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Marquette Women's Lacrosse Big East Preview: at Cincinnati


Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Growing pains.

That's the theme for the third season of women's lacrosse at Marquette.  After a brief flurry of excitement early in the season as Marquette assembled the first three game winning streak in program history, the Golden Eagles have gone 1-9 in their last 10 contests, including six straight losses to open the Big East schedule.

While the losses have been a bit daunting in terms of volume, the important thing to remember is that this is still just the third season of play for head coach Meredith Black.  The track that the women's lacrosse team is on is pretty much what one could expect to see for a third year program.  It's a far cry from what Joe Amplo has accomplished with the men's program, of course, but that's defying all kinds of logic and statistical likelihoods.  Black has built a team from the ground up and is continually adding new pieces to the puzzle with each new recruiting class.

So, while we buckle down and remember that things are progressing as they really should have expected to go, Marquette does have a chance to end their season on a high note.  Both Cincinnati and Marquette are winless in league play, and the only team that Marquette beat in a Big East game last season was Cincinnati.  This is very obviously a winnable game for the Golden Eagles, as you could definitely make the argument that the Bearcats are a worse team than the four squads that MU does own wins over this season.

Big East Game #7: at Cincinnati (2-14, 0-6 Big East)

When: Saturday, April 25, 2015, at 12pm Central
Where: Sheakley Athletic Complex in Cincinnati, OH
Audio/Visual: Paid video from the Bearcats, but free live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

2 wins and 14 losses for the Bearcats this season, including nine straight losses and defeats in each of their six Big East games to this point of the schedule.  That's a rough way to go about things, especially after finishing 6-11 in 2014.  The six league losses this season means that Cincinnati has lost 13 straight Big East games, as they went 0-7 in 2014 in conference action after ending the 2013 season with a win over Rutgers.  Both of their wins this season did come at home, though, so Marquette can't be overconfident heading into the Queen City.

It's not all massive bummers for the Bearcats.  Junior midfielder Courtney Curtis has the third most goals in the Big East this season with 37.  She's not really a passer, though, so she only ranks ninth in the league in points per game.  In fact, Cincinnati's not much of a passing team at all.  They have just 27 assists on 109 goals, and only 31 of those goals have come on free position shots.  In any case, senior attacker Ashley Helmrath leads the team in helpers with seven.

Meg Gulmi is the goalie for Cincinnati, and there's good news and there's bad news from the UC perspective.  GOOD NEWS: She's leading the Big East in saves per game.  BAD NEWS: The Bearcats are facing nearly 30 shots a game and Gulmi stops less than nine of them.  So there's that then.