Despite initial lead, men’s lacrosse surrenders to Marquette

April 24, 2014

Ambika Ahuja

The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (4-9, 1-4 Big East) traveled to Milwaukee this past Saturday to face the Marquette Golden Eagles (6-8, 4-1 Big East) for a crucial game.  The Hoyas failed to defeat their Big East opponent as they fell in overtime by a score of 11-10. Following a dominant performance in the first half, Georgetown found itself up 9-3 midway through the third quarter. The lead would not last, as the Golden Eagles went on a 7-1 run to force overtime. The Golden Eagles scored on the first possession of overtime and eliminated the Hoyas from Big East Championship contention.

Following a Marquette goal early in the first quarter, Georgetown responded fiercely with five unanswered goals. Junior attack Reilly O’Connor struck first with a goal at 12:51 left, followed by an unassisted goal from fellow junior attack Bo Stafford. Stafford would assist O’Connor’s second goal of the game with 9:44 left in the quarter, followed by two additional Hoya goals. Marquette would finally stop Georgetown’s offensive surge late in the first quarter, scoring while a man up.

The Hoyas’ offensive dominance continued into the second quarter. This time the Blue and Gray struck first as junior midfielder Mitch Hugdahl scored with 10 minutes left until halftime. Marquette would answer with a goal at 5:44 remaining. Unfazed, the Hoyas continued to bolster their lead, as senior attack Jeff Fountain capitalized on a 4:20 Marquette slashing penalty to score the final goal of the quarter. After a strong first half performance, the Hoyas entered halftime with a 7-3 lead. “I think we came out really strong, and we were confident. You could definitely feel prior to the game that everything was gelling. Everything leading up to the game felt good and that really flowed into the first half,” said senior captain Tyler Knarr.

Early in the third quarter, the Hoyas showed no signs of slowing down. Corey Parke started the Hoyas off with his first goal of the season at 8:55. 19 seconds later, Stafford scored his second goal of the day thanks to an assist by Knarr. Following Stafford’s goal, though, the Hoyas began to struggle. During the last 4:50 of the quarter, Marquette’s offense began to click. The Golden Eagles recorded three goals and trailed the Hoyas by a score of 9-6 by the quarter’s completion. When asked about the team’s mindset coming into the second half, Knarr said, “I think we were confident, but we began to worry about holding onto the lead versus continuing to play solid offense. You have to play to win. You can’t play to not lose.”

During the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles scored once again cutting the Hoya lead to two. The Hoyas tried to weather Marquette’s offensive storm, as Stafford scored his third goal of the game with 11:54 remaining. This was short lived, as Marquette answered 10 seconds later with another goal, bringing the score to 10-8. The Hoyas tried to regain momentum as they won the ensuing face-off, followed by two unsuccessful shots on goal. With 7:04 left in regulation, Marquette scored again after capitalizing on one of these missed shots. The Hoyas, who had already turned the ball over three times in the fourth quarter, turned the ball over twice more leading to a game tying Marquette goal.

With 4:17 left in regulation, the Hoyas had surrendered their commanding lead and found themselves tied with the Golden Eagles at 10 apiece. Knarr won the subsequent face-off, but the Hoyas still could not get their offense going.

The Hoyas were heading to overtime for the third time this season (1-1 in OT). Marquette won the faceoff and quickly took an unsuccessful shot on goal. The Hoyas failed to regain possession allowing the Golden Eagles to once again set up their offense. With 3:06 remaining in overtime, Marquette scored the game-winning goal completing their second half comeback and dropping the Hoyas from Big East championship eligibility.

“It was a tale of two halves. I think we executed the things we wanted to execute early on but we got away from everything in the second half. I just think our decision-making wasn’t as sharp as it needed to be against a good team like Marquette.” said Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Warne. “You’re only as good as your next play and we did that for a little bit, but I think we got away from some of the things we had success with early on that let [Marquette] get back in the game.”

The Hoyas will honor their seniors on this Saturday at 12 p.m. for senior day on the Multi-Sport field as they face off against Rutgers.

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