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.
One day, someone will come in and dominate on faceoffs for Marquette from Day 1 and rack up ground balls at an insane rate. Until then, though, Liam Byrnes’s record of 218 ground balls in a Marquette career may be completely untouchable. It took three years of taking draws for MU to get Zachary Melillo 28 GBs short of Byrnes’ record.
No one this year is going to get anywhere close to Byrnes, and quite honestly, getting someone to within shouting distance of BJ Grill, the lowest of the five players with 100 ground balls will be quite the accomplishment. Marquette’s current active leader in ground balls is Jared Hershman with 61. He got there by being MU’s primary faceoff man a year ago, but it seems that new head coach Andrew Stimmel favors Thomas Washington through two games. We’ll see how that shakes out as the season goes along, but given the abstract nature of faceoffs, it still seems likely that Hershman can push his way into the top 10 with ease. After all, we’re only talking about three more ground balls to pass Nicholas Eufrasio for that.
Luke Anderson is next on the active list, sitting in a tie with Dan Mojica for the 14th most in program history at 55. He’s gotten there with eight more already this season after rounding up 28 a year ago. Another 20 by the end of the year to match last season would shoot Anderson into the top eight easily and at that point he’s not that far from KC Kennedy in 7th place all time.
I’ve added 11 guys to the bottom of the list as we go along this season. I’m looking at them relative to whether they can catch Mojica more than whether they can get to Eufrasio, quite honestly, but there’s a lot of motion already this season with this group. Everyone in the Not Ranked group has at least three ground balls already this season. Some of them — Conor McClelland, Ryan Fazio, and Peter Henkhaus — have just the 2020 campaign to shove them towards the top 10. Everyone else has at least one more season after this year in front of them, so that was part of the consideration for including them already. Mason Woodward is probably the most prominent name to note at this point, as the freshman has 10 ground balls through two games. Keep an eye on Thomas Washington, too. It appears he’s going to be the primary face-off guy, and it looks like he’s got the green light from the coaching staff to take a run at the net if he thinks he has one. He already scored one goal this season against Bellarmine, so if he does have that green light to attack, then it stands to reason that he’ll be motivated to snag more than a few ground balls to give himself the opportunity to do so. He’s already at 22 for his career, and there’s going to be a few hundred more faceoffs this season.
Here’s how the chart looks at the end of the 2021 season.
Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Career Ground Balls Chart