Marquette men's lacrosse is currently sitting on the best start in program history. It does not get old to get to type that every time we talk about men's lacrosse.
Two games, two ranked opponents, two wins, and then, the first national ranking in program history. There's really only one way to beat that: a third straight win to open the season, and the Golden Eagles get that chance on Sunday in Virginia. On top of that, it will be a third straight quality opponent, as the Richmond Spiders are earning points in that same Inside Lacrosse poll that has Marquette ranked #17 in the country.
11 different Golden Eagles have recorded a point through 120 minutes this season, with nine different players finding the back of the net. The majority of the goals have come off the sticks of Jordan Greenfield, your points leader at nine (4G, 5A), Kyle Whitlow (5G, 2A), and Conor Gately (3G, 4A). Last year's scoring was dominated by Tyler Melnyk. If Marquette has diversified their offense and has created a three prong attack, that could prove to be hard to defend against. Goalie Jimmy Danaher has played every minute so far this season, and he's got the second best goals against average (9.50) and save percentage (.548) in the Big East to this point.
Game #3: at Richmond (2-0)
Richmond is in their second season of Division 1 lacrosse, and you could make an argument that they're already somehow more successful than Marquette has been in their two-plus seasons. Richmond started straight out as a member of the Atlantic Sun conference last year, going 4-10 in the regular season, including a 2-3 record in the A-Sun. But they knocked off the top two seeds in the conference in the Atlantic Sun tournament to win the whole shebang, and, as a result, found themselves with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Of course, they lost to Air Force 13-5 in that game, but hey, that's two more postseason games than Marquette has participated in thus far.
The Spiders are undefeated in two contests this season thus far. Both wins came at home as Richmond defeated Saint Joseph's, 9-5, as well as beating Rutgers this past weekend, 15-7. That's the same record as Marquette, of course, but thanks to the luck of the draw where Marquette scheduled teams that got preseason rankings, the Golden Eagles are #17 in the country in the Inside Lacrosse media poll, while the Spiders are only receiving votes in the most recent poll.
Richmond is in the Southern Conference this season due to some shifts of the collegiate sports realignment process. They were picked to finish third in the SoCon this season behind league favorite Bellarmine as well as High Point. Three Spiders were named to the preseason all-conference team: senior attacker Mickey Hofmeister, sophomore midfielder Mitch Goldberg, and sophomore defender Brendan Hynes. Goldberg leads the team in goals at six and points at seven, while Hofmeister and sophomore J.P. Forester are right behind him at five and six respectively. Garrett Smith handles the face off duties for Richmond, and he's 9-for-33 this season.