Men's Lacrosse Suffers 12-7 Setback at Saint Joseph's

Jacob Richard posted a career-high six ground balls in Saturday's loss at Saint Joseph's

March 16, 2013

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PHILADELPHIA - Marquette's comeback attempt fell short and Saint Joseph's snapped a two-game losing streak with a 12-7 home win over the Golden Eagles in men's lacrosse action Saturday at a snowy Finnesey Field.

With Saturday's result, MU concludes its eight-day, three-game road trip bookended by a pair of losses (including a win at Mercer Tuesday) to drop to 2-3 overall on the season.

“I just don’t think our guys know yet the sense the urgency that they need to play with in order to compete in division I.," said MU head coach Joe Amplo. "Everyone is good, everyone is well-coached, and St. Joe’s is a very good team. If you don’t’ have that desire every second of the game, you’re going to get beat, and I just didn’t feel that from our guys overall throughout the day.”

The Golden Eagles got behind 2-0 just three minutes into the game, but scored the next three goals to grab their only lead at 3-2 on a tally by Kyle Whitlow to open scoring in the second quarter. Saint Joseph's Pat Swanick, who matched teammate Matthew Sarcona with a game-high three goals, tied it up at 3-3 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

The Hawks then tacked on two more goals, giving the hosts three scores in span of 51 seconds to retake the lead at 5-3.

Saint Joseph's went on to outscore the Golden Eagles 6-1 over a stretch of 21 minutes and led 8-4 midway through the third quarter despite a goal by MU's Blaine Fleming before the half to pull MU to within one, 5-4, at the intermission.

Marquette was able to capitalize on a two-minute, non-releasable illegal checking penalty assessed to SJU midway through the third quarter, as Conor Bernal and Tyler Melnyk both scored man-up goals to get it to 8-6.

The Golden Eagles, who entered the week ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division I in man-up offense, are now 8-for-11 on extra-man opportunities this season with an impressive .727 conversion percentage, including a perfect 2-for-2 on Saturday.

Hawks goalie Dustin Keen made five of his eight saves in the fourth quarter, and Saint Joseph's outscored MU 4-1 over the final 18 minutes to preserve the victory.

MU freshman B.J. Grill provided a bit of a spark by winning four of his nine faceoffs, while the rest of the team went a combined 3-of-14 from the center X.

“The positive thing is we can win with B.J. Grill," said Amplo. "That kid’s a warrior, and we got to find more guys like him that play with his heart and soul, because that kid brought so much to the table today. I don’t want to be negative about the entire day, because I think that we found that B.J. is a winner, and he’s going to be able to help us in a lot of different ways, and hopefully that becomes contagious."

Goalie JJ Sagl finished with nine saves, highlighted by a spectacular diving stop in the first quarter.

St. Joe's won the ground-ball battle, 35-26, and out-shot the Golden Eagles 33-23, including a 20-10 advantage in the opening half. Jacob Richard led MU with six ground balls and Melnyk paced the team on the offensive end with three points on two goals and an assist.

Marquette will wait nearly two weeks to redeem Saturday's loss when the Golden Eagles travel to Washington, D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas (March 29) to kick off Easter weekend.




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