Colin Riehl and the Marquette defense will look to slow down a Richmond offense that scored twice on them in 2016 (photo: Brice York).
Feb. 23, 2017
MILWAUKEE -- The No. 19/16 Marquette University men's lacrosse team travels to the East Coast to take on No. 15/14 Richmond on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. Central time in Richmond, Virginia at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium.
The game was originally slated for 12 p.m. CT, but has been moved up two hours to 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. local) due to impending severe weather in the area.
The contest can be viewed on SpiderTV, through RichmondSpiders.com as can live statistics, both of which will be linked on Marquette's athletic website, GoMarquette.com.
The Golden Eagles (1-0) are coming off a 17-1 win in their season opener at Jacksonville on Feb. 18 in which they set program records for most goals scored and fewest allowed. All-American Ryan McNamara notched three assists to lead an offense that had 14 players score goals, including eight individuals with their first career tallies. Freshman Dylan Dobrosky tied McNamara for the team points lead with a pair of goals and an assist, while junior goalie Cole Blazer recorded seven saves in 45 scoreless minutes between the pipes.
Richmond (3-0) held on for a 10-7 win at Mount St. Mary's in their last contest on Tuesday afternoon after entering the fourth quarter knotted at five goals apiece. Sophomore Ryan Lee leads the squad with 10 goals in the young season and has notched at least a hat trick in every game. Classmate Teddy Hatfield has a team-high 14 points on eight goals and six assists, while 6-foot-4 senior Benny Pugh mans the net.
"Those guys have had this game circled on their calendar for a year, as have I," Marquette head coach Joe Amplo said. "They are going to present a tremendous test for us. This is going to be a great measuring stick for the character of this team. How hard we compete. How much better we improve from an execution standpoint from last week to this week. How focused we are on winning."
The top-20 matchup marks the third meeting between the two squads in a series that has experienced a pair of entertaining games. Marquette claimed the first meeting in overtime, 11-10, in 2015 behind Jordan Greenfield's then-program record six goals, and downed the Spiders, 7-2, at Robins Stadium last season.
In that game, MU held UR scoreless for the first 36:45 of the game and was paced offensively by a pair of goals from both McNamara and then-freshman John Wagner. Dan Ginestro scored both of Richmond's goals in the second half, while Pugh made 11 saves on 23 Marquette shots.
"At the end of the day I truly think that Richmond is a better team than us on paper," Amplo said. "All of their guys are back and they've certainly been in enough big games and had success. They've had signature wins and played in big moments. You look at that them and you would say that this is the year that they could have a really good season. They are us, and we are them. Two tough teams trying to grind it out and prove ourselves against the best in the country. This is going to be a great game. This is going to be a fun game to be in, and win or lose, I just want to continue to improve and get better."
Following Saturday's game, the Golden Eagles return to Milwaukee to host the Midwest Lacrosse Classic, featuring MU, Ohio State, Detroit and Bellarmine, at Valley Fields on Friday, March 3 and Sunday, March 5. Marquette takes on the Buckeyes at 7 p.m. on March 3 and Detroit on March 5 at 3 p.m.
DEFENSE ADJUSTS TO NEW LEADERSHIP
• One of the main tasks for head coach Joe Amplo with the 2017 squad is maintaining a defense that has to replace three USILA All-Americans (Liam Byrnes, B.J. Grill and Jacob Richard) from Marquette's top defensive unit of a year ago. The Golden Eagles boasted one of the NCAA's stoutest defenses in 2016, surrendering just 8.13 goals per contest (eighth in NCAA Division I), but return just one starter at defenseman in senior Nick Eufrasio along with goalie Cole Blazer.
2016 Top Defensive Unit (^ - USILA All-American):
LSM -- Tyler Gilligan
SSDM -- Jacob Richard^
D -- Liam Byrnes^, B.J. Grill^, Nicholas Eufrasio
G -- Cole Blazer
2017 Top Defensive Unit (* - returning starter):
LSM -- Noah Richard
SSDM -- Griffin Connor
D -- Jackson Ehlert, Nick Grill, Nicholas Eufrasio*
G -- Cole Blazer*
PERFECT IN FEBRUARY SINCE 2015
• The year's shortest month has provided the Golden Eagles with an unblemished 7-0 record over the previous three seasons dating back to the start of the 2015 campaign. MU began that 2015 season with four wins in the month of February, including a pair of wins over ranked opponents in Lehigh and Hofstra, added another two in 2016 and one in this year's lid-lifter on Feb. 18 at Jacksonville. In total, Marquette is 8-3 in February in program history.
DEPTH ON DISPLAY IN RECORD-BREAKING SEASON OPENER
• Marquette's dominant 17-1 season-opening victory at Jacksonville featured 14 different goal scorers, including eight players registering their first career tallies. MU head coach Joe Amplo pulled most of his starters after taking an 11-0 lead through three quarters of action to allow his younger players to get extended time. The Golden Eagles outscored JU, 6-1, in the fourth quarter, led by a pair of goals from freshman Dylan Dobrosky in his first career game.
• The win over the Dolphins also set new program records for goals scored (17) and fewest allowed (1) in a single contest. The goals scored record surpassed the previous total of 15 from March 15, 2014 against Detroit, while the previous goals allowed record was set at Richmond in a 7-2 win on Feb. 27, 2016.
The Last Meeting
February 27, 2016