Marquette’s 8-6 win over Detroit on Sunday didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in me.
Look, they won. That’s good, regardless of the final margin. The problem is that MU scored just two goals after halftime. They were already up 6-4 at the break and those two markers were all they needed to hold on to win, so that’s fine. However, it also means that the Golden Eagles have only scored three second half goals in the past three games. That’s really not fine.
But maybe things will be okay, though.
Last year, Marquette scored just nine, seven, and eight goals in their first three games. They didn’t have the notable problems in the second halves that they have been this year, but I still remember being concerned about MU’s offense in the early going last year, too. They ended up starting putting together double digit goal games after that, doing it five times during a six game winning streak to jumpstart the season and get the Golden Eagles pointed towards the Big East tournament.
Maybe Marquette just needs a few games to get some things ironed out like they did last year. Maybe they can get everything on track on Saturday in their final tune-up before Big East play starts. Fingers crossed?
Game #5: at Robert Morris Colonials (4-2)
When: Saturday, March 11, 2017, at 11am Central
Where: Joe Walton Stadium in Moon Township, PA
Audio/Visual: Live video will be provided through NEC Front Row (apparently for free) plus there’s live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax
Marquette is 1-0 all time against Robert Morris, and by “all time,” I mean “last year.” The Golden Eagles got a 13-5 victory over the Colonials at Valley Fields almost exactly one year ago.
I don’t know what to make of Robert Morris any more. I was leaning towards “hey they might have something going here” back on Monday. After forcing at-the-time #15 Penn State to score five goals in the fourth quarter to beat them 15-11, RMU ran off four straight wins, and a few in convincing fashion. An 18-8 win over Manhattan is pretty impressive because scoring 18 is always impressive, and a 15-6 win over a Detroit squad that Marquette struggled with means that the Colonials were doing something better than Marquette.
They grabbed up a road win against High Point on Sunday, and Robert Morris seemed to be building to something. And then they went to Georgetown on Tuesday and took a 12-7 loss. The win moved the Hoyas to 1-4 on the year, so yes, that was Georgetown’s first win of the year, including a road loss to the same High Point squad that RMU beat down in South Carolina.
Thus: no idea what to make of Robert Morris.
The Colonials are a diverse offensive squad, with only one player - Adrian Torok-Orban - averaging two goals per game and only three guys averaging two points per game. There are 17 different RMU players that have scored a goal this season and 18 different guys who have at least one point. Considering the problems that Marquette has had this season, an inability to focus on one or even two guys sounds incredibly terrifying.
Sophomore Alex Heger has gotten the start in net in all six of RMU’s games this season and he’s played all but 12 minutes. He’s stopping 58% of shots on goal and allowing just 9.13 goals per 60 minutes this season. Trey Arnold handles most of the face-off duties for the Colonials, but he’s only winning 45% of them. With Zachary Melillo back in action for Marquette, the Golden Eagles should have an advantage in that department.