Brett Hornung made his first career start in his native Ohio on Sunday against Detroit.
March 10, 2016
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team will host Robert Morris on Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m. in the first meeting between the two programs at Valley Fields.
The Golden Eagles (3-1) are receiving votes in both national polls after a 1-1 weekend at the Midwest Lacrosse Classic in which they fell to Ohio State, 12-8, on Friday evening before a 10-8 win over Detroit on Sunday.
Marquette pulled within a goal early in the fourth quarter against the Buckeyes, but could not get any closer as OSU scored four of the final five goals in the contest, which was MU’s third loss in four games all-time against Ohio State.
The Golden Eagles also trailed in the fourth quarter against the Titans, but the senior leadership of Conor Gately and Kyle Whitlow allowed MU to come away with a narrow 10-8 victory. Gately scored the game-tying goal with 3:56 to play and Whitlow’s game winner came exactly one minute later.
Marquette’s win over UDM was also due in large part to its faceoff unit, which combined to win 19-of-20 faceoffs, including the first 19 of the game.
The Golden Eagles are led this season by 12 points from junior midfielder Ryan McNamara (11 goals, 1 assist), while Gately has produced 11 points on eight goals and three assists.
Robert Morris (2-4) overcame six-straight goals from Mercer at one point in Tuesday’s contest, for an 11-10 overtime victory in Macon, Georgia. Sophomore attackman Adrian Torok-Orban tallied this third hat trick in as many games to lead the Colonials, who scored four consecutive goals to start the fourth quarter and build a 10-9 lead. The Bears managed to tie things 10-10 with 59 seconds remaining before RMU closed out the contest with 1:47 left in overtime.
Live statistics for this weekend will be available through GameTracker on GoMarquette.com and the first 200 MU students in attendance at Valley Fields will receive a pair of Marquette Lacrosse tech gloves. Free shuttles for fans will run every 10 minutes from the Union Sports Annex (NE corner of N. 16 Street and W. Wells Street) to the Valley beginning at noon.
FACEOFF UNIT MUCH IMPROVED IN 2016
- After winning just 43 percent of their faceoffs during the first three seasons of NCAA Division I competition, the Golden Eagles sit at 60 percent through the first four games of 2016 and rank in the 80th percentile nationally (13 of 68 teams). That improvement was highlighted in the March 6 victory over Detroit, in which MU won 95 percent (19-of-20) of the game’s faceoffs, including the first 19 of the game. Sophomore transfer Zachary Melillo was named to the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll on March 7 after going 18-for-19 at the X against the Titans and Marquette has won 62 percent of the draws he has taken in 2016. The Warren, New Jersey native leads the Golden Eagles with 23 ground balls this season and has had significant help on the wings from short sticks Jacob Richard, Griffin Connor and Noah Joseph, as well as long stick midfielders Tyler Gilligan and Brendon Connolly.
DOMINANT DEFENSIVE EFFORT FUELS VICTORY AT RICHMOND
- The Golden Eagles made a statement defensively in Saturday’s victory at Richmond by allowing just two goals and shutting the UR offense down for scoreless stretches of 36:45 and 22:23. The Spiders’ two goals are the fewest they have ever scored as well as the lowest total MU has ever allowed in program history. The Golden Eagles were able to shut down Richmond leading-scorer Mitch Goldberg, not conceding a point to the junior for the first time in 27 games. Goalie Jimmy Danaher made nine timely saves in net for Marquette, while B.J. Grill tied a career-high with five ground balls and Nicholas Eufrasio picked up four in his first start of the year on defense.
McNAMARA LOOKS TO MAKE HIS MARK IN 2016
- Junior midfielder Ryan McNamara was named to the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll for the second time in his career on Monday, Feb. 22 after tying a career high with four goals in the season-opening victory over Bellarmine (he also had four against Ohio State on March 4). McNamara was third on the squad in scoring last season with 23 goals and 13 assists and has started in the midfield in every game of his collegiate career. He leads MU this year with 11 goals in the first four games.
- Dating back to April of last season, McNamara has scored 21 goals over his last 10 contests (2.10 goals/game) and has accrued 30 points over that same stretch (3.00 points/game). Those last eight games included matchups with then-No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 5 Denver (1g, 3a), No. 6 Duke (2g, 1a) and No. 12 Georgetown (1g, 1a).
A PAIR OF NATIONAL TELEVISION BROADCASTS ON THE SCHEDULE
- The Golden Eagles will be featured on a pair of national television broadcasts again this season after appearing twice last season for the first time in program history. Marquette’s March 26 showdown with Georgetown in Milwaukee will appear on FS1, while its game at reigning-NCAA Champion, Denver, will appear on CBS Sports Network on April 30. Both contests figure to play significantly into the BIG EAST Conference and NCAA postseason picture, where MU will try to make its mark in 2016. The Golden Eagles have never beaten Denver and fell to Georgetown twice last season, including in the BIG EAST semifinal. MU’s contest against the Pioneers last year was shown on CBSSN, while its HEADstrong Foundation game against Duke, which drew almost 5,000 fans to Hart Park, was also broadcast.
GATELY AGAIN ON TEWAARATON AWARD WATCH LIST
- Senior attackman Conor Gately was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List for the second time in his career in 2016. The watch list of 50 men’s student-athletes will be cut down to 25 on April 28 and five finalists for the award will be announced on May 12. The Tewaaraton Award, presented by Under Armour, is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award. The award selection committees are made up of premier collegiate coaches and are appointed by The Tewaaraton Foundation.
GRILL IS A 2016 SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
- B.J. Grill became the first MU men’s lacrosse player to be named a Senior CLASS Award candidate when it was announced that he was one of 20 candidates for the prestigious award on Feb. 16. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Grill is a two-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection on defense and a 2016 Inside Lacrosse Preseason Faceoff Yearbook Third Team All-American. The two-time team captain and Major League Lacrosse draft pick graduated in May of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently pursuing an MBA in Marquette’s Graduate School of Management.
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. Marquette returns a total of eight starters and 35 letter winners from last year’s 10-win squad.
All HOME GAMES AT VALLEY FIELDS; NEW WORLD CLASS INDOOR FACILITY TO HOUSE MU LACROSSE
- For the first time in program history, the Golden Eagles will play all five home games in Milwaukee at Valley Fields in the Menomonee River Valley, where they have practiced since their inception in 2011. Marquette is making the move in towards campus from Hart Park in Wauwatosa, where it had played during its first three seasons.
- 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.
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.
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 in 2015 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 70 career goals place him first in Marquette history, while his 94 points are second to Gately. 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 Tyler Melnyk’s previous record of 59 tallies. Gately, a Marquette legacy, holds the MU record with 117 points on 66 goals and 51 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 (166 total) in all but four of the 49 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 has 14 career points (6g, 8a).
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 19-19 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.