Here’s the worse news: Only the top six teams in the league qualify for the conference tournament.
Here’s the fact of the matter: Marquette has just one match left to go this season and thus only one opportunity to add points to their total of 10.
Here’s the awful news: The match is against the #1 team in the country.
Here’s the disastrous news: The rest of the Big East all has one more match to go after Saturday.
Mathematically, Marquette is still alive for a conference tournament spot. But, with all 10 other teams still having another game coming up next week, the Golden Eagles are all but totally screwed in terms of reaching the top six in the table, and that’s BEFORE we remember that they’re playing the #1 team in the country.
Here are the ways that Marquette can be eliminated on Saturday:
- A loss to Georgetown
- A draw with Georgetown in combination with a win or draw by DePaul (vs St. John’s) OR a win by Creighton (at Butler)
- The combination of a win or draw by Villanova (at Providence) AND a win or draw by DePaul (vs St. John’s) no matter if Marquette wins or not
So that’s fun.
In nicer news, Saturday night will be Senior Night for Marquette. There are nine rostered players and one manager who will be honored before the match: Christian Albelo, AJ Franklin, Christian Gennaro, Nick Guido, Gabe Kash, Clay Smith, Cedrik Stern, Sam Thornton, and Zak Wegner are the nine guys on the roster. Manager Alec Wons started his tenure at Marquette as a goalkeeper on the roster, but he’s wrapping up as a team manager.
Big East Match #10: vs #1 Georgetown Hoyas (13-1-0, 7-1-0 Big East)
Marquette is 1-14-3 all time against Georgetown. The win came back in 2009 as the Golden Eagles picked up a 1-0 victory on a 29th minute goal from Calum Mallace. The last five meetings have been what passes for a good run for the Golden Eagles in this series as they are “only” 0-3-2 in that stretch dating back to 2016.
Well, if Marquette is in a situation where they have to beat the Hoyas to even pretend to have a chance at the postseason, let’s go see how Georgetown has lost this season. BAD NEWS: They’ve only lost once this season. In a bit of wildness, it was a 3-0 smashing at the hands of Providence back on October 13th. The Friars scored in the 26th minute while holding the Hoyas without a shot at all in the first half. Georgetown got it in gear in the second half, but PC tacked on goals in the 61st and 69th minutes to make this a no-doubter. Even with seven second half shots for the visiting team, Providence ended up outshooting Georgetown 10-7 on the night.
So, it seems the best path to victory is to stop Georgetown from even shooting the ball. Thanks for the helpful tip, Providence.
This will, of course, be easier said than done, and since GU is ranked #1 in the country, you already figured this out without any statistics to back that up. Georgetown is averaging 17.2 shots per game with about 40% of those ending up as shots on goal. The Hoya defense surrenders just 7.4 shots per game. Considering the fact that Marquette is underwater on their own shot differential (-3.4 per game), none of this is particularly good or helpful news.
Dante Polvara is the focal point of the Georgetown offense as he has taken nearly twice as many shots (51) this season as anyone else on the team (27 is second best). With that said, Polvara’s accuracy leaves something to be desired as he has only accounted for four of the team’s goals. That’s still second best on the the team behind Stefan Stojanovic, who is the lad with the 27 shots on the year. Stojanovic, a junior forward from Chicago, has a team high seven goals on the year and he has Polvara beat in the points department, 15-12, even though Polvara makes a nice recovery effort with four assists. Marlon Tabora is the team leader in the helping area with a team high five assists.
I’m not 100% sure what Georgetown is doing in regards to their goalkeeping situation. Giannis Nikopolidis has eight starts on the season, but Ethan Koehler and his six starts on the year has gotten the nod in each of Georgetown’s last two matches. It seems an awful lot like Koehler and Nikopolidis have just been going back and forth every couple of matches, so I’d entirely buy that either guy could start on Saturday night. Koehler is actually the worse option for Marquette’s interests as he has a better goals-against average (just 0.48) and a better save percentage. Hell, Nikopolidis (67%) looks practically lost on the pitch compared to Koehler (86%) in terms of what percentage of shots on frame that they’re stopping.