Marquette men's lacrosse team finds quick success

They built their program from scratch, but now the Marquette men's lacrosse team is currently ranked 19th in the country.

“We just check their pulses and make sure they can hold the stick the right way, and then they were happy to come because they were going to be on a team,” joked Head Coach Joe Amplo.

That was his recruiting process then, six years ago, when there was no team.

“I had no plan, honestly, it was kind of learn on the fly,” he said with a smile.

Now in its fifth season, the team that doesn't even have a locker room is one of the top in the nation.

“That's been the most satisfying thing, is that this group of kids has allowed this university to play on the national stage in our sport when people didn't think that was possible a few years ago,” Amplo explained.

A few years ago, Ryan McNamara was just a freshman. Today, the senior and All-American admitted he didn't get a lot of looks from other schools, but there was one.

“In High Point, they had these ice cream trucks that would go around and give you free ice cream,” McNamara described with a chuckle. “When I came here for a visit, Coach Amplo’s like, 'So did you like High Point?' I was like, 'Yeah. It was a nice school.' And he told me well 'we're not going to hand you free ice cream on the way to class' so I guess it worked, but it was pretty tough love I guess."

So they may not be getting free ice cream, but they are picking up the wins, including last year's Big East championship, knocking off No. 1 Denver.

“We all know that we're probably not the best players in the country, but we play well as a team and that's what's helped us be successful,” McNamara said.

The goal again this year is to win it all, and with just one game down in the regular season, a 17-1 win over Jacksonville, anything is possible.

“Coach Amplo always preaches making sure we don't worry about things too much in the future,” McNamara described. “We just worry about the next game, one next play.”

Marquette’s next game is a top-20 matchup. Saturday they're on the road against 15th-ranked Richmond. The Golden Eagles have beaten Richmond the two other times they've played them, but it's always been a tough test.

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