No. 18/17 MLAX at Richmond on Sunday Afternoon
Feb. 19, 2015
MILWAUKEE - The No. 18/17 Marquette University men's lacrosse team takes its first national ranking in program history into a Sunday, Feb. 22 battle with Richmond at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium in Richmond, Virginia at 11 a.m. Central time.
The game will feature live statistics and streaming video, courtesy of RichmondSpiders.com.
The Golden Eagles (2-0) began the 2015 campaign with a pair of one-goal victories over nationally ranked foes, with the latest coming in an 11-10 win at then-No. 17-19 Hofstra on Saturday afternoon. Marquette trailed by four-goals well into the third quarter before mounting its comeback. Redshirt junior midfielder Kyle Whitlow scored four second half goals against the Pride and junior Blaine Fleming notched the go-ahead tally with 1:18 remaining.
Whitlow earned mention on the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll on Monday for his play in MU's first two games, while classmate B.J. Grill earned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career.
Richmond (2-0) is also receiving votes in both national polls after defeating Rutgers 15-7 on Feb. 14 at Robins Stadium. The Spiders, in their second season of NCAA Division I competition, fired 43 shots against the Scarlet Knights but won just 34.6 percent of the contest's faceoffs.
Leading scorer Mitch Goldberg notched a program-best five goals in the win, while sophomore goalie Benny Pugh turned away 11 Rutgers' shots. Pugh is the two-time reigning Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week and is averaging 13.0 saves per game and a .703 save percentage through the first two games of a five-game homestand to begin the season.
Last season, the Spiders won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship and became the first team to ever earn an NCAA tournament bid in its first year of competition.
Sunday's meeting is the only time in 2015 that the Golden Eagles will meet a first-time opponent.
Following Sunday's game, Marquette will face Detroit and Ohio State on Feb. 27 and March 1, respectively, in Louisville, Kentucky, in a pair of games hosted by Bellarmine.
GOLDEN EAGLES ENTER NATIONAL RANKINGS AFTER JUST 31 GAMES
After opening the 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.
GRILL AND WHITLOW EARN BIG EAST HONORS FOR MU'S 2-0 START
Redshirt juniors B.J. Grill and Kyle Whitlow earned recognition from the BIG EAST Conference on Feb. 16 for their play in victories at Lehigh and Hofstra. Grill was named the league's defensive player of the week for the second time in his career, while Whitlow was put on the conference's weekly honor roll. Grill led a Golden Eagles' defensive effort against the Pride that held Hofstra to just two goals in the final 23 minutes of play and, in his head-to-head matchup with Preseason CAA Player of the Year Sam Llinares, he limited the USILA All-American to just three points. Whitlow scored a career-high four goals, all of which came in the second half, in the win at Hostra and posted three points, including the game-winning tally, against the Mountain Hawks.
BYRNES CONTINUES TO PRODUCE IN A NUMBER OF WAYS
Long stick midfielder Liam Byrnes entered the season as Marquette's all-time leader in ground balls and has continued to produce for the Golden Eagles early in 2015 in a variety of ways. Byrnes has recorded a ground ball (116 total) in all but two of the 31 career games he has played for Marquette and is second on the squad this year with 10 through two contests. The redshirt junior scored his third career goal in the Feb. 14 win at No. 17/19 Hofstra on his native Long Island, and is currently seventh among active NCAA Division I long pole players with nine career points (3g, 6a). He also dropped back on defense against the Pride and his ground ball with under two minutes left, off a Tyler Gilligan caused turnover, gave MU possession for Blaine Fleming's game-winning goal with 1:18 remaining.
GRADUATE STUDENT Jordan Greenfield PACES NEW-LOOK ATTACK IN 2015
Through the first two games of 2015, the Golden Eagles are led in scoring by graduate student Jordan Greenfield, who has posted four goals and five assists against a pair of nationally ranked foes. The Dover, Massachusetts, native sits 18th in NCAA Division I with 4.50 points per contest and is 14th in assists per game (2.50). Greenfield's addition to the squad has helped ease the loss of almost 40 percent of MU's goal scoring from 2014, which departed with the graduation of 2014 USILA All-American Tyler Melnyk (36g) and Bryan Badolato (22g). Greenfield, potted 34 goals, including five game-winners, as Fairfield's leading scorer in 2013.
MARQUETTE 7-1 IN ONE-GOAL GAMES
Cornerstones of the Marquette program under head coach Joe Amplo have been mental and physical toughness and a focus on the present. Those values were on display in the first two games of the 2015 season, which allowed MU to emerge with a pair of one-goal victories, pushing its all-time record to 7-1 in such contests, including six straight one-goal wins dating back to March 29, 2014 at Rutgers.
SCRIPT FLIPS AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
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. Jordan Greenfield's five points (3g, 2a) led the way for MU.
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 freshman Owen 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.
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. In 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 will have 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 and are 10-15 all-time away from home.
MARQUETTE TEAMS WITH 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.
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 46 career goals, which is 13 shy of Tyler Melnyk's program record (59).
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 announced 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.
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 began 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 Preseason Poll in Ohio State, Villanova and St. John's. Georgetown and Richmond are also receiving votes in the second weekly poll.
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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