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The 2019 Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Season Preview: The Newcomers

Joe Amplo has a pair of transfers and 15 freshmen on his roster this season. Who is going to make an impact?

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Marquette men’s lacrosse head coach Joe Amplo
Who can head coach Joe Amplo coach up into the lineup in 2019?
Doug Bierer, Facebook.com/MarquetteLacrosse

If you’re reading this now, then you must have already read our look at the Marquette men’s lacrosse returning players for the 2019 season. If not, you can go do that right now! It’s probably important for you to get an idea of what roles and spots are being taken up by head coach Joe Amplo’s veteran players before we dive into this article, which is focusing on Marquette’s two new transfers and the 15 brand new freshmen.

We’re going to start out here talking about the two transfers, as it looks like both guys have a leg up on playing a major part in the 2019 season right off the bat. From there, we’ll dive into the freshmen, dividing them up by positional groups.

Ready? Let’s go!

THE TRANSFERS

People like scoring goals, so we’re going to start with Andrew Romagnoli. #0 in your program, maybe #1 on the scoring chart this year. Romagnoli was originally a Marquette recruit waaaay back in 2015, but did not play for the Golden Eagles and transferred to Delaware. In 34 starts for the Blue Hens, he tallied 60 goals and 31 assists, and ended up leading Delaware in points, goals, and assists in 2017. Yes, that’s 2017. He started in five games as a redshirt junior before being dismissed from the team along with three other players for a “violation of team policies.” He had one season of eligibility remaining and since he did earn his degree from Delaware, he’s suiting up for the Golden Eagles once again. Circle of life, etc., etc. While he’s listed on the roster as an attacker, the ever so fancy official GoMarquette.com preview indicates that Romagnoli will be seeing time as a midfielder. It seems that Joe Amplo is trending towards pairing Romagnoli with Jack Zerillo, as the two went to high school together. That’s wild. In any case, if he can approach the 34 goals and 19 assists he had in 2017, Marquette’s offense is going to be a sight to behold.

MU’s other transfer does the opposite of score goals. John Hulsman is a sophomore goalie who spent his first year of collegiate lacrosse at Bellarmine University. There’s a very real chance that Hulsman is going to be Marquette’s opening day starter, and not just because MU opens up against his old team on Saturday afternoon. Hulsman was tabbed as the best goalie in the Southern Conference a year ago as the netminder on the All-SoCon First Team, and yes, he did that as a freshman. He allowed just 8.69 goals per 60 minutes of action and stopped 59% of shots on goal, which was good enough for fourth in the country last year. Those are some pretty good numbers. Remember, the Marquette coaching staff knows exactly what Hulsman is capable of, as he was in net for BU’s 7-6 double overtime win over Marquette in Michigan last season. The official GoMarquette.com preview says that Hulsman was Amplo’s choice in net to start the exhibitions against Maryland and Johns Hopkins, so I would expect to see him out there on Saturday, too. I don’t know if he can recreate that nearly 60% stoppage rate ever again, but if he does, hooooboy, MU might be one hell of a squad this season.

That’s it for experienced new guys, let’s dive into the freshmen.

ATTACKERS

MU has two new guys with an A next to their name on the roster, Holden Patterson and Dan Shay, and one guy — Jett Leonard-Bedier — marked as an attacker/midfielder. With five midfielders to talk about, I figured that putting Leonard-Bedier here makes the most sense. Patterson is the more important member of this trio, at least at this point of the calendar. His official MU bio says that he racked up 140 goals and 46 assists in his prep career in Virginia, and had 49 ground balls, too. His high school team won state titles in 2015 and 2016, and he was an first team all-state performer as a senior. Virginia’s a pretty notable lacrosse state, so that’s saying something. The official GoMarquette.com preview says that head coach Joe Amplo had him in the starting lineup for all of MU’s exhibition games, and the Marquette Wire’s preview mentions that he had “two impressive goals” against Johns Hopkins this past Saturday afternoon. I found a Hudl page for him that was updated as recently as July 2018, and there’s a seven minute long highlight package from 2016 pinned to the top of the page.

As for Shay and Leonard-Bedier.... I dunno. They’re there. It’s not particularly encouraging when they’re listed as attackers and their official team bios don’t mention their prep career scoring totals. There’s an Inside Lacrosse recruiting page for Shay that hasn’t been updated since 2015 that has a brief scouting report on him, and a five minute highlight package on YouTube, too. Leonard-Bedier appears to have a Vimeo page with a two minute highlight clip.

MIDFIELDERS

Marquette has added five midfielders to the roster with this year’s freshman class, and they all come equipped with notable accolades. Logan Kreinz is, as far as I can tell, the only one that earned a mention in the official GoMarquette.com preview, and he popped up in an unexpected place. His official bio says that he tallied 111 points in three years at Kettle Moraine High School here in Wisconsin before heading off to Portsmouth Abbey in Rhode Island for prep school. However, while he has something of an impressive offensive pedigree at the high school level, it appears that Joe Amplo is going to be using him as a short stick defensive midfielder. The fact that he’s working his way into the rotation there, in a spot that clearly carries a lot of importance for the Golden Eagles but one that maybe he’s not particularly used to, tells you a lot about what the coaching staff thinks about him.

Jack Devine is the only other guy in the group that has some offensive stats listed in his bio. Nothing for his freshman year, but from sophomore year onwards, he racked up 80 goals and 49 assists for Bellarmine College Prep in California. He was team MVP as a sophomore and a junior, and was offensive MVP as a senior, so that seems pretty good. Check out this YouTube page for a few highlight reels.

Like Logan Kreinz, Patrick English arrives on campus as a two-time US Lacrosse All-American. He won a Michigan state title as a sophomore, and his team was runners-up in each of his final two prep years. English was a two-time First Team all-Michigan honoree, and his high school newspaper wrote an article on his commitment to Marquette.... back in 2015. He’s got a YouTube highlight clip from back in 2016. Connor Marsh also had two all-Michigan honors in his high school career, and his Brother Rice team won the 2017 state title. You can check out these highlight clips on YouTube, which refer to him as a defensive midfielder. Trevor Peay was a two-time captain for St. Margaret’s Episcopal in California, and he won a county title as a senior. I found this highlight reel for him from 2015, and also this Lax.com TV video of Peay, Jack Devine, and junior goalie Chris Rolfing running through some of MU’s gear for this season.

DEFENDERS

With Nick Grill, Jackson Ehlert, and Brendan Connolly back from last year to start on defense, MU’s four new guys on that end of the field are going to be getting a first rate class on how Joe Amplo wants things done. Are they going to get on the field a whole bunch? Eh, probably not. But they are the future of the MU defense, and with Ehlert and Connolly both in their senior years, this year’s freshmen are going to need to step up and fill spots soon. Patrick Casani might be the one closest to contributing, as his official team bio says he put up 51 caused turnovers and 47 ground balls ..... as a senior. In one season. He also scored eight goals. As a defender. I feel like he has exceptional hands, and that might be because he was a midfielder up through his junior year at Loyola High School in Pasadena, CA.

Quintin Arnett was a two-time all-state performer at Arrowhead High School just a little bit up the road from Marquette, and a two-time US Lacrosse All-American as well. Kyle McNeill was an all-metro area long stick midfielder in his senior year up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and was an all-state performer as a junior. James Amorosana is listed as a long stick mid/defender on the roster, and he earned all-county honors in his junior and senior years. I know that doesn’t really sound like much, but you have to remember that the county in question is Nassau County out on Long Island, and boooooy, do they like their lacrosse out that way.

GOALIE

Can I interest you in the Texas high school saves record holder? Carver Skarnulis made 834 stops in his prep career to set that record down in Austin, and now he’s up here at Marquette. The starting job probably belongs to John Hulsman, but Marquette’s two returning netminders don’t have very much collegiate experience, so the competition for the job is kind of wide open. There’s a bunch of YouTube highlight clips of Skarnulis and a Hudl page, so knock yourselves out with those. Check out this profile piece from LaxWeekly.com, too.

FACE-OFF SPECIALISTS

Marquette has a need to fill at face-off following the departure of Zachary Melillo, the best face-off man in MU’s still short lacrosse history. Thomas Washington and John Underwood will likely get a shot at a few draws this season at some point, because sometimes you just need a different guy with a different style. Joe Amplo told The Marquette Wire that the Golden Eagles will approach draws as a committee, but it was Washington who handled a majority of the duty against Johns Hopkins in the final exhibition game. At 6’1”, Underwood is much taller than both Washington (5’6”) and incumbent draw man Jared Hershman (5’10”), so if his frame lends itself to an advantage, we might see a lot of him out there. Neither of the newcomers have any face-off stats in their bios, so we don’t have much else to go on here.