Men's Lacrosse Falls to Villanova in BIG EAST Opener
March 22, 2014
MILWAUKEE--The Marquette men's lacrosse team fell 10-8 in its BIG EAST and home opener to Villanova at Uihlein Park in Glendale, Wis.
Following three-straight Villanova (2-5, 1-0) goals to begin the second half, Marquette (2-6, 0-1) reeled off four-straight goals to cut the Wildcats' lead to 9-8 on a Conor Gately goal off the bounce.
After taking a timeout with 1:29 remaining, the Golden Eagles turned over the ball and committed two penalties that allowed Villanova to seal the game.
MU got out to a strong start in its 2014 home lid-lifter after Kyran Clarke and Tyler Melnyk scored the first two goals of the game. However, Villanova answered with three-straight goals to end the quarter and opened the second period with a quick goal. Devin McNamara had two points in the Wildcat's early run.
After winning 20 faceoffs a week ago, Sophomore Paul Riportella took all 20 faceoffs in Saturday's game. Although he won nine, each faceoff was a battle for possession where both team's faceoff specialists and midfielders were involved in a scrum for the groundball.
MU won the groundball battle 29 to 23, with B.J. Grill picking up three and Jacob Richard adding two. After surrendering three straight Villanova goals to begin the third quarter, including two by Johnny Gallaway, freshman goalie Jimmy Danaher made three key saves that helped keep the Wildcats' scoreless for the final 25 minutes of the game. In the final seconds, Danaher was pulled from the goal to defend and Villanova scored its tenth goal.
Danaher finished with nine saves on the day.
Marquette gained momentum from these defensive stops allowing for long-developing offensive possessions. This led to Kyle Whitlow and Melnyk scoring their second goals of the day, both on assists from Badolato.
Whitlow and Melnyk both finished with four points, while Badolato chipped in three. Gallaway finished with a hat trick and Devin McNamara ended the day with three points for Villanova.
In the first weekend of BIG EAST play the Golden Eagles battled a Villanova team who was picked to finish third in the pre-season down to the wire. Both teams attempted 28 shots and MU only committed 14 turnovers compared to Villanova's 16.
MU returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Rutgers for a matchup against the BIG EAST leaders. Faceoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT (noon ET).