The Michigan men’s lacrosse team came out on fire on Saturday.
Senior midfielder Chase Young opened the scoring with a long goal less than four minutes into the first quarter, and the Wolverines were off to the races. Michigan (5-2 overall) tallied six goals in the first quarter on its way to a 12-7 victory over Marquette.
“I think our kids came out with confidence,” said Michigan coach Kevin Conry. “We had a really, really good walk-through yesterday, and the ball was just popping, it kind of put us in an extra gear.”
Freshman attacker Kevin Mack led the way with a six-point performance, notching his first goal at the 10:21 mark of the opening frame to open his personal floodgate.
The Wolverines’ man-down defense was also strong early, as it killed off an extra man opportunity for the Golden Eagles (3-3 overall) and set up a goal for junior attacker Brent Noseworthy. With two minutes left in the first quarter, Mack added a second score on a roll from behind the goal with an assist from freshman attacker Alex Buckanavage.
Less than a minute later, Mack found twine for the third time on an unassisted score. The goal gave Mack his second hat trick of the season — the first came March 9 against Air Force.
“It’s starting to become just status quo for Kevin Mack,” Conry said. “He’s just been so good behind the goal, he’s a tough matchup back there, and we’re just proud of his development.”
Mack wasn’t the only one who racked up the goals. Noseworthy got his second score of the game with under a minute to go in the first quarter off a pass up the middle from Young.
Though the Wolverines were stingy on defense in the first quarter — allowing only one goal — Marquette’s offense woke up in the second quarter. But Michigan held tough with senior goalie Tommy Heidt allowing just three goals on 10 shots.
“I thought they were very disciplined in how they approached our defense,” Conry said. “We wore down a little bit, but I give our kids a lot of credit, they dug deep and were able to hold off of that initial onslaught.”
Mack and Buckanavage connected again for Mack’s fourth goal of the game with just 18 seconds remaining in the first half to give Michigan a four-goal advantage at the break.
A score from junior attackman Rocco Sutherland and another from Mack — this time on an assist from junior midfielder Decker Curran — stretched Wolverines’ lead to six in the second half. The Golden Eagles added a couple of quick goals but never came closer than a four-point deficit.
“My teammates put me in a great spot,” Mack said. “Guys like Noseworthy, (Buckanavage), (Sutherland) and (Curran) all draw a lot of attention. I was just the benefit of a lot of that, and I was fortunate to be able to shoot well today.”
Noseworthy notched two more scores in the fourth quarter to ice the win for Michigan, improving the home record to a program-best 5-0.
“I think there’s no question this team is the best Michigan lacrosse team we have,” Noseworthy said. “As the season goes on, we’re continually reaching new levels and growing, so as Big Ten play comes in, I think this could be the year that we really make a statement for Michigan lacrosse.”