Marquette Wire

Men’s lacrosse holds on to down Air Force

Ryan+McNamara+became+one+or+six+Marquette+players+to+join+Major+League+Lacrosse+on+Sunday.
Ryan McNamara became one or six Marquette players to join Major League Lacrosse on Sunday.

Ryan McNamara became one or six Marquette players to join Major League Lacrosse on Sunday.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Ryan McNamara became one or six Marquette players to join Major League Lacrosse on Sunday.

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Marquette men’s lacrosse was in the drivers seat with just over one minute remaining, controlling possession deep in the Air Force zone with a one-goal lead.

Then Joe Dunn let a pass get by him, turning the ball over to Air Force. Once the Falcons were able to get in their offensive zone, Marquette’s Colin Riehl was called for a 30-second push penalty with 50 seconds remaining in regulation. Suddenly, Marquette had its back to the wall.

But just like Marquette teams of the past, the Golden Eagles overcame the adversity. Cole Blazer made a spectacular stick save and forced a turnover on Air Force’s second chance to clinch a 7-6 victory.

“It was a crazy, wild and hectic sort of play,” Blazer said about his final save of the day. “I always try and work on those last minute saves. … It was just a natural (thing). I sunk down to my practice level.”

“I was proud of Cole,” head coach Joe Amplo said. “I was proud of our guys for just making the next good play when they needed it.”

The win is Marquette’s second straight by one goal, and moved the Golden Eagles to 15-4 all-time in one-goal games.

It’s also a solid resume booster for the Golden Eagles, who missed out on their first two opportunities with losses to Richmond and Ohio State. Air Force was the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference and was receiving votes in last week’s media poll.

“We had that discussion about how this is no slouch of a game,” Blazer said. “We knew that going in, even if it was a non-conference game. … I think it showed out there.”

Unlike the Richmond and Ohio State losses, Marquette’s offense didn’t go cold the entire second half. Instead it was just the third quarter, where Air Force went on a three-goal run. Marquette was three seconds away from a full 15 minutes without a goal, but man-up opportunities jolted the offensive unit. Goals by John Wagner and Andy DeMichiei, both on the man-up, tied the game at six with 12 minutes remaining. Marquette capped off the game-ending three-goal run with a tally from goal-leader Ryan McNamara.

McNamara netted a hat trick for the Golden Eagles, a return to form for Marquette’s most explosive offensive player. He’s been defended tightly and frequently double-teamed this season, making it difficult for him to get the space he did in last year’s 40-goal season.

“I give (assistant coach) Stephen Brundage credit for realizing that he wasn’t doing great behind the goal,” Amplo said. “We brought him in front of the cage and let him dodge, where he’s a little more comfortable at times.”

Marquette returns to BIG EAST play Sunday when the Golden Eagles play one of the hottest teams in the country, Villanova. The Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak which includes victories against No. 9 Maryland and Brown.

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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 majoring in Journalism.

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