The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and Nike released the 2016 Division 1 Men's Lacrosse Coaches Poll on Monday. Marquette did not manage to make their way into the top 20, but they are the first team listed under "Also Receiving Votes." Given that MU is immediately followed by Colgate on that list, it would seem that it's not in alphabetical order, so the Golden Eagles are unofficially officially 21st in the country according to the coaches that voted in the poll.
The major item to take notice of in the poll is the heavy representation by both Marquette's fellow Big East members as well as MU's non-conference opponents. Defending Big East and NCAA champion Denver comes in at #1 in the preseason poll with 19 of the first place votes. Georgetown turned up at #13 in the poll, while Villanova snagged #19. That makes for one hell of a war for supremacy in the Big East this season.
As for non-conference opponents, well, it's actually scarier than the Big East schedule. Marquette will be squaring off with Notre Dame (#2), Duke (#3), and Ohio State (#11) this season, and that's a hell of a tall task for the Golden Eagles. What's worse (well, for chances of victory, at least, it's pretty good for the ol' RPI) is that none of those non-conference games will be at home. All three will be road games, as the Buckeyes are hosting this year's Midwest Lacrosse Classic. Denver's also going to be a road game for Marquette this season, but at least MU will get to take on Georgetown and Villanova at Hart Park. In addition to those games, Marquette will visit Richmond for a game this season, and the Spiders join the Golden Eagles in the "Receiving Votes" category.
Marquette opens up the 2016 season against Bellarmine at Valley Fields on Saturday, February 20th. You can check out the full USILA poll right here.