MLAX and No. 1 Denver Clash for BIG EAST Crown

Ryan McNamara now has MU single-season records for most goals and points in a single season.

2016 Marquette Men's Lacrosse - Game 15
No. 19 Marquette (10-4, 4-1 BIG EAST) at No. 1 Denver (13-1, 5-0 BIG EAST)
Date Saturday, May 7 | 3:30 p.m. CT
Location Peter Barton Stadium | Denver, Colo.
Live Links Live Stats | TV: FS2 (FOX Sports Go)
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Media Materials Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Media Supplement/Record Book Get Acrobat Reader

May 6, 2016

The Last Meeting
April 30, 2016
Denver, Colo.
MLAX falls short at No. 1 Denver, 14-11
The run to its first BIG EAST regular season title fell short for No. 19/18 Marquette on Saturday afternoon as No. 1 Denver pulled away from a halftime tie for a 14-11 victory at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver.

DENVER - No. 19 Marquette will play for its first league championship on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Central time when it faces No. 1 Denver at Peter Barton Stadium in the BIG EAST Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship, presented by Jeep.

The game will be broadcast live on FS2 with Patrick Reed (play-by-play), Justin Zwerin (analyst) and Cayleigh Griffin (sideline reporter) on the call.

The Golden Eagles (10-5) captured a 14-9 victory over No. 16 Villanova on Thursday evening in the semifinals for their first victory ever in the conference tournament. Junior attackman Ryan McNamara notched his sixth four-goal game of the campaign and moved past Tyler Melnyk (36 goals in 2014) and into first place on the MU single season charts with 38 goals in 2016.

Junior Andy DeMichiei also recorded a hat trick in the victory, while Tanner Thomson, Conor Gately and John Wagner each added a pair of tallies.

The Pioneers (13-1), who are 5-0 all-time in BIG EAST tournament play, topped Providence 17-8 on Thursday in front of a sell-out crowd of 2,466 fans. Zach Miller and Jack Bobzien each had six points, while BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Connor Cannizzaro had a game-high four goals in the win.

Marquette fell to the Pioneers in the regular season finale last Saturday, 14-11, in Denver as the Pios picked up their third BIG EAST regular season title. McNamara led MU with a career and game-high seven points on three goals and a career-best four assists. Canadians Kyran Clarke and Thomson each also had hat tricks for Marquette, which entered halftime tied 6-6 with the Pioneers. Denver scored all six third quarter goals to take advantage before MU mounted a fourth quarter comeback that fell short.

The Golden Eagles have dropped all four regular season meetings with Denver in program history, including a mark of 0-3 at Peter Barton Stadium.


  • Along with the All-America-caliber seasons being turned in by graduate defenseman Liam Byrnes and junior attackman Ryan McNamara, both are on the precipice of significant statistical milestones.
  • McNamara became the second MU player to reach 100 career points last Saturday at No. 1 Denver, along with senior Conor Gately who was the first player to reach the mark against Duke last season. McNamara passed Tyler Melnyk's single season goal scoring school-record of 36 with four against Villanova in the BIG EAST semis and now has 38 goals this season. His 52 points in 2016 are also tied with Melnyk's single season mark of 52 from 2014.

Ryan McNamara (46 games): 78 goals, 33 assists, 111 points

  • Byrnes, the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year, became the first MU player to reach 200 career ground balls with three at Duke and is one caused turnover from 100 in his career. He is currently fourth in NCAA Division I with 2.14 caused turnovers per game, while leading the nation's No. 11 scoring defense.

Liam Byrnes (59 games): 208 ground balls, 99 caused turnovers


  • Junior midfielder Andy DeMichiei entered the April 9 game at St. John's with 12 goals in 39 career games, but exited with 19 career tallies after scoring a Marquette program-record seven against the Red Storm. The Pittsburgh native recorded a natural hat trick to begin the third quarter and give MU the lead after the Golden Eagles faced a 6-4 halftime deficit. DeMichiei, who scored his first career goal to topple St. John's in double overtime as a freshman in 2014, earned his first conference accolade when he was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, April 11. He was also named the Epoch/Lacrosse Magazine National Player of the Week.

  • Wearing the injured Kyle Whitlow's No. 6 jersey against No. 16 Villanova in the BIG EAST semifinals, DeMichiei recorded his second hat trick of the season to help the Golden Eagles to their first ever win in the BIG EAST tournament. He scored his first goal against the Wildcats in the opening quarter on a lefty tally and added consecutive goals in the third quarter to give MU a 10-5 lead. His last goal stood as the game winner.


  • Freshman John Wagner has seen sporadic playing time in his rookie campaign as a reserve midfielder, but made the most of his opportunity in the BIG EAST semis with a pair of big goals to end the first and begin the second quarters. After MU saw a 3-0 lead evaporate to a one-goal game, 3-2, in the first quarter, Wagner put the Golden Eagles back up three just under a minute into the second frame. Wagner's goals are only the third and fourth markers of the season and marked just the second game he has scored in. The St. Davids, Ontario native notched his first two career goals at Richmond in a 7-2 MU victory on Feb. 27.


  • Sophomore goalie Cole Blazer made quite the impression in his season debut and first career start as the Golden Eagles shut down a high-scoring Villanova offense that entered the game second in the nation in scoring. The Libertyville, Illinois native made 13 sometimes spectacular saves against the Wildcats and held the VU offense to a season-low three goals, while recording a .813 save percentage. Blazer and the MU defense also limited VU's Jake Froccaro, who entered the game as the nation's leading scorer, to a lone assist. For his sterling performance, he was named the BIG EAST Conference's Defensive Player of the Week on April 4, the USILA's National Defensive Player of the Week on April 5 and earned the same honor from the NCAA on April 6.

  • Blazer also posted 10 saves in the win over Villanova in the BIG EAST semis, giving him a total of 23 saves against the Wildcats his season. In two games against VU he has allowed 6.00 goals per game to an offense that averaged 14.83 goals in its other 12 contests.

  • Blazer, a mechanical engineering major, is the closest thing to a local player on the Marquette roster, hailing from Libertyville, Illinois, which sits 55 miles to the south of Milwaukee down I-94 just across the Wisconsin-Illinois border. No player for the Golden Eagles in program history has ever grown up closer to the Milwaukee campus.


  • Graduate student B.J. Grill became the first MU men's lacrosse player to be named a Senior CLASS Award finalist when it was announced that he was one of 10 student-athletes on the ballot for the prestigious award on March 30. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Grill is a two-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection­ on defense and a 2016 Inside Lacrosse Preseason Faceoff Yearbook Third Team All-American. The two-time team captain and Major League Lacrosse draft pick graduated in May of 2015 with a bachelor's degree in political science and is currently pursuing an MBA in Marquette's Graduate School of Management.

  • Fan voting will account for one-third of the balloting and continue from now until May 9 at


  • Graduate student Liam Byrnes was named the BIG EAST Conference's Defensive Player of the Year and was joined by six other Golden Eagles on the league's all-conference teams. Byrnes and junior attackman Ryan McNamara were selected to the All-BIG EAST First Team, while five players earned second team honors. Byrnes is also the first Marquette player to ever receive a major year-end award in the program's three-year affiliation with the conference.

  • Senior attackman Conor Gately was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team for the second year in a row and graduate defenseman B.J. Grill earned second team honors to mark the third all-conference accolade of his career. Three individuals - senior Jacob Richard and sophomores Cole Blazer and Zachary Melillo - all were honored for the first time on the second team.


  • 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.




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