Marquette Takes on Villanova in BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals
April 29, 2014
MILWAUKEE -- The Marquette University men's lacrosse team makes its postseason debut on Thursday as the No. 2 overall seed in the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship presented by NEW YORK LIFE when it takes on No. 3 seed Villanova at 6 p.m. Central time (7 p.m. ET) in Villanova Stadium.
No. 1 overall seed Denver takes on No. 4 seed Rutgers in the first semifinal at 3:30 CT (4:30 ET).
Both semifinal games will be available via live stream courtesy of bigeast.com. All BIG EAST Championship video content, live and on-demand, can be found on the BIG EAST All-Access player, located under the "WATCH" tab on the conference homepage, bigeast.com.
Saturday's championship game will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 at 3:30 CT (4:30 ET).
Fans traveling to Villanova University for the BIG EAST tournament can purchase tickets online through the Villanova ticket office or at the gate at Villanova Stadium. See the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship - Information Packet for ticket price details.
In their first matchup on March 22, the Wildcats got the best of the Golden Eagles in MU's 2014 home opener coming away with a 10-8 victory in the first weekend of BIG EAST play.
Following this game, Marquette went on a four-game conference-winning streak, claiming one-goal victories in each win. This included a 11-10 double-overtime win in Queens over St. Johns and an 11-10 (OT) comeback victory over Georgetown that featured a second-half 8-1 scoring run.
Villanova claimed conference victories over Georgetown and Rutgers, but lost three of its last four conference games in overtime. The Wildcats gave BIG EAST regular season champion Denver its biggest conference test taking the Pioneers to overtime, where they ultimately fell 9-8.
The No. 3 overall seed will be playing on its home turf during the tournament where they went 2-4 in 2014.
Offensively, the Golden Eagles and Wildcats posted similar statistics in six-conference season. Villanova scored 11.00 goals per game, while MU scored 10.00 per game in conference play. Additionally, Marquette tallied 15.00 points per game vs. the BIG EAST, while Villanova produced 17.67.
Redshirt senior and First Team All-BIG EAST attackman Tyler Melnyk led Marquette with 13 conference goals, despite missing a conference game. Fellow attackman and sophomore Conor Gately tallied eight assists for an average of 1.33 per conference game.
Kevin O'Neil and Devin McNamara paced the Wildcats with 12 and 11 goals respectively during the conference season.
Led by John LoCascio, a long stick midfielder BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Villanova caused a conference leading 10 turnovers per game. LoCascio caused 14 turnovers and also tallied 10 points in this stretch including eight assists.
While Wildcats goalie Dan Willis picked up the win over the Golden Eagles in March and posted a .504 save percentage during the BIG EAST season, MU freshman goalie Jimmy Danaher is right behind him with a .488 save percentage.
During Marquette's winning streak, Danaher and the Golden Eagles defense put forth their strongest efforts. Led by unanimous All-First Team BIG EAST defenseman and redshirt sophomore B.J. Grill, MU's defenders are allowing Danaher to see shots he can save.
Grill and redshirt sophomore Liam Brynes, who was appointed to Second Team All-BIG EAST, will look to slow down a Villanova attack that went on three separate three-goal runs in March's matchup that proved to be the deciding factor for the Wildcats.
Following the conclusion of Thursday's semifinal, the winner will take on either Denver or Rutgers on Saturday at 3:30 CT (4:30 ET) live on Fox Sports 1. The winner of Saturday's game earns an automatic berth to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.