#9 Florida scored 11 of the game’s first 12 goals and 17 of the first 19 on their way to an 18-6 victory over Marquette on Saturday afternoon. It’s Marquette’s first loss in Big East play after starting out with five straight wins, dropping them out of a tie for first place with Florida.
This is both a bummer and completely unsurprising.
The fact of the matter is that ever since Florida joined the Big East, they have been a complete mismatch for Marquette. Even MU’s narrowest defeat, a 15-5 loss in 2016, was a rampaging destruction-fest, as the Gators scored the first 15 goals of the game. It would have been great if Marquette could have made this competitive, since first place in the Big East was on the line in Gainesville, but the odds were probably against that from the get-go.
Ultimately, Marquette’s failing in the game was letting the Gators explode early. By the time that 10 minutes had wound off the clock, Florida was already up 8-1, and it only took them 19 more seconds to make it 9-1. There was still 50 minutes of lacrosse to be played, and Florida had already shown that they could score at will.
The final score probably isn’t indicative of how lopsided the game actually was, as the running clock kicked in with 45 minutes left in regulation when UF’s Sydney Pirreca scored her third goal of the game to make it 11-1. With the clock continuing to run unless the referees specifically stopped it for game administration reasons, the final 45 minutes of regulation blew by in a hurry, allowing things to wrap up in a clean 100 minutes, even with taking a halftime break.
It is what it is: A scheduled loss. Marquette’s postseason hopes were never truly riding on this outcome. It’s just a lost opportunity to make a major statement for the team, and it’s entirely possible given the history of these two teams that there wasn’t much of an opportunity in the first place.
At 5-1 with three games to play, Marquette still has work to do to lock up a Big East tournament spot. They’re now in a tie for second place with Georgetown, and Denver sits in fourth place at 4-2. Three teams are tied for fifth place at 3-3, but the good news is that Marquette already holds tiebreakers against two of them and has yet to play the other. Officially, Marquette can’t finish any lower than seventh at this point, but there’s an awful lot of real estate between seventh and the fourth and final Big East tourney berth.
Up Next: Marquette will have two of their final three games at home, which is good news. First up is Denver on Wednesday afternoon at 2pm Central, which will be a pretty important game for both squads in terms of the four conference tournament spots. The Pioneers have won five of their last six games and are coming off of a 14-8 win against Villanova.