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Marquette Women's Lacrosse Preview: at Duquesne

The Golden Eagles head to Pittsburgh looking for their first win of the season.

That's an amazing Dukes mascot.
That's an amazing Dukes mascot.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Three games thus far this season for Meredith Black's Golden Eagles, and three very different results.  First, a heartbreaker of a double overtime loss to a ranked Johns Hopkins squad.  Then, a blowout in the second half by Colorado after Elizabeth Goslee was ejected on a ridiculously terrible call.  Finally, a game against #5 Northwestern where the Wildcats blew the game open in the first nine minutes of the second half, but one where Marquette played a national power close for the other 51 minutes.

So, now to Pittsburgh, to see if they can find their first win of the season in what will be the first of four straight road games.  Marquette has come out on the short side in two previous meeting against Duquesne.  Both were at Valley Fields and both finished with a four goal margin for the Dukes.  In last year's game, Duquesne took an 8-1 lead in the first half before the Golden Eagles would scrap their way back in before falling short.

Riley Hill scored her first two collegiate goals against Northwestern, and along with being named the Big East's Rookie of the Week, she became the fifth player to record multiple goals this season.  Claire Costanza and Nicole Gleason are tied for the team lead in goals with four, while Costanza has the lead in points with seven as she's the only active player with more than one assist.  Sarah Priem is only stopping 33% of the shots on goal, but she's also only allowing just over 10 goals per 60 minutes thus far this season.

Game #4: at Duquesne (1-1)

When: Saturday, February 28, 2015, at 10:30am Central
Where: Rooney Field in Pittsburgh, PA
Audio/Visual: Video via the Atlantic 10 Network if you click on the Live Events tab. Live stats here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

What a fascinating two games to start the season for Duquesne.  First, they rallied from a 10-7 deficit at halftime to beat Robert Morris in overtime, 17-16.  Then, as a follow up on Tuesday, they lost to #9 Penn State, 16-0.  Two games, 16 goals given up both times, two totally different results, including the incredibly rare shutout.  The Nittany Lions scored five times in the first 15 minutes of the game on their way to an 8-0 halftime lead, and then another four in the first eight minutes after the break to run away with that game.

Obviously, with that kind of a national ranking, Penn State's pretty good, so it's hard to get a read on where the Dukes might compare to Marquette.  They were picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 this season, but that's not really saying much.  Massachusetts is an unanimous favorite to win the league, with Richmond picking up the UMass' coach's vote for first place.  Duquesne finished with 63 points in the voting, 17 behind UMass and seven behind the Spiders.

The A-10 doesn't name a preseason all-conference team, so we can't assess where Duquesne's players stack up in their league.  What we do know is that senior midfielder Amanda Kidder is leading the team with six points on three goals and three assists.  That's half the helpers for the Dukes this season, and Kidder's the only player with more than one.  Fellow senior midfielder Claire Hurley has the team lead in goals, though, after finding the back of the net five times against Robert Morris.  Junior Jenna Bishop has started both games in net for Duquesne, although she's been lifted in both contests for senior Taylor Hurwitz.  Bishop's allowing just over 17 goals per 60 minutes played, though, and she's only stopping 41% of the shots on goal.  Hurwitz has a better goals-against average, but she's also stopping fewer shots.