When: Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 11am Central
Where: Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, PA
Audio/Visual: It seems as if there will be free live video, courtesy of the Patriot League Network. Live stats will be over here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax
Here we go, kids. Seven straight road matches to start the 2014 season, the second full season of Marquette lacrosse. Marquette returns a solid core from their inaugural Division 1 season, where they finished with an outstanding debut record of 5-8. The Golden Eagles have seven seniors this year, and all of them will be expected to make major contributions. Bryan Badolato and Tyler Melnyk are two of Marquette's top scorers from last year, Cullen Cassidy and JJ Sagl return as MU's top face off man and goalkeeper respectively, and captain Andrew Smistad and Jerry Nobile will be called on to provide leadership and depth as the season continues.
Marquette will have to get off the bus hustling as they start the season off with the #19 team in the country, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Lehigh has won two straight Patriot League titles and has qualified for each of the past two NCAA tournaments, the first two tournament appearances in program history. This year is projected to be a little different for Lehigh, as they were picked to finish third in the Patriot League behind preseason favorite Loyola and Bucknell, both of whom are ranked above the Mountain Hawks in the Inside Lacrosse media poll at #16 and #14 respectively.
Senior defenseman Ty Souders and goalie Matt Pollion were named to the preseason all-Patriot League team, and neither choice is a surprise. Souders is already a two time All-American and was named to the Inside Lacrosse preseason All-American Second Team. Pollion is the two time reigning and defending Patriot League Goalie of the Year. He finished eighth in the country in goals-against last year and fifth in the country in save percentage. Not too shabby. Pollion also recorded a goal last season, popping a shot into Bucknell's net from 70 yards out as the Bison were running a 10 man ride to try to force a Mountain Hawk turnover.
Lehigh is already 1-0 on the young season. The Mountain Hawks were terrible guests, traveling to Furman and handing the Paladins a 13-6 loss in the first D1 lacrosse game in Furman history. Cody Ferraro, Patrick Corbett, and Reid Weber all recorded hat tricks for Lehigh. Senior Ryan Buttenbaum had a team high four ground balls and took all of the faceoffs for the Mountain Hawks, winning 59% of the time.
We'll leave you with two preview videos from the athletic department. One with comments from BJ Grill, JJ Sagl, and Cullen Cassidy, and another with just head coach Joe Amplo.