Marquette Wire

Men’s lacrosse falls to No. 5 Denver on Senior Day

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Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Images

Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Images

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Images

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The Marquette men’s lacrosse team could not manage to send its seniors off with a victory and a share of the Big East title Saturday, as the Golden Eagles fell to the No. 5 Denver Pioneers 18-11. It was the last home game for five seniors: K.C. Kennedy, Travis Schelhorn, Pat Townsend, Logan Tousaw and Jordan Greenfield.

“Denver is a better lacrosse team than Marquette right now,” Marquette coach Joe Amplo said. “We didn’t have enough to run with them for 60 minutes.”

Marquette (10-5, 3-2) was paced in scoring by top scorer Greenfield and redshirt junior midfielder Kyle Whitlow, each of whom recorded a hat trick on the day. Denver (10-2, 5-0) increased its win streak to seven and was led in scoring by its top two scorers Wesley Berg, with four goals, and Connor Cannizzaro with three. Cannizzaro leads the Big East in goals (3.00) and points per game (4.92) and is ranked in the top 10 nationally in both categories.

But perhaps Denver’s most important player on the day was freshman faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste. Baptiste leads the country in faceoff percentage, winning an astronomical 72.1 percent of his faceoffs on the year. Baptiste won 18 of the 26 draws he took Saturday.

The only two quarters in which Marquette outscored Denver, they also won the faceoff battle, proving the circle was where the game was won and lost.

“Well (the difference was) obviously the faceoff kid (Baptiste),” junior Conor Gately said. “He’s one of the best in the country.”

Denver opened the game on a 3-0 run, which was snapped when Gately found Whitlow for Marquette’s first goal of the game with 10:31 to go in the first quarter. But Denver responded in resounding fashion, scoring 10 straight goals in nearly 20 minutes of play, taking a 13-1 lead. The Golden Eagles were silent during this stretch and had no answer for the Pioneers until they scored three straight near the end of the first half and headed into the locker room down 13-4. Marquette had some opportunities to net a few more, but turnovers and great saves by Denver’s Ryan LaPlante kept the Golden Eagles grounded.

Marquette managed seven second-half goals, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the high-octane Denver offense. The loss sealed Marquette’s fate as the No. 3 seed in the Big East conference tournament, which will be played at Villanova Thursday. Marquette will take on Georgetown, whom the Golden Eagles nearly beat after erasing a six-goal second-half deficit, but lost 10-9 on March 21.

“I expect a hard-fought game,” Amplo said of the Hoyas. “They’re very good, they were giving it to us early in that game and we fought back… I would anticipate a one-goal game again.”

The Golden Eagles take on Georgetown at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Big East Tournament semifinal.

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