Byrnes and Grill are Preseason Third Team All-Americans
Dec. 10, 2015
MILWAUKEE - Marquette University graduate students Liam Byrnes and B.J. Grill of the men's lacrosse team were named to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America Third Team, the publication revealed in its annual Face-Off Yearbook.
Grill is a two-time All-BIG EAST Conference First Team selection on defense and, along with Byrnes, will play his final season of eligibility in 2016 while pursuing a master's degree from Marquette's Graduate School of Management.
Grill and Byrnes are the first MU players ever honored with preseason all-America accolades.
The Bridgewater, New Jersey native posted 21 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers in 2015 as the squad's primary shutdown option on defense. He notched his only career assist in the BIG EAST tournament semifinals on April 30 against Georgetown and has started 44 of the 45 games in which he has seen action.
Byrnes was the BIG EAST's unanimous choice at long stick midfielder in 2015 and was also preseason All-BIG EAST selection last year. The West Islip, New York, native is Marquette's all-time leader in ground balls and recorded 50 in 2015 along with a team-best 24 caused turnovers. He has also notched four goals and a pair of assists and ranks among the NCAA's active leaders in career points from a long pole player.
A second team all-conference performer in 2014, Byrnes earned weekly league honors twice in 2015 and appeared in all 15 games with one start as a close defender in MU's victory over Ohio State on March 1.
For the first time in program history, Marquette also earned a spot in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Top 20, checking in at No. 16 in the publication's annual preseason ranking.
The Golden Eagles are the second-ranked team in the BIG EAST Conference, behind defending NCAA Champion Denver, which sits second in the poll to preseason No. 1 Notre Dame.
Conference foes Villanova and Georgetown sit at Nos. 17 and 18, respectively, meaning the six-team league has four members ranked in the top 18 of the preseason poll.
In total, Marquette will face six teams ranked by the yearbook during the 2016 campaign, including the preseason top three teams in Notre Dame, Denver and Duke. MU will also play a scrimmage against 15th-ranked Cornell on Saturday, Feb. 13.
The Golden Eagles, entering their fourth season of NCAA Division I competition, are coming off a 10-6 season in 2015 that saw them reach as high as ninth nationally in the media poll.
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