Byrnes Chosen as Preseason BIG EAST Co-DPOY
Jan. 25, 2016
NEW YORK – Marquette’s Liam Byrnes was chosen as the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year in a survey of the league’s head coaches, while Conor Gately, B.J. Grill and Kyle Whitlow all joined Byrnes as unanimous preseason all-conference selections. The Golden Eagles are pegged to finish third in the preseason coaches’ poll, while reigning NCAA Champion Denver and Georgetown occupy the top two positions.
Byrnes is the first Marquette player to earn preseason award recognition and was the league’s unanimous first team choice at long-stick midfielder in 2015. The graduate student also became the first player in program history to be selected in the Major League Lacrosse draft on Friday afternoon when the Florida Launch selected him in the third round with the 21st overall choice.
The West Islip, New York, native is Marquette's all-time leader in ground balls and recorded 52 in 2015 along with a team-best 26 caused turnovers. The Inside Lacrosse Faceoff Yearbook Preseason Third Team All-American notched four goals and a pair of assists last year and ranks among the NCAA's active leaders in career points from a long pole player.
Grill and Whitlow are returning first team all-conference performers, while Gately was a second team selection last season.
Grill is a two-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection and was a unanimous all-league choice by the conference’s coaches in 2014. Grill has proven to be Marquette’s primary shutdown option on defense, and is mostly tasked with the other team’s top dodger on attack. The Bridgewater, New Jersey native has started all 45 games in MU program history and along with Byrnes, is a preseason third team all-American, a 2016 MLL draft pick (Denver, 40th overall) and a student in Marquette’s Graduate School of Management.
Whitlow, a redshirt senior midfielder, has scored an MU-record 62 goals in his career and tallied 24 markers in 2015. In addition to earning first team all-league honors last season, the Orillia, Ontario native was a second team choice in 2014 following Marquette’s first year as a conference member in lacrosse.
Gately is Marquette’s all-time points leader with 106 in his career (58 goals, 48 assists) and finished the 2015 campaign with 25 goals and 14 assists. The native of Yorktown Heights, New York has started all but one game in his career and is MU’s top attackman from behind the cage.
The Golden Eagles begin the 2016 campaign on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Michigan, with regular season competition beginning on Feb. 20 against Bellarmine at Valley Fields.
2016 Preseason Men’s Lacrosse All-BIG EAST Team and Awards
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Preseason Co-Defensive Players of the Year
Preseason All-BIG EAST *
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
^ - denotes unanimous selection
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