Denver men’s lacrosse (9-4, 4-1) owned nearly all the key statistics in regulation against Marquette Friday night in Milwaukee. The Pioneers led Marquette in shots-on-goal, ground balls, clears and faceoffs. Yet, the Pioneers were forced into a four-minute overtime in Milwaukee. Finally, DU’s Stephen Avery gave DU the game-winner with 1:26 remaining in OT and the Pioneers win, 15-14. The win gives Denver the number two seed at the BIG EAST Tournament next weekend on the same field.
An absolute missile of a shot! https://t.co/6jVMBZ3Urx
— Tim Healy (@609Healy) April 29, 2023
In the first five minutes of the game, Denver traded goals with Marquette, 2-2. Four minutes later, Ty Hussey and Michael Lampert scored consecutive goals, separated by a minute, to double the Pioneer advantage, 4-2. The dueling Irish duo, Bobby O’Grady (MU) and Mic Kelly (DU) traded goals to close out the first quarter 5-3, Denver.
MU reeled off three straight goals in the second quarter, two by O’Grady, to take the lead. Richie Connell scored for Denver to stop the Golden Eagles run. With 2:33 remaining in the first half, Bobby O’Grady found net for MU. In the final minute, DU took control with a pair of goals from Richie Connell and midfielder Jack Tortolani. The half ended 8-7 with Denver holding a narrow one-goal lead.
The teams swapped goals in a chaotic third period. Once again, the teams alternated goals to open the period until Richie Connell broke the pattern to give Denver an 11-9 lead. The Golden Eagles came storming back with a pair of goals to knot the score at 11 each, one minute apart, with five minutes remaining in the third period. Denver countered with a two-goal strike in the final 1:20 with goals from Richie Connell and JJ Sillstrop, 13-11, Denver.
The fourth quarter was a defensive battle until Mic Kelly scored for Denver at 11:59. Denver’s defense stepped up and shut down the Golden Eagles until 5:31 when Will Foster scored to Marquette to pull within two goals, 14-12. Pesky Bobby O’Grady scored for MU, his sixth goal of the day, with 1:40 remaining to make it a one-goal game. Denver secured two ground balls in the final minutes but turned over the ball with 30 seconds left. MU’s Jake Stegman made Denver pay with the tieing goal, 14-14, with 11 seconds remaining.
A critical ground ball pickup by DU’s Jake Edinger gave Denver the key possession in overtime. Stephen Avery did the rest as he scored the winning goal in sudden death for the victory. In other BIG EAST action, Georgetown defeated Villanova 12-8 to earn the conference tournament #1 seed.
Photo: Courtesy of Marquette Athletics