Marquette Overwhelms No. 5/6 Villanova, 11-3

Cole Blazer made 13 saves in his first career start against one of the NCAA's top offenses.
April 2, 2016

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MILWAUKEE - Sophomore goalie Cole Blazer made 13 saves in his first career start as Marquette shut down the nation's second-highest powered offense with a dominant 11-3 victory over No. 5/6 Villlanova on Saturday afternoon.

"It was one of those days where we were sharper, we were on, and things were clicking the right way," Marquette head coach Joe Amplo said. "I don't think it was a perfect game, but it was a damn good one."

Blazer and the Marquette defense did not allow a goal for the first 29 minutes and 12 seconds on their way to the first win over a top-10 opponent in program history.

"I said to myself with five minutes to go in the first half `don't talk to (Cole)' because I felt like he was a perfect game pitcher," Amplo said. "He was locked in and made some huge saves. He was saved by the pipe once or twice but he played such a good game."

Villanova's Jake Frocarrro, the nation's leading scorer, was held goal-less on the day and the Wildcats (6-3, 0-1 BIG EAST) scored a season-low three goals.

"B.J. Grill and our defense did a great job on (Jake Frocarro)," Amplo said. "Grant Preisler was the hardest cover we had all week on our scout team and he pretended he was Jake Frocarro for five days. He prepared our guys, when we couldn't cover our own player in practice, and that allowed us to do the things on defense that we did today. That's what this team is about and that's what makes it so meaningful."

Junior attackman Ryan McNamara led the Golden Eagles (7-1, 2-0 BIG EAST) once again with four goals, while senior Conor Gately and sophomore Tanner Thomson each scored twice.

Marquette jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter of play and scored the game's first seven goals before Villanova's first tally with 48 seconds remaining in the first half.

"We felt like this was an opportunity for our program to get a signature win," Amplo said. "I think they are every bit as good as their ranking. They are one of the top-10 teams in this country and we were able to beat them today. Now we have to see how mature we are and what happens for us after this as a team."

The Golden Eagles were able limit VU's potent offense by controlling possession at the faceoff X. Sophomore Zachary Melillo went 12-of-17 on faceoffs, including a mark of 2-for-11 against Luke Palmadesso, who entered the contest 10th in the nation in winning percentage.

"Jacob Richard and Tyler Gilligan played like seniors out there and made some really slick lacrosse plays to get possession," Amplo said of the faceoff unit's success. "Zack (Melillo) gets his first goal in a Marquette uniform and controls the tempo in the middle of the field. That is how you stop that team because they are dangerous. We controlled the middle of the field and we were patient and poised on offense."

The Golden Eagles continue BIG EAST Conference play on Saturday, April 9 at St. John's.

Keep up with the Marquette men's lacrosse program all season long through social media by following on Twitter (@MarquetteMLax) and Instagram (@MarquetteMLax) and `liking' on Facebook (/MarquetteLacrosse).




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