Men's Lax Begins 2015 with Exhibition at High Point

Conor Gately scored a career-best four goals in MU's only regular season meeting at High Point in 2013.
Jan. 21, 2015

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MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University men's lacrosse team kicks off its 2015 campaign on Saturday, Jan. 24 when it travels to High Point, North Carolina to face High Point in an exhibition matchup at 8 a.m. Central time.

With 33 players returning from last season's BIG EAST regular season runner-up squad, this year's team is accustomed to playing the first few months of the season away from Milwaukee.

"We've been fortunate with the weather (since we've been back for second semester)," head coach Joe Amplo said. "I told our guys on Friday evening that it's the best first week that we've had here. Mostly because of the weather, but I just sense a little more urgency with this group and I think that is typical of teams that have more upperclassmen. These kids have been through a lot and they know the deal."

Marquette will face High Point for the third time in program history. Back in 2013, the Golden Eagles topped the Panthers 14-6 and last season the two teams met for a scrimmage similar to this year's exhibition.

"I certainly expect to see an excited team," Amplo said. "Certainly in the only game we've played against them we beat them so last year they came into the (exhibition) game real excited to get back at us. I don't look at it as a win or a loss in any exhibition. I tell our kids I want as many mistakes as possible. What I want on Monday is a lot of work to be done."

Coach Amplo sees each scrimmage as a learning opportunity for a young team and has scheduled three exhibition games in two weekends before the Golden Eagles begin their regular season against Lehigh on Feb. 7.

"I want them to make every mistake imaginable because if we are successful on Saturday that is going to hurt us the next week," Amplo said. "We try not to give them too much of a scouting report, if any, and just try to put them out there and have them play. The only thing I would expect from our guys is great effort and great teamwork and from there I would be happy."

Throughout their preseason preparation, the coaching staff has found the returning experience from last year's has served as a motivation factor and captains Liam Byrnes, B.J. Grill, Jacob Richard, K.C. Kennedy, Travis Schelhorn, and Kyle Whitlow have been able to lead the 14 newcomers.

"We find ourselves so far ahead in terms of what we are installing and we have to coach less of an urgency," Amplo said. "In the past we've had to motivate and rally the troops, but this year that is taken care of. I am interested to see if we handle that expectation that we think we could be pretty good. Are we going to be 6-10 or are we going to be above .500 and compete with some of the best teams out there."

The Golden Eagles round out the exhibition slate on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the University of Michigan against both the host Wolverines and Denison.




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