career, and his pick up with 7:12 to go after a Max Kruszeski caused turnover was Woodward’s 219th career ground ball, a new program record.
Carsen Brandt had his first career hat trick, but he also had three assists in the game to finish with a team high six points. Luke Blanc’s hat trick gave him three points as well to finish in the runner up spot. Caleb Creasor played 45 minutes in net and made six saves while allowing three goals to drop his goals-against average to just 5.14 so far this season.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
Up Next: After going Saturday/Friday in their first two games, Marquette will have a quicker turnaround to Game #3 of the season. They’ll be back in the seasonal bubble on Tuesday afternoon when Detroit Mercy comes to town for another 2pm Central time start. That game will be the season opener for the Titans, who were picked to finish 8th in the 10 team ASUN this season. Yes, this means that Marquette is opening up against three straight ASUN teams. No, it will not be MU’s final game against an ASUN opponent.