Wildcats top Golden Eagles for second time of season

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Redshirt senior midfielder Connor McClelland (13) looks on after moving past a St. John’s defender April 14. He posted a hat trick Saturday afternoon against the Villanova Wildcats (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

In the second game of their three-game road trip to close the regular season, the Marquette Golden Eagles (3-8, 2-7 BIG EAST) suffered a 19-8 loss Saturday afternoon.

The Villanova Wildcats (6-3, 6-3 BIG EAST) were led by junior midfielder Matt Campbell and senior attacker Corey McManus, who both posted hat tricks in the first half. McManus went on to finish with six goals and Campbell finished with five.

Things got off to a rapid start, as the Golden Eagles and Wildcats combined for seven goals in the first quarter. Campbell and McManus scored for Villanova within the first two minutes of action and both had two goals apiece through the first 15 minutes of play. Redshirt senior midfielder Connor McClelland and graduate student attacker Morgan Macko found the back of the net to keep MU within striking distance.

McClelland and redshirt first-year attacker Devon Cowan each scored one goal in the second quarter, but the Wildcats put seven shots past redshirt first-year goalie Sean Richard to jump out to a comfortable 12-4 lead heading into break. Villanova outshot Marquette 22-11 in the first half and had 12 more shots on goal, with four Wildcats tallying multi-goal performances through the first 3o minutes of action.

Campbell, McManus, senior midfielder Eric Overbay and senior attacker Keegan Khan scored following halftime to push the Villanova lead to 12. After eight unanswered goals from the Wildcats, redshirt junior attackers Colin O’Donnell and Griffin Fleming scored the first goals for MU since the 7:47 mark in the second quarter.

The fourth quarter was the closest frame of the day, but VU still outscored Marquette 3-2. McClelland and graduate student attacker Ryan Fazio had one goal apiece for the Golden Eagles in the final 15 minutes. McClelland was one of the few bright spots for the Golden Eagles, as he posted his first hat trick of the season.

Richard was in goal for the first half and made four saves while allowing 12 goals. Redshirt junior goalie John Hulsman came in for just under 23 minutes of the second half and made two saves while giving up six goals. Redshirt junior goalie Gabe Stein closed the game and made one save and allowed one goal.

In addition to his goal, Khan had a team-high six assists for the Wildcats. Overbay added three assists, all of which came in the first half.

Marquette outshot the Wildcats 26-19 in the second half, but was outshot 41-37 on the game. Villanova also had more shots on goal (27) than the Golden Eagles (15). MU tallied 17 turnovers, picked up 27 ground balls and won 12 faceoffs on the afternoon.

The Golden Eagles will now head to New York on April 30 for their last game of the regular season against the St. John’s Red Storm at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time.

This story was written by Nick Galle. He can be reached at nicholas.galle@marquette.edu or on Twitter @thenickgalle.