Marquette’s postseason hopes are on the line on Saturday at Valley Fields, and the worst part about it is that MU is no longer in control of their destiny.
With three league games left to play, Marquette is 2-4 in Big East play. There is a three-way tie for second place in the conference at 5-1. With just four teams in the 10 team league qualifying for the conference tournament, the best MU can hope for is to pull off three wins down the stretch and end up in a tie at 5-4 with at least one other team that will lose their final three games of the season.
What works in Marquette’s favor here is that one of the teams in that tie for second place is Georgetown, their opponent on Saturday. If Marquette can snag the win against the Hoyas, things will start to get interesting and dramatic in a hurry. See, Georgetown will close their season with a home game against Denver and then a road trip to see Florida. Those squads are #13 and #3 in the country respectively. There is a path to a Marquette three game win streak and a Georgetown three game loss streak that results in the Golden Eagles swiping the fourth and final spot in the Big East tournament, and that starts with a win on Saturday.
Please do not ask any questions about Connecticut or Vanderbilt, the two teams that are currently in between Marquette and Georgetown in the standings. We will deal with those two teams at the appropriate time.
Julianna Shearer Watch: The senior from Maryland can now lay claim to being the best goal scorer in Marquette history. After netting five against Connecticut, she has Marquette’s record for goals in a career (104), making her the first player in program history with 100 career goals, as well as the record for goals in a season with 44 thus far in 2017. She’s the first Golden Eagle to hit 40 goals in a season, and 50 is easily within range as well. Shearer is dueling with Grace Gabriel for the single season shots record, with Shearer’s 86 trailing along behind Gabriel’s 89. Both have surpassed the previous record of 74.
Fran Meyer Watch: The senior from Illinois is getting close to hitting a milestone. With 29 ground balls on the season, Meyer now has 99 in her career and needs just one more to become the third Golden Eagle to record 100 ground balls, along with Elizabeth Goslee (106) and Sarah Priem (157). Meyer has also added on 27 caused turnovers to her career total to move to 87 in her career, one short of Goslee’s career record of 88. She’s also three away from tying Goslee’s record for caused turnovers in a season at 30 as well.
Grace Gabriel Watch: Only three women have ever scored 30 goals in a season for Marquette: Allison Lane, Julianna Shearer, and now Grace Gabriel. She scored twice against Connecticut to get to 35 on the season and is one goal away from surpassing Shearer’s old single season record of 36. Gabriel fired off six shots against Denver to hit 80 on the season and become the first ever Golden Eagle to reach that number in a season. Gabriel is dueling with Shearer for the single season shots record, with Shearer’s 86 trailing along behind Gabriel’s 89. Both have surpassed the previous record of 74.
Big East Game #7: vs Georgetown Hoyas (7-7, 5-1 Big East)
When: Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 1pm Central
Where: The Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble at Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: There should be a free live stream from GoMarquette.com, and live stats are always free.
Special Promotions: Bring a children’s book to donate for FREE admission! The first 100 fans get a nifty roll-up Marquette blanket.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax
Marquette has a 0-4 all time record against the Hoyas. Georgetown was ranked in the first two meetings, so the losses there aren’t terribly surprising, while the last two contests were both decided by only one goal.
Georgetown’s non-conference experience was remarkably similar to Marquette’s this season. They have losses to the teams that are currently ranked #1, #10, and #14, as well as a loss to a Johns Hopkins team that barely beat Marquette and was ranked #18 in the country when the Hoyas played them. That’s four of their six non-conference losses, and I don’t feel like you can hold any of those against them.
In any case, they’ve turned things around in terms of wins and losses since the start of league play and come into Saturday’s contest riding a three game winning streak. They squeaked past Villanova up on the Main Line, then returned to D.C. for two fairly easy wins over Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.
Georgetown has a wide variety of scoring options for Marquette to defend. Taylor Gebhardt leads a four-pack of players who have scored at least 20 goals this season, and she’s found the back of the net 32 times this season. There’s three more Hoyas who have tallied double digit goals this season, so there’s plenty of options. Oddly, they aren’t super big on passing, tallying just 73 assists on 172 goals this season. Francesca Whitehurst leads the squad with 15 helpers on the season, and there’s four more players with nine assists on the season.
Maddy Fisher has been the primary goalie for Georgetown this season, but Haelle Chomo has managed to find herself over 200 minutes of action in 10 appearances. Fisher and Chomo are roughly even in terms of save percentage, but Chomo has the better goals-against average, 9.13 vs 11.26. Still, I’d expect to see Fisher continue to get the start on Saturday.