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Women's Lacrosse Game 9 Preview: Vs Winthrop (3-5)

Two second-year programs, two 3-5 records on the season, ONLY ONE CAN WIN.

Midfielder Hayley Baas might be Marquette's most valuable player, thanks to her play on both ends.
Midfielder Hayley Baas might be Marquette's most valuable player, thanks to her play on both ends.

When: Sunday, March 23, 2014, at 12pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The east end of the Valley isn't wired up, so you'll have to make do with live stats.
Special Promotions: FREE PIZZA for all students in attendance, and the first 100 students to arrive will get a pair of texting gloves emblazoned with the MU logo.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

Last year, the Winthrop Eagles ran over Marquette and ruined the debut of Golden Eagles lacrosse at the Division 1 level.  Winthrop came away with a 17-7 win after jumping out to a 4-0 lead and they had a 10-1 lead at the break after Marquette gave up two shorthanded goals.  So yeah, let's just call the D1 debut a bit of a struggle.

The upside is that Marquette won their next game, and the even better news is that Marquette has already won more games this year through just eight games than they did all of last season.  In the Notre Dame preview, I talked about how freshman have impacted the Marquette attack.  Head coach Meredith Black has two freshmen making waves on the defensive end as well.  Defender Fran Meyer and redshirt freshman midfielder Taylor Smith have each gotten a starting nod in seven of Marquette's eight contests, and they're making their presence felt.  The pair has combined for 19 ground balls, 13 draw controls, and 13 caused turnovers so far this season.  Neither of them are leading the team in those categories, but with such a young team, building depth is more important than anything.

Winthrop broke a three game losing streak back on Thursday as they came away with a 14-12 road victory over first year program Michigan.  Jenna Kasmarik led the Eagles with six goals in that contest, and she's far and away their leader this season.  She has 31 goals already this year, and the focus of the Winthrop attack is to get her the ball, as she does not have an assist at all.  Marquette saw the same kind of attack from the Eagles last season, when Claire Feeney scored seven of their 17 goals without recording an assist.  Danielle Ellis comes off the bench to lead Winthrop in assists this season with 10.  Camille King is still the goalie of record for Winthrop this season with a goals-against average of 13.17 and a save percentage of .390.