Men’s lacrosse stifles Richmond offense in 7-2 win

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Photo by Alicia Mojica

(Photo courtesy of Alicia Mojica/Marquette Images)

Jack Goods, jack.goods@mu.edu

Men’s lacrosse moved to 2-0 on the season thanks to a historically strong defensive performance. The Golden Eagles squashed the Richmond Spiders 7-2, allowing the fewest goals in a game in program history.

“The way that they responded in practice all week, I was confident their performance could be close to that,” Marquette head coach Joe Amplo said about his defensive unit.

The defense was far more successful in this game than last year’s meeting between the two teams, when they needed overtime to defeat Richmond 11-10. It held Mitch Goldberg pointless, ending a 27-game point streak.

“It starts with our preparation,” defenseman B.J. Grill said. “We knew their personnel very well. Our whole mindset was that we had to physical.”

Goaltender Jimmy Danaher made eight saves, including some timely stops to keep the Spiders at arms distance. Freshman attackman Joe Wagner scored the first two goals of his college career, while red hot Ryan McNamara added a pair of his own. He scored four goals in the opener against Bellarmine. Kyle Whitlow, Conor Gately and Joe Dunn each scored one. The game was Dunn’s first game action after missing last week’s game with an injury.

“Joe (Dunn) played really mature,” Amplo said.”He may have an opportunity to press a little bit, and he didn’t, which was great. He just showed a lot of poise, confidence and maturity out there. He let the game come to him.”

The Golden Eagles shut out the Spiders in the first half, the first time Marquette accomplished that feat since March 6, 2015 against Jacksonville. Richmond didn’t get on the board until eight minutes into the third quarter, ending a 5-0 Golden Eagles’ run.

The win is a nice resume booster for Marquette, since Richmond was undefeated and received votes in last week’s Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Golden Eagles will likely enter the rankings for the first time this season this week, since No. 16 Navy, No. 17 Georgetown, No. 18 Albany and No. 20 Bucknell all lost this week.

Marquette will face another tough test in Ohio State next week. The Golden Eagles will face the Buckeyes, who also received votes in the poll, on Friday and Detroit on Sunday in the second annual Midwest Lacrosse Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

“We’ve just got to keep getting better,” Amplo said. “We took a step in the right direction from last week to this week. There’s a lot of stuff we still have to work on. It’s still really early in the season.”