Lacrosse heads to Robert Morris on Saturday

March 7, 2017

2017 Marquette Men's Lacrosse - Game 5
Marquette (2-2) at Robert Morris (4-2)
Date Saturday, March 11 | 11 a.m. CT
Location Joe Walton Stadium | Moon Twp., Pa.
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MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team heads to Moon Township, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 11 to take on Robert Morris at Joe Walton Stadium in a game now slated for 11 a.m. Central time.

The Last Meeting
Robert Morris5
Marquette13
March 12, 2016
Valley Fields
Marquette Bests Robert Morris, 13-5
Playing its first game in program history without the services of redshirt senior midfielder Kyle Whitlow, the Marquette University men's lacrosse team topped Robert Morris, 13-5, on Saturday afternoon at Valley Fields.

Live statistics will be provided through RMUColonials.com, while live video will be streamed courtesy of NEC Front Row.

The Golden Eagles (2-2) are coming off a 1-1 weekend in the Midwest Lacrosse Classic with a 12-6 loss to Ohio State on Friday and an 8-6 victory over Detroit Mercy on Sunday in the event’s finale.

Junior goalie Cole Blazer made a combined 31 saves in the two games to earn BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after setting the MU program record with 18 saves against the Buckeyes. He currently sports a BIG EAST-best 13.25 saves per game average, which ranks fourth nationally, and his .663 save percentage is the best for any BIG EAST player who has faced at least five shots on goal.

Fellow junior Tanner Thomson notched a hat trick against OSU and is tied with Pittsburgh-native Andy DeMichiei for the MU team lead with four goals on the season.

It was in last season’s meeting on March 12 at Valley Fields that Thomson made his first start in the midfield and scored the first two goal of his career. Then-junior Ryan McNamara and classmate Joe Dunn also scored twice in that game as Marquette won 17-of-22 face-offs on its way to a 13-5 victory. RMU’s Adrian Torok-Orban posted a pair of goals in that game and is currently in the midst of a 21-game point streak dating back to April 25, 2015.

The Colonials (4-2), are receiving votes in the USILA/Nike Coaches Poll for the first time since 2012 and have victories over Bellarmine, Detroit Mercy, High Point and Manhattan this season. They also dropped their season opener at then-No. 15 Penn State and fell in their last game on Wednesday afternoon at Georgetown, 12-7. Torok-Orban leads a squad that averages 11.67 goals per game with 12 goals on the year.

Following the game against the Colonials, Marquette will have a bye week before beginning BIG EAST play on Saturday, March 25 at Georgetown.

BLAZER SECURES THE CREASE

• Goalie Cole Blazer has continued his solid play in net into his first full campaign as MU’s starter in 2017. As of March 7, the junior sits fourth in NCAA Division I with 13.25 saves per game and holds a save percentage of .663 with a goals against average of just over seven. He has already earned a pair of BIG EAST Conference weekly accolades during MU’s first three weeks of competition in 2017 and was the league’s defensive player of the week on March 6 after notching a new program record with 18 saves against Ohio State on March 3.

• Blazer, a mechanical engineering major, is the closest thing to a local player on the Marquette roster, hailing from Libertyville, Illinois, which sits 55 miles to the south of Milwaukee down I-94 just across the Wisconsin-Illinois border. No player for the Golden Eagles in program history has ever grown up closer to the Milwaukee campus.

• Blazer started the final nine games of 2016 for Marquette and earned All-BIG EAST Second Team and All-BIG EAST Championship Team accolades. The then-sophomore made quite the impression in his first career start as the Golden Eagles shut down a high-scoring Villanova offense that entered the game second in the nation in scoring. He made 13 saves against the Wildcats and held the VU offense to a season-low three goals, while recording a .813 save percentage on his way to NCAA national player of the week honors.

MCNAMARA’S RECORD-SETTING OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION FUELS MU

• MU’s lone All-BIG EAST Preseason Team honoree Ryan McNamara propelled the Golden Eagles into the 2016 postseason by breaking the Marquette single-season and career goal scoring records while earning USILA All-America recognition. McNamara became the second MU player to reach 100 career points in last year’s regular season finale and passed Conor Gately’s career goal mark in the process. He also broke Tyler Melnyk’s single season goal and point standards with 40 and 57, respectively. A few of his rankings in MU history:

83 career goals (first)

125 career points (second)

42 career assists (second)

334 shots (first)

• The Eagan, Minnesota native became the second player in MU history to be named to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, the top individual honor in collegiate lacrosse. McNamara joins former teammate Conor Gately as Tewaaraton Award Watch List honorees.

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*

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.


 

 

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