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Marquette Women's Lacrosse Preview: at Georgetown

Last road game of the year, but there's a lot on the line.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Meredith Black and Marquette women's lacrosse are playing with house money at this point.

They've won six games this season, a new high water mark for the program in their fourth season in Division 1.  They've won three Big East games after winning just one in each of their first two games in the league.  Regardless of whatever happens on Saturday in D.C. or next week Friday night in Milwaukee, we'll be able to chalk this season up as a successful one for the Golden Eagles.

With that said, there's a lot left to accomplish.  MU's remaining two games are against teams with a combined record of 9-20 overall and 3-7 in Big East games.  I'm not saying that we can guarantee wins here, but these are winnable games for Marquette.  This is great news, because right now, Marquette is one win away from a spot in the Big East tournament.  As you can guess from only winning one Big East game each of the past two years, if MU can snag just one more W, they'd make their first appearance in the conference's postseason tournament.  While Saturday's game against the Hoyas might be a little more challenging than their record suggests, the home finale against Cincinnati is promising.  Those lone wins the last two years? Against the Bearcats.

Enough speculation about the future, though.  Let's focus on what we already know about this season.  For example: Allison Lane has scored in 18 consecutive games.  Lane and Julianna Shearer have both already eclipsed Hayley Baas' record for goals in a season, with Shearer outdueling Lane 32-29 right now.  Both women have been eclipsed in points this season by 37 from Amanda Bochniak, who is now just nine points short of Claire Costanza's single season record of 46.  Bochniak is also just four assists away from Costanza's helpers record of 25.  Bochniak is already the only other player to register 20 assists for Marquette, having gotten to exactly that number in her freshman campaign.  Shearer (65) has broken Costanza's record for shots in a season (62), Sarah Priem has tied her own single season record for ground balls in a season (41).

Oh, and Hayley Baas continues to extend her career goals record.  She's tacked on 20 markers this season to push the record up to 86 in her collegiate career.  She also became just the second Marquette player to ever record 100 points in a career when she scored her third goal of the game against Connecticut on April 9th.

Big East Game #6: at Georgetown (5-9, 3-2 Big East)

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016, at noon Central
Where: Cooper Field in Washington, D.C.
Audio/Visual: Georgetown will make you pay for a video stream, but live stats are free.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

Georgetown's record is what it is.  There's no getting around the fact that they're probably going to end the season under .500.  They'd have to win their last two regular season games, then win the Big East championship, then win an NCAA tournament game just to guarantee a .500 finish.  Seems unlikely.

It's not entirely their fault.  After finishing 7-10 last year with a 6-1 record in the Big East, they went out and scheduled tough.  Five of their non-conference opponents are currently ranked in the Inside Lacrosse Top 20 media poll, and they lost four of the five.  They also lost to Johns Hopkins, who was ranked at the time of the game, and they have two losses in league play to Connecticut and Florida, the two best squads in the conference, and in the case of the Gators, the #2 team in the country and a clear national championship contender.

Boom, 5-9.  They tried their best and failed miserably.  Things happen.

The Hoyas are still in a prime position to get into the Big East tournament, though, as they're currently tied for third in the league with none other than your Marquette Golden Eagles.  While wins haven't been stacking up, the points have been.  Georgetown has three women who have all notched exactly 29 points on the season.  Kristen Bandos is the most notable of the trio, scoring 25 goals as part of her not-quite-30 points.  Corinne Etchison and Francesca Whitehurst have both been utilizing the passing game to drive their numbers up, as they have 11 and 10 assists to lead the team in that category, respectively.

Marquette's offense should be able to work relatively unimpeded in this game.  The Hoyas cause the second fewest turnovers in the Big East, more than one full turnover fewer than 5th place Vanderbilt.  Kassandra Bowling is the only Hoya to average more than one CT per game, and only Natalie Miller has managed to get to join Bowling in double digits.

Presuming that Georgetown is going to stick to their game plan of starting Maddy Fisher in net and switching to Megan McDonald at halftime, Marquette is going to want to jump on the Hoyas early.  Fisher is allowing nearly a goal and a half more per 60 minutes than McDonald, and Fisher is stopping just 36% of shots on goal against 44% for McDonald.  Georgetown has an ever so slight shooting advantage on their opponents this season (335-321), so it's going to be up to Marquette to pump shots on goal when Fisher is in net to take control of the game.