MU Knocks off No. 17/19 Hofstra, 11-10
Feb. 14, 2015
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Junior Blaine Fleming's goal with 1:19 remaining helped the Marquette University men's lacrosse team erase a four-goal third quarter deficit to defeat No. 17/19 Hofstra, 11-10, on Saturday afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium.
"What a great game from two really good lacrosse teams," Marquette head coach Joe Amplo said. "I think Hofstra is going to win a lot of games and today we were fortunate to make one more play at the end. I thought both teams battled hard. It wasn't a very clean lacrosse game as I thought there were a lot of turnovers, but a credit to our kids for hanging in there and competing against a really good lacrosse team."
The Golden Eagles (2-0) scored the final three goals of the game, including a pair from redshirt junior midfielder Kyle Whitlow before Fleming's final tally. Whitlow scored a career-high four goals in the victory, all of which came in the second half, during which time MU out-shot the Pride 21-9.
"I think I started off pretty slow actually," Whitlow said. "I think a lot of my teammates were playing well on the offensive end and they were playing really well and started getting the right looks. And finally they were getting the `D' focused on them a little bit and my chances opened up near the end and I was fortunate to have some of those open shots. It was huge in transition that K.C. Kennedy started winning a lot of faceoffs and that gave us the ball in transition. It gives us more confidence on `O' when we get the ball."
Hofstra USILA All-American Sam Llinares put the Pride (0-1) up 10-8 with just over 10 minutes to play before Marquette mounted its comeback. Whitlow scored on a man-up situation with 3:57 remaining and tied the game at 10 with 2:46 left to play while diving to his right.
Hofstra won the ensuing faceoff, but long stick midfielder Tyler Gilligan forced a turnover from the Pride which was picked up by Liam Byrnes with just under two minutes left. Fleming ripped one past the Hofstra goalie out of a timeout to give MU its final edge at 11-10.
Hofstra outshot Marquette 39-37 for the game, but MU held a 36-35 advantage in ground balls and won 13-of-25 in the faceoff X, including a career high 12 wins from K.C. Kennedy.
The victory is the second for the Golden Eagles over Hofstra as MU head coach Joe Amplo led his squad to an 11-9 victory over his alma mater in 2014. Amplo played and coached at Hofstra for a total of 11 years and coached with Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney from 2007-11.
Marquette is now 7-1 in its three-year existence in games decided by a single goal and improves to 3-18 when trailing after three quarters of play.
The Pride controlled play in the first quarter from the opening faceoff and led 4-0 after the first 15 minutes. Brier Davis scored for Hofstra just over two-and-a-half minutes into the game as MU was out-shot 19-2 in the first stanza and won just 1-of-5 faceoffs and 5-of-14 ground balls.
Graduate attackman Jordan Greenfield answered for the Golden Eagles just over two minutes into the second quarter and MU added another from Blaine Fleming exactly two minutes later to cut Hofstra's lead to a pair, 4-2. Mike Malave scored to put the Pride back up three, 5-2, with 5:44 left in the second quarter and Conor Gately scored 21 seconds later after being left along with Hofstra's goalie.
The Golden Eagles scored the final goal of the opening half as Greenfield found Byrnes for the long stick midfielder's third career goal with 2:58 left to put MU down just 6-4 at the break.
Hofstra scored the first two goals of the second half to rebuild a four-goal lead, but MU responded to pull within one, 8-7, on Whitlow's second goal with 5:55 remaining in the third.
A turnover from MU goalie Jimmy Danaher on a clear attempt allowed Davis to score his third of the game just over a minute later with the sophomore out of the cage, giving the Pride a 9-7 edge. Danaher made 13 saves in the victory.
MU won 5-of-7 faceoffs in the third and held a 13-7 edge in shots as it cut back into its deficit.
Gately scored eight seconds into the fourth quarter after Kennedy won the faceoff to put MU down just one again, 9-8, but Llinares answered four minutes later.
Whitlow scored a previous career-best three goals in last season's win at Hofstra.
The Golden Eagles will face their only first-time opponent of the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 22 in a 11 a.m. Central time game at Richmond.
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