Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Men’s Lax looks to win final home game of the season against Providence

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Connor McClelland celebrates with teammate John Wagner after a goal in the first half against Notre Dame. Marquette plays Providence Saturday afternoon.

Connor McClelland celebrates with teammate John Wagner after a goal in the first half against Notre Dame. Marquette plays Providence Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Connor McClelland celebrates with teammate John Wagner after a goal in the first half against Notre Dame. Marquette plays Providence Saturday afternoon.

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The men’s lacrosse team (5-5, 2-1 BIG EAST) prepares to take on Providence (4-7, 1-1) at Valley Fields Saturday afternoon for senior day. The game was originally scheduled to be played outside but has since move into the Valley Fields dome due to inclement weather.

In Marquette’s most recent game against No. 14/15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish,the Golden Eagles fell just short, 7-6. The Fighting Irish scored two clutch goals in the final 42 seconds of the game.

After the Golden Eagles’ collapse during the final minute of action, Marquette head coach Joe Amplo was not pleased with how his team finished out the game.

“(Notre Dame) made plays,” Coach Amplo said. “If we’re ever going to get this program to a championship level, then we’ve got to make the plays in those moments and tonight we didn’t.”

Senior faceoff specialist, Zach Melillo was one of the bright spots in the Irish loss, winning 12-of-15 draws. Melillo thought the team lacked composure down the stretch.

“We lack experience and game knowledge,” Melillo said. “With time comes experience and with that comes results. You can’t fast forward to have game experience.”

Amplo believes there is plenty to improve on against the Friars, a team that Marquette defeated last year in the BIG EAST Championship game, 10-9.

Providence (4-7, 1-1 BIG EAST) are led by Nick Hatzipetrakos, who has scored 18 times. Sean Leahey is not far behind for Providence, with 16 goals. The Friars have lost five out of their last six and snapped the losing streak after a win against St. John’s on March 31.

Marquette and Providence are similar offensive teams and rank near the bottom of Division 1 teams for goals per gane. When the Irish held Marquette to its second lowest goal total of the year of six, its goals per game rate dropped to 8.20 per game, tied for 62nd out of 69 teams in Division I. Junior attackman John Wagner leads Marquette with 21 goals and six assists, followed by first-year attackman Anthony Orsini, who has 13 goals and seven assists. The Friars average 9.12 per game.

Heading into the final home game of the season and senior day, Melillo knows how much the game means to the Golden Eagles and its BIG EAST Tournament chance.

“We have a quick turnaround, you can’t dwell on this and you got to learn from it,” Melillo said. “Hopefully, this is the experience that these guys needed and now know that these mistakes can’t happen in the next games and move forward from here.”

Despite the close loss to Notre Dame,  Amplo kept his message short and sweet in his postgame adjustments for the Friars. “Make plays,” Amplo said. “Step up to the plate and make plays.”

Faceoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. The game will be aired on GoMarquette.com

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