Joe Dunn has scored in all four games he has played this season.
March 16, 2016
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team will play its final non-conference game prior to the start of BIG EAST play on Saturday, March 19 in an 11 a.m. Central time contest at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut.
The Golden Eagles (4-1) are coming off a 13-5 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon in their second home game of the season, during which they pulled their all-time overall record to an even 25-25 (.500). Senior attackman Conor Gately posted his second hat trick in as many games in the victory, while junior Ryan McNamara slid up from his normal spot in the midfield into the attack and added four points on two goals and a pair of assists.
McNamara leads Marquette with 13 goals and 16 points on the year and Gately also has 16 points, coming on 11 goals and five assists.
The Bobcats (3-1) have won their previous three contests, including an 11-10 overtime victory at Hartford on Saturday afternoon. Senior midfielder Connor Meth scored with 2:23 remaining in overtime after QU rallied from a 7-3 halftime deficit. Goalie Jack Brust made 14 saves for the Bobcats in the win, including eight in the second half as they made their rally.
Senior attackman Brian Feldman has 10 goals in 2016 to lead Quinnipiac, which sits second among MAAC teams with 9.75 goals per game.
QU’s lone loss of the season came in the opener to the fifth-ranked team in the nation, Brown, on Feb. 20.
The game at the QU Lacrosse Turf Complex will feature live statistics and live, streaming video through QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Following the weekend on the East Coast, the Golden Eagles will return to Milwaukee on Tuesday afternoon to prepare for their BIG EAST lid-lifter on Saturday, March 26 against Georgetown on FS1.
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 63.9 percent through the first five games of 2016 and rank ninth nationally. 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 66 percent of the draws he has taken in 2016. The Warren, New Jersey native leads the Golden Eagles with 27 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 13 goals in the first five games.
- Dating back to April of last season, McNamara has scored 23 goals over his last 11 contests (2.09 goals/game) and has accrued 34 points over that same stretch (3.09 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).
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). Through five games this season he has tied or bettered MU single-game records in both caused turnovers (5 vs. Detroit) and ground balls (9 vs. Robert Morris)
WHITLOW’S PRODUCTION WILL BE MISSED
- Midfielder Kyle Whitlow suffered a season-ending knee injury on Tuesday, March 8 at practice and will miss the remainder of his redshirt senior campaign. The two-time All-BIG EAST selection started all 49 games of his Marquette career and the Golden Eagles had never taken the field without him in the lineup until March 12 against Robert Morris. 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, 2015 at Providence to take sole possession of first place in Marquette history, surpassing Tyler Melnyk’s previous record of 59 tallies.
LINEUP CHANGES A RESULT OF WHITLOW’S INJURY
- With Whitlow out of the lineup for the first time in program history against Robert Morris on March 12, head coach Joe Amplo used the opportunity to shake up his starters. Amplo slid leading scorer Ryan McNamara from the midfield into the attack unit with Conor Gately and Joseph Dunn. Blaine Fleming and Tanner Thomson each made their first starts of the year alongside Andy DeMichiei in the midfield, in place of McNamara and Whitlow. Fleming and Thomson each scored their first goals of the season against the Colonials, including the first two of his career for Thomson. Senior Brett Hornung also saw time on MU’s specialty unit, scoring his first career goal in the second quarter on an EMO.
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.
- Gately, a Marquette legacy, holds the MU record with 122 points on 69 goals and 53 assists. With one more goal he will tie teammate Kyle Whitlow for the Marquette program record of 70 career goals.
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.