April 1st, 2015
Knights LAX upset No. 13 Marquette
The flashes of brilliance that the Bellarmine University lacrosse coaching staff had witnessed from the Knights turned into a full-length feature Tuesday at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium.
Marquette entered with a No. 12 ranking from Inside Lacrosse and a No. 13 rating in the USILA Coaches poll. Three weeks ago, the Golden Eagles romped 14-6 over a Mercer squad that defeated Bellarmine on Saturday.
None of that mattered to the unranked Knights, who put forth a staunch defensive effort, Connor Harryman-led superiority in the face-off game and five unanswered goals in the last period to reel in a stunning 9-3 victory over the Golden Eagles.
"This is the first game from start to finish where we played team ball. It was nice to see," BU Coach Kevin Burns said. "We saw those flashes in the Ohio State game and some others, but we finally saw it for 60 minutes tonight. All the guys played exceptionally well. I can't say enough about them."
Bellarmine's defense held Marquette to easily its lowest scoring outing of the season. The previous low for the Golden Eagles (8-2) was nine. The three goals marked Marquette's fewest amount of scores since posting three in the 2013 season finale against traditional power Duke.
As for the Knights (3-5), it was their shrewdest performance on defense since a 13-3 victory over St. Andrew's University in the final game of the 2006 season. Bellarmine shut out the Golden Eagles in both the second and fourth quarters. Marquette only scored once before halftime and twice in the second half.
"The defense played out of their minds," Burns said.
Freshman goalkeeper Drew Goethals registered nine saves for Bellarmine. Marquette fired at the net 26 times to the 32 of Bellarmine but rarely connected. The Golden Eagles scored with 2:34 left in the first period and didn't locate the net again until the 4:05 mark of the third quarter. Goethals and company didn't yield a goal over the final 17 minutes.
"Drew in goal was just lights out the whole time," Burns said. "He made some huge saves for us down the stretch."
Despite the lopsided final score, the game was competitive until Bellarmine ran away with it late in the fourth quarter. Marquette shut out the Knights in the third quarter and cut a 4-1 halftime deficit to 4-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
Less than two minutes into the final period, senior defender Colin Hart burst out into transition and spotted Austin Shanks cutting in front of the net. The sophomore attack converted Hart's pass into BU's first goal since the second period.
However, it took a mere six seconds for the next one to occur. Harryman won the face-off, gained possession and whizzed his first goal of the season into the net. For the game, the Knights' freshman won 12-of-16 face-offs and tallied nine ground balls.
"I think that was indicative of the entire game: Guys were doing the jobs they were expected to do and then maybe doing a little extra here and there," Burns said. "Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Connor Harryman at the face-off got us a ton of extra possessions. That made all the difference in the world."
Bellarmine poured it on inside the last three minutes. Sophomore attack Tucker Ciessau found the net, Shanks put the finishing touch on a hat trick and sophomore attack Jack Perkins capped the scoring for the day off the third assist from Shanks.
Shanks boosted his season total to 20 goals. Perkins has now collected 12, Ciessau posted his 11th and senior attack Dylan Gatt notched his 10th with 52 seconds left in the first period to get Bellarmine on the board. Shanks, junior attack Paul Garcia and senior midfielder Brogan Hill all scored in the second period to stake the Knights to a three-goal lead at the intermission.
Bellarmine will look to build off its victory over a top-15 opponent when the Knights meet Air Force at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday at Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, Texas.
"They played with poise and discipline. We had been talking about it all week, and they did it in spades. It was awesome," Burns said. "We just kept our heads down, kept grinding and kept the message the same throughout. If we put together 60 minutes of team ball, this is what can happen. Finally, it happened."