The season is not over for Marquette.
Yes, they've lost five in a row, a season high streak in either direction. Yes, they're 0-4 in Big East play and have lost nine in a row overall in conference play. But they aren't eliminated from a spot in the Big East tournament, not quite yet. If the Golden Eagles can cobble together three straight wins to close the season - at Vanderbilt, Georgetown, and at Cincinnati - and maybe get a little bit of help, then Marquette might find a way into that fourth and final Big East semifinal slot.
It's going to take some doing, though. No conference win comes simply or easily, regardless of sport. It will take two road wins, which just adds to the degree of difficulty for Meredith Black's squad. Marquette's defense might be up to the task, as they're allowing fewer than 10 goals per 60 minutes this season, but the offense may prove to be their downfall. Not the scoring, mind you, but mere possession. MU is last in the Big East in draw controls this season at under nine per game. To put it another way: if their opponent scores, it's more likely than not that Marquette will allow that opponent to get the ball back right away for another chance to score.
Big East Game #5: at Vanderbilt (6-8, 3-2 Big East)
It's been a season of streaks for the Commodores. They jumped out to a 3-0 start in the 2015 season, but that was followed by eight consecutive losses. Vanderbilt was victimized by narrow squeaks, like their overtime loss at Penn, and they got taken behind the woodshed, as was the case when they hosted Stanford in Nashville and lost 22-11. You have to give them a little bit of credit, though. The first seven of those losses came against ranked foes, with the final one coming against Georgetown up in Washington, D.C.
Since that loss to the Hoyas, though, it's been nothing but a winning path for VU. They sandwiched a road win against Cincinnati with two home wins against Temple and UConn, with that win against the Huskies coming in double overtime just this past Sunday afternoon.
Caroline Peters had the game winner against Connecticut, but she's just one of four Commodores that have scored 20+ goals this season. To make things even trickier for defenses, three of those four have also dished out at least 10 assists this season. Mallory Schonk is the team leader in goals (28) and points (45), but it's Amanda Lockwood who was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Lockwood scored four goals against Connecticut in VU's 10-9 2OT win, including the game tying marker with 5:37 remaining.
Vanderbilt's goaltending has been all over the map this season, so I have no way of telling you who will be in net on Wednesday afternoon. Best guess is that it will be Maddie Kratz. The senior from Wilton, CT, started and played every minute against UConn, so I'd guess that she'll be back in net for the 'Dores.