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Marquette Women's Lacrosse Big East Preview: vs Georgetown

It's time for the final home game of the season for the Golden Eagles.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The home side of the third season of women's lacrosse at Marquette comes to an end on Saturday evening when Marquette hosts Georgetown.  With five straight losses to open league play, MU has been eliminated from the Big East tournament, which leaves them with just a road trip to Cincinnati to close out the regular season.

It'll be the final collegiate game for eight seniors on the Marquette roster: Defenders Jenaye Coleman, Molly McQuade, and Alex Winey, midfielder Anna Muzika, attackers Sandra McCartin, Emily Donovan, and Nicole Gleason, and team manager and former player Briana Vargas.  Only Nicole Gleason is a senior by way of eligibility, while the remaining six active players are all redshirt juniors.  This is the downside of only having 12 scholarships to split across the entire roster, not to mention bringing players to Marquette in the year before MU actually started playing official games: Marquette's very first recruits have all earned their degrees, but spending their own money to attend grad school to use their last year of eligibility doesn't really make a whole bunch of sense.

While the postseason isn't possible any more, there are still a few things to keep an eye on in the statistical department.  Claire Costanza has already broken the single season points and assists records, both of which she already held.  All she can do is push her new record even higher up the board.  Elisabeth Goslee is one caused turnover away from tying Hayley Baas' single season record of 25.  Over in the goalie department, Sarah Priem is making some significant noise.  She's on pace to make the fewest saves of her three year career in blue & gold, and while that sounds like it might be bad, that also means that the defense is starting to coalesce around her.  If Priem can hold Georgetown and Cincinnati under 11 goals, she'll set a new single season record for goals against average, as she currently sits at 10.37.  If Priem stops more shots than she allows to go past her in the final two games, she might break the single season save percentage mark, too.  She stopped 37.6% of shots as a freshman, and she's currently sitting at 36.3% in 2015.

Big East Game #6: vs Georgetown (5-9, 4-1 Big East)

When: Saturday, April 18, 2015, at 5pm Central
Where: Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI
Audio/Visual: You'll have to make do with just live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

The Hoyas had a bad start to the season as they played a really difficult non-conference schedule.  They're now seeing the benefits of the losses suffered in that schedule as they've bounced back to sit in second place in the Big East at 4-1 and have already locked up a spot in the Big East tournament.

They clinched that tournament berth with a 13-12 win over Connecticut on Wednesday.  In that game, Georgetown had an 8-4 lead at halftime, but it had turned into an 11-10 lead for UConn with 6:34 remaining.  The Hoyas rallied to tie and retake the lead before the Huskies knotted things at 12 with just 1:47 remaining.  That gave GU a chance to win it on the game's final possession, and that they did on the fifth goal of the game from junior midfielder Kristen Bandos with just 15 seconds remaining.

After that explosion on Wednesday, Bandos leads the Hoyas in goals with 21.  With just one assist on the season, though, she ranks just third in points behind Caroline Tarzian (19&10) and Colleen Lovett (17&9).  This might sound like it's not great for Marquette's chances, but the good news is that it's a break from the firepower that MU has seen in their last four games.  None of Georgetown's players rank in the top 10 in the Big East in goals, assists, or overall points.

Maddie Fisher will be minding the net for Georgetown barring her being swallowed up by the Sarlaac between now and then.  She's allowing just 10.78 goals per 60 minutes, but stops just slightly more than 40% of shots on goal.  It seems to me that if Marquette can solve Georgetown's team defense, they should have a reasonable time being able to beat Fisher.