John Wagner had a career-high four goals in the semifinal win over Denver (photo: Scott
The Last Meeting
April 15, 2017
May 5, 2017
MILWAUKEE - For the second year in a row, Marquette will play for a conference tournament crown, this time against Providence on Saturday in the BIG EAST Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship, presented by Jeep, at Anderson Stadium in Providence.
The game will air live on FOX Sports Go at 3:30 p.m. Central time with Scott Sudikoff and Rich Donovan on the call.
The Golden Eagles (7-7) advanced to the BIG EAST final by toppling No. 2 Denver, 10-8, on Thursday afternoon in the semifinals. MU was powered by sophomore John Wagner's four goals, while Joe Dunn and Grant Preisler each added three points with a pair of goals and an assist each. All-BIG EAST goalie Cole Blazer made 12 saves in a bounce-back performance as MU broke free from a 5-5 halftime tie.
The win over the Pioneers was MU's second in program history and pushes the Golden Eagles into the title matchup once again after defeating DU 10-9 in the 2016 conference championship game.
Providence (10-6), which defeated Marquette 9-7 on April 15, downed Villanova 10-7 on Thursday evening in the second semifinal. Ryan Shaffer posted a hat trick to lead the Friars, who also received a pair of goals each from Brendan Kearns and Sean Leahey.
BIG EAST Conference Goalie of the Year Tate Boyce made 16 saves in net and face-off specialist Colin Keating won 10-of-18 draws at PC fought its way back from a 4-2 first half deficit. The Friars were outshot 15-4 in the first but held a 14-4 advantage in the second half and scored all four goals in the frame to take a 6-4 halftime lead they would not relinquish.
In the last meeting against Marquette over Easter weekend, the Friars picked up their first win over MU in program history, led by two goals apiece from Keenan Assaraf and Austin Goltz. Boyce made eight saves against the Golden Eagles and PC was able to claim 11-of-19 faceoffs.
Senior Ryan McNamara, who currently sits at 98 career goals, led MU in the April 15 matchup against Providence as he became the program's all-time point leader.
MARQUETTE IN FOURTH BIG EAST SEMIS
- The reigning BIG EAST tournament champions qualified for the league tournament semifinals for the fourth time in as many seasons following the results of Saturday, April 15 and are in search of their third and fourth tournament victories. 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. MU topped No. 16 Villanova, 14-9, in last year's semifinals prior to its 10-9 victory over No. 1 Denver to secure the league's automatic NCAA Championship berth and its first BIG EAST title.
REMEMBERING THE 2016 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
- Last year's victory over No. 1 Denver in the BIG EAST tournament title game featured a number of important milestones and firsts:
- First win over a No. 1 team
- First victory over Denver in five tries
- First BIG EAST Championship
- First NCAA Championship berth
- First BIG EAST title game appearance
- Win snapped Denver's NCAA-high 22 game home winning streak
- DU's first loss to a BIG EAST team since joining the league in 2014 (21-0)
- School-record 11th victory
- Liam Byrnes became the first MU player with 200 career ground balls and 100 caused turnovers
- Zachary Melillo won 52 percent at the faceoff X against All-American Trevor Baptiste. It marked only the second time in Baptiste's career that he did not win more draws over his opposition.
WAGNER PROVIDES MORE CONSISTENCY
- Midfielder John Wagner experienced an up-and-down freshman season in 2016, playing in all 16 games, but scoring in just two of them. The Canadian has been able to carve out a more prominent role on the first line as a sophomore and had an eight-game scoring streak that was recently snapped against Duke on April 22. The 6-foot-2 lefty scored a career-high four points in the BIG EAST semifinal win over No. 2 Denver and has already doubled his point production from a year ago (6 points (2016) to 22 points (2017)). His production in the BIG EAST semis is nothing new as the St. Davids, Ontario native also scored twice in the 2016 conference tournament against Villanova.
MCNAMARA'S RECORD-SETTING OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION FUELS MU
- MU's lone All-BIG EAST Preseason Team honoree Ryan McNamara propelled the Golden Eagles into the 2016 postseason by breaking the Marquette single-season and career goal scoring records while earning USILA All-America recognition. McNamara became the second MU player to reach 100 career points in last year's regular season finale and passed Conor Gately's career goal mark in the process. He surpassed Gately's career points record of 140 at Providence on April 15, 2017 and is five goals from becoming the program's first 100-goal scorer. A few of his rankings in MU history:
- 98 career goals (first)
- 146 career points (first)
- 48 career assists (second)
- 395 shots (first)
DUNN HAS PAIR OF FOUR-GOAL GAMES SINCE START OF BIG EAST PLAY
- Senior attackman Joe Dunn led MU to an 11-10 win in its BIG EAST Conference opener at Georgetown by registering a career-best four goals, including Marquette's final two of the game. Dunn entered the contest with three goals on the season and with his final tally against the Hoyas, tied a career-best with his seventh marker of 2017. He has also posted some of his top goal totals this season against the toughest competition, with another four against No. 7/10 Notre Dame, a pair of tallies against No. 4 Duke and a hat trick on Senior Day against No. 2 Denver. Through 14 games in 2017, he leads Marquette with 22 goals and has been named to the conference's weekly honor roll on two occasions.