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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Lacrosse set for final tune-up before BIG EAST

MU to play Quinnipiac for first time
Jake RIchardscored his first goal of the season against Robert Morris (Photo by Ben Erickson/[email protected])

Men’s lacrosse travels to Connecticut this weekend to play Quinnipiac in its first of two spring break games. A win Saturday would push Marquette to 5-1 and put the Golden Eagles in good position for when they start BIG EAST play against Georgetown next week.

Quinnipiac has won three games in a row, including a comeback overtime victory against Hartford. The Bobcats’ only loss this season came in the opener against No. 5 Brown.

“They’re going to be a challenge,” Amplo said. “We’re playing on their campus on flat turf, which is a new surface for us. There are a lot of distractions. It’s spring break … Traditionally we have not handled success well. Coming off one of our better performances of the year, I’m interested in how our guys respond.”

This is the first time the Golden Eagles have played Quinnipiac, which joins Robert Morris as the only new opponents on Marquette’s schedule. Amplo said that won’t effect how the team prepares.

“We’re still at the point where we have to focus on who we are and continue to get better,” Amplo said. “If we lose sight of the fact that we have to improve each week, then we’re going to do our guys a disservice.”

This game is the last chance for the new offensive unit to build chemistry before the BIG EAST season starts next week. With Kyle Whitlow suffering a season-ending knee injury, Ryan McNamara was moved to attack while Andy DeMichiei and Tanner Thomson were inserted into the starting lineup. The rotation will likely be the same according to Amplo, with the exception of Brett Hornung likely getting a longer run. He scored his first goal of the season Saturday.

“The offense needs to continue to figure out who they are and what our personality is going to be without our biggest personality,” Amplo said.

Amplo was impressed with Thomson’s play in his first career start. He scored two goals, including one on an aggressive dodge through the defense.

“To me, that’s a really confident lacrosse play,” Amplo said. “For a kid to do that scoring his first goal of the year in a game, not practice, that shows me that that kid’s got it. That’s what we need.

Joe Dunn is another player who could fill in for Whitlow’s production. He’s been successful since returning from injury, scoring six goals on the season and two goals in each of the last two games.

“I think he can be a very good lacrosse player if he plays a little more consistently,” Amplo said. “He missed a great shot opportunity in the third quarter and dropped a pass and threw the ball away in the first quarter. Take those plays out of it, I think you’re saying the kid played close to a perfect game. He’s the perfect compliment to Ryan and Conor (Gately) at the attack.”

Defenseman Dan Mojica should be back in the lineup after missing two games with a leg injury.

Face-off is set for 11 a.m. Saturday in Hamden, Connecticut.

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