Today, the Big East sets the teams in the teams in Saturday's men's lacrosse championship game via two semifinal contests. Both games will be broadcast on the Big East Digital Network via Fox Sports Go. The second game of the day will be top seeded Denver against 4th seed Villanova, who also happens to be the host for the event. That game will get started at 6pm Central, but it's the 3:30pm game that's of more concern to us here...
Big East Semifinal: (2) Georgetown vs (3) Marquette
When: Thursday, April 30, 2015, at 3:30pm Central
Where: Villanova Stadium in Villanova, PA
Season Meeting: Georgetown won, 10-9
That 10-9 loss to the Hoyas was the first loss of the season for the Golden Eagles after seven straight wins to start things off. It also set a marker for the season. Marquette had already found a way out of two deficits of four goals in order to win a game this season, but Georgetown took a five goal lead. Marquette wasn't able to find their way out of that hole, but they did end up tying the game at 9 with just over 6 minutes to play. It was a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with 4:38 remaining that gave Georgetown a minute's worth of 6-on-4 time, and that was just enough time for Craig Berge to rifle home the game winner.
The Golden Eagles (10-5, 3-2) have had the most successful season in program history, finishing the regular season over .500 for the first time in the three years of Division 1 lacrosse in Milwaukee. With that said, it's been rough sledding for MU since Big East play started with the loss to Georgetown. Marquette is just 3-5 in their last eight games, but there is a caveat. Three of those losses have come to teams ranked in the top six in the country, while a fourth came against a Georgetown team that used the win over Marquette to launch themselves into the national rankings. Even with the losses, MU is still ranked #19 in the country, a far cry from their peak of #9 earlier in the season. As a result of the successful season, five Golden Eagles ended up named to the Big East's all-conference teams, including long stick midfielder Liam Byrnes who was a unanimous selection for the First Team.
#12 Georgetown comes into the game with a record of 9-5 overall, but 4-1 in Big East action, which gets them slotted one spot higher than Marquette in the league standings. Those nine wins are the most by a GU team since 2010. The Hoyas are 5-3 in their last eight games, with all three losses coming against top 10 opponents: Duke and Denver, two of the teams that victimized Marquette, plus a 12-9 loss to Virginia as well.
Six Georgetown players were named to the all-Big East teams, led by Bo Stafford and Nick Marrocco on the First Team. Stafford capped off his collegiate career by leading his team in points with 50 on 30 goals and 20 assists. That placed him 4th in the Big East and 40th in the country in points per game. Marrocco made his way onto the all conference team by being one of the best goalies in the country. The freshman from Duxbury, Massachusetts, was top 15 in the nation in save percentage and ranked #3 overall in saves per game.