MLAX Tops Villanova, 9-8, in Sixth One-Goal Game
March 28, 2015
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- The No. 13/12 Marquette University men's lacrosse team used a balanced effort on offense to emerge with a 9-8 victory on Saturday afternoon against Villanova at Villanova Stadium.
"It was a one-goal game throughout and we just focused on making the next play," Marquette head coach Joe Amplo. "We didn't play perfect, unbelievable, but we played well enough to win. We made one more play than Villanova did at the end of the game for the win and the outcome was ours. Our kids are resilient and keep their heads down and do their best."
The Golden Eagles (8-1, 1-1 BIG EAST) were without the services of leading scorer Jordan Greenfield, but received a hat trick from Kyle Whitlow and a pair of goals each from Conor Gately and Blaine Fleming. Sophomore midfielder Ryan McNamara added a lone marker, while classmate Grant Preisler scored just the second goal of his career with 6:46 to play to give MU an 8-7 lead.
"It was a great win, we grinded it out and Villanova is a great team, and they are young, so I'm sure we will see them again," Gately said. "We didn't want to put too much pressure on one person. Obviously losing a guy like Jordan is tough, because he's our best scorer, but we have other scorers and other guys. Grant Preisler scored his (second) collegiate goal and that was just the kind we get used to and get ready for the next-guy-up type of thing. We wanted to play together, move the ball well and trust each other. That is really all it comes down to."
Sophomore goalie Jimmy Danaher made 10 big saves between the pipes for Marquette and defenseman B.J. Grill came up huge with a caused turnover with time winding down on Villanova's last offensive possession.
Junior attackman Johnny Galloway scored four goals for the Wildcats (5-4, 0-1 BIG EAST), who dropped their third straight game.
Villanova held the advantage in shots (42-26), ground balls (32-21) and won 11 more faceoffs than their counterparts from Milwaukee, but also turned the ball over four more times (15-11).
Neither team led by more than a single goal as each team responded to tie the contest after an opposing go-ahead goal. Whitlow's final goal put MU on the board first out of a 5-5 halftime tie, but the Wildcats responded to take a 7-6 edge on a goal from freshman Danny Seibel, the squad's leading scorer.
Fleming's first goal tied the game 7-7 with just over six minutes to play in the third and Preisler's go-ahead goal came with 6:46 remaining in regulation. The Wildcats were able to tie the game again, 8-8, before Fleming's second game-winner of the season found the net with just 1:58 left.
Gately scored the first goal of the afternoon almost 10 minutes into the game after rolling around the right side of the cage and firing it low past Villanova goalie Greg Stamatov. Whitlow added his first from Joe Dunn at the 2:12 mark of the first before the Wildcats capitalized with just three seconds left in the opening frame to tie things, 2-2.
Gately began the second quarter with his 50th career goal to give MU a 3-2 lead, but the Wildcats responded to take 4-3 and 5-4 leads during the second.
Galloway scored a natural hat trick to give Villanova its 5-4 lead before McNamara's first goal tied the game, 5-5, with 1:22 remaining in the half. McNamara's shot came with the shot clock turned on and after a fantastic poke check by B.J. Grill on Jack Curran behind the MU net caused a VU turnover and gave MU possession.
The two squads held nearly identical statistical marks at the half, with Villanova holding a 7-5 edge at the face-off X and 15-12 advantage in shots.
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