Melnyk's Five Goals Lead MU Past Detroit, 15-10

Conor Gately

March 15, 2014

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DETROIT, Mich. -- The Marquette men's lacrosse team (2-5) struck early and often Saturday to pick up a 15-10 win over Detroit at Titan Field to conclude its three-game road trip.

"This was the biggest win of the year for us," said head coach Joe Amplo. "I feel like there's been so much growth the past two weeks. We've improved each game and learned from a lot of mistakes up until this point. This team is starting to come together and starting to believe in themselves."

With 3:19 left in the third quarter, Detroit (3-4) committed a three-minute, non-releasable penalty with the score 9-7 in favor of the Golden Eagles. Within twenty-five seconds, redshirt senior Tyler Melnyk scored his fourth goal of the game and freshman Ryan McNamara added his second to extend the Marquette lead to 11-7.

Melnyk added his fifth goal, a Marquette career high, early in the fourth quarter after Detroit scored the first two goals of the period. The Golden Eagles then proceeded to go on a three goal run to close the game on goals from Gately, Badolato, and Clarke.

Melnyk's six points tied a career high, equaling his total from last year's win vs. Detroit. His five goals came on only seven shots.

Redshirt senior Bryan Badolato turned in a strong performance as well, scoring four goals to give him 12 tallies on the year. MU's starting attack combined to score 11 of the Golden Eagles' 15 goals.

With redshirt senior faceoff specialist Cullen Cassidy out with injury, Paul Riportella stepped in with a record performance in the faceoff X.

Riportella, a sophomore and West Islip, N.Y. native, shattered the single game MU record for faceoff wins with 20 Saturday. Further, 21 faceoff wins as a squad is a MU program record.

"Riportella was phenomenal," said Amplo. "It's the team concept, when one man goes down, another steps up. That's why it's so important for these guys to continue to believe in themselves."

Sophomore defensive middie Jacob Richard also chipped in with a career performance picking up eight groundballs, tying the most by a MU player in a single game. Many of these came off faceoffs, leading to offensive possessions.

Fellow defensive middie Liam Byrnes was a disruptive force causing three turnovers, one short of his career high, and picking up three groundballs.

Their performances allowed MU to dominate Detroit in the groundball battle 32-18.

In a game characterized by penalties (15 in total), MU took advantage of man-up opportunities. McNamara finished the game with a career high five points, including three assists coming when the Golden Eagles had a man advantage.

The Golden Eagles scored four man-up goals on the day.

Marquette finally returns home next Saturday after a three-game road trip and seven straight games on the road to open the 2014 campaign. The Golden Eagles will take on Villanova this Saturday at 1 p.m. CT to open up BIG EAST competition.

"These kids are really primed up to start the BIG EAST conference and to see how we'll compete against these teams in the next few weeks," said Amplo.




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