A little while back, the USILA preseason coaches poll came out, ranking Marquette men’s lacrosse as the #15 team in the country heading into the 2018 season. The Inside Lacrosse/Maverik media poll is a little more sober and studious, and thus they have the Golden Eagles ranked #17 in the country in their preseason poll.
It’s a little silly, if we’re being honest.
Yes, Marquette made the NCAA tournament for the second straight year last season, and that’s pretty cool. However, MU finished the year at 8-8 after starting the Big East tournament with a record of 6-7. That’s not exactly the best record on the planet, and Marquette is essentially losing all of their offense from that team. Most of it was due to graduations, but Tanner Thomson, who finished second on the team in points and third in goals last season, will be redshirting in 2018 due to an injury suffered during fall practices. Marquette’s offense will be a fascinating watch this season as the Golden Eagles are going to need to find multiple double digit goal scorers from essentially out of thin air.
Of course, we don’t know when the ballots had to be sent in, so it’s possible that the voters didn’t know about Thomson’s season ending injury when they voted. We’ll have to wait and see how the first poll of the regular season changes.
MU picked up 86 points in the poll, which is a little bit more than half as many as the 158 that #16 Army earned. There’s a pretty big gap behind the Golden Eagles and #18 Brown, who earned 67 points.
As was the case with the USILA poll, Marquette is going to face their fair share of ranked foes this team, particularly in the top end of the poll. Three of Marquette’s final four games this season will come against teams in the preseason top six: #1 Duke, #4 Denver, and #6 Notre Dame. In addition to that, Marquette’s third game of the season will be against Ohio State, who come in at #7 in the preseason rankings.
There are two teams on Marquette’s schedule that are receiving votes, but fall outside the top 20 in the preseason poll. Villanova is the unofficial #22 team in the country, while Providence slots in at #26 if you keep counting downwards. Both teams were picked to finish in front of Marquette in the preseason poll of the Big East coaches, so that will be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Marquette gets the regular season started on February 17th when they host Jacksonville. In between now and then, they’ll get a preseason scrimmage in this weekend against Johns Hopkins, who are ranked #13 in the media poll, as well as Penn next weekend, who are receiving votes in the poll.
You can check out the full top 20 right here.