Free MU Lacrosse long-sleeve shirt to first 150 students
Feb. 18, 2016
The Last Meeting
March 31, 2015
No. 13/12 Marquette Falls at Bellarmine, 9-3
The No. 13/12 Marquette University men's lacrosse team dropped its first non-conference game of the season on Tuesday afternoon to Bellarmine, 9-3, at Owsley B. Frazier in Louisville, Kentucky.
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team is set to begin its fourth season of competition on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Valley Fields against Bellarmine at 1 p.m. Central time.
Saturday’s contest is the first home game in program history in the Menomonee Valley for the Golden Eagles, who have called Hart Park in Wauwatosa home since the program’s inception.
Marquette enters the 2016 regular season following preseason scrimmages against Michigan, High Point and Cornell and looks to build on a record-setting 2015 campaign. The Golden Eagles are led by the only head coach in program history, Joe Amplo, while a quartet of senior All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selections pace the squad on the field.
Attackman Conor Gately and midfielder Kyle Whitlow lead an MU offense that returns 77 percent of its goal scoring from last season, while B.J. Grill and the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year Liam Byrnes lead the defensive unit.
Bellarmine is already 1-0 on the season after an 11-10 defeat of Robert Morris last weekend in Louisville. The Knights jumped out to a 10-0 lead in that contest and goalkeeper Chase Rose had eight saves to fend off a Robert Morris second half comeback. Dylan Gatt and Jack Perkins led the Knights with three goals each.
Bellarmine’s Bobby Schmitt was honored on Monday as the Southern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week after scoring two goals, picking up six ground balls and causing a pair of turnovers against RMU. He and Byrnes were generally regarded as two of the best long stick midfielders in the country last season.
The Golden Eagles are 1-2 all-time against the Knights and have lost each of the last two matchups, including a 9-3 decision last year in Kentucky. MU trailed Bellarmine 4-1 at the half in 2015 and although Gately pulled Marquette to within one, 4-3, late in the third quarter, BU scored five fourth-quarter goals for the victory.
Live statistics for Saturday’s game will be available on GameTracker through GoMarquette.com.
INSIDE LACROSSE PEGS MARQUETTE 16TH
For the first time in program history, the Marquette University men’s lacrosse program earned a spot in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Top 20, checking in at No. 16 in the publication’s annual preseason ranking. The Golden Eagles are the second-ranked team in the BIG EAST Conference, behind defending NCAA Champion Denver, which sits second in the poll to preseason No. 1 Notre Dame. Conference foes Villanova and Georgetown sit at Nos. 17 and 18, respectively, meaning the six-team league has four members ranked in the top 18 of the preseason poll. In total, Marquette will face six teams ranked by the yearbook during the 2016 campaign, including the preseason top three teams in Notre Dame, Denver and Duke.
BYRNES AND GRILL ARE PRESEASON THIRD TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Graduate students Liam Byrnes and B.J. Grill were named to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America Third Team, becoming the first MU players ever honored with preseason all-America accolades. Grill is a two-time All-BIG EAST Conference First Team selection on defense and, along with Byrnes, will play his final season of eligibility in 2016 while pursuing a master's degree from Marquette's Graduate School of Management.
BYRNES, GATELY, GRILL & WHITLOW ON ALL-BIG EAST PRESEASON TEAM
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. Byrnes, Grill and Whitlow were All-BIG EAST First Team selections last season and Gately was named to the second team. 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.
MARQUETTE’S ROSTER FEATURES NATION’S LARGEST SENIOR CLASS
This year’s roster features a 19-player senior class that is the largest in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse. The group includes five players who arrived on campus during the fall of 2011 and did not play in any games during their first year as the Golden Eagles only practiced. Liam Byrnes and B.J. Grill have already received their bachelor’s degrees in that group, while Kyle Whitlow, Tyler Gilligan and Dan Mojica will graduate in May with MU’s other four-year players.
GOLDEN EAGLES VALUED POSSESSION IN 2015
With eight of Marquette’s 10 victories last season coming by either one or two goals, the value placed on each possession was of utmost importance. Fortunately the Golden Eagles turned the ball over just 11.3 times per game in 2015, ranking as the third-lowest total in NCAA Division I. MU had a season-low seven giveaways against St. John’s on April 4 and had fewer turnovers than its opponent in all but two games.
MARQUETTE 10-2 IN ONE-GOAL GAMES
The Golden Eagles’ 9-8 victory at Villanova on March 28, 2015 was their fifth one-goal victory last year and the 10th in their three seasons of competition. The squad’s 10-9 loss at Georgetown the week prior was the program’s only one-goal defeat last year and the first since March 8, 2014 at Jacksonville. The Golden Eagles captured four one-goal victories in the first five games of 2015 and won eight straight one-goal contests until the loss to the Hoyas. In addition to being 10-2 all-time in games decided by one goal, MU is also 4-0 all-time in overtime games as a program.
WHITLOW AND GATELY’S PRODUCTION PUSHES MARQUETTE
Midfielder Kyle Whitlow and attackman Conor Gately have each been consistent contributors to the Marquette lineup since MU’s first season in 2013 and rank as the Golden Eagles all-time scoring leaders. Both players are unanimous preseason all-conference selections and were both all-league choices in 2015. Whitlow’s 65 career goals place him first in Marquette history, while his 87 points are third to Gately and Tyler Melnyk (89 points). The Orillia, Ontario native scored his 60th career goal on April 11 at Providence to take sole possession of first place in Marquette history, surpassing Melnyk’s previous record of 59 tallies. Gately, a Marquette legacy, holds the MU record with 106 points on 58 goals and 48 assists.
TRIO SELECTED IN 2016 MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE COLLEGIATE DRAFT
Liam Byrnes, Jacob Richard and B.J. Grill became the first Major League Lacrosse draft picks in Marquette history when they were selected on Friday, Jan. 22 in the 2016 MLL Collegiate Draft in Baltimore. All three players are team co-captains and have competed in every game Marquette has ever played. Byrnes became the first MU student-athlete picked when the Florida Launch selected him in the third round with the 21st overall choice. Richard (NY Lizards) and Grill (Denver Outlaws) were chosen in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively.
BYRNES CONTINUES TO PRODUCE IN A NUMBER OF WAYS
Liam Byrnes, the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year, was the BIG EAST’s unanimous selection at long stick midfielder last season and has returned to his role as a close defenseman in 2016. Byrnes has recorded a ground ball (158 total) in all but four of the 45 career games he has played for Marquette and had a team-high 52 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers in 2015. He is MU’s all-time leader in ground balls and caused turnovers and has seen action in every game Marquette has ever played.
The graduate student scored a career-best four goals in 2015 and sits in the top 10 among active NCAA Division I long pole players with 14 career points (6g, 8a). In his only starting assignment of 2015 on defense versus Ohio State, he was tasked with shutting down reigning-Big Ten Player of the Week Jesse King, who torched MU for four goals and six points in their 2014 meeting. Byrnes allowed just a pair of even strength points to the Canadian and did not allow King to record a point over the final 43:17 of regulation.
GOLDEN EAGLES ENTERED NATIONAL RANKINGS AFTER JUST 31 GAMES
After opening the 2015 season with consecutive wins over ranked opponents, MU entered both national polls for the first time in program history on Monday, Feb. 16, checking in at No. 17 in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and No. 18 in the USILA Coaches' Poll. Just over two years and a total of 31 games into team history, the Golden Eagles are believed to be the quickest squad to enter the NCAA Division I media poll following the team’s inception. MU continued its climb as its record remained unblemished with seven wins to begin the season, eventually reaching No. 9 in the media poll on Monday, March 16.
GOLDEN EAGLES ARE SEASONED ROAD WARRIORS
Marquette will be in a bit of unfamiliar territory this spring with five of its 13 regular season games at home after playing at least 11 games away from home in each of its first three seasons. It has opened regular season action with stretches of nine (2013), seven (2014) and 10 games (2015) on the road, and has played over 80 percent of their contests in program history on the road and are 17-18 all-time away from home. Marquette is also playing contests at Valley Fields on campus this season for the first time ever.
MU TEAMS W/ZABLOCKI VA MEDICAL CENTER TO COACH MILWAUKEE EAGLES
Head coach Joe Amplo and the Golden Eagles have teamed with the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and Marquette’s PT Adaptive Ability Club to coach the Milwaukee Eagles, one of six wheelchair lacrosse teams in the United States. The team features paralyzed American veterans, which MU will coach on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Marquette Gym on campus. The team is organized by Dr. Kenneth Lee, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, who works with the Spinal Cord Injury Center at the VA hospital.
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 announced last spring 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 Aurora Health Care and 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. It was announced in January that Aurora Health Care will provide $40 million in capital investment to the start of the $120 million project.