Men's Lacrosse Set To Open 2014 Regular Season

Head coach Joe Amplo (center) leads the Golden Eagles into their second season of NCAA Div. I competition this Saturday at Lehigh

Feb. 6, 2014

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Season Preview: Marquette Players | Coach Amplo

MILWAUKEE -- The Marquette University men's lacrosse team's regular-season campaign kicks off Saturday, Feb. 8 as the Golden Eagles face No. 17/19 Lehigh.

MU travels to Bethlehem, Pa. to take on the Mountain Hawks in what will be the first of seven-straight road games to open the season for the Golden Eagles. The game will be played on Lehigh's campus at the Ulrich Sports complex. Faceoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central time (noon ET).

A live video stream will be available on for fans not traveling to the game.

Fresh off two scrimmages at Michigan last weekend, the Golden Eagles' attack will be ready to face Patriot League 2013 Goalie of Year Matt Pollion. Marquette's Tyler Melnyk, who scored six goals against Michigan, is looking to build on the offensive momentum gained last weekend along with fellow atttackman Conor Gately, who assisted on four of Melnyk's goals.

Lehigh returns two of its top goal scorers from last year's NCAA tournament-qualifying squad, Dan Taylor and Patrick Corbett. MU head coach Joe Amplo believes his defense is up to the challenge of halting Lehigh's attack. Amplo emphasized that the defense must do a solid job of cutting off Lehigh's dodgers to prevent easy goal-scoring opportunities.

"[Lehigh's] midfield has started to establish themselves; we know who their dodgers are and we think we have their patterns down," said Amplo. "It's going to be a matter of if we can execute our defense against their offense. Our guys always respond to the challenge.

"We've learned from the mistakes we made at Michigan and now what it comes down to is execution in a game setting. Can we execute the things we've been working on the past four days when the lights come on? The answer to that will be a true sign of our growth."

Key Storylines ...
• Marquette (0-0) begins its 2014 campaign on the road against No. 17/19 Lehigh. The Golden Eagles return 31 players (66% of the roster) from last year’s inaugural team which finished 5-8. This includes the three starting attackmen from a year ago: Tyler Melnyk (23g, 15a), Conor Gately (16g, 20a), and Bryan Badolato (15g, 11gb); along with starting goalie JJ Sagl (119 saves).

• Lehigh (1-0) is coming off a 12-5 season a year ago that included a Patriot League Championship and a NCAA tournament appearance where the Mountain Hawks fell to North Carolina 16-7 in the first round. Lehigh returns xx players from last year’s squad including: Dan Taylor (29g), Patrick Corbett (23g), and starting goalie Matt Poillon (152 saves).

• Marquette has played two preseason road scrimmages (at High Point and at Michigan) to prep for the regular season, while Lehigh opened the 2014 regular season with a 13-6 win at Furman last Saturday, Feb. 1.

• MU, which is familiar with opening the season away from home, will play its first seven games on the road to open its 2014 schedule (11 of the Golden Eagles’ 13 games in 2013 were away from Milwaukee, including the first eight game to start the season). Altogether, MU will be the visiting team in 18 of the first 20 games in program history. MU concludes the 2014 season with five of eight games at home to reverse the trend.

2013 Recap
• Marquette finished its inaugural 2013 regular season 5-8, notching the program’s first ever win in the second game against Air Force. The Golden Eagles finished 19th nationally in shooting rate and 18th in groundball margin. A record of 5-8 in an inaugural season was second best among BIG EAST competitors next to St. Johns who finished 8-4 in their first season in its program history.

First Season of BIG EAST Competition
• The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team will play its first season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference, joining Denver as the conference’s newcomers. The Golden     Eagles and Pioneers join St. John’s, Villanova, Rutgers, Georgetown, and Providence to make a seven-team conference with four teams ranked in the preseason top 20.

#14 Toughest Schedule According to Inside Lacrosse
• Inside Lacrosse’s 2014 Faceoff Yearbook ranked Marquette’s 2014 schedule as the 14th toughest in the nation. The Golden Eagles will face seven teams in the preseason top 20 according to both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll. The team will see matchups against 2013 national champion Duke and three BIG EAST members all in the preseason top 20.

Familiar Opponents in 2014
• The Golden Eagles will face eight teams they played a season ago. The rematches include: Ohio State, Jacksonville, Duke, Detroit, St. John’s, Notre Dame, Georgetown and Denver.

Smistad named 2014 Captain
• Redshirt senior midfielder and Calgary, Alberta, Canada native Andrew Smistad was named the sole captain of the 2014 Marquette men’s lacrosse team. He returns to this role from last year when he was named one of the three captains for the 2013 inaugural season.

MU Celebrates First Senior Class
• Marquette men’s lacrosse has its first senior class with seven seniors or redshirt seniors made up of: Bryan Badolato, Matt and Tyler Melnyk, Andrew Smistad, Jerry Nobile, Cullen Cassidy, and JJ Sagl.




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