Two flipping weeks ago, Marquette women’s lacrosse released their 2020 schedule, and I have been TRYING to squeeze in some time to tell you all about it ever since.
Now is that time.
I feel bad about the delay but 1) there was a lot of soccer and volleyball and basketball all going on at the same time so I can not be blamed for prioritizing active sports and 2) we’re still more than two months away from Game #1 of the season, so I’m still giving you people a lot of notice of what to expect come February.
Marquette has five Big East games again this season as the league maintains its six team membership at least until 2021 when Connecticut returns to the fold. The Golden Eagles catch the short end of the stick this year, and will play just two times at home, with the lucky visitors being Old Dominion and Denver. I know it’s kind of luck of the draw there, but it is a little weird that MU’s schedule is split between home against the associate members and on the road against the full Big East members.
On top of that league schedule, the Golden Eagles will cram in 12 non-conference games, and I really do mean cram. Whereas the men’s team kind of only plays on Saturdays unless really forced to do otherwise, the Marquette women are playing just seven of their 17 games this season on a Saturday. Heck, MU doesn’t even play a Saturday game until February 29th! Had this been a non-leap year, that would be March 1st!
It’s a fairly even schedule in terms of home and road games, with eight at home and nine on the road. You can chalk the imbalance up to the Big East slate, so that means head coach Meredith Black has split the non-conference games right down the middle, which is nice. Three of Marquette’s first five games are at home, although the two road contests in there are both doozies.
The highlights on the schedule start right off the bat with a road trip to visit Notre Dame to open the season. The Irish are one of three teams on MU’s schedule that finished 2019 in the top 10 of the IWLCA top 25 poll. So that’s fun. Following that start on February 9, Marquette returns to Milwaukee for their home opener against Cincinnati, and then goes out on the road three days later to face Louisville.
The next two weekends also feature a pair of games. First, it’s Marquette at home against Canisius and Niagara, then MU will wrap up February out in Arizona. Arizona State is hosting an event-type-thing where the Golden Eagles will face the Sun Devils for the first time ever, and then square off with Fresno State two days later. That’s also a first time meeting for Marquette, which is fun.
March starts off with home games against Central Michigan and Ohio State. Marquette lost on the road to both squads a year ago, so it will be interesting to see if Valley Fields makes a difference this time around. From there, MU goes out to visit their old friends Detroit Mercy before returning home to host High Point. Marquette lost to the Panthers a year ago out in North Carolina, and then High Point went on to reach the NCAA tournament, one of five 2019 NCAA tournament squads on the slate this season.
That brings us to Old Dominion and the start of Big East play. However, there is one final non-conference bout to be handled. After Senior Day against the Denver squad that reached the NCAA quarterfinals and finished last year #8 in the country on April 18, Marquette will wrap up with two final road games. First it’s a visit to Northwestern, fresh off their Final Four appearance and final #4 ranking a year ago, and then Butler will wrap up the regular season.
Coach Black and her staff are heading into 2020 needing to replace their top three scorers from a team that went 9-9, but beat a ranked team for the first time in program history. That includes all-time goals and points leader Grace Gabriel as well as Cate Soccodato, who finished her career as #2 in MU history in assists.
Here’s the full schedule for your perusal.
2020 Marquette Women’s Lacrosse Schedule
|Sun., February 9||at Notre Dame||Noon|
|Fri., February 14||Cincinnati||1:00 PM|
|Mon., February 17||at Louisville||1:00 PM|
|Fri., February 21||Canisius||1:00 PM|
|Sun., February 23||Niagara||Noon|
|Thurs., February 27||at Arizona State||Noon|
|Sat., February 29||vs Fresno State (at Arizona State)||Noon|
|Wed., March 4||Central Michigan||Noon|
|Sat., March 7||Ohio State||2:00 PM|
|Wed., March 11||at Detroit Mercy||1:00 PM|
|Sat., March 14||High Point||1:00 PM|
|Sat., March 28||Old Dominion||11:00 AM|
|Fri., April 3||at Villanova||7:00 PM|
|Sat., April 11||at Georgetown||1:00 PM|
|Sat., April 18||Denver||Noon|
|Tues., April 21||at Northwestern||5:00 PM|
|Sat., April 25||at Butler||Noon|