The 2022 Marquette women’s lacrosse season started in a historic fashion, but it’s been all downhill from there.
Everyone likes starting a season with a win, but Marquette had yet to experience that in their first nine years as a program. That changed this year as the Golden Eagles knocked off Cincinnati at Valley Fields in the first game of the year. After that came maybe a scheduled loss as the Golden Eagles were on the business end of #5 Northwestern’s home opener directly after they started their season on the road against #1 Boston College.
Such is life, but that’s where things took a turn. Leigh Steiner and Hannah Greving both suffered some sort of injury (hey, Marquette, feel free to make any announcement you want to about their status for the rest of the year whenever you want) during the Northwestern game. Both women were expected to be a big part of MU’s offense this season after combining for 38 goals and 11 assists a year ago, so their sudden departure from the active lineup was obviously going to cause some dysfunction.
Said dysfunction poked its head up in both of MU’s next two games as the Golden Eagles gave up 12-2 runs to both Louisville and Ohio State. Sure, there’s questions to be asked about Marquette’s defense in those kinds of runs, but you know what helps stop runs like that? Putting goals in the net.
MU was admittedly on short notice heading into the Louisville and Ohio State games. The UL game was just four days after the Northwestern game and then the trip to Columbus was just two days later. The Golden Eagles didn’t have much of a chance to fully prepare to play without Steiner and Greving, but that’s not the case now. Head coach Meredith Black and her staff will have had four off days between games to help get the offense in line going forward without those two, and so, hopefully, things will start looking a little bit better now.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that MU’s lone opponent for this coming weekend has shown signs of major defensive problems themselves.....
Game #5: at Detroit Mercy Titans (0-2)
Date: Friday, February 25, 2022
Time: Noon Central
Location: UWM Sports Complex, Pontiac, Michigan, 30 miles from UDM’s campus
Streaming: Doesn’t look like it, which stinks
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax
Marquette is a perfect 6-0 all time against Detroit Mercy. Marquette’s first ever home win in program history came against the Titans back in March of 2013. Since that 11-10 victory at Valley Fields, Marquette has outscored the Titans 87-40. The teams took a break in their series in 2017 and 2018, and this game is a resumption of the series after COVID protocols and scheduling limited MU’s non-conference involvement a year ago.
Y’all, Detroit Mercy might not be good at this whole lacrosse thing this year. Coming off a 2-8 campaign a year ago and without a winning season since 2018, the Titans are winless in two tries so far this year. That’s fine, that happens, Marquette’s on a three game losing streak after all. It’s just a fact that UDM is going to be underwater in the goal differential department, because that’s what happens when you lose both of your games. However there’s a difference between “is getting outscored” and what’s going on here.
Through 120 minutes of lacrosse, Detroit Mercy is getting outscored 40-11.
Game #1 was bad but also maybe not surprising. 23-2 against a #23 ranked Michigan team isn’t fun, but also maybe it’s not entirely unexpected. On Wednesday afternoon, 12 days after that game against the Wolverines, UDM was back in action on the road for their MAC opener..... and they got cracked, 17-9, by Robert Morris. It was 5-1 at the end of the first quarter and the Colonials led 11-2 with 4:24 to go before halftime. Again, though, maybe not an unexpected result. RMU is the preseason favorite in the MAC, and Detroit Mercy is picked to finish last.
Three women have scored twice so far this season for Detroit Mercy. They’re the top three in terms of shots so far this season as well, so that feels like it will hold true for their top options for MU’s scouting report. Cat Kopchia, a 5’2” sophomore from Michigan, scored both of her goals this season against Robert Morris, and she leads the team with nine shots. Elise Harder, a 5’9” senior from Ohio, led the team in points a year ago, so Marquette’s defense is going to have to keep an eye on her as well.
Three different women have seen time in net so far this season for UDM. Maddie Johnson, a 5’5” grad student from Ohio, has started both contests, but she’s only gone 30 minutes both times. Hannah Shrader came on in relief in both games, getting the rest of the Michigan game and 23 minutes of action against RMU. Freshman Meredith Leavell got the final seven-ish minutes of run against the Colonials, and unsurprisingly, she’s got the best stats of anyone on the team. That’s what happens when RMU just wants the game to end, too. Johnson is allowing 25 goals per 60 minutes this season and stopping just 19% of shots on goal. Shrader isn’t much better at 15.78 GAA and .364 save percentage, but she was also coming into games when the other team had a massive lead. I would presume that Johnson will get the start again, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Dwayne Hicks makes a change.