The men’s lacrosse team lost to the Hofstra Pride 15-6 and beat the Pennsylvania Quakers 12-6 in its final two exhibitions of the preseason Sunday. The games, which were originally scheduled to be played Saturday morning at Hofstra’s James M. Shuart stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., were postponed one day while winter storm Nemo rocked New England.
Redshirt freshman midfielder Tyler Gilligan said the postponement of the games helped Marquette more than it hurt.
“It gave us an extra day just to relax and get settled in a bit and get an extra practice in,” he said. “I thought that, on Sunday, we settled in and, especially during that second game, everything just started clicking.”
Although no official statistics were kept in either of the exhibitions, both games went the full four quarters.
First, the Golden Eagles faced off against the Pride, who enter the season ranked No. 17 by Inside Lacrosse and No. 20 by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches poll.
Following an early Hofstra run and after substituting in freshman goalie Matt Barone for fellow freshman goalie JJ Sagl at the end of the first quarter, Marquette ended the first half with two unanswered goals to make it 9-2.
Coach Joe Amplo said the goalie change was a game time decision made on the fly and there is no controversy regarding who the starting goalie will be once the regular season begins.
“I wanted to give JJ an opportunity to gather his thoughts,” Amplo said. “He wasn’t playing his best, and we also wanted to see how Matt was going to come in off the bench … JJ has earned the right to be our starter, and Matt has proven that he is capable of being a very suitable backup.”
Marquette opened the second half with two more goals and went almost the entire third quarter without allowing Hofstra to score. However, the Pride answered with a 6-2 run to close the exhibition en route to a 15-6 victory. Although Hofstra outscored Marquette in the final two quarters, the Golden Eagles found their rhythm in the second half and carried it into the next exhibition.
Against Pennsylvania, Marquette was fast out of the gates, scoring its first goal only 30 seconds into the game. The Golden Eagles would pile on five more goals before the end of the first quarter, while the Quakers could only score one against Sagl, who played the entire second exhibition in the net. Marquette slowed down considerably in the second quarter, scoring its only goal with eight seconds left to make it 7-3 at the half.
Marquette kept its foot on the gas in the third quarter, as it started the second half on a 3-1 run, led by freshman attackman Brendan Smith, who scored three times in the game. The fourth quarter yielded no surprises or comebacks, as the Golden Eagles closed out the game and won 12-6.
Freshman attackman Conor Gately, who said he registered seven assists during the two exhibitions Sunday, said Marquette’s offensive success against the Quakers was due to the team following its game plan.
“It feels good. It’s the best when we’re doing what the coaches asked us to do, because that’s obviously one of our main points on offense,” Gately said. “It was good when it clicked – obviously against Hofstra it was a little tougher, but against Penn is seemed a lot easier for us.”
Marquette will play the first regular season game of its inaugural season Feb. 23 in Columbus, Ohio, against Ohio State.