With the Marquette Golden Eagles kicking of their season on Thursday, I have come up with three very essential questions I have for this year. The team had a somewhat disappointing season last year losing five times in Big East play and missing out on the NCAA Tournament. The answers to these three questions will be imperative to their success this year.
What can we expect from the new-look midfield?
Eli Beard, Caroline Fink, and Ryley Bugay started 90% of the games together last season. Both Beard and Fink have graduated which leaves Bugay as the lone returner with quality experience in the midfield. Heather Handwork was the only other player to start in the midfield when coach Roeders decided to play with four midfielders against Rhode Island with the absence of Madden. It seems like Roeders is looking elsewhere to fill the remaining midfield positions. In the two preseason games, Roeders started Leah Celarek and freshmen Katrina Wetherell alongside Bugay. Celarek spent last season on the back line starting 8 of the 15 games she played in, while Wetherell is a promising freshmen most recently netting 26 goals with five hat-tricks in her senior season at Kellis High School. It’s clear that the midfield is an experiment in progress, but there is some optimism with Celarek’s defensive experience and Wetherell’s goal-scoring abilities that she showed in High School. Celarek will likely slot as a defensive midfielder, while Wetherell and Bugay will play as attacking midfielders in Roeders’ common 4-3-3 lineup.
Can the Golden Eagles be more dominant in Big East play?
Marquette lost five games against Big East foes (including conference tournament action) last season which was the most since the realignment of the Big East. Four of the five were complete blowouts where Marquette was out-shot and out-played. Three of the games were against either Georgetown or Butler so I’m not going to knock them for losing against the powerhouses of the league last year. However, the other two losses were to Providence and Villanova. Providence just barely beat the Golden Eagles out for 3rd place while ‘Nova finished second to last. Both were unprecedented losses as Marquette had never lost to either of those teams...ever. The Villanova game was ugly as MU suffered a 4-1 defeat, while falling apart in an 18 minute stretch in the second half and only avoiding a shutout thanks to an own goal in the 83rd minute. Obviously the goal this year is to avoid bad losses. My expectation is for them to beat every team not named Georgetown or Butler. I also think they’ll be more competitive against the front-runners too. Carrie Madden will hopefully be healthy the entire season and the MU defensive end looks rock solid, returning four starters. This team has a lot of experience coming back and they will be striving to make the NCAA Tournament this year after missing out last season. Let’s see how the Golden Eagles fare in non-conference play, but I fully expect them to be more dominant against Big East opponents this season.
Which player has the best name on the team?
Okay so here’s the deal: this squad has a lot of players with fun names. My question is, who’s got the best one? We’ve all become accustomed to Kylie Sprecher and Heather Handwork who led the team last year in exquisite last names. Sprecher won last year because it’s also a great local brewing company and we here at Anonymous Eagle love good beer. And Handwork is just great because it’s fun to say her name since both her first and last name start with ‘H’. Who doesn’t like alliteration?? Communists, that’s who. But this is a new year and a lot of incoming freshmen are vying to dethrone Sprecher and Handwork. The three that have risen above the rest are Macey Shock, Alyssa Bombacino, and Katie Koker. Shock is a powerful last name and is an announcers dream. It gives them creative ways to talk about her when she does something good on the field. My personal favorite: “She shocked the defense with her lightning quick moves and left the goalkeeper paralyzed with fear as she thundered the ball into the net.” Bom-buh-SEE-no is another great one simply because it’s so fun to say. A lot of vowels and syllables always makes for a top-notch last name. Try saying that five times fast. Lastly, Katie Koker. For the reasons stated before, the first letters of her first and last name make for a fun alliteration pronunciation. All three are worthy candidates but who do you think deserves the top spot? One of the veterans or an up and coming star? Make sure you vote below!
Which WSOC player has the best name?
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Other (comment below with answer)