Men's Lacrosse Outlasts No. 18/16 Lehigh, 10-9

Liam Byrnes picked up six ground balls in the victory (photo credit: Alicia Mojica).
Feb. 7, 2015

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Marquette University men's lacrosse team knocked off No. 18/16 Lehigh, 10-9, on Saturday to give the Golden Eagles their first win over a ranked team in program history and their first victory in a season opener.

Marquette head coach Joe Amplo attributed the win to his veteran leadership and six captains.

"(At halftime) It was nothing I said, but it was everything our guys did," Amplo said. "Our upperclassman stepped up and made the necessary plays."

Senior Jordan Greenfield finished with a hat-trick and two assists in his Marquette debut to lead the Golden Eagles, who scored 10 goals in the final three quarters.

MU took a decisive three-goal lead early in the third quarter, but with 5:47 to play Lehigh made it a one-goal contest. In a 30-second man-up opportunity, redshirt junior Kyle Whitlow scored the decisive goal to put MU up 10-8.

Lehigh would answer with 1:53 remaining, but on the ensuing faceoff, redshirt junior Liam Byrnes scooped up a pivotal ground ball, which allowed Marquette to run out the clock and claim victory.

Marquette's offense looked every bit of a team playing its first regular season game in the first quarter after it was held scoreless and limited to three shots in the first 15 minutes of play.

The Golden Eagles responded with a second-quarter scoring blitz led by Greenfield. After putting his second shot of the game by the Mountain Hawks goalie, Greenfield assisted junior Jacob Richard on a give-and-go play after redshirt junior B.J. Grill forced a turnover to tie the game at 2-2.

After the Mountain Hawks tied the game at 3-3, sophomore Robbie Pisano scored his first career goal at the 2:31 mark of the second quarter and the Golden Eagles were able to maintain at least a one-goal lead for the remainder of the game.

Marquette did most of its damage in the third quarter after Lehigh committed consecutive penalties to give the Golden Eagles a two-man advantage, on which Greenfield capitalized as MU went up 6-4. Less than a minute later Whitlow found sophomore Andy DeMichiei for a goal and MU led 7-4.

The Golden Eagles converted 2-of-3 extra-man opportunities, while MU's defense was able to kill a key penalty at the end of the third quarter.

Gately seized the momentum created by the defense and scored the first goal of the fourth quarter to give MU its largest lead at 8-5.

Lehigh's Dan Taylor, who notched a hat-trick on the day along with five points, brought the Mountain Hawks back when he scored his second goal of the game, but it was sophomore Ryan McNamara's second goal that preserved Marquette's two goal lead.

Marquette's starting attack and midfield accounted for 15-of-18 total points, as Gately and Whitlow both finished with three, while McNamara and sophomore Kyran Clarke chipped in with two apiece.

In last season's matchup, the Mountain Hawks dominated the faceoff X and won 18-of-22 matchups. Redshirt junior K.C. Kennedy and freshman Owen Weselak combined to win 12-of-23 faceoffs Saturday, including three of the last five of the game.

"Coach Roberts made a great move to give Owen Weselak some faceoffs in the middle of the game," Amplo said. "Owen provided a spark and he and K.C. controlled the X."

Lehigh outshot Marquette 35-28, but sophomore Jimmy Danaher was able to make 10 saves, including five in the third quarter. As a unit, the Golden Eagles' defense held the Mountain Hawks to just six shot attempts in the final period and only three in the final 5:47 of the game.

Next Saturday, Feb. 14 Marquette will travel to Hempstead, New York to face Hofstra which is currently ranked No. 17/19. In last season's matchup at Hofstra, the Golden Eagles earned their first victory of the 2014 season at James M. Shuart Stadium over Amplo's alma mater.


 

 

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