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Marquette looks for first win against high-powered Duke

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Photo by Alicia Mojica

Photo by Alicia Mojica

Photo by Alicia Mojica

Photo by Alicia Mojica

Photo by Alicia Mojica

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Myles Jones, Justin Guterding, Deemer Class, Jack Bruckner, Chad Cohan and Case Matheis are some of the names that will be branded into members of the No. 15/15 Marquette men’s lacrosse team’s heads this week. The Golden Eagles host No. 6/6 Duke Saturday, a team that has compiled more weapons than an armory. How to shut down one of the country’s most high-powered offenses is a question coach Joe Amplo has asked himself all week.

“I don’t know,” Amplo said. “They’re a great team. One of the best coached teams in the country. Their staff does an unbelievable job preparing them…They’re an explosive team. They are athletic on the defense. Their goalie had his best game (last weekend). They’ve always been a problem for us at the faceoff X. It is going to be a giant challenge.”

Although the game won’t affect the Golden Eagles in the Big East standings, the team understands they’ll likely need to beat either Duke or Denver if they hope to earn an at-large bid.

“We put ourselves in a position where these games become more meaningful than they usually have,” redshirt senior, B.J. Grill, said. “We put ourselves in a position to give us that opportunity to even go further.”

Duke has understandably been a tough matchup for Marquette in the first two matchups. The Golden Eagles fell 19-3 in their inaugural season and 20-9 last season. However, the team believes for the first time they have a roster that can go toe-to-toe with the Blue Devils.

“We feel like if we put together 60 minutes of really good lacrosse that we will win this game,” Grill said.

The Golden Eagles are coming off a victory against Providence, in which nine different players found the back of the net. If Marquette plans to win this week, they likely will need the same level of distribution.

“It’s not just a one-man show,” junior Conor Gately said. “In order to beat a team like Duke you’re not going to have that option. Everyone has to step up and play their best.”

The Blue Devils have four losses on the season, which is more of a testament to the high level of play in the ACC than it is of Duke’s talent. Every loss is to a team ranked in the top 10. They are coming off an impressive win against No. 10/9 Virginia. Jones, Duke’s leading scorer, will be a tough matchup for Marquette. The 6-foot-4 midfielder ranks 10th in Division I lacrosse in goals and points.

It should be a nice scene at Hart Park this weekend, as Duke is always a team that draws a crowd. More than 4,000 attended the game between the two teams two years ago, this week’s game likely will see an even bigger number. The top-20 matchup will be aired nationally on CBS Sports Network.

“When you decide you’re going to play college lacrosse somewhere you want the opportunity to compete against the best teams in the country, with a huge crowd, with a spotlight on you and on national television,” Grill said. “We want our day after Duke to be one of the best days of our lives.”

Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. from Hart Park in Wauwatosa. The two sides will be raising money for the HEADStrong Foundation, which is dedicated to helping those with cancer. The two sides will be wearing lime green shoelaces and chin straps and will also be raising funds for the foundation.

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