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Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Preview: at Detroit Mercy

The Golden Eagles head out on the road looking to shake off their first loss of the season.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Detroit v Kansas
The more I think about it, the less this makes sense as a mascot for the Titans.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It’s hard to say whether it was Marquette’s offense or their defense that let them down last week against Jacksonville. The game was decided when the Golden Eagles went about 22 minutes in the third and fourth quarters without a goal while allowing five straight to the Dolphins on the other end. Marquette had led 7-6 when the run started, and maybe 7 goals in a half and three minutes isn’t a lot, which would lead you to think it’s the offense’s difficulty.

In addition to that, giving up five goals in about 18 minutes (the time between JU’s first and last goal in the run) doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world. Then again, if you’re giving up a goal every three minutes, that means you’re on pace to cough up 20 goals in a game, and that is bad. MU was a little bit more stingy than that pace, but 16 goals in a game also is not particularly wonderful, especially when your offense is struggling to get to 10 goals in a game as MU is this season.

All this does is build on the questions brought on from the Bellarmine game. In that one, Marquette led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and scored the first goal of the second quarter too. Then they scored just three times the rest of the game and won 11-10. That’s 40 minutes of not particularly outstanding lacrosse for Marquette, or at the very least 40 minutes of questionable lacrosse.

I guess this means that we just have to cross our fingers that Marquette is learning and growing every week. It’s not a secret that the Golden Eagles are a wildly inexperienced team this season, and a coaching transition probably didn’t help those matters all that much. There were always going to be rough patches here and there, and it seems like maybe the last three halves of lacrosse have been one of those patches. We’ll see how much they’ve figured out about things on Saturday against a foe, at least based on their schedule, that should match up pretty well with Marquette.

Game #4: at Detroit-Mercy Titans (2-1)

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020
Time: 11am Central
Location: Ultimate Soccer Arenas, Pontiac, MI
Streaming: Lol, nope, probably because it’s not UDM’s facility
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax

Marquette is 6-1 all time against Detroit Mercy. However, the Titans won last year’s encounter at Valley Fields by a margin of 15-12. The Golden Eagles trailed by nine in the second half, cut it to four, but couldn’t get closer when it mattered.

I think it’s safe to say that Marquette is in for a bit of a test on Saturday in Michigan. The Titans already own a 15-14 win over the Jacksonville squad that just beat Marquette last week. On Tuesday afternoon, UDM hammered Bellarmine 20-13. That’s a Knights squad that Marquette only bested by one goal two weeks ago, although they did have a sizable lead on Bellarmine before letting them back in very late. Detroit also has a 23-9 loss at Ohio State, but that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of our conversation.

Detroit has a trio of high output scorers that Marquette is going to have to corral on Saturday afternoon. Brett Erskine has the team lead in points with seven goals and six assists, but it’s Kyle Waters leading the team so far this year with eight goals in their three games. Both of those guys have chipped in on the distribution end, so they are very dangerous players indeed. That’s not intended as a cheap shot at Ryan Figueiras, who has seven goals without an assist thus far this year.

Logan Shamblin has played all but one quarter of lacrosse in net in 2020. Detroit’s games have been pretty high scoring in general, and that 23 goal day from Ohio State has blown out Shamblin’s goals-against average to a very not good 17.82 thus far. He’s only stopping 32.9% of shots on goal, so it would seem that if Marquette can get angles, they’re going to be able to score goals. Over 61% of shots against this season have been on frame, so that’s another thing working in MU’s favor here.