Marquette Drops 9-6 Decision at Villanova in BIG EAST Semis
May 1, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The second-seeded Marquette University men's lacrosse team was eliminated from the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship following a 9-6 semifinal loss Thursday night to host and third-seeded Villanova at Villanova Stadium.
Under the direction of BIG EAST Coach of the Year Joe Amplo, the Golden Eagles conclude the 2014 campaign with an overall record of 6-10 after a second-place finish in the regular season standings. Villanova improves to 6-9 and will play top-seeded Denver (13-2) in Saturday's final.
Rain had held off most of the afternoon in what has been a soggy week on the Eastern Seaboard, but a series of lightning strikes four minutes into the fourth quarter caused a one hour, 14-minute delay as teams headed to the locker rooms and fans were asked to seek shelter in their vehicles.
With the sun still shining, Marquette opened the scoring nine minutes into the first period after Kyle Whitlowcreated for himself -- dodging his defender and beating the Villanova goalie -- as the Golden Eagles' grabbed a 1-0 lead.
It was MU's only lead of the game as Villanova went on to tally four unanswered, including a score five seconds after the opening faceoff of the second quarter to take a 4-1 advantage. MU's Kyran Clarkenotched his sixth goal of the season to break the team's 15-minute scoring drought, but the Wildcats would lead 6-2 at halftime behind six different goal scorers.
Badolato scored the first goal of the second half to cut the deficit in half, 6-3. MU out-scored the Wildcats four goals to one in the third quarter to make it a one-goal game on Blaine Fleming'stally seven seconds remaining in the period to pull within 7-6.
The Wildcats, who handed Marquette one of its two losses during regular season conference play, extended their advantage to 9-6, scoring eight seconds apart in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before lightning halted the game.
Villanova won eight of nine faceoffs in the second half to thwart the Golden Eagles' comeback attempt, and neither team would find the back of the net in the final 11 minutes after play resumed.
It was Marquette's first-ever postseason appearance in the program's second year of NCAA Division I competition and the Golden Eagles' first season of conference affiliation.
Thursday night also marked the final collegiate game for Marquette's senior class who arrived on campus three years ago when they were assigned the task of helping build the MU program from the ground up.
Top-seeded Denver posted a 14-7 decision over fourth-seeded Rutgers in Thursday's early semifinal match-up.