April 13, 2018
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team hosts Providence at Valley Fields in the seasonal dome on Saturday, April 14 for its ‘Senior Day’ game at 2 p.m. Central time.
The previously scheduled ‘Rally at the Valley’ has been cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather and only individuals on the team pass lists and Marquette students will be able to attend the game. The regular season home finale at Valley Fields will air live on GoMarquette.com as the Golden Eagles and Friars meet since last season’s BIG EAST Championship title match in Providence.
Seniors Cole Blazer, Teddy Goltzman, Jordan McKenzie, Zachary Melillo, Colin Riehl and Owen Weselak will be honored during a pregame ceremony at 1:45 p.m.
The game is also fan appreciation day and all fans can enter a drawing for a variety of prizes at the marketing table, including a 40-inch Roku Smart TV, an Apple Watch, BOSE Bluetooth speaker and Summerfest passes.
The Golden Eagles (5-5, 2-1 BIG EAST) are coming off a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to No. 14/15 Notre Dame on Wednesday in which they led 6-5 heading into the final minute of regulation. A costly turnover on a clear led to the tying goal from the Irish and the winner came from Ryder Garnsey with just 15 seconds left on the clock.
John Wagner posted a pair of goals and an assist to lead Marquette, while Zachary Melillo continued his tear at the face-off dot, going 12-of-15 after winning a career-high 19 against the Irish in last year’s NCAA tournament. The junior leads the Golden Eagles with 21 goals and six assists and has game winners in four of MU’s five victories this season.
Unanimous BIG EAST All-Preseason Team selections Tate Boyce and James Barclay lead the Friars (4-7, 1-1 BIG EAST) into Milwaukee, where they are 0-2 all-time against Marquette. Boyce tops starting BIG EAST goalies with a .545 save percentage and has played a league-high 669:13 between the pipes for the Friars. He had eight saves in both games against Marquette last season, including the BIG EAST title game loss at Chapey Field.
Nick Hatzipetrakos has scored a team-high 18 times, while Sean Leahey has 16 goals and eight assists in just nine games. The Friars are coming off an 8-4 loss to Georgetown on April 7 after claiming their BIG EAST opener over St. John’s, 14-8, on March 31 to snap a five-game losing streak. That skid spanned the month of March and included a pair of overtime defeats to Sacred Heart and Drexel.
The Golden Eagles own the all-time series 4-1 against the Friars and split the two meetings last season in Providence. PC claimed its first victory over Marquette, 9-7, during the regular season on April 15, 2017, while MU won the rematch, 10-9, in the championship game of the BIG EAST tournament.
Following Saturday’s game, the Golden Eagles hit the road for their final two regular season games at No. 3/5 Duke on April 20 and at No. 2/3 Denver on April 28.
2018 MARQUETTE LACROSSE SENIOR CLASS
- Record: 34-24 (11-7 BIG EAST)
- Two-time BIG EAST Tournament Champions
- Two NCAA Championship Appearances
- Nearly 30 weeks in the national rankings and 45 total weeks receiving votes
- First win in program history over a ranked team came in 2015 debut (at Leigh on 2/7/15)
- Four wins over top five teams
- 4-1 record in the BIG EAST Championship
NOTABLE CAREER MARKS VERSUS PC:
- MU all-time record: 4-1
- Cole Blazer (3 GP, 2-1, 8.55 gaa, .469 sv%, 23 svs, 26 ga)
- Zachary Melillo (3 GP, 16-of-43, .372 fo%, 8 gb)
- Owen Weselak (3 GP, 6-of-14, .429 fo%)
- Noah Richard (2 GP, 7 gb, 3 CT)
- John Wagner (3 GP, 1 g, 7 shots, 3 gb)
- Jack Zerrillo (3 GP, 1 g, 5 shots)
MELILLO LEADS FACE-OFF UNIT
- Senior faceoff specialist Zachary Melillo has earned a pair of BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll mentions in 2018 after going 15-of-20 against Detroit Mercy on Feb. 24 and 17-of-26 against No. 8 Villanova on March 31. Melillo has also been on a tear since returning from injury for the March 31 game against VU, winning at a 72.3 percent clip (47-of-65) against the Wildcats, St. John’s and Notre Dame. If he were at the NCAA’s 75 percent threshold for games played, he would rank seventh in the country with a winning percentage of 64.8 in 2018.
- He holds an MU career 56.3 percent mark at the dot and tied his own MU record in the Golden Eagles’ NCAA tournament game at Notre Dame last season with 19 wins. His work against Denver’s Trevor Baptiste in the last two BIG EAST Championships paved the way for MU’s two league tournament crowns.
- Melillo was called the 2016 team MVP by head coach Joe Amplo because of what his presence at the face-off X meant to the entire Marquette squad. The Warren, New Jersey native went on to set the MU career face-off win record in just his first season with 178 victories. That 56.2 percent clip ranked him 21st in the nation and helped him earn All-BIG EAST Second Team accolades.
RICHARD IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE MIDFIELD
- Junior LSM Noah Richard has played a big role in Marquette’s victories this season and the squad is 5-1 with him in the lineup on the wing. The West Chester, Pennsylvania native recorded a pair of caused turnovers in MU’s first two games of the season (along with five ground balls at Detroit) and had a ground ball against Ohio State before leaving the game with an injury. The junior then missed MU’s next three games (losses to Bellarmine, Robert Morris and Michigan) before returning for the BIG EAST-opening win over Georgetown. Richard has notched at least four ground balls in the four games since returning from injury, picking up a career-high eight and adding his first goal of the year in MU’s win at St. John’s on April 7.
WAGNER COMES UP CLUTCH AGAIN
- John Wagner has stepped into a more prominent role as the lone returning starter on offense and is leading the way for the Golden Eagles with 21 goals and six assists in 2018. The St. Davids, Ontario native has four game winners through MU’s first nine games, including overtime clinchers against then-No. 4/6 Ohio State (3/2), then-No. 16/18 Georgetown (3/24) and at St. John’s (4/7). He also scored the winner against Jacksonville in the season opener on Feb. 17 with under 10 seconds remaining.
- Wagner tied for second on the team with 22 goals as a sophomore and posted a combined six goals against Denver last season, including a career-high four in the BIG EAST semis. He also scored a total of five goals at Notre Dame with a hat trick in the 2017 NCAA First Round.
- Wagner experienced an up-and-down freshman season in 2016, playing in all 16 games, but scoring in just two of them. The Canadian carved out a more prominent role on the first line as a sophomore and had an eight-game scoring streak that was snapped against Duke on April 22.
CONNOLLY GROWING INTO ROLE ON CLOSE D
- Junior Brendon Connolly is in his first season starting on close defense after playing his first two seasons at LSM and leads the squad with 15 caused turnovers, nine more than his closest teammate (Noah Richard with six). The Towson, Maryland native picked up a career-best five ground balls against No. 14/15 Notre Dame on April 11 and took a handful of second half face-offs on the wing. He also chipped in his first career assist for a game-tying third quarter goal against the Irish after racing downfield to complete a clear himself. His 15 caused turnovers so far in 2018 rank seventh for an MU player in a single season.
LIME GREEN JERSEYS SOLD ON GOMARQUETTE.COM BENEFIT HEADSTRONG
- In honor of USILA’s HEADstrong Awareness Month, the Golden Eagles are selling their remaining uniforms from the 2015 HEAD Coaches Classic against Duke for just $30 on GoMarquette.com’s auction site. All proceeds from purchases benefit the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on improving lives affected by cancer. Various numbers and sizes are available for the white uniforms, which feature lime green numbers with ‘Marquette’ emblazoned on the front and ‘HEADstrong’ on the back.
BLAZER SECURES THE CREASE
- Goalie Cole Blazer earned his first BIG EAST weekly accolade of 2018 on March 26 when he was named the league’s defensive player of the week after posting a then-season-high 15 saves in Marquette’s league-opening OT win over Georgetown on March 24. He topped that mark with 16 saves at St. John’s on April 7 in MU’s second BIG EAST win.
- Blazer continued his stellar play in net during his first full campaign as MU’s starter in 2017, culminating in BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player honors. The junior made a total of 23 saves in the wins over No. 2 Denver and Providence and contributed to his own cause with a goal as time expired against the Pioneers in the semifinals. He posted a .521 save percentage as a junior with a 9.17 goals against average.
- He was named to the 2018 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, is a two-time All-BIG EAST Second Team selection and has also been selected to the All-BIG EAST Championship team as MU won titles in 2016 and 2017.