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Marquette lacrosse fast-tracks from infancy to chance at NCAA tourney

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Marquette lacrosse fast-tracks from infancy to chance at NCAA tourney

By Lance Allan. CREATED Apr 30, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 30, 2014

The Marquette men's lacrosse team is doing some unheard-of things for a start-up program, as they are just two wins away from the NCAA tournament.

"Sometimes I sit back the past two weeks here, and I just sit back and I really appreciate the spot that we're in," said Marquette coach Joe Amplo.

In the team's second season of existence, and it's first in the Big East Conference, Marquette is in the Big East semifinals.

"I don't enjoy it as much as I probably should, but these are the moments you can't get back," said Amplo to TODAY'S TMJ4's Lance Allan. 

"I think whenever it is I get a chance to look back at this season, I'm really going to enjoy these moments...enjoy this journey that we're on and see where it takes us."

Success this quickly just doesn't happen.

"It's just been about getting better, and trying to improve.  And if our improvement puts us at a spot where we can compete with the best teams, then so be it."

Marquette's competing with the best, thanks to Amplo, the Big East Coach of the Year.

"It's not about me.  It's never about me.  This place, I say to myself, people say it takes a village to raise a child.  It takes an institution to raise a program.  That's what I've learned," explained Amplo.

"Right from the top, from (deputy athletic director) Mike Broeker on down to the people who support us on a daily basis, it's about the people in the program and having consistent values that mimic or mirror what we're about."

Marquette (4-2 Big East, 6-9 overall) has won four one-goal games, two in overtime.  They've only just begun

"It's been fun.  It's been an unbelievable challenge...but I like to say we're not finished yet," said Amplo.  "This is just the start of something, and we're in a pretty good position pretty early in our careers here."

Marquette takes on Villanova on the road at 6:00 p.m. CT Thursday.  If they win, they'll face either Denver or Rutgers in the Big East Championship game on Saturday in Philadelphia.  The winner of that game goes to the NCAA tournament.

Jay Sorgi contributed to this report.

Lance Allan

Lance Allan

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Lance Allan joined TODAY'S TMJ4 in 1996. He attended Rice Lake High School, UW - Barron County, and UW - Madison.