The nice people over at Inside Lacrosse have released their 2017 Face-Off Yearbook. This is an actual thing you can buy with previews of all 71 Division 1 men’s teams, as well as more info than you can shake a stick at on women’s lacrosse as well, not to mention D2, D3, junior college, and MCLA lacrosse. It’s $19.95, and available in digital formats.
Where was I?
As part of the Face-Off Yearbook, IL also released their internal preseason top 20. To be clear: this is NOT the preseason poll that we’ll care about once the season starts that IL maintains, this is just their own rankings.
The important point here is that IL has Marquette ranked #20 in the country to start the season.
The Golden Eagles are coming off the best season in program history, which, yeah, is only four seasons. BUT STILL, Marquette defeated Denver in the Big East championship game for their first conference championship and then hosted North Carolina in the very first NCAA tournament game in both Marquette and Wisconsin state history.
Hard to beat that, as far as “Best Season EVER” goes.
Marquette will lose a significant number of major contributors from the first four years of the program’s existence, including defensive stalwarts BJ Grill and Liam Byrnes and offensive powerhouses Conor Gately and Kyle Whitlow. Ryan McNamara returns, however, with his sights set on becoming the best offensive player in program history. He trails Gately by just 24 career points, and he already has the career goals record as well as the single season goals and points records. McNamara finished last year with 17 assists, three short of Gately’s single season record, so that’s on the table as well.
As far as Marquette opponents in the top 20 go, there’s quite a few of them, which should not be a surprise to you. Denver is the preseason #1, so they’ll likely be the favorite to win the Big East regular season title again this season. Notre Dame checks in at #4, Duke is #8, Richmond is #15, and Air Force is #18. Sweet merciful crap, what maniac put this schedule together? Only Denver is a conference game, the rest of these are by choice. MU will visit Richmond and Notre Dame this season, while Denver, Duke, and Air Force will all be coming to the Valley.
You can check out the whole top 20 right here.
Marquette opens the season at Jacksonville on February 18, 2017.