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#17 Marquette Men's Lacrosse Preview: vs Providence

The Golden Eagles have their eyes on moving to 4-0 in Big East play on the biggest Senior Day in program history.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here's what's on the line for Marquette on Saturday:

  • Their perfect record in Big East play. Marquette is 3-0 thus far in conference games with two games left to play.
  • A chance at a de facto conference championship game against defending Big East (and national) champion Denver. If Marquette defeats Providence, then the game against the Pioneers on April 30th will likely be for the regular season title, one way or another.
  • Maintaining a quality profile for the NCAA tournament. Lacrosse Magazine had the Golden Eagles as the last team in the field before they lost to #1 Notre Dame on Wednesday.  They might be able to hang on following that loss.  They won't hang on if they lose to Providence and their RPI of 41.
  • Sending off the largest senior class in Division 1 in style. The 19 guys who are seniors on this team have been the foundation of the Marquette lacrosse program.  They were the guys that head coach Joe Amplo brought in during his first two years to set the tone for what he wanted Marquette lacrosse to mean.  This goes double, maybe triple, for the five guys on the roster - Kyle Whitlow, BJ Grill, Liam Byrnes, Dan Mojica, and Tyler Gilligan - who are either graduate students or redshirt seniors right now.  They've been here since the very beginning.
  • Liam Byrnes can (will?) break the single season caused turnovers record. The Big East Preseason Defensive Player of the Year has 26 caused turnovers this season.  His next CT this year will break his own single season record.  He already has four of the five highest CT season totals in program history, as he has to share the current third best mark with Logan Tousaw.

Big East Game #4: vs Providence (7-4, 1-1 Big East)

When: Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 11am Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will broadcast the game in Milwaukee.  There's live stats, too.
Special Promotions: First 200 students get MU Lacrosse socks, PLUS free Pita Bros. for students after the game.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax

The Friars come in with a loss to woeful Georgetown in their most recent game.  That defeat at the hands of the Hoyas snapped a four game winning streak for PC that had them earning votes in the media top 20 poll.  Even worse, it's put Providence in a precarious position for the Big East tournament.  Only four squads make the tournament out in Denver, and right now, Providence holds the #3 spot.  However, they have one less game played than Georgetown, who holds a tiebreaker against the Friars now, and PC hasn't played Marquette, Villanova, or Denver yet.  1-4 is completely possible, if not actually likely at this point, and that tiebreaker with Georgetown could end up sending them home at the conclusion of the regular season.

20 Friars have scored at least one goal this season, which seems totally insane.  Marquette has only had 15 different goal scorers, so maybe it is bananas.  They have four guys who average at least one goal per game, led by Will Mazzone, who is fourth in the Big East in goals per game at 2.45.  Six PC attackers average at least a point per game, although Keenan Assaraf and Ryan Schaffer have missed a couple of games this season.

All of this only translates to the third most prolific offense in the Big East this season, however.  They're the third best scoring defense, too, but that doesn't give you the full picture.  PC is getting outshot this season, to the tune of nearly five more shots per game.  Luckily enough, they lead the Big East in saves, saves per game, and save percentage.  Freshman Tate Boyce has occupied over 99% of the team's minutes in net this season, so he's essentially posting those league best goaltending stats all by himself.