Marquette rallies past Georgetown in OT and into BIG EAST tournament
WAUWATOSA, Wis. -- Marquette University unleashed an 8-1 second-half run after trailing by six goals to defeat Georgetown, 11-10, in overtime on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles' fourth-consecutive BIG EAST victory earns MU its first ever BIG EAST Championship berth in the program's first season in the league. All four of Marquette's league wins were one-goal decisions.
"It was one of the most awesome scenes I've been involved with in that locker room just now," said MU head coach Joe Amplo. "It was everything you coach for and what these kids play for. They deserve it and deserve to celebrate."
Tyler Melnyk, who returned from injury, led the comeback with a second-half hat trick and four total goals. It was Melnyk's first game since April 6 at St. John's.
But it was Ryan McNamara's goal less than a minute into overtime that gave MU a senior day, comeback victory.
Trailing 9-3 heading into the locker room at halftime, Marquette (6-8, 4-1 BIG EAST) made a key adjustment by switching long stick midfielder Tyler Gilligan to faceoff specialist. This came after Georgetown's Tyler Knarr won 8 of 12 first half faceoffs.
"Coach (John) Orsen putting Tyler Gilligan in the faceoff X was the play of the game," said Amplo. "That changed the momentum for us and allowed us to go on a run. Tyler stepped up and that's what we're all about."
Georgetown (4-9, 1-4 BIG EAST) started the second half with two-straight goals, it wasn't until Conor Gately scored his first goal of the game to break a 15 minute MU scoring drought.
Bryan Badolato then scored his second goal of the game on a diving shot while drawing a penalty in the process. This extra-man opportunity allowed redshirt sophomore Kyle Whitlow to find the back of the cage to cut the Hoyas' lead to 9-6.
Marquette's key halftime adjustment was felt going into the fourth quarter after Gilligan caused a turnover immediately after Georegtown won the faceoff. This lead to Melnyk's second goal of the afternoon.
After Gilligan beat Knarr to win a faceoff, Badolato earned his fourth hat trick of the season on another diving goal coming after a kick save from Georgetown goalie Jake Haley.
Melnyk then proceeded to tally his 11th career hat trick and followed it up with his fourth goal of the afternoon on an assist from Conor Gately three minutes later.
Melnyk's goal capped off a 7-1 rally that tied the game at 10 apiece and forced an overtime period.
Gilligan, who won four total faceoffs in his first attempts in the X this season, won the biggest draw in overtime that allowed MU to call timeout and set up the game-winning play.
McNamara's overtime goal gave MU its second overtime victory of the season and allowed the Golden Eagles to stand alone in second place in the BIG EAST at 4-1, a game behind first-place Denver (5-0).
Before Saturday's game, Marquette honored nine seniors with framed jerseys. These nine players, who transferred to MU to begin a new NCAA lacrosse program, represent the first senior class in program history.
"This senior class has cemented their legacy at this institution, said Amplo. "They built this program from the ground-up in the way that Marquette does everything, with excellence through toughness and hard work."