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Marquette Women's Lacrosse Big East Preview: at Temple

Live Owl > Guy In Owl Suit
Live Owl > Guy In Owl Suit
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Claire Costanza now owns the three best assists seasons in Marquette lacrosse history.

She already had the top two as a freshman and sophomore, feeding her teammates for 22 helpers each year.  Costanza picked up her 23rd assist of 2015 on Marquette's final goal of 16-5 loss to #9 Florida on Wednesday afternoon, and she still has three more games to play this season counting tomorrow's contest at Temple.  She was already far and away MU's all time points leader coming into the season, and due to the absence of Kenzie Brown this season, she's rocketed up to #2 on the all time goals chart.  Hayley Baas has that mark at 58 tallies including her nine goals this season, but Costanza is right behind her at 56.

In less fun news, Marquette is currently on a season long losing streak of four games, including their first three Big East games.  That brings MU's all time Big East record to 1-9, and yes, because they opened up last year with a win against Cincinnati, all nine losses have been in a row.  These are the kinds of things you get with third year programs, and we have to try to block out the explosive development of Marquette's men's lacrosse team when we consider the women's lacrosse team.  With that said, MU's next win will tie the program record for wins in a season, so improving by one win over last season is still on the table for Meredith Black and her charges.

Big East Game #4: at Temple (8-4, 0-3 Big East)

When: Saturday, April 11, 2015, at 11am Central
Where: Geasey Field in Philadelphia, PA
Audio/Visual: FREE video and live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

When I did the Big East WLax swing around when MU started the conference schedule, I expected Temple to be a tough out for Marquette at worst and honestly, a likely loss.  The Owls had started 8-1, and while they had piled up the wins against the bottom half of the country, their most recent win was over a Delaware team that was ranked #19 in the country.  But now they've lost to Florida, Vanderbilt, and Connecticut to start the league slate, and none of those games were really that close.  The Vandy game was decided by just six goals, as the Commodores outscored Temple 4-1 over the final 14 minutes.

So now I don't know what to make of Temple, other than they're in a three way tie with Marquette and Cincinnati at 0-3 in the basement of the Big East standings.  At least we know that the winner here will pry themselves out of that tie, and depending on how the Cincy-Georgetown game goes, the loser might find themselves alone in last at 0-4.

On Wednesday, Marquette got to see the business end of the best goal scorer in the Big East (and the country) in Florida's Shannon Gilroy.  Now, Temple's Nicole Tiernan (29G) isn't anywhere near the goal scorer that Gilroy is (52G), but Tiernan is still the fourth best scorer in the conference.  The Owls aren't particularly interested in passing to score goals, with just 25 helpers on 115 team goals this season.  Rachael Schwaab leads the team in assists with 10, which means she has just two in their last three contests.

Jaqi Kakalecik's stats have taken a beating over the last three games.  Her goals-against average is up nearly a goal and a quarter to 10.70, which is honestly not that bad of a number.  The real problem is the divebomb that her save percentage has experienced.  Heading into league play, Kakalecik was stopping 42% of shots on goal, but now it's just 38% for the season.  Yes, that's right, she's stopping just 25% of shots in the three Big East games.