With a little more than four minutes remaining in the second quarter of the men’s lacrosse team’s season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes, freshman attackman Conor Gately scored for the Golden Eagles to bring the team within two goals.
Unfortunately, Gately’s goal was waived off, as freshman attackman Brendan Smith was called for cross-checking before the shot, allowing Ohio State to keep its 7-4 lead and gain possession. The Buckeyes capitalized on the extra-man opportunity, scoring three unanswered goals during what turned out to be the turning point of the game.
Marquette ended up losing 18-8 to Ohio State, which is ranked No. 13 by Inside Lacrosse and No. 16 by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches’ poll with a record of 3-0. Coach Joe Amplo said the negation of Gately’s goal swung momentum into Ohio State’s favor.
“We were comfortable, we were in a game, and then we get that foul, and momentum just went out the window,” Amplo said. “We lost whatever momentum we had, and then they scored three in a row off that, and it was tough.”
The Buckeyes opened the game on a 3-0 run before redshirt junior Bryan Badolato scored the first goal in the history of the Marquette men’s lacrosse program. Less than one minute later, redshirt freshman Kyle Whitlow brought the Golden Eagles within one goal of their hosts in the closing seconds of the first quarter.
Badolato, who scored twice against the Buckeyes, said he was proud to get the first goal of the season for Marquette.
“It feels unbelievable; it’s awesome,” Badolato said. “Our offense, as a team, played really well. … We looked pretty good on offense; I was pretty impressed.”
Two Marquette penalties in the second quarter helped Ohio State extend its lead to 10-5 by halftime. The Golden Eagles were called for five penalties over the course of the game, while the Buckeyes were only whistled three times. Amplo said his team committed more fouls than he would usually like to see.
“I do think that some of those fouls were hustle fouls,” Amplo said. “In a typical lacrosse game for us, we’d like to be somewhere around two or three fouls per game, but two or three good fouls. … We don’t want to make undisciplined lacrosse plays.”
Ohio State pulled away in the second half, going on an 8-1 run in the third quarter and through the first five minutes of the fourth to put the game out of reach. Redshirt junior Tyler Melnyk and freshman Henry Nelson closed the game with two Marquette goals, as the Golden Eagles held the Buckeyes scoreless in the game’s final 10 minutes.
Defensively, despite giving up 18 goals, the Golden Eagles were successful in limiting Ohio State’s star attackman, Logan Schuss. The senior captain was named Offensive Player of the Year in the Eastern College Athletic Conference last season and started his 2013 campaign with nine goals and four assists in his first two games.
Marquette redshirt freshman defender Charley Gargano held Schuss to only one goal and one assist. Gargano, who almost did not play due to an allergic reaction before the game, said limiting Schuss was a team achievement.
“I had a lot of help from all of my other teammates,” Gargano said. “I kind of just focused on not letting (Schuss) get the ball.”
Marquette hopes to improve its record to 1-1 and gain the first victory in program history as it travels to Colorado to take on Air Force Saturday at 1 p.m.