Georgetown Takes Down No. 11/9 MLAX 10-9
Blaine Fleming's attempt at a game-tying goal with 10 seconds remaining ricocheted low off the low far post allowing Georgetown to escape with a 10-9 victory over No. 11/9 Marquette on Saturday afternoon at Multi-Sport Field.
MILWAUKEE -- The No. 19/19 Marquette University men's lacrosse team will look to avenge an early season one-goal loss against No. 13/12 Georgetown in the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship semifinals on Thursday, April 30 at Villanova Stadium.
The game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network at 3:30 p.m. Central time and can be accessed through FOX Sports Go. Patrick O'Keefe will handle the play-by-play duties, while Richard Donovan will serve as the analyst with Cayleigh Griffin as the sideline reporter.
Tickets can be purchased through the BIG EAST's Championship Central page at $16 for all-session general admission passes and $10 for single games.
The Golden Eagles (10-5, 3-2 BIG EAST) enter Thursday's semifinal as the No. 3 seed with league wins over Villanova, St. John's and Providence and a pair of losses to the tournament's top two seeds, Denver and the Hoyas. Redshirt juniors Liam Byrnes, B.J. Grill and Kyle Whitlow lead MU as 2015 All-BIG EAST First Team selections, while leading point producers Jordan Greenfield and Conor Gately were named to the second team on Tuesday afternoon. Byrnes was the league's lone long stick midfield first team selection, while Grill repeated on the first team after being the conference's only unanimous choice on defense a season ago.
Greenfield leads Marquette with a single-season record 52 points on 34 goals and 18 assists and was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday after a five-point outburst against then-No. 5 Denver on Saturday afternoon.
Marquette is making its second appearance in as many years in the conference playoff after a 9-6 loss to tournament host, Villanova, in 2014. MU returners Gately, Whitlow, Blaine Fleming, Kyran Clarke and Noah Joseph all scored for the Golden Eagles in last year's semis, though leading scorer Tyler Melnyk was held off the scoreboard.
Since its victory on March 21 over the Golden Eagles, Georgetown has won three of its last five games, including three of four games in BIG EAST play. Its two losses in that span came against then-No.5 Denver and then-No.9/10 Virginia.
The Hoyas are led by BIG EAST Coach of the Year Kevin Warne, who is in his third year at Georgetown and was a defensive unit partner and roommate of MU head coach Joe Amplo when the pair played at Hofstra.
The Hoyas finished the regular season trailing only conference champion Denver in most offensive statistical categories. Georgetown has posted 11.86 goals per game, 5.93 assists per game, and 17.79 points per game -- all good for second in the BIG EAST standings.
Georgetown's Bo Stafford, the reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, leads the Hoyas in goals (30) and is second in assists (20). Stafford trails Greenfield in each BIG EAST individual statistic by a slim margin, posting 3.57 points per game and 2.14 goals per game. Stafford is flanked on the attack by Reilly O'Connor who leads the team in assists (23) and is second in goals (21).
In March's matchup with MU, Stafford was the only multi-goal scorer for GU with two tallies, while O'Connor was limited to a single goal and assist. With a combined four points from their leading point-getters, the Hoyas earned a 10-9 victory by receiving goals from nine different players.
Since entering conference play, GU goalie Nick Marrocco has posted the best save percentage (.608) and has recorded the most saves per game (15.20) among all goalies who started five conference contests. In March, the Golden Eagles were able to blitz Marrocco in the second half by scoring seven goals on 19 second-half shots.
Should the Golden Eagles defeat Georgetown they would face the winner of the second semifinal between No. 4/3 Denver and Villanova on Saturday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. Central time. The championship game is scheduled to be televised live on FOX Sports 2.
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.
BYRNES, GRILL & WHITLOW NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG EAST
Redshirt juniors Liam Byrnes, B.J. Grill and Kyle Whitlow lead MU as 2015 All-BIG EAST First Team selections, while leading point producers Jordan Greenfield and Conor Gately were named to the second team. Byrnes was the league's lone long stick midfield first team selection, while Grill repeated on the first team after being the conference's only unanimous choice on defense a season ago. Whitlow was one of three first team midfielders and Greenfield and Gately each represent MU on the second team attack.
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, though he was not named a finalist in April. 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 23 goals and 14 assists (37 points). The native of Yorktown Heights, New York, is Marquette's all-time leader in assists (48) and points (104), 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. With four points against No. 6 Duke on April 18 he became the first player in MU history to top 100 career points.
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 11.4 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 and has had fewer turnovers than its opponent in all but two games this year.
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. He now has 64 goals after scoring a hat trick against then-No. 5 Denver on April 25.
GOLDEN EAGLES AUCTION HEADSTRONG JERSEYS
Marquette wore special white jerseys with lime green numbers against Duke on April 18 in the HEAD Coaches Classic and is currently auctioning them off on GoMarquette.com with all proceeds benefitting the HEADstrong Foundation. Bidding on the game-used jerseys, which feature the foundation's iconic lime green with "MARQUETTE" on the front and "HEADSTRONG" emblazoned on the back, begins at $100 apiece.
HEAD Coaches Classic FEATURED MARQUETTE AND DUKE
Marquette's nationally televised April 18 match-up at Hart Park against perennial national title contender Duke was 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, was be onsite to address the crowd prior to the game and recognized the relentless efforts of both coaches. More information on the HEADstrong Foundation can be found at www.HEADstrong.org.
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.
GRADUATE STUDENT GREENFIELD PACES NEW-LOOK ATTACK IN 2015
Through the first 14 games of 2015, the Golden Eagles are led in scoring by graduate student Jordan Greenfield, who has posted 34 goals and 18 assists (52 points), despite playing in 14 of the 15 contests. The Dover, Massachusetts, native sits 34th in NCAA Division I with 3.71 points per contest and is 34th in goals per game (2.43). 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 four of the 43 career games he has played for Marquette and has 50 ground balls and 24 caused turnovers through 15 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 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.
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.
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 23).
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)