Byrnes named Preseason BIG EAST Co-Defender of the Year

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Byrnes named Preseason BIG EAST Co-Defender of the Year

(Zack Lane, University Photographer)

(Zack Lane, University Photographer)

Photo by Zack Lane - Hofstra University Photographer

(Zack Lane, University Photographer)

Photo by Zack Lane - Hofstra University Photographer

Photo by Zack Lane - Hofstra University Photographer

(Zack Lane, University Photographer)

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Liam Byrnes’ big week continued Tuesday as he was named the BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year three days after becoming Marquette’s first-ever Major League Lacrosse draft pick. The long-stick midfielder shares the honor with Denver junior Christian Burgdorf.

Byrnes was one of four Marquette players chosen to the All-BIG EAST team. Joining him is attackman Conor Gately, midfielder Kyle Whitlow and defenseman B.J. Grill.

Marquette was picked to finish third in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, behind defending national champion Denver and Georgetown. Villanova, Providence and St. John’s were picked to finish fourth through sixth, respectively.

The preseason standings are identical to how the teams finished last season. Marquette went 3-2 in conference play, a game behind second-place Georgetown.

MLL draft: History made as three Marquette players picked for lacrosse’s top league

A Preseason Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American, Byrnes is the program’s all-time leader in ground balls (158) and forced turnovers (69). This is his third selection to the All-BIG EAST team and second selection to the First-Team.

Gately, who was picked 35th overall in the MLL draft, is the program’s leader in points (116) and was named to the Tewaaraton List last season, a collection of finalists for college lacrosse’s most valuable player award.

Grill, selected 40th overall in the MLL Draft by Denver, was featured on the last two BIG EAST first teams.

Whitlow leads the program in goals (62) and was also a BIG EAST First Team member last season.

Burgdorf started all 19 games for the Pioneers last season, picking up 25 loose balls and forcing 13 turnovers.

Denver attackman Connor Cannizzaro was chosen as the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He scored 57 goals and 33 assists in 16 games last season.

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