Good news: Marquette easily beat Robert Morris last Saturday afternoon.
Bad news: They did it without redshirt senior midfielder and MU's all time leading goal scorer Kyle Whitlow, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Good news: Marquette was successful with a bunch of guys stepping into new roles to replace Whitlow, who had started in every single one of Marquette's previous 49 Division 1 games.
Bad news: Robert Morris might not actually be any good, so it's hard to take anything from that game terribly seriously.
In short, I'd like to see someone like Tanner Thomson repeat his two goal performance to get a feel for whether or not it's just a freak chance occurrence or something that's going to continue on a regular basis.
While Marquette might have a thing or two to hammer out on the offensive end without Whitlow, the defense seems to be totally fine. As might be expected with two preseason third team All-Americans, Marquette has the lowest goals against average in the Big East right now, allowing under seven goals per 60 minutes. Denver, the next best team, is allowing more than two goals more than Marquette right now. Their 6.80 goals allowed per game average is currently the third lowest in the country, trailing just Yale and Notre Dame.
Marquette is second in the Big East in caused turnovers per game at 7.2, which is a nice counterbalance to giving up the second fewest turnovers as well. MU is also the second least penalized team in the conference, but even then, the Golden Eagles aren't taking serious penalties: They lead the Big East with the fewest penalty minutes per game. That's a nice combination of "you ain't scoring, we're taking it from you, and oh, we're doing it totally cleanly, too."
Game #6: at Quinnipiac (3-1)
After being picked to finish second in the MAAC this season, the Bobcats are off to a 3-1 start this season. Their loss is completely explainable, even though QU trailed 11-2 at the half and lost by a final score of 20-7. You see, that game was against Brown, who started the season ranked #10 in the country, and are now 5-0 and ranked #5 in the country. Ain't no shame in that, guys. Well, not really. Losing by 13 is still kind of a bummer.
Their three wins have been tightly contested affairs, with a 12-6 win on a trip to Bellarmine as the widest margin. They snuck past NJIT at home on March 5, and in their most recent game, they needed overtime to defeat Hartford on the road, 11-10.
Meth is the reason why the Bobcats won that game against the Hawks. No, really. Senior midfielder Connor Meth scored the game winner to finish off his hat trick against Hartford with 2:23 left in overtime. It was his sixth score of the season, as he smoked one past the Hartford goalie, but Meth doesn't lead the way for Quinnipiac this season. Sophomore attackman Ryan Feldman is better than Meth, totaling 10 points on 10 goals this season. Meth has a strong distribution game, though, as his three assists are tied for the team lead with senior attacker Ryan Keenan. I wonder if Meth is doing so well this season because head coach Eric Fekete has only deployed sophomore attacker Kevin Cop in one game this season, the aforementioned smashing at the hands of Brown.
Junior Jack Brust has played all but 12 minutes this season for Quinnipiac, with all 12 of those coming at the end of the loss to Brown. Even though he allowed 18 goals and made just seven saves against the Bears, Brust has some respectable stats on the season: A goals-against average of 10.70 and a save percentage of .506.