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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette drops regular season finale to Denver, suffering third straight overtime loss

Photo by Kei
Marquette men’s lacrosse fell to Denver in overtime April 28 at Valley Fields.

Marquette men’s lacrosse traded in the confines of the bubble for the greener, and real, grass of Valley Fields’ stadium.

The Golden Eagles hosted the Denver Pioneers in the final regular season game of the 2023 season, looking to snap its two-game drought.

However, Marquette dropped its third consecutive overtime game, falling to Denver, 15-14.

Marquette ends its regular season with a 1-4 conference record. Despite their loss Friday, it does not completely eliminate the Golden Eagles from the Big East tournament. If St. John’s can defeat Providence by five-or-more goals Saturday, then Marquette would be the goal differential tiebreaker in a mini-conference.

“It stinks to lose three in a row in overtime but I’m really proud of the team and of everyone,” sophomore attacker Bobby O’Grady said. “Again, it stinks we couldn’t get it (the win) on senior night, but I’m proud of everyone playing how we played.”

First half breakdown

Denver kicked off the scoring with a goal within the initial two minutes of play. For majority of the first half, the Golden Eagles played a step behind the Pioneers, but that was until O’Grady scored in the second quarter to give Marquette a 6-5 lead.

The Golden Eagles tacked on another goal from O’Grady later in the frame but the Pioneers once again responded with two goals in the final 1:05 to take a 8-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Defensive second half

Marquette relied on its defense for majority of the second half as it played from behind.

After Denver extended its lead to three at 14-11 early in the fourth quarter, Marquette first-year goalkeeper Lucas Lawas was put to the test by the Pioneers offensive pressure. Lawas saved five of the six shots on goal that occurred in the final frame. On the evening, Lawas recorded a save percentage of 50%.

After a fourth quarter goal by sophomore attacker Will Foster and another from O’Grady, Marquette came within one of Denver with less than two minutes remaining.

With 40 seconds left in its regular season and fourth spot in the Big East tournament on the line, Denver held possession of ball.

After a timeout by the Pioneers and a turnover caused by senior defensive player Noah Verlinde, Marquette gained possession and took the ball downfield to score with 11 seconds on the clock. The goal came from senior attack Jake Stegman.

And much like how the previous two contests have gone, the Golden Eagles late push and momentum in regulation cooled off in overtime as junior midfielder Stephen Avery found the back of the net on the Pioneers’ second possession of extra time for the win.

O’Grady dominates stat sheet

O’Grady had a dominate first half, in which he scored four of five shots on goal. His third and fourth goals of the contest served as go-ahead goals for the Golden Eagles.

In the third frame, O’Grady scored his fifth goal of the night. Then, with less than two minutes left in the fourth, O’Grady posted his sixth goal.

The Milton, Massachusetts native moved up in all-time ranks with 88 all-time goals. O’Grady surpassed fellow teammate and attacker, Devon Cowan, who has 86 all-time.

“He’s (O’Grady) taking his game to another level and having him for a couple more years is something we’re really excited about,” head coach Andrew Stimmel said. “But Bobby puts in the work every single day, he’s a guy that’s there early that stays late, so we’re certainly not surprised when he scored six goals.”

Key stats

As an individual, Stegman continues to hold the all-time highest assist record in a single season. After posting three on the night, the Naperville, Illinois native has totaled 31 this season. Stegman is second in Marquette history with 57 assisst, behind only Conor Gately’s 63.

In total, Marquette won 11 of 33 face-offs. All 11 were won by graduate face-off specialist, Grant Evans.

Denver out-shot Marquette on goal, 30 to 21. In addition, Denver picked up 28 ground balls compared to Marquette’s 20.

Senior Night

 Prior to the game, Marquette honored 12 departing seniors. Four of the departing are graduate students Zach Granger, Logan Kreinz, Holden Patterson and Jackson Rose. The other seniors include the likes of Nate Surd, Cole Emmanuel, Kelan Duff, Max Christides, Chris Kirschner, Devon Cowan, Jake Stegman and Luke Williams.

“Today was about our seniors and I’m just really proud of them,” Stimmel said. “Those guys have been here from the start of me getting this job, have gone through two years of the pandemic and they’ve stuck together. I really believe they put the program in this place to be competing with top ten teams…we always talk about leaving the legacy and and leaving it better than we found it and these guys have put this program in a great spot moving forward.”

This article was written by Ava Mares. She can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @avamaresMU

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