Marquette Men's Lacrosse 2014 Season Preview
Jan. 24, 2014
MILWAUKEE -- The 2014 Marquette Men's Lacrosse season is in full swing starting with scrimmages at High Point and Michigan the next two weekends.
The program enters its second full season as a NCAA Division I competitor, returning 31 letter winners from last year's 5-8 squad. Among the returners are three leaders of the Golden Eagles' attack, including Tyler Melnyk, who led the team offensively by scoring 23 goals, Conor Gately, who led the team with 20 assists, and Bryan Badolato, who added 15 goals in nine games.
"The most important thing to building a team is that there are leaders that emerge and have to take ownership," said head coach Joe Amplo. "We try to empower them, because it is their team. I'm curious to see how we compete, how our young guys play against outside competition, and if we can play together as a team."
Since the program's beginning, Coach Amplo has told his players they will have the opportunity to play the best competition in Division I lacrosse. This year's schedule lives up to those expectations, rated as the 14th toughest schedule by Inside Lacrosse.
The Golden Eagles will face a test against pre-season number one and 2013 national champion Duke, in addition to fellow BIG EAST newcomer Denver, which reached the Final Four a year ago.
The 2014 campaign marks the inaugural season of BIG EAST play for Marquette, featuring six conference games and a chance to advance to the BIG EAST tournament. The Golden Eagles will play their first BIG EAST match against Villanova on March 22 in the team's home opener.
"I'm looking for good decision making and balance to be able to manage the game from an offensive standpoint," Amplo said. "And defensively, it's about our ability to play together.
"We're going to make mistakes, but if we can all make mistakes together, then that's a good sign. The sooner we learn how to play together, the better off we're going to be."