Marquette falls to No. 3 Denver, 10-7, in BIG EAST semis

John Wagner became just the fourth Marquette player to tally 30 goals in a single season.
John Wagner became just the fourth Marquette player to tally 30 goals in a single season.
May 3, 2018

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VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania – Marquette pulled within one late on Thursday afternoon, but No. 3 Denver pulled away with the final two goals for a 10-7 victory in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Championship, presented by Jeep.

All-BIG EAST First Team selection John Wagner posted four points with a hat trick and assist, while Jack Zerrillo and Anthony Orsini each scored twice with a goal in each half.

The Golden Eagles (6-8) scored three consecutive goals in the fourth, including two extra-man markers, and Wagner’s final tally cut MU’s deficit to 8-7 with 5:16 to play.

Austin French led the Pioneers (12-2, 5-0 BIG EAST) with six points on five goals and an assist as Denver beat the Golden Eagles for the first time in three tries in BIG EAST tournament play.

Marquette held tight at the face-off X early and entered halftime trailing DU, 5-3. Zachary Melillo and Marquette scrapped to an even 5-5 draw on first half face-offs, but the Golden Eagles came up empty on each of those possessions with four turnovers and an early shot.

French scored a first half hat trick to lead all players, while Zerrillo, Wagner and Orsini all scored once for MU. Orsini, who saw his first playing time since April 14, scored the final goal of the first half with 2:23 remaining before the break.

The Pios then added a pair of goals in the third, capped by a Danny Logan transition marker with five seconds left. Wagner’s second at the 5:32 mark in the third might have been the highlight of the day as the junior drove down the left hash and fired a behind-the-back shot with a defender in on his hip pocket to beat DU goalie Josh Matte.

Marquette is 4-2 all-time in the league’s postseason tournament and, while a perfect 4-0 in the previous two seasons, lost both of its previous two semifinal games played at Villanova Stadium in 2014 and 2015. Denver is 7-2 all-time against the Golden Eagles but fell to Marquette in the 2016 final and 2017 semifinal.

Marquette took down then-No. 2 Denver in last year’s BIG EAST semifinals, 11-8, as Wagner scored a then-career high four goals and goalie Cole Blazer made 12 saves and assisted his own effort with a goal as time expired.

Marquette fell at Denver, 7-4, in the regular season finale for both squads on Saturday at Peter Barton Stadium as the Pioneers won 11-of-13 face-offs and out-shot MU, 37-25. Ethan Walker posted four points, including three assists, while French posted a hat trick.

The Golden Eagles lost in the semifinals during each of their first two trips to the conference tournament with a 9-8 loss to Villanova in 2014 and a 12-8 loss to Georgetown in 2015, both of which came at Villanova. MU’s previous two tournament appearances have resulted in championship in both 2016 and 2017 at Denver and Providence.

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 (/MarquetteMLax).


 

 

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