lacrosse-men-d1 flag

Marquette Athletics | May 7, 2016

College lacrosse: Marquette claims first Big East Championship

  The victory is Marquette’s first in five meetings against Denver.

DENVER – No. 19 Marquette captured its first BIG EAST Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Saturday afternoon at Peter Barton Stadium by toppling No. 1 Denver, 10-9, to secure the league’s NCAA Championship automatic bid.

The victory is Marquette’s first in five meetings against Denver and also snapped the Pioneers’ NCAA-best 22-game home winning streak at Peter Barton Stadium. It is also only the second victory ever for a Marquette team in any sport over the nation’s number one team. The only other MU team to beat the country’s No. 1 was the 2003 men’s basketball team led by Dwyane Wade over Kentucky in the Elite Eight.

Sophomore Tanner Thomson scored a game-high four goals for the Golden Eagles (11-4), who tallied all six goals in the third quarter and strung together seven in a row until DU scored first in the final frame.

Junior Andy DeMichiei, who again wore Kyle Whitlow’s No. 6 jersey, posted a pair of goals to bring his tournament total to five combined in the semis and final.

Tournament most outstanding player Liam Byrnes picked up six ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers in the victory and played a big role in helping sophomoreZachary Melillo win 12-of-23 faceoffs (52.2 percent) against DU’s Trevor Baptiste. Melillo was named to the all-tournament team along with classmates Thomson, goalie Cole Blazer and graduate student Byrnes.

Blazer made nine timely saves for the Golden Eagles and held two of the nation’s highest-powered offenses in Villanova and Denver to a total of 18 goals in two games of tournament play.

Colton Jackson and Zach Miller each posted hat tricks for the defending NCAA Champion Pioneers (13-2), who led by five goals at one point and were up 7-3 at the half.

Marquette raced out of the break as Melillo won 5-of-7 draws in the third quarter and MU scored all six of the frame’s markers. MU was outscored 6-0 by DU in the third quarter of last Saturday’s regular season finale at Peter Barton Stadium.

MU entered the final quarter with a 9-7 lead after Thomson’s final goal, but allowed a pair of goals from Miller to tie the game 9-9 with 12:19 remaining. DeMichiei scored the game winner with 5:55 remaining and MU’s top ranked defense held the Pios off the board for the remainder of the contest.

The Pioneers had a final crack at tying things up with under a minute to play, but Byrnes knocked the ball out of Connor Cannizzaro’s stick and it was picked up by Griffin Connor, who completed the clear and MU ran out the clock.

The day’s first goal was scored with 12:01 left in the first by Thomson and was immediately followed by a lightning strike, causing play to be delayed for 36 minutes. Denver scored the next three goals after play resumed and led 7-3 at the half.

Byrnes scored his first goal of the year in the second quarter to halt the 3-0 DU run.

See 34 NCAA tournament buzzer-beaters from 1977 to 2021

Here's your one-stop shop to reminisce upon 34 buzzer-beaters in March Madness history.

The 10 most tantalizing early round men's basketball conference tournament matchups

March Madness correspondent Andy Katz ranks his top 10 conference tournament first-round or quarterfinal matchups of champs week that will be played Thursday or Friday.

Men's college basketball new coach rankings: How Marquette coach Shaka Smart has found a home in and built a Big East contender Milwaukee

First year Marquette coach Shaka Smart checked in with March Madness correspondent Andy Katz to discuss his first season at the helm.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners