Well, picnic season is officially over for Marquette men’s lacrosse.
Three of Marquette’s final four opponents in the 2017 season — Notre Dame, Duke and Denver — are ranked in the top 10 of the newest Maverik media top 20 poll. Providence, the fourth team? Unofficially ranked #22 in the country.
That’s the path that Marquette has to take if they want to get back to the NCAA tournament in 2017. It’s probably not going to be fun! Marquette has a combined record of 1-12 against the three top 10 ranked teams in program history, and a lot of those games were not close. But at 6-3 on the season, Marquette can barely afford to take on any further losses this season if they want an at-large bid to the Big Barbecue.
The selection committee would probably forgive them one loss to a top 10 ranked team, to be honest. I don’t know if they would forgive them a second one, which means it’s very important that Marquette come away from South Bend with a win on Tuesday just to give them a bit of leeway headed into hosting gigs against the Blue Devils and the Pioneers to wrap up the regular season. Lose to Notre Dame, and Marquette is definitely going to need to beat Duke and Denver to keep themselves alive for an at-large spot.
Of course, MU could always just win the Big East tournament and get the automatic bid again. Y’know, as an insurance policy.
Game #10: at #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-3)
When: Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at 3pm Central
Where: Arlotta Stadium in South Bend, IN
Audio/Visual: ACC Network Extra has the television broadcast, which actually means it’s streaming on WatchESPN. Head this way for live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax
Marquette is 0-4 all time against Notre Dame. Last year’s meeting, the second straight one to be played in South Bend, was the closest of the four contests, as Marquette scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter before Matt Kavanagh recorded the sudden victory goal in overtime.
Two of Notre Dame’s losses this season have come in their last two contests, but I feel we need to slap a big ol’ “Yeah, but!” on ND’s defeats. They lost to a #4 ranked team, a #3 ranked team, and a #10 ranked team, all by a combined margin of five goals, and three of those were in their most recent loss to Duke. Weird side note to Notre Dame’s losses: They’ve given up 11 goals in each of them, which is tied for the season high for goals allowed. Gave up 10 in a season opening win over Georgetown, but single digits allowed the rest of the way.
Midfielder Sergio Perkovic scored two goals against Duke to give him 101 for his career, making him the seventh Irish player to reach the triple digit mark in goals. While he’s one of the best goal scorers in program history, he’s not the team leader in that department this season. Sophomore Ryder Garnsey leads the way in goals with 17 and assists with 16, while junior Mikey Wynne is second with 16 goals, putting both men in front of Perkovic’s 13 strikes on the season.
Shane Doss mans the net for head coach Kevin Corrigan as he’s slowly taken over the role as full time starting netminder since his freshman year. He’s stopping 54% of shots on frame, so Marquette’s shooters will have their hands full trying to beat him. Doss is allowing ever so slightly under eight and a half goals per game, so MU is going to have to earn everything they can get against him.