VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Senior attack Bo Stafford and freshman midfielder Craig Berge combined for six goals and four assists as No. 2-seeded Georgetown defeated No. 3 seed Marquette 12-8 in the Big East Championship semifinal on Thursday evening.
Stafford scored twice in the final quarter, while Berge added one goal and one assist to his career-high five-point effort down the stretch to hold off a late run by the Golden Eagles. Senior midfielder Anthony Heaton won 16 of 22 faceoffs, picked up a career-high 14 ground balls and scored a goal to help the Blue & Gray advance to Saturday night's Big East Championship game against No. 1 seed Denver.
Freshman goalie Nick Marrocco finished with 12 saves playing behind a Georgetown (10-5, 4-1) defense that held Marquette's (10-6, 3-2) offense to just 24 shots, its second-lowest total of the season, to help the Hoyas win their first postseason game since 2007.
"I'm really proud of our seniors," head coach Kevin Warne said following the victory. "I think everybody had a hand in today's win, especially Anthony Heaton, who stepped up at the X. Time of possession was a big factor today and it allowed us to advance to Saturday."
Georgetown started quickly behind Heaton, who won the opening faceoff and scored 11 seconds later to put GU in front 1-0. He would win all five faceoff attempts in the first quarter to spur the early run.
Senior midfielder Mitch Hugdahl added to the lead, scoring on a feed from freshman attack Stephen Quinzi. Stafford added his first of the game on a fast break to take a 3-0 lead with 7:21 left in the first quarter. Berge added an extra-man goal late in the quarter on the assist from freshman attack Matt Behrens to give GU a 4-0 lead going into the second quarter.
Marquette answered in the second quarter as Conor Gately and Blaine Fleming scored less than a minute apart to cut the Hoya lead in half. Senior midfielder Joe Bucci came back with two goals of his own to build the lead back to four goals at 6-2. The Golden Eagles added one final goal before the end of the half, as Georgetown took a 6-3 lead into the break.
Quinzi finished the feed from Stafford to complete another transition goal, but Marquette closed the gap back to three on Gately's second goal of the game. MU continued to claw back, as Dan Mojica scored and drew a slashing penalty to gain an extra-man opportunity. They took advantage, scoring seconds later to cut the Hoyas lead to 7-6 with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
Berge ended the Marquette run by taking the feed from Behrens on the extra-man opportunity and blasting a shot past the goalie to take an 8-6 lead to end the third quarter.
Georgetown's lead was once again cut to one, as Ryan McNamara scored early in the fourth quarter, making the score 8-7 with 9:21 remaining in the game. Stafford had an answer, scoring two consecutive goals, to put GU in front 10-7. Berge added his third of the game to extend the Hoya lead to four at 11-7 with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
Behrens scored an extra-man goal, giving him a hand in each of GU's three man-up goals. Marquette added one final tally with 16 seconds, but GU earned a 12-8 victory.