Inside Lacrosse released the results of their preseason media poll for the 2019 women’s lacrosse season on Monday. It’s not a surprise that Marquette is not ranked in the poll, and it’s not a surprise they’re not receiving votes, either. In 2018, Marquette finished over .500 for the first time in program history, and if we’re being honest about the whole deal, Meredith Black’s teams have yet to even beat a ranked foe. Gotta beat a ranked team before you can be a ranked team.
There are, however, four squads on Marquette’s schedule this season that are receiving votes in the preseason poll. Northwestern is the only one of the four that is actually ranked, as the Wildcats start the year off at #7 in the country. NU will be coming to Valley Fields for a night time start on March 23rd, which could give the Golden Eagles a quality shot at picking up that first ever win over a ranked foe.
The other three teams receiving votes in the preseason poll are exactly that: Receiving votes. There are only four teams that picked up votes but didn’t make it into the top 20, so to a certain extent, there is some prestige to only earning votes at this point of the year. One of Marquette’s opponents is guaranteed to not make it into the top 20 by the time the game takes place, and that’s because MU opens up the season by hosting Notre Dame on February 8th. That’s the first official day of the season all across the country, so there won’t be a new poll between now and then, and thus, ND won’t move off the Receiving Votes line.
Marquette’s other two opponents that earned votes in the poll but aren’t ranked right now absolutely might be ranked by the time the game rolls around. The Golden Eagles will close up the season with a road trip to visit Denver and then with Senior Day against Georgetown. The Hoyas are the unofficial #21 team in the country, followed by Notre Dame, followed by the Pioneers. Bang, bang, bang, right in a row. By the time we get to April 19th, it seems very clear that the Pios or the Hoyas could wander their way into the top 20. If that happens for either one, it seems very likely that that game could end up being the most important game in program history. Between the ranking and the fact that those two teams are considered to be the favorites to win the six team Big East this season, closing the season with those two squads could end up turning into a situation where Big East tournament seedings are very much on the line..... or perhaps even the regular season title.
As mentioned above, Marquette opens the 2019 season by hosting Notre Dame at Valley Fields. First draw in that game is set for 2pm Central on February 8th, which means it will wrap up with enough time for everyone in attendance to wander up to campus proper afterwards for the National Marquette Day pep rally before the women’s basketball team hosts Georgetown.
You can check out the full top 20 poll right here.