When: Sunday, April 6, 2014, at 12pm Central
Where: DaSilva Memorial Field in Queens, NY
Audio/Visual: ESPN3, baby! This goofy deal that SJU cut with The Worldwide Leader is okay by me. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax
If we get a defensive struggle in this game, I think everyone involved is going to be disappointed. While St. John's and Marquette aren't the two top scoring offenses in the Big East, they do feature the top two goal scorers in the conference.
Preseason Big East Offensive Player of the Year Kieran McArdle is living up to his billing, leading the Big East in both goals and assists per game, and obviously points as well. McArdle is the only player in the league averaging more than 2 assists per game and more than 4.5 points per game. On the blue and gold side of things, Tyler Melnyk is tracking right behind McArdle. The Marquette redshirt senior is averaging three goals a game right on the nose, and he's the only player in the league not named Kieran McArdle to reach the 3/game barrier. On the points side, Melnyk is the only other player in the Big East that's over four points per game, averaging 4.3/game. Melnyk doesn't have the passing prowess that McArdle does, but he's still ranked sixth in the Big East with 1.3 per game. Not only are both McArdle and Melnyk dominating the Big East's scoring categories, they're also forces on a national level. Both men are ranked in the top 10 in the country in both points per game and goals per game.
One thing that's going to guarantee that we get a shootout between these two squads is penalties. Marquette and St. John's are the top two man-up offenses in the Big East, with both teams scoring more than 1.5 goals per game with the extra man. Now, with that said, Marquette is the more proficient man-up offense, connecting for goals on 39% of their opportunities, just slightly ahead of the 38.3% rate for St. John's. Where St. John's might get into trouble is that they're the most penalized team in the Big East, averaging more than four per game, and they're also the worst penalty killing team in the league, preventing goals just 53% of the time.
St. John's is coming off of a 16-13 loss against Rutgers on Wednesday, while Marquette is coming off of a frustrating 10-7 loss to Bellarmine on Tuesday. St. John's had a 12-11 lead at the start of the fourth quarter before being outscored 5-1 in the final period. You might remember the completely bananas game that Marquette played against Rutgers as well, so perhaps a shootout might favor Marquette.