Finally, after 10 games this season away from Wisconsin and approximately 13,000 miles traveled, the Golden Eagles get to play a home game. It's just the eighth home game in men's lacrosse history at Marquette, so yeah, I'm pretty stoked about being able to see the team live and in person, and you should be, too.
While there is reason for excitement for the first home game, it is slightly mitigated after Tuesday afternoon. MU suffered their second loss of the season to Bellarmine, falling 9-3. The Golden Eagles tied a record for fewest goals scored in a game in that one, and the loss is likely to cost them their Top 20 ranking when the new Inside Lacrosse poll is released on Monday morning.
The loss also probably cost Marquette a chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. But, it was a non-conference game, and here, at Hart Park on Saturday, it's back to Big East games for Marquette. That's good news, of course, and a win over the Red Storm will help get things back on track. It will also get Marquette one step closer to locking up one of the four spots in the Big East tournament, which will likely be their path to the NCAA tournament.
Big East Game #3: vs St. John's (3-7, 1-0 Big East)
St. John's lost the best scorer in program history after last season in Kieran McArdle. Now, Eric DeJohn (28 & 17) and Stefan Diachenko (27 & 4) are providing the goals for the Red Storm, the team isn't doing so well overall. Two of their three wins this season have come in their last four games, but they've struggled to come up with wins overall. Five of their seven losses this season have come by either one or two goals this season, which includes overtime losses at Jacksonville and at home against a Yale team that's currently ranked #11 in the country. Toss in a three goal loss to Hofstra out on Long Island, too, and in an odd way, St. John's almost starts looking like a mirror image of Marquette when it comes to narrow margins this season.
We already touched on the Red Storm offense, with DeJohn ranking second in the Big East in goals per game and points per game and Diachenko slotting at 5th and 7th respectively. Their defense isn't to be ignored, though. They've got some hustle in them, as they lead the Big East in both caused turnovers and, not surprisingly given that fact, they also lead in ground balls per game. Junior Harry Burke has solidified his hold on the starting goalie spot, and over the last two games, he's improved on his individual statistics even though the team is 1-1. He's currently got a goals-against average of 9.82, while stopping 51% of the shots on goal while he's been playing.