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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: Marquette

We’re back with the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we’ll go through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Marquette Golden Eagles, located in Milwaukee, WI.

Marquette impressed in year one for their program, going 5-8. They started out with a ten goal loss to Ohio State, but rebounded nicely with a win over a talented Air Force team. They lost to Jacksonville, beat Mercer, and then dropped four straight. Wins over High Point, Detroit, and Bellarmine got their season back on track before they ended the year with losses to St. John’s (15-10) and Duke (19-3).

2014 sees Marquette drop their independent status and move to the Big East. So in addition to Duke and Ohio State, Marquette will now play Big East teams like Villanova and Denver, and faces OOC foes like Lehigh, Notre Dame, and Hofstra. To say that Marquette’s schedule in 2014 is tougher than it was in 2013 is an understatement.

Can Marquette go 5-8 or better against this tough slate of competition? They bring back a great deal of last year’s talent, so expectations are high. Let’s dig in!

Out of Marquette’s top seven scorers in 2013, six return, with the majority of them as upperclassmen. Tyler Melnyk, Conor Gately, Kyle Whitlow, Bryan Badolato, Henry Nelson, and Ben Dvorak will lead the way on offense, and guys like Pat Townsend (St. Joe’s transfer) as well as some younger midfielders will provide depth. Cullen Cassidy took the majority of the team’s face offs last year and he returns for another year, looking to improve on his 80 for 195 ledger from last year.

Tyler Gilligan and Dan Mojica did good work at the LSM position last year, and Gilligan proved valuable in transition as he netted four goals on 8 shots while picking up 20 GBs. Another pole to look out for is Liam Byrnes. Byrnes scooped up 60 GBs last year and added 5 assists to top Gilligan in the lonpole points race by 1. BJ Grill started every game last year down low, and even if he’s undersized, he gets the job done. Jerry Nobile could see more time this year, but Logan Tousaw has transferred in from Onondaga, and this kid can play. I’m excited to see him transition to the D1 game.

In net, JJ Sagl returns to lead the way. Sagl saw a lot of shots last year, but did pretty well and provided good stability to a new program. His return bodes well for Marquette on that end of the field, and Matt Barone and Jimmy Danaher could press for time.

Overall Marquette brings back a lot of talent and experience. They have some solid younger players and Tousaw should make an impact on defense. With continued improvement at face offs, Marquette could enjoy a similar record to last year. The battle will be harder due to the team’s they are playing, but Marquette has what it takes to start competing with the big boys. With all the seniors on the team this year, 2014 is looking ripe.

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air ForceAlbanyArmyBellarmineBinghamtonBostonBrownBryantBucknellCanisius,
Colgate,  CornellDartmouthDelawareDetroitDrexelDukeFairfieldFurman,
GeorgetownHartfordHarvardHigh PointHobartHofstraHoly CrossJacksonvilleJohns HopkinsLafayetteLehighLoyola, Manhattan, and Marist.