MU Falls 17-9 to No. 3/3 Denver on the Road
April 26, 2014
DENVER -- The Marquette University men's lacrosse team was defeated by No. 3/3 Denver 17-9 Saturday at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in Denver, Colo. in the final game of the 2014 regular season.
Marquette (6-9) concludes its inaugural regular season in the BIG EAST in second place with a 4-2 record. Despite the loss, the Golden Eagles will compete next week in the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship at Villanova University for the first time in program history.
MU will be the No. 2 seed and will play tournament host, the third-seeded Wildcats, in a semifinal game on Thursday, May 1. Top-seeded Denver will take on No.4 Rutgers in the other semifinal. The two winning teams will advance to the final, which is scheduled for next Sunday.
"We learned that Denver is a great team today," said MU head coach Joe Amplo. "And that we will need a complete team effort for 60 minutes to compete with a very hungry Villanova team."
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Whitlow got out to a quick first quarter start Saturday afternoon answering Denver's first goal of the game on a helper from sophomore Conor Gately. After redshirt senior Cullen Cassidy won the following faceoff, redshirt senior Bryan Badolato gave MU a brief 2-1 lead.
Denver (12-2, 6-0 BIG EAST) then proceeded to go on a 3-0 run until Whitlow's second goal of the game with seconds left in the first quarter made it a 4-3.
The Pioneers would score the first goal of the second quarter, but MU freshman Any DeMichiei responded with his third goal of the year to again make it a one goal deficit.
Momentum then heavily shifted the way of Denver. The Pioneers closed the half with a 5-0 run, including two goals for Zach Miller who finished with a first-half hat trick.
Redshirt senior Tyler Melnyk, who ranked fifth in Division I with 3.00 goals per game coming into the weekend, was limited to just one shot in the game. As a team, the Golden Eagles were outshot 38-30 on the afternoon, including 32-14 through the first three quarters.
The second-half was defined much like the end of the first as the Golden Eagles were held scoreless for over 29 minutes, including the entire third quarter. MU's drought ended when Badolato added his second goal of the day to start a late 5-1 MU run.
After Gately scored his first goal of the afternoon, Whitlow would earn his sixth career hat trick with a man-up goal midway through the fourth quarter on an assist from freshman Ryan McNamara.
Gately finished with four points in the regular season finale.
Sophomore Mike Clemente, seeing his first action of 2014, scored his first goal of the season off a rebound after a Pioneer goal.
Denver's Jack Bobzein and Erik Adamson both earned hat tricks in the second half.
This late rally was not enough, however as Denver took the regular season BIG EAST crown with a 17-9 win.
Marquette returns to action Thursday, May 1 in its first post-season appearance in program history. Thursday's semifinal games will be played at 3:30 p.m. Central time and 6 p.m. at Villanova Stadium. The winners will meet in the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship final on Saturday May, 3 at 3:30 p.m. CT, which will be televised by Fox Sports 1.