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Wagner scores game-winning goal in overtime to stun No.4 Ohio State

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Wagner scores game-winning goal in overtime to stun No.4 Ohio State

John Wagner scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season as Marquette topped St. John's 11-10 in overtime.

John Wagner scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season as Marquette topped St. John's 11-10 in overtime.

Photo by Helen Dudley

John Wagner scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season as Marquette topped St. John's 11-10 in overtime.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

John Wagner scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season as Marquette topped St. John's 11-10 in overtime.

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John Wagner loves the big moment and it showed Friday evening. The junior attackman scored his second game-winning goal of the season in overtime to stun No.4  Ohio State, 8-7.

After amassing a 7-5 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes scored two to force the game into sudden death. Senior faceoff specialist Zach Melillo won the opening draw in overtime and it led to two shot attempts before a save by Buckeye goalie Matthew Smidt. On the other end, Marquette Cole Blazer made a game-winning save of his own with just under two minutes remaining.

Marquette then came down and finally got what they were looking for: a pick and roll that switched a short-stick defender onto Wagner. It was just the right amount of space for Wagner to cut back over to the center of the field, switch hands and fire one into the top right corner to beat Smidt.

“It was the first time I got the short stick (defender) on me, so I took advantage of it, played the left hand well, rolled back to my right, closed my eyes and shot,” Wagner told GoMarquette.com after the game.

Wagner, a lefty, joked that “It quite possibly might have been my first right-handed shot of my career.”

Going up against the defending national finalists was no easy task for the Golden Eagles; the Buckeyes returned their top three scorers from last year’s squad.

“We found out a lot about these young kids and it was a moment for them to step up and learn what it’s like to play against a great opponent and respond,” head coach Joe Amplo said.

However, Marquette held firm on defense, thanks in large part to sophomore Nick Grill shutting out All-American Tre LeClaire, who scored no points and took just three shots.

“I thought Nick Grill did a good job on Tre LeClaire,” Amplo said. “Our plan was to just not come off of him as much, try and get through every pick, and Nick did a good job of that. But, his teammates allowed him to. It was a great team defensive effort.”

Although Marquette went down 2-0 early, the deficit didn’t last long thanks to sophomore Peter Henkhaus, who scored his fourth goal of the season to get Marquette within one. Redshirt sophomore Josh Williamson then tied the game up with 1:57 remaining in the first period on first goal of the season.

It was also a back-and-forth affair in the second quarter as the Buckeyes went up two, only for Marquette to come back and tie things up heading into halftime thanks to freshman attackman Keaton Thomson’s first career goal.

Marquette came out of halftime firing, taking a two-goal lead thanks in part to Wagner’s first goal of the game on an extra man opportunity and sophomore attacker Ryan Fazio’s goal with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes did not quit. Junior Jack Jasinski brought the game within one and redshirt sophomore Lukas Buckley tied it up with 7:54 remaining in the game.

Marquette had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but Henkhaus’s pass to redshirt junior Jack Zerrillo sailed high and forced overtime.

Marquette continued its theme of one-goal victories as they moved to 18-6 in games that were decided by one goal. More importantly, the Golden Eagles moved to 3-0 on the season and will face Bellarmine Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

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