Marquette Wire

Denver doubles up men’s lacrosse in regular season finale

Denver%27s+offense+scored+on+every+shot+it+got+on+net+Saturday.
Denver's offense scored on every shot it got on net Saturday.

Denver's offense scored on every shot it got on net Saturday.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Denver's offense scored on every shot it got on net Saturday.

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For the first time in program history, men’s lacrosse finished below .500 in the BIG EAST regular season.

No. 3 Denver had a dominant offensive performance, handing Marquette it’s seventh loss of the season by an 16-8 score. Marquette struck first, but Denver scored eight of the next nine goals. It was a far different outcome than the last time these two faced, a dramatic one-goal victory for Marquette to seal its first BIG EAST Championship.

“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t mention it, but revenge is a shallow emotion,” Denver coach Bill Tierney said. “What we did do is remind our guys that a lot of their offensive guys are guys that scored a lot of goals against us last year.”

Denver was as efficient as an offense can be shooting, as Marquette goalies Cole Blazer and Jimmy Danaher failed to make a save against the Pioneers.

“Denver shoots in the coffee can,” Marquette coach Joe Amplo said. “Most of those goals weren’t their fault.”

Denver also benefited from an outstanding performance from star face-off specialist Trevor Baptiste. Marquette’s Zack Melillo played him well in last year’s BIG EAST Championship, but this outing Baptiste won 18 of his 26 draws (69 percent). Baptiste, who found success winning the ball to himself, also added a goal.

“Trevor Baptiste, he’s clearly the best face-off guy in the country, and heck, I’d put him up against anybody possibly in the world right now,” Amplo said. “Against him you’ve got to be lucky and almost perfect.”

Joe Dunn scored a hat trick on Senior Day, while John Wagner scored a pair. Andy DeMichiei, Tanner Thomson and Ryan McNamara rounded out the scoring.

Marquette didn’t have much riding on this game when it comes to NCAA Tournament hopes. The Golden Eagles were already locked into the fourth position in the BIG EAST Tournament, and they are far outside the bubble conversation. Marquette needs to win a second straight BIG EAST Tournament to make it back to the NCAA’s.

The path won’t be easy. With Marquette finishing fourth in the conference and Denver first, the two teams will rematch in less than a week, Thursday afternoon in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s the first time Amplo has played the same team in such a short turnaround as a head coach, but it did happen one time while he was an assistant at Hofstra. He knows there’s a chance to reverse the fortunes.

“We had beaten a Villanova team just like Denver had beaten us, then we came back on a Wednesday, a shorter time frame, and they win the conference semifinals,” Amplo said. “We look at this film and we learn and we just try to improve.”

Now, it’s about the Marquette roster not getting down on itself after such a lopsided score.

“We’re a tough team,” Noah Richard said. “We’re definitely going to fight, give it all we got every time. … Next week we’re just going to put it all behind us.”

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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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