The men’s lacrosse team cemented their spot in the Big Ten tournament this past weekend with a victory against the University of Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, thanks to yet another last minute goal by junior attacker Kyle Marr. The Jays take on the University of Maryland Terrapins this coming Saturday, which will determine who gets the No. 1 seed heading into the Big Ten Tournament the following weekend.
Though the Blue Jays never trailed against Michigan, the game was anything but easy, as Hopkins squandered two three-goal leads through 60 minutes of play. The first came right at the start, as Hopkins scored three unanswered goals from three different players — Marr, senior midfielder Patrick Fraser and senior midfielder Joel Tinney, within the first four minutes of the game.
Michigan would take advantage of a man-up opportunity in the first quarter for their first goal with just under eight minutes to go in the first. The Jays’ offense would be shut down by Michigan for the rest of the quarter, giving the Wolverines the opportunity to tie it up with two unassisted goals to end the first quarter.
The second quarter was a defensive battle, with only a combined three goals being scored by both sides. Marr scored the first of the three goals in the quarter, thanks to an assist from Tinney. But Michigan responded on another man-up opportunity, tying the game at four as junior Brent Noseworthy scored his second goal of the game for the Wolverines.
Senior goalie Brock Turnbaugh played a key role for the Jays throughout the game, playing some of the best lacrosse of his career this year.
“It’s senior year. There is no next year for me. I have been making lacrosse the best part of my day and enjoying the time I have left with the guys. At the end of the day, I am simply having fun playing the sport I love,” Turnbaugh said.
It looked like the game would remain tied at the half, but Fraser scored his second goal of the day with just six seconds left in the first half to put Hopkins up 5-4 heading into halftime.
Fraser and the rest of the Jays would carry the momentum into the second half, as Fraser opened the scoring on a man-up opportunity less than four minutes in. Marr would then match Fraser’s hat trick with one of his own to give Hopkins their second three-goal lead of the game, this time at 7-4 with under five minutes to go in the third quarter.
Michigan, however, responded once again, scoring three unanswered goals of their own in under five minutes, spanning from the end of the third quarter into the beginning of the fourth. With the game tied back at seven, the teams began to trade goals in the fourth quarter.
Tinney ended the Wolverines’ run with an unassisted goal with 13 minutes left on the clock. Michigan scored their response goal with just over six minutes remaining, but senior midfielder Brinton Valis had his own response, scoring his 13th goal of the season just over a minute after the Michigan goal.
With one minute remaining in the game, Noseworthy scored his fourth goal of the game for Michigan to tie the game up again. The elation Michigan fans felt was short-lived, however, as Michigan violated the following faceoff, their third such violation of the half, thus giving Hopkins a man-up opportunity for 30 seconds.
The Jays would take advantage. At 31 seconds left, Marr matched Noseworthy yet again with his own fourth goal of the game, thanks to an assist from Tinney — his fourth that game. That goal ended up being the difference, as the game ended with a final score of 10-9.
The last-minute goal by Marr is his second game-winning goal with less than a minute left this year. In the Blue Jays’ game against Rutgers University, Marr scored with 14 seconds left on the game clock and only one second left on the shot clock to secure a 13-12 victory.
“Our coaches do a great job during the week getting us ready to go for any scenario that may come our way, and if you happen to have the ball at the end of the game, you know you are prepared to capitalize for the whole team,” Marr said.
The faceoffs on Saturday were also a key part of the game, even before the final faceoff violation that cost Michigan the game. They were heavily dominated by Hopkins, as senior faceoff specialist Hunter Moreland won 17 of the 23 faceoffs in the game.
The four goals by Marr give him 27 on the year, which is second best on the team, and Tinney’s four assists give him 28 on the year to lead the team. Turnbaugh contributed 11 saves, putting up double-digit saves for the third straight game.
“Moving forward, I think the biggest key for us is to play a consistent 60 minutes in every game we have. At times, we have put together three quarters, and it has been enough, and at other times it has not gotten the job done,” Marr said. “This late in the year, it’s even more important that we put together a full game, because you never know when your last game is going to be.”
The win improves the Jays’ Big Ten record to 3-1, putting them in a tie for first place with the Terrapins, the team they will play at home in their final regular season game. Whichever team wins that game will be guaranteed the No. 1 seed the following weekend in the Big Ten tournament, so be sure to come out and support the Blue Jays on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. at Homewood Field.