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Marquette defeats Michigan in final weekend of scrimmages

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Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics

Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics

Photo by Maggie Casey

Photo by Maggie Casey

Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics

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An 11-10 victory against Michigan highlighted the final weekend of exhibition play for the Golden Eagles and primarily featured the team’s starting unit.

Marquette scored five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to come back from a three-goal deficit. Graduate student Jordan Greenfield led Marquette with four goals and two assists, while sophomore attackman Kyran Clarke followed behind with two goals and one assist.

“It was another step forward,” coach Joe Amplo said. “We played the guys that were our supposed starters on Friday in order to win the game.”

Greenfield and junior attack man Conor Gately said playing with the starters was important for the team moving forward to start the season.

“I think anytime you’re able to get all the starters out there and play with the unit you’re going to be playing with, it gives you a better idea of what the identity of the team is going to be,” Greenfield said. “We’re feeling like the offense is really starting to click.”

“Against High Point we didn’t really have the ball that much,” Gately said. “Against Michigan, we came away with a lot more faceoffs, and that helps both sides, offense and defense.”

Greenfield is one of the few new additions to a veteran offensive unit. The Dover, Mass., native last played NCAA lacrosse two years ago at Fairfield, but hasn’t missed a beat. He attributes the easy transition to joining an already established group.

“That unit has been together,” said Greenfield, who transferred to Marquette this year. “The one part that was missing was Tyler Melnyk on the left spot. To be able to step in there, we have a similar game … I think it’s been an easier adjustment than it could have been.”

Greenfield likely will fill the same position as Melnyk did last season, serving as the team’s main goal scorer.

“He finishes opportunities,” Amplo said. “He probably could have had six (goals)…He was the guy at the end of the rainbow. Other guys did the right thing to make him get open. He did the right thing by finishing the shot.”

“I still think we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Greenfield said. “There’s some stuff to clean up, obviously. (There were) some turnovers I’d like to get rid of down the road.”

Amplo didn’t think the team was entirely in tune, but he said still finishing on the right end of things is a good sign going forward.

“It was a sloppy game on both ends,” Amplo said. “Not playing well and (still) finding a way to win after 60 minutes was encouraging. I think that’s a sign of a potentially good team, someone who doesn’t need to play a perfect game to win.”

Quickly following the Michigan scrimmage, Marquette’s second team took on Denison, but fell short in a 13-10 loss. Junior attackman Phil McFarland scored three goals and junior midfielders Brett Hornung and Anthony Ciammaichella each had two.

“(Denison is) one of the better teams at D-III,” Amplo said. “We played what we see as our reserves. We gave those guys ample opportunity to prove themselves, and we’re trying to figure out the next stage of our lineup.”

Marquette kicks off its regular season Saturday against Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks, ranked No. 16 in the first media poll, will be a fearsome challenge right out of the gates for the Golden Eagles.

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