April 16, 2015 MILWAUKEE -- The first HEAD Coaches Classic in support of the HEADstrong Foundation will pit the No. 15 Marquette University men's lacrosse team against two-time defending national champion, No. 6 Duke, on Saturday, April 18 at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Marquette's first nationally televised game in program history will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. Central time on CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Evan Washburn (analyst) on the call.
Tickets are still available for $5, but supplies are limited, and can be purchased through the Marquette Ticket Office at the Al McGuire Center, by phone at (414) 288-GOMU, online (http://go.mu.edu/LaxTix) or in person at Hart Park (7300 West Chestnut Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213) on game day. Three free shuttles will be available to transport fans from the Union Sports Annex (corner of N. 16th Street and W. Wells) on Marquette's campus to Hart Park beginning at noon.
Cheryl Colleluori, president of the HEADstrong Foundation and mother of its founder, Nick, will be on hand to address the crowd prior to the top-15 matchup. Both Marquette head coach Joe Amplo and John Danowski of Duke coached Nick Colleluori at Hofstra and have been active supporters of the foundation and its mission.
The Golden Eagles (10-3) enter Saturday's game after locking up their second BIG EAST Conference Tournament berth in as many seasons with a 14-10 win at Providence on April 11. MU responded from a 4-0 deficit with a 12-3 run over the next two-and-a-half quarters to secure their 10th victory. The victory was Marquette's fourth this season when trailing by four goals.
Leading scorer Jordan Greenfield netted his sixth hat trick of the year for the Golden Eagles and sophomore midfielder Ryan McNamara posted his third game of 2015 with at least three goals.
Marquette is looking for consecutive victories on Saturday for the first time since starting the season 7-0 and has alternated wins and losses over the past month.
Junior midfielder Myles Jones leads the Blue Devils (9-4) into Saturday's game with 61 points on 32 goals and 29 assists, while Justin Guterding is Duke's leading goal scorer with 38 on the year.
The Blue Devils have scored 32 goals in their last two contests against a pair of nationally ranked opponents, both victories, and all four losses have come against top-four teams. Duke took down No. 20 Stony Brook, 17-11, on Wednesday evening behind a five-goal outburst from reigning national player of the week Jack Bruckner. Bruckner also had a career-best seven goals in a 15-8 win at then-No. 6 Virginia on Sunday.
Duke has captured each of the previous two meetings in the all-time series and has jumped out to 10-1 leads after the first quarter of both contests. The Blue Devils have entered all three games ranked sixth nationally in the media poll and were led in last season's 20-9 victory in Durham by the since-graduated Jordan Wolf's six goals.
Myles Jones, a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, had a goal in last year's meeting and five points in the Blue Devils' 19-3 victory at Hart Park in 2013, in which a record 4,202 fans were in attendance.
MU's all-time leading goal scorer Kyle Whitlow had one goal against the Blue Devils as a redshirt freshman in 2013 and a pair at Duke in 2014, including a behind-the-back goal which earned mention on SportsCenter's Top 10.
Following Saturday's game, the Golden Eagles play their final regular season conference game against No. 5 Denver on Saturday, April 25 at Hart Park in another 1 p.m. contest, also airing on CBS Sports Network.
GOLDEN EAGLES TO AUCTION HEADSTRONG HELMETS
Marquette will wear helmets custom-made by Cascade Lacrosse with Gorilla Wrapz decals in homage to the HEADstrong Foundation and will auction them off on GoMarquette.com with all proceeds going to the foundation. The helmets have a matte gray finish and feature both the Marquette and HEADstrong logos with the foundation's iconic lime green prominently displayed.
GOLDEN EAGLES SECURE SECOND BIG EAST TOURNAMENT BERTH
Marquette will make its second appearance in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament in as many seasons in the league by virtue of its 14-10 victory at Providence on April 11. The win gave the Golden Eagles their third win in league play and secured a berth in the conference semifinals. MU lost 9-6 at Villanova in last season's tournament and is one of three teams, along with Denver and Georgetown, to lock up a bid this year. The BIG EAST Tournament will be held on April 30 and May 2 at Villanova Stadium with the semifinals broadcast on the BIG EAST Digital Network and the championship game on FOX Sports 2.
GOLDEN EAGLES VALUE POSSESSION IN 2015
With eight of Marquette's 10 victories this season coming by either one or two goals, the value placed on each possession has become of utmost importance. Fortunately Golden Eagles have turned the ball over just 11.46 times per game in 2015, ranking as the third-lowest total in NCAA Division I in 2015. MU had a season-low seven giveaways against St. John's on April 4.
WHITLOW'S PRODUCTION PUSHES MARQUETTE
Redshirt junior midfielder Kyle Whitlow's hat trick in MU's 9-8 win at Villanova is the latest example of the impact the Canadian has had in his four-year affiliation with the Marquette program. With leading scorer Jordan Greenfield sidelined against the Wildcats, Whitlow notched his third hat trick of the season to help the Golden Eagles to their first win ever against VU. 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.
HEAD Coaches Classic TO FEATURE MARQUETTE AND DUKE
Marquette's nationally televised April 18 match-up at Hart Park against perennial national title contender Duke will be played in support of the HEADstrong FoundationTM, whose mission is to improve quality of life for those affected by blood cancers and supporting those working to eliminate the diseases. Head coaches Joe Amplo and John Danowski recruited and coached HEADstrong founder, Nicholas Colleluori at Hofstra University, where they were directly involved with the Colleluori family during Nick's 14-month battle against cancer and continue to be active with the organization he created.
HF President and Nick's mother, Cheryl Colleluori, will be onsite to address the crowd prior to the game and will recognize the relentless efforts of both coaches. HEADstrong will also have an awareness station at the game and will be selling the latest in HF merchandise with proceeds supporting their mission. More information on the HEADstrong Foundation can be found at www.HEADstrong.org.
Both teams will wear the foundation's lime green chinstraps and shoe laces and the goals will be strung with nets of the same color. A $10 Marquette ticket special for the game includes a general admission ticket and special MU/HEADstrong t-shirt with $2 from every sale going to the foundation. The shirts can also be purchased at the game for $5 and the ticket special can be purchased at http://go.mu.edu/headstrong.
MARQUETTE 10-2 IN ONE-GOAL GAMES
The Golden Eagles' 9-8 victory at Villanova on March 28 was their fifth one-goal victory of the year and the 10th in their two-plus seasons of competition. The squad's 10-9 loss at Georgetown the week prior was the program's only one-goal defeat this season 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.
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 20 goals and 11 assists (31 points). The native of Yorktown Heights, New York, is Marquette's all-time leader in assists (45) and points (98), and prior to being held scoreless at No. 1 Notre Dame on April 7, had scored a goal in the last 17 games, dating back to April 6, 2014 at St. John's.
GRADUATE STUDENT GREENFIELD PACES NEW-LOOK ATTACK IN 2015
Through the first 13 games of 2015, the Golden Eagles are led in scoring by graduate student Jordan Greenfield, who has posted 30 goals and 16 assists (46 points), despite playing in 12 of the 13 contests. The Dover, Massachusetts, native sits 26th in NCAA Division I with 3.83 points per contest and is 28th in goals per game (2.50). 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 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.
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 in 2015 in a variety of ways. Byrnes has recorded a ground ball (156 total) in all but two of the 42 career games he has played for Marquette and leads the squad with 50 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers through 13 contests.
The redshirt junior has scored a career-best four goals in 2015 and sits in the top 10 among active NCAA Division I long pole players with 14 career points (6g, 8a). He has netted goals this season against then-No. 17/19 Hofstra, Ohio State, St. John's and No. 1 Notre Dame and his tallies against the Red Storm (April 4) and Irish (April 7) mark the first time in his career he has scored in consecutive games. He has notched points in each of the last three games.
In his only starting assignment of 2015 on defense versus Ohio State, 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 17-17 all-time away from home.
MU OFFENSE BOUNCES BACK AGAINST THE RED STORM
Coming off Marquette's worst offensive performance of the season in a 9-3 loss at Bellarmine, the Golden Eagles responded with their highest goal scoring total in an BIG EAST contest by scoring 14 against St. John's on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Greenfield and Ryan McNamara each notched hat tricks in the victory and Kyran Clarke tied a program record with five assists, in addition to a goal, for a six-point afternoon. MU also received three goals from its defensive midfield as Jacob Richard and poles Liam Byrnes and Tyler Gilligan all scored.
FIRST DEFEAT AT GEORGETOWN FEATURED SIGNATURE MU RALLY
Marquette's loss at Georgetown snapped a program-best seven game winning streak to begin the season but featured a furious second-half rally that the Golden Eagles have become known for in 2015. MU trailed by six goals (8-2) at the break and stormed out during the second half to tie the game, 9-9, on Blaine Fleming's goal with 6:07 remaining in regulation. After a two-man down situation resulted in a GU go-ahead goal with 3:45 to play, a potential game-tying shot from Fleming ricocheted low off the far pipe with 10 seconds remaining.
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 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.
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.
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 No. 6 Duke and No. 5 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 (as of April 5).
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 Kavanagh (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, 2014. Kavanagh also did not score in MU's 2015 meeting with the Fighting Irish, snapping his streak of 16-straight games with a goal.
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.)) - Bobby Pelton (M, Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern)