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Marquette Women's Lacrosse Preview: vs Temple

The Golden Eagles look for their second Big East win of the year when they host the Owls on Saturday.

Live mascot > Guy in suit mascot
Live mascot > Guy in suit mascot
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes you have to just take the folder with all of your data and video about the previous game and just drag it into the trash bin.  The modern day version of throwing the game tape in the garbage can next to your desk, as it were.

That's what head coach Meredith Black has to do with all of her game prep and so forth from Wednesday's encounter against #2 Florida.  It was 7-0 after 15 minutes and 12-0 at halftime.  Sure, the game ended with a score of 15-5, which seems like a score that could happen sometimes against the #2 team in the country.  Unfortunately, the Gators scored the first 15 goals of the game, so it was long over before Marquette even found the back of the net for the first time.

With that behind them, Marquette continues their quest for a second league win, something that they've never done in their previous two seasons in the Big East.  They're also in search of their first Big East tournament appearance.  Only the top four teams in the standings qualify every year, and having only one league win at the end of the year tends to curb your chances.  At 1-2 so far this season, the Golden Eagles find themselves in an early tie for that fourth and final slot in the semifinals with......... you guessed it, Temple.

Obviously a win here would be a major boon as far as immediate impact on the standings.  It would also give Marquette the tiebreaker against the Owls.  If you look at MU's future schedule, you can see how beneficial a win over Temple would be.  Marquette's three remaining games after Saturday have two games against teams lower than MU in the standings and the third is against third place Georgetown.  Marquette's postseason destiny is in their own hands, or sticks, if you prefer.

Julianna Shearer Watch: The junior from Maryland needs two goals to tie Hayley Baas' single season record of 28.  She finished with four draw controls against Florida to move to 37 on the season, breaking Jacqueline Borzillo's single season record of 33.

Big East Game #4: vs Temple (9-4, 1-2 Big East)

When: Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 1:30pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel has the broadcast in Milwaukee.  There's live stats, too.
Special Promotions: 1st 200 students get MU Lacrosse socks.  PLUS: Free Pita Bros. for students before the game!
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

Temple's in the same Big East situation as Marquette: They played Connecticut and Florida in their first three games and took two losses against two very good teams.  The difference here is that the Owls fared better against the two league leaders.  It took a Lindsay Ronbeck goal with 4:26 left to give the Gators a 10-9 win in Florida, and Rachel Schwaab knotted the game against the Huskies at 8 with 8:07 remaining before Alyson Fazio recorded the overtime winner late in the extra session.

Temple also had a near miss against Louisville to open the season, losing 8-5 to the then-#16 ranked Cardinals.  Other than that, they've largely had an easy time scoring goals.  They've scored at least 12 goals in eight of their nine wins this season, but that ninth one should give Marquette a little bit of hope.  It was a 7-3 win against Big East foe Vanderbilt, so if that's a result of stepping up the competition level, maybe Marquette can pressure the Owls a bit.

The focus of that pressure is going to have to be split, though.  Temple has a pair of 20 goal scorers on the season in Megan Tiernan (22) and the aforementioned Rachel Schwaab (24).  Both women have cracked into double digit territory in assists as well this season, which has them both amongst the league leaders in points.  Brenda McDermott is actually doing better on a point per game average than Tiernan and has 30 points total on the season, but she's missed two of Temple's last four games.  McDermott did play in their most recent game, the loss to UConn, so we'd have to expect that she'll be available.

That high quality offense from the Owls is partnered up with the lowest team goals-against average in the Big East, as Temple is the only team that hasn't given up 90 goals yet this season.  In fact, they're the only team that's under 105 goals allowed.  Senior Jaqi Kakalecik has played every single minute in net for the Owls, so she's wholly responsible for those stellar stats.  Even with backups taking a few minutes here and there around the rest of the league, Kakalecik is leading the Big East in goals-against average, and her save percentage (.512) is just 21 thousandths behind UConn's Shannon Nee for the league lead.