By now, you should be more than familiar with our series of regularly updating leaderboards for various Marquette Golden Eagles sports accomplishments. Keep checking back to that link in the previous sentence for our charts as the seasons continue to churn through history and MU’s various teams continue to create new memories and accomplishments.
Here, we move on to look at where the men’s lacrosse career ground ball chart stands.
For a long time now, I have figured that someone will come in and dominate on faceoffs for Marquette from Day 1 and rack up ground balls at an insane rate, and that would finally put Liam Byrnes’ all-time record in jeopardy. It took three years of taking draws for MU to get Zachary Melillo 28 GBs short of Byrnes’ record, so obviously a fourth would have done it easily if Melillo hadn’t transferred over from NJIT.
I think we have to entertain the possibility that Mason Woodward could take the record this season.
It’s going to require him to break the single season program record for ground balls, which is 73 from Melillo in 2016. The program record for guys who don’t take face-offs is 71, set by Noah Richard in 2019. Woodward would need 77 to surpass Byrnes. He had 54 and 60 in the last two seasons, and he played in just 12 games in each campaign. Marquette has 14 regular season games on the docket this year. If Woodward is healthy the whole time and averages five a game like he did last year.... that’s 70. Six per game is 84, and way more than he needs to pass Byrnes.
It’s possible. Likely? Maybe not, no one’s gotten to 75 ground balls in a season in 10 campaigns in Milwaukee. It’s easily more likely that Woodward becomes the second player with 200 career ground balls, as he needs just 58 for that to happen.
Face-off man Luke Williams is in 10th place all time with 77 career ground balls after grabbing up 69 a year ago. He needs just 52 to pass Thomas Washington for #6 all time, and Williams will still have two seasons of eligibility to go after that.
Nicholas Eufrasio is holding down the #15 spot all-time with 63 career ground balls. There are three guys within 20 of him: Zach Granger, David Lamarca, and Logan Kreinz. All three can easily shoot past Eufrasio with a full season of activity this season, especially Lamarca who had 46 GBs a year ago.
There’s a few more names that we’ll keep on the list, particularly Bobby O’Grady, Cole Emmanuel, and Michael Allieri. They all had 20-plus ground balls in their first year at Marquette. Emmanuel and Allieri were transfers a year ago, so they’re on a bit of a short clock to try to pass Eufrasio. I’m curious to see if O’Grady can keep this rate up, because as an attackman, he’s generally speaking only going to get chances on GBs when MU generates a failed clearance by their opponent. If he can keep posting 20 to 25 ground balls a year while scoring at the torrid pace he established last year..... hooooboy are we going to have to talk about something things down the line.
Here’s how the chart looks after Marquette’s game against St. Bonaventure.
Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Career Ground Balls Chart