Marquette Men's Lacrosse Impressive In 11-9 Victory at Hofstra
Feb. 15, 2014
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The Marquette University men's lacrosse team played the role of spoiler Saturday, defeating Hofstra 11-9 at James M. Shuart Stadium in the Pride's season- and home-opener.
But pride was also on the line for the Blue & Gold as a number of Long Island natives celebrated their homecoming with MU's first victory of the season in front of a large Marquette contingent.
"First of all, Hofstra is a great place to play and awesome competition for our guys," said MU head coach Joe Amplo, a former Hofstra player and associate head coach. "It was more about the local kids we have on our team; it was special for them to play in front of their family and friends."
Marquette (1-1), which never trailed Saturday, set the tone early after winning its first two faceoffs, opening the game with two unanswered goals. Freshman Ryan McNamara notched his first collegiate tally to get MU on the board two minutes into the contest, and Kyle Whitlow made it 2-0 moments later.
Hofstra (0-1) came back to tie it up at 2-2 and again at 3-3 following McNamara's second goal of the half. MU goalie JJ Sagl then held the Pride scoreless the duration of the second quarter, making a handful of huge saves and allowing the Golden Eagles to build a 5-3 lead by halftime.
Sagl, who finished with eight saves (.471 save percentage), and the MU defense held Hofstra scoreless for nearly 30 minutes before the Pride was able to get it to within two with a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the third quarter, including a man-up goal at the 1:38 mark.
MU went on a 3-1 run to open the fourth quarter and matched its largest lead of the game at 11-7 on a goal by Jerry Nobile with four and a half minutes remaining in regulation to help seal the victory. Hofstra tacked on a couple of late goals as the "We Are Marquette!" chant rang out from the stands.
Saturday's performance by the Golden Eagles was huge improvement from last week's season-opening loss at nationally ranked Lehigh. MU was paced offensively by Melnyk, who registered four points on three goals and an assist, and Whitlow also added a hat trick.
Eighteen of MU's 30 shots were on cage. The team also controlled the groundball battle 36-28 (MU led 21-12 at one point) and won 50 percent (12-of-24) faceoffs.
Other top individual performers included McNamara, who finished with two goals and an assist to go along with a team-high six groundballs. Long stick midfielder Liam Byrnes caused four turnovers and tallied five groundballs.
MU continues its seven-game road stretch to open the 2014 campaign next Saturday, Feb. 22 at No. 14 Ohio State.