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.
In another proof of concept of that idea, Thomas Washington recorded 51 ground balls last season while winning 85 face-offs for the Golden Eagles. That would have been the 10th best ground ball total for a single season in program history if it weren’t for Mason Woodward putting up 54 in 2021 to lead the team and land himself at #7 all time and keep Washington’s mark at “only” 11th best all-time.
Still, Washington’s total gave him 100 even for his career, making him the sixth Golden Eagle to clear the century mark in that department. His ability to move up the chart rankings-wise is limited, as BJ Grill had 105 ground balls in his career, but Noah Richard had 163. If Washington wins more draws this year, and if Marquette does their part to score a few more goals to create more draws, maybe Washington has a chance of passing Richard for the fourth most in program history.
Woodward on the other hand, well, things are looking very shiny for him. Another 50 ground ball season would shoot him into the triple digits easily from his current mark of 82, and send him past Grill into fifth place, too. That could set him up for a run at Melillo in third place in 2023, but that’s a discussion for another time.
No one else on the roster has an active total in the top 15, and that’s fine. Conor Gately’s mark of 60 ground balls is pretty damn good for a four year career, and it’s hard to get there. Anthony Courcelle had 19 last year to get to 47 for his career, so he’s definitely got a shot at getting past Gately this season. Same for Zach Granger, who is sitting on 45 after a 25 GB season in 2021. Jacob Hallam had 20 last spring, which gives him 38 for his career. Another 20 would have him closing in on Gately, so we definitely want to watch him.
I included four more guys on the active roster who have a decent number of ground balls in their career so far. I don’t think any of them have a super realistic shot of getting to Gately’s mark this season, but I felt it was important to include them to see what happens this spring.
Here’s how the chart looks at the end of the 2022 season.
Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Career Ground Balls Chart