Marquette Wire

Men’s lacrosse captures program’s first win

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With a little less than three minutes remaining and the score tied 6-6, redshirt junior attackman Bryan Badolato scored his third goal of the game to put Marquette ahead of the Air Force Falcons. Freshman attackman Conor Gately, who assisted Badolato on his go-ahead goal, put the nail in the coffin just two minutes later, scoring the goal that sealed the first win in the history of the Marquette men’s lacrosse program.

Gately said the team’s 8-6 victory at Air Force Saturday validated the lacrosse program.

“It was a great feeling to win the first game for Marquette lacrosse to put us on the map,” Gately said. “We knew we could compete, but we wanted to make the next step. Instead of just competing, we wanted to win, and we got the job done.”

Through two games, Badolato led the Golden Eagles in scoring, with five of the team’s 16 goals. Despite his hat trick against Air Force, Coach Joe Amplo said Badolato “could not have played a worse game.” Amplo said it is important for Badolato to let the game come to him on the offensive end to improve his overall performance.

“When Bryan manages the game and is a smart lacrosse player, he is one of the better ones out there,” Amplo said. “When he doesn’t manage the game, then he struggles, and our team suffers because he is such an impactful player when he does things the right way.”

Marquette’s defense, led by freshman goalie JJ Sagl, was the biggest difference in the team’s winning effort. Last week against Ohio State, Marquette scored eight goals and lost by 10. The team scored eight goals again, but came out victorious Saturday. Sagl, who tallied 14 saves, said he and his teammates rose to the occasion against Air Force, holding the Falcons scoreless for the game’s first 25 minutes and only allowing one first-half goal.

“I think we just played with a lot of confidence this week,” Sagl said. “Our goal for the defense was to give up the alley shots where we have the highest chance of saving the ball. So our defense played to our defensive strength, and everything just happened to work out.”

In their game at Ohio State, the Golden Eagles limited star attackman Logan Schuss’ production, but the other talented members of the Buckeye offense beat them in the end. Marquette’s defense did the opposite against the Falcons, allowing Air Force’s biggest threat, Tommy McKee, to score five goals while shutting down the rest of the offense. Amplo said he was all right with allowing McKee to score so much since the team defense as a whole succeeded.

“I didn’t feel his five goals,” Amplo said. “He had them in different ways, and sometimes that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes there’s one specific player and the ball just ends up in his stick, and he is the guy who is the beneficiary of a lot of other things.”

Now that the Golden Eagles have their first win in program history out of the way, Amplo said he is interested in finding out how his team handles success. Their next game is against Jacksonville Saturday at noon in Jacksonville, Fla.

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