Men's Lax Takes on No. 17/19 Hofstra on Saturday
Feb. 12, 2015
MILWAUKEE - Fresh off a season-opening win at No. 18/16 Lehigh, the Marquette University men's lacrosse team looks to push its record to 2-0 with another large early-season test at No. 17/19 Hofstra on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. The contest will be streamed live through GoHofstra.com from James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York.
The Golden Eagles (1-0) began the year with their first victory in program history over a ranked opponent on Feb. 7 after rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Lehigh, 10-9. MU graduate attackman Jordan Greenfield tied Lehigh's Dan Taylor for the game-high with five points on a hat trick and two assists, while Jimmy Danaher made 10 saves between the pipes in the winning effort.
Saturday's game on Long Island will mark the return to the site of an 11-9 Marquette victory over the Pride in last year's meeting on Feb. 15. Midfielder Kyle Whitlow and the since-graduated Tyler Melnyk notched hat tricks for the Golden Eagles last season, while Ryan McNamara and Conor Gately each also scored in the win. Hofstra's Sam Llinares, a 2014 USILA All-America Honorable Mention, posted a game-high six points for the Pride with three goals and three assists.
"We're going to play a very good team at Hofstra on Saturday, a motivated team, and I think our guys are confident that they're going to be able to give it their best shot," Marquette head coach and Hofstra alumnus Joe Amplo said. "I do think that we have enough upperclassmen and leadership in this group that they're confident that we have something pretty good going here. I told our guys that we are going to get the angriest, most motivated team that we have ever faced."
Llinares is the only returning starter on the attack for the Pride, which returns 26 players and five starters in 2015. Llinares tallied 21 goals and 32 assists (10th in the nation) as a sophomore in 2014 to become the first Hofstra player since 2010 to surpass 50 points in a single campaign.
Hofstra is coming off an 11-5 season after winning the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title and making an appearance in the 2014 CAA Championship game.
Head coach Seth Tierney enters his ninth season with the Pride and has accumulated 73 wins, three CAA regular season titles and four NCAA Championship appearances.
Amplo coached under Tierney from 2007-11 at Hofstra and was a member of 11 NCAA tournament teams in Hempstead as both a player and coach. He saw action in 58 games in his collegiate career and notched 91 ground balls.
Following Saturday's matchup, the Golden Eagles will face their only first-time opponent of the 2015 regular season with a Sunday, Feb. 22 game at Richmond.
WIN OVER NO. 18/16 LEHIGH CAPS A DAY OF FIRSTS
The Golden Eagles held on for a 10-9 win at No. 18/16 Lehigh on Feb. 7 in their season opener to mark the first win over a nationally ranked program in team history. The victory is also their first in a campaign lidlifter and the first time ever that the squad has been over .500 in any season.
NEWCOMERS PROVIDE INSTANT IMPACT IN SEASON OPENER
Attackman Jordan Greenfield and faceoff specialist Owen Weselak made their presence felt in their first games in Blue and Gold at Lehigh. Greenfield, a graduate transfer from Fairfield, paced the Golden Eagles with a hat trick on six shots and a pair of helpers, while Weselak's work in the faceoff X provided MU the momentum it needed to hold off the Mountain Hawks. Weselak, a freshman from San Diego, was able to win nine-of-15 faceoffs, while classmate Tanner Thomson also saw his first action as a reserve midfielder.
SCRIPT FLIPS AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
Marquette opened the season against a ranked Lehigh team for the second year in a row, but a number of statistical improvements allowed the Golden Eagles to emerge victorious this time around. Led by Weselak's nine wins in the X, MU won 52.2 percent (12-of-23) of the game's faceoffs after winning just four-of-22 (18 percent) in 2014. The Golden Eagles also improved in the ground ball battle, picking up 27 to Lehigh's 30 after getting beat 2-to-1 (36-18) in 2014.
BYRNES CONTINUES TO RACK UP GROUND BALLS
Long stick midfielder Liam Byrnes entered the season as Marquette's all-time leader in ground balls with 106 and added to that total with a game-high six in the season opener. The redshirt junior has averaged 3.73 ground balls per contest in 30 career games and his support on faceoffs with the recent rules change is expected to help MU gain possession in 2015. Byrnes has recorded a ground ball in all but two games he has played for Marquette.
GOLDEN EAGLES ARE SEASONED ROAD WARRIORS
Marquette opens its third season of competition with the first 10 games away from home and 12 of its 15 games overall on the road. By the time the Golden Eagles host their first home game at Hart Park on April 4, they will have traveled almost 12,000 miles in regular season competition and been in through 11 states and the District of Columbia. It total, MU will log over 14,000 miles during the course of the regular season (almost 17,000 including preseason), through 13 states and Washington, D.C.
MU has played at least 11 games away from home in each of its first three seasons and has opened regular season action with stretches of nine (2013), seven (2014) and 10 games (2015) on the road. The Golden Eagles have played over 75 percent of their contests in program history on the road are 8-14 all-time with identical 4-7 records in 2013 and 2014.
BYRNES, GRILL & WHITLOW NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST
Returning all-conference performers Liam Byrnes, B.J. Grill and Kyle Whitlow were named to the 2015 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. Grill and Byrnes were both selected unanimously, and Byrnes was the only long stick midfielder named. Last year, Grill became the first player in program history to earn unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team honors, while Byrnes, Marquette's career leader in ground balls and caused turnovers, garnered second team accolades. Whitlow was also named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team in 2014 and was one of two players to start all 16 games for the Golden Eagles. The redshirt junior ranks second all-time and first among active MU players with 42 career goals, which is 17 shy of Tyler Melnyk's program record.
GOLDEN EAGLES PEGGED FOURTH IN BIG EAST COACHES' POLL
Marquette was picked to finish fourth in the 2015 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll after a second-place regular season finish as a new league member in 2014. Just a pair of points separated the second and fourth-place teams in the poll as Georgetown (18 points), Villanova (17) and Marquette (16) followed unanimous preseason No. 1 Denver. The Golden Eagles were the only squad other than the Pioneers to receive a first-place vote, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or players.
NEW WORLD CLASS INDOOR FACILITY TO HOUSE MU LACROSSE
A new indoor athletic performance center, which will combine indoor playing fields for Marquette's lacrosse and soccer programs, an indoor track, and a world-class athletic performance research facility was annouced on Jan. 29 by MU President Dr. Michael R. Lovell. The facility will be located on the 800 block of Michigan Street and is expected to house offices and locker rooms for MU lacrosse. Through a strategic partnership with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, cutting-edge faculty and student research in sports performance, medicine, nutrition and rehabilitation will enhance the performance of Marquette student-athletes and professional athletes worldwide.
MARQUETTE WITH NEW-LOOK ATTACK IN 2015
As almost 40 percent of MU's goal scoring departed with the graduation of 2014 USILA All-American Tyler Melnyk (36g) and Bryan Badolato (22g), the Golden Eagles will turn to new and returning faces to help on the attack. One of those newcomers, Fairfield-transfer Jordan Greenfield, potted 34 goals, including five game-winners, as the Stags' leading scorer in 2013. In addition to returning starter Conor Gately (17g, 14a), sophomore Kyran Clarke also starts alongside Greenfield up front. Greenfield led the Golden Eagles with five points in the 2015 lidlifter at Lehigh, while Gately (1g, 2a) and Clarke (2a) each had multi-point days.
CBS SPORTS NETWORK TO TELEVISE FINAL TWO HOME GAMES
The Golden Eagles will play two home games in front of a national television audience in their final contests of the regular season when preseason No. 3 Duke and No. 1 Denver roll into Milwaukee. Marquette will host the Blue Devils on Saturday, April 18 in a 1 p.m. Central time matchup (originally noon) and the Pioneers on Saturday, April 25 in the BIG EAST regular season finale.
GOLDEN EAGLES FACE TOUGH SLATE IN 2015
Marquette will face five teams ranked in both preseason polls during its third season of competition, including No. 1 Denver, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Duke all in the month of April. The Golden Eagles begin the 2015 campaign at No. 18/16 Lehigh and No. 17/19 Hofstra in the first two weeks of the season and will also face three teams receiving votes in the USILA Poll in Ohio State, Villanova and St. John's.
NATION'S TOP ATTACKERS GRILL-ED IN 2014
Marquette defenseman B.J. Grill provided shutdown defense on some of the nation's top attackmen in 2014 as the BIG EAST's lone unanimous first team all-conference selection did not allow a goal to USILA Second Team All-Americans Kieran McArdle (40g) of St. John's and Notre Dame's Matt Kavanaugh (42g). His work against McArdle allowed the Golden Eagles to pull out an 11-10 OT victory against the Red Storm in Queens, New York on April 6.
MARQUETTE SIGNS TWO 2015 SENIORS TO NLIs
A pair of current high school seniors signed National Letters of Intent in November and will suit up for the Golden Eagles in the spring of 2016:
- John Wagner (A, St. David's Ontario/Cranbrook (Mich.))
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