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Win over Friars clinches Big East berth for lacrosse

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Photo by Alicia Mojica

Photo by Alicia Mojica

No. 15/16 Marquette defeated Providence 14-10 Saturday, clinching a second straight Big East tournament appearance.

Graduate student Jordan Greenfield netted his fifth hat trick of the season, putting him six goals behind Tyler Melnyk for the Marquette record for most goals in a season. Sophomore attackman Ryan McNamara also had three goals and an assist. Junior midfielder Kyle Whitlow broke Melnyk’s record for career goals by netting his 60th. Nine different players scored for Marquette. Sophomore goalie Jimmy Danaher made eight saves and freshman Cole Blazer and junior Matt Barone each made one save in relief.

Redshirt junior K.C. Kennedy struggled in the faceoff X, losing three in a row. After trying freshman Owen Weselek and junior Gryphin Kelly, the Golden Eagles finally found their answer in redshirt junior long-stick midfielder Tyler Gilligan. He won nine of 20 draws.

The win moves Marquette to 10-3, eclipsing the double-digit win mark for the first time in program history. The Golden Eagles are 3-1 in the Big East conference with one conference game left. It will likely be a battle for the second spot between Marquette and Georgetown, which also came into the day 2-1. The Hoyas beat Villanova 17-8 Saturday and will face St. John’s April 25.

The Golden Eagles have earned a tournament berth in both years they’ve competed in the Big East Conference. Four out of the six teams make the postseason.

“It’s great for our kids to have another week to be with each other,” Amplo said. “(They) have another opportunity to compete against the best in our conference for a chance to play for a championship.”

“It’s not the end goal but it’s definitely a start goal to compete for a Big East championship,” junior Conor Gately said. “It’s something we’d love to bring back.”

The Friars came out strong at the start of the game, scoring the first four goals of the afternoon. Unlike previous comebacks, the Golden Eagles did not wait until the second half to make their move. Marquette went on an 8-2 run to lead 8-6 at the half.

“Providence was kicking our butt in every statistical category, on the field and with emotion,” coach Joe Amplo said. “Our guys responded.”

“I think it was a little of us not being fully into the game at the onset,” redshirt junior defenseman B.J. Grill said. “There’s no excuse for it. We just didn’t expect them to do as much transition to the offense. They caught us by surprise.”

“We can’t make that more of a habit than it’s already become,” Grill continued. “If we do that it’s obviously not going to be successful for us against the better teams we’ve got upcoming.”

The Golden Eagles never trailed again, going on a 4-1 run in the third quarter. Providence scored two late goals on the Marquette backup goalies, but three minutes wasn’t enough to erase a six goal deficit.

Marquette will play No. 7/7 Duke Saturday at Hart Park in the HEAD Coaches Classic before concluding the regular season vs. No. 5/5 Denver. Both games will be aired live on CBS Sports Network.

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About the Writer
Jack Goods, Sports Editor

Jack Goods is the sports editor of the Marquette Wire, covering the men's soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. He is a senior from Buffalo, New York...

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