Hey, did you know that technically the 2022 lacrosse season is underway?
It’s true! Mercer and Bellarmine played a men’s lacrosse game that counts and everything this past weekend. We’ll get a bunch more men’s games this coming weekend, but Marquette won’t get their men’s and women’s lacrosse seasons officially up and going until February 12th.
But the start of the season is already upon us, which means it’s time to take a peek at Inside Lacrosse’s preseason polls and see who awaits the Golden Eagles amongst the cadre of ranked teams to start the season. SPOILER ALERT: There’s a few for both Meredith Black’s team and Andrew Stimmel’s team.
Let’s start with the women’s top 25 poll which was just released on Monday morning and is, if we’re being honest, the reason why I realized I should write this.
The Golden Eagles have four dates against preseason top 25 teams. Two come in the non-conference portion of the schedule, and two come in Big East play. The first one comes in the form of Game #2 of the season as Marquette kicks off a stretch of six straight road games by visiting #4 Northwestern.
The other three contests will all come grouped in Marquette’s final six games of the regular season with two in the final three. Connecticut will be waiting in Storrs on Saturday, April 2nd, as they start the season at #21 in the poll. MU will host a preseason top 25 team for the only time this season on April 18th when #5 Notre Dame comes to Milwaukee for an afternoon start. Finally, two games later, the Golden Eagles will wrap up the regular season out in Colorado when they face #14 Denver. The Pioneers are the top ranked team in the Big East in the poll, but my preseason picks for the league have the Huskies as the top squad. We’re still waiting to see what the official Big East preseason poll has to say about that.
Over on the men’s side, it’s a top 20 preseason poll. There’s only about 60% as many men’s programs as there are women’s programs (74 vs 119 last year), so you can see why Inside Lacrosse is limiting their rankings to the top 27% of the sport on this side of the aisle.
In any case, even with five fewer teams in the rankings, Andrew Stimmel’s team still has four teams in the preseason poll scheduled this season, just like Meredith Black’s women’s team It separates out with two in the non-conference and two in league play as well, just like the women’s breakdown.
The men’s team will get a little bit of a ramp up to their first game against a team in the top 20, as it won’t come until Game #6 of the season. That’ll be a home game on March 12th against #18 Drexel. The other three games are all in MU’s last four games of the season. On April 12th, the Golden Eagles will host #5 Notre Dame at Valley Fields and then turn around four days later and visit #4 Georgetown. That’s going to be A Week, to say the least. The regular season wraps up two weeks later when Marquette visits #12 Denver out in Colorado.
In between those Georgetown and Denver games? A Senior Day game against Villanova, and the Wildcats are earning votes in the preseason poll. They’re one of two teams earning votes on MU’s slate, with the other one being Michigan. The Wolverines will come to Milwaukee for a game on March 1st, one of just two non-weekend games (Notre Dame is the other) for Marquette this season.
Both of Marquette’s lacrosse teams start the year on February 12th. For the men, that means a road trip to Bellarmine with the first draw set for 11am. The women’s team starts off at Valley Fields against Cincinnati, with that one set to begin at 12pm inside the Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble.