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Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Preview: vs RV Villanova Wildcats

I’m not sure that the Wildcats should still be receiving votes after their first game of the season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 15 Big East Conference Tournament - Villanova v Xavier Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Okay, so, one game in the books, a one goal loss to a top 10 ranked team.

Things happen.

Marquette men’s lacrosse kept scrapping to the final whistle, but just didn’t have enough to push it over the line. I choose to believe that if Denver wasn’t on Game #5 and Marquette wasn’t on Game #1, that would have ended differently.

Now the Golden Eagles have one live action game under their belts. If they can play like they did in the second half against the Pioneers last week, then I think they can surprise some teams that, say, were ranked in the preseason Inside Lacrosse poll like Saturday’s opponent was. I don’t know if this MU squad is good enough to fight their way into the NCAA tournament this year, but they’re definitely good enough to make people dread playing them.

The parade of challenges isn’t going to stop for Marquette. Next week is a game against the current #5 team in the country. 11 days after that? A game against the #8 team in the country. Back-to-back at the start of April? #11 and #5. At some point, if Marquette wants to finish over .500 this season, they’re going to have to beat a team, maybe more than one, that would have been favored over MU at the start of the season.

They get a crack at one of those teams on Saturday morning in the Valley, and, well, let’s just say that the single game tape that head coach Andrew Stimmel and his staff have on that team miiiiight just give them an awful lot of interesting things to use.....

Big East Game #2: vs RV Villanova Wildcats (0-1)

Date: Saturday, February 27, 2021
Time: 11am Central
Location: Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble, Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: GoMarquette.com, with Patrick Reed and Dan Avington on the call
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteMLax

Marquette is 3-4 all time against Villanova. The Wildcats have won the last three meetings in the series, and the Golden Eagles are just 1-2 at home.

Last week, Villanova was the #18 team in the country. Then they lost to then-#9/now-#5 Georgetown this past Sunday in their first game of the season. It’s clear that some voters still think that the Wildcats are a top 20 team, as they’re still receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse Media poll.

I am here to tell you that those voters are wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with #18 losing to #9, even at home. It’s kind of supposed to happen. If Villanova had only lost to the Hoyas, I’d say, sure, keep voting for the Wildcats. They didn’t just lose the game. They got hammered.

Your final from Villanova Stadium: Georgetown 16, Villanova 1.

One. Uno. Singular. Non-Plural.

It’s actually worse than that.

Villanova scored the first goal of the game. Matt Campbell hit the net with 9:09 to go in the first quarter. Shots: 43-27 for the Hoyas. Shots on goal: 26-7 for the Hoyas.

The Wildcats got blitzed like hazelnuts on The Great British Baking Show.

Obviously, we can’t draw any major conclusions about the Wildcats after one game, especially one like this. We do know that Campbell, the only guy with a point for VU so far this season, was one of two Villanova players on the preseason all-Big East team. He was joined by defenseman Patrick Kennedy, who was also named as an Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American. Because I know you’re asking: Yes, Kennedy played in the Georgetown game. I didn’t watch it, so I can’t tell you for sure, but three ground balls and a caused turnover is pretty good, no matter what the score is.

I presume that we’ll see Will Vitton in net at the start of Saturday’s game. He started against Georgetown and played all of the first three quarters before giving way to Brendan Haggerty. That was pretty much the goaltending arrangement for the seven games of the 2020 season, so if head coach Mike Corrado didn’t change his mind about his goalies in the offseason, I don’t know why it would change since Sunday.