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MU battles through scoring droughts in exhibition games

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Men's LacrosseIn its final tune-up for the regular season, the men’s lacrosse team played one and a half scrimmages against Michigan and Denison this weekend.

For the first game against Michigan, the team fell behind in the first quarter, took the lead in the third and then fell apart late, losing 18-9.

“Playing Michigan was the best learning experience we could have possibly had to show us you can never get too high in a game and you can never get too low in a game and we know how to come back and we exhibited that in the second quarter,” sophomore defenseman Sal Vitale. “We also need to learn that when you’re up there you have to learn to stay up there.”

Michigan jumped out of the gate early with a 6-0 run in the first. Redshirt senior attackman Tyler Melnyk ended the run in the final minute of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Golden Eagles dominated both ends of the field, holding the Wolverine’s attack to one tally while Marquette’s attacking duo of Melnyk and sophomore attackman Conor Gately connected on four goals and Melnyk added one more for five on the game. By midway in the third quarter, redshirt senior attackman Bryan Badolato gave the Golden Eagles their first and only lead of the game.

The tides turned again and Marquette went on another scoring drought that lasted the remainder of the game. As for Michigan, they finished the game on a 10-0 run to defeat the Golden Eagles 18-9.

Coach Joe Amplo was not happy with the performances on Saturday, especially this close to the season. A few players had good performances but there were more problems than there were positives.

“Tyler Melnyk played a great game,” he said. “He finished his opportunities and Conor Gately did a good job, but it was hard to pinpoint anyone who played excellent.”

Following the first match, the team had a brief break before taking on Denison in a half scrimmage.

Just like the Michigan game, the team fell behind early and trailed 3-1 at the end of the first 15 with sophomore attackman Sam Lindsey notching the lone goal for Golden Eagles.

However, the squad once again bounced back from a slow start and tied the game at four with all three second quarter goals coming from freshmen.

With the game knotted at four apiece, both sides decided to play a four minute overtime period in which Lindsey scored his second of the day to win the scrimmage.

“Denison was real good to get the other guys in there and have them get them some learning experience,” Vitale said. “We were happy with the result.”

The season opens Saturday against Lehigh and though it is early in the season, the team must improve all over the field if it wants to avoid large deficits this season.

“We clearly have a lot to work on focusing on the ingredients and we did not do that on Saturday and hopefully this week will be different,” Amplo said.

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