No. 11/9 MLax Opens BIG EAST Play in Washington, D.C.
March 19, 2015
MILWAUKEE - Just one of three remaining unbeatens in NCAA Division I, the No. 11/9 Marquette University men's lacrosse team begins its second season of BIG EAST Conference play on Saturday, March 21 against Georgetown at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C.
The contest is slated to begin at 11 a.m. Central time on Georgetown's campus and will feature live statistics and a paid video stream through GUHoyas.com.
The Golden Eagles (7-0) entered the top 10 of the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll for the first time in program history on Monday, March 9 and moved up to No. 9 in this week's edition of the poll. Marquette entered its bye week with wins at Jacksonville (12-10) and Mercer (14-6) and was led by sophomore midfielder Ryan McNamara, who was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on March 10 after his career-best four goal performance led MU past the Dolphins on March 6.
The Hoyas, who are receiving votes in both the coaches and media polls, held on for an impressive 13-12 victory at No. 14/14 Loyola Maryland on Wednesday evening in Baltimore. Senior attackman Bo Stafford tallied a game-high six points on four goals and two assists, while freshman goalie Nick Marrocco made 12 saves in net.
All three of GU's losses this season have come to ranked foes as the Hoyas have dropped a pair of two-goal decisions to top-five opponents in Notre Dame and Duke and own a 9-6 loss to then-No. 16/14 Towson on Feb. 22.
McNamara's heroics in last season's matchup with the Hoyas allowed the Golden Eagles to escape with an 11-10 overtime victory at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on Saturday, April 19. Marquette used an 8-1 second-half run after trailing by six goals to pick up its fourth-straight BIG EAST win in that contest. Since-graduated attackmen Tyler Melnyk (four goals) and Bryan Badolato (three goals) paced the MU offense against the Hoyas, while Stafford added a hat trick of his own for Georgetown.
The Hoyas are led by third-year head coach Kevin Warne, a former teammate, classmate and roommate of Marquette head coach Joe Amplo at Hofstra University. Each was an All-America East performer at Hofstra and led the squad to an NCAA quarterfinal appearance during their senior season in 1999.
Following Saturday's game at Georgetown, the Golden Eagles will continue their season-long 10-game road swing to begin the season at No. 20/17 Villanova on Saturday, March 28.
FIRST VICTORY OVER OHIO STATE ONE TO REMEMBER
As has been the case with most of Marquette's early season games, the Golden Eagles displayed a flair for the dramatic in their 10-9 victory over Ohio State on Sunday, March 1. MU fell behind 5-1 at the start of the second quarter and after the Golden Eagles responded to pull within one, 6-5, at the half, they still trailed 9-5 entering the fourth quarter. Marquette would go on to score all five goals in the final frame, the last of which came with 11 seconds remaining as Ryan McNamara found Kyran Clarke on the right side of the cage for the game winner.
Goalie Jimmy Danaher's nine first half saves kept the Golden Eagles in the game and his save of Carter Brown with 0:01 left on the clock preserved the victory. OSU, which was 19-of-23 on the day in the faceoff X, won the draw after Clarke's final goal and pushed it ahead to attackman Jesse King with time running out. MU defenders Liam Byrnes and Logan Tousaw converged on King and knocked the ball loose on the right side of the net before King whipped a behind-the-back pass to Carter. Danaher's 12th save of the day sealed the win as he stonewalled Carter's shot from the edge of the crease.
MARQUETTE 9-1 IN ONE-GOAL GAMES
The ability to perform in pressure situations and a consistency in effort have allowed MU to emerge with four one-goal victories in its first five games of 2015 to push its all-time record to 9-1 in such contests. The Golden Eagles have eight straight one-goal wins dating back to March 29, 2014 at Rutgers and are also 4-0 all-time in overtime games as a program.
GATELY NAMED AS FIRST MU PLAYER ON TEWAARATON AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior attackman Conor Gately was one of 50 individuals named to the 2015 Tewaaraton Award Watch List on Thursday, Feb. 26. He is the first Marquette player in program history to earn mention on the watch list and is the Golden Eagles' second leading scorer in 2015 with 13 goals and six assists. The native of Yorktown Heights, New York is second in MU history with 86 points through 35 career games and is the program's all-time leader with 40 assists. He has scored in every game this season and sits just three points from Tyler Melnyk's program record of 89 points.
GRADUATE STUDENT GREENFIELD PACES NEW-LOOK ATTACK IN 2015
Through the first seven games of 2015, the Golden Eagles are led in scoring by graduate student Jordan Greenfield, who has posted 19 goals and 11 assists (30 points). The Dover, Massachusetts, native sits 21st in NCAA Division I with 4.29 points per contest and is 20th in goals per game (2.71). 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.
Greenfield was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday, Feb. 23 after posting a program-record six goals, including the OT game-winner, at Richmond on Feb. 22. Greenfield tied the game 9-9 with under one minute in regulation and added the winning tally just 1:05 into the extra session. The Golden Eagles trailed 8-4 entering the fourth quarter. He was also named the national player of the week by Inside Lacrosse and the USILA Division I Offensive Player of the Week.
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. MU has continued its climb as its record remained unblemished with seven wins to begin the season. The Golden Eagles broke into the top 10 of the media poll on March 9 and moved up to No. 9 on Monday, March 16.
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 (134 total) in all but two of the 36 career games he has played for Marquette and is second on the squad with 28 through seven contests. He also leads MU with 12 caused turnovers.
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 eighth among active NCAA Division I long pole players with 10 career points (4g, 6a). His second goal of the season, and fourth of his career, came on Sunday, March 1 against Ohio State in his first start of 2015 as a near defender.
Byrnes earned the second BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll mention of his career on Monday, March 2 after helping the Golden Eagles to victories in Louisville, Kentucky over Detroit and Ohio State in the inaugural Midwest Lacrosse Classic. The West Islip, New York, native notched four caused turnovers in each game and scored his fourth career goal against the Buckeyes as MU erased a four-goal fourth quarter deficit. In his first starting assignment of 2015 on defense versus OSU, he was tasked with shutting down reigning-Big Ten Player of the Week Jesse King, who torched MU for four goals and six points in their 2014 meeting. Byrnes allowed just a pair of even strength points to the Canadian and did not allow King to record a point over the final 43:17 of regulation.
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 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 80 percent of their contests in program history on the road and are 15-15 all-time away from home.
Longest Road Swings to Begin 2015 (regular season)
Latest Home Openers
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.
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 season-opening 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. In Grill's 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 Hofstra and posted three points, including the game-winning tally, against the Mountain Hawks.
SCRIPT FLIPS AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
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 for their first victory over a ranked foe and the first time above .500. 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.v
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 51 career goals, which is eight 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. In total, 12 of MU's 15 opponents have received votes in at least one of the two polls this season.
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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