clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Marquette Women’s Lacrosse Preview: vs San Diego State

The Golden Eagles welcome the Aztecs to Valley Fields to start the 2023 campaign.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 08 Sacramento State at San Diego State Photo by Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s time for another season of Marquette women’s lacrosse!

Last spring, head coach Meredith Black had three players take a run at the program’s all-time points record. Mary Schumar actually got all the way to the record, but didn’t break it, ending up in a tie for it instead. It was a very outstanding offensive year, perhaps even more so when you take into account that Marquette lost Hannah Greving and Leigh Steiner to season ending injuries in the second game of the year. That duo combined for 38 goals and 11 assists in 2021, and it’s hard to say what kind of impact they could have had on Marquette in 2022 if they were healthy.

They’ll be back this spring though, as will all three women — Schumar along with Shea Garcia and Lydia Foust — who had that run towards the team’s points record last year. The big question for the Golden Eagles, who went 8-10 overall with a 3-2 record in the Big East, is whether or not they can get enough defense to help their offense out this season. Marquette was outscored overall a year ago, 270-258, and again, that’s with some of the best offense that the program has ever seen. Sure, there were some one sided losses in there, but there were some one sided wins, too. It all evens out in that regard, but it’s hard to look at 12-9 vs Niagara, 18-12 vs San Diego State, 18-15 vs then-#21 UConn, and 17-13 vs Georgetown in the Big East tournament semifinals and wonder what could have been with a few extra stops in those games.

The big question heading into 2023? Goalkeeper. Amanda Rumsey is gone after her grad transfer year, leaving Brynna Nixon as the only experienced netminder on the roster. Freshman Ava Sprinkel is the only other listed goalie on board this year for the Golden Eagles, so one of those two is going to have to step it up and make some saves that MU didn’t get last season. Even Black doesn’t know who that’s going to be, or at least she didn’t last week when she talked to the Marquette Tribune about the upcoming season.

Game #1: vs San Diego State Aztecs (0-1)

Date: Sunday, February 12, 2023
Time: 12pm Central
Location: Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble, Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: FloSports
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax

Marquette is 0-2 all time against San Diego State. The two teams first met in 2013, aka Year 1 of MU’s program, and the Aztecs won 19-5. The series wasn’t restarted until last spring, and SDSU got the 18-12 win there. Both of the previous games were in San Diego, making this the first ever home game in the series for the Golden Eagles.

The Aztecs are coming into Sunday after starting their season on Friday with a game at #16 Notre Dame. I don’t think there’s much to take away from it in terms of what any of it means for Marquette’s game against SDSU other than to say 1) they lost, 2) they fell behind 5-0 in the first 10 minutes, 3) they were trailing 8-1 at the end of the first quarter, and finally 4) they lost 18-2.

San Diego State is coming off a season where they went 7-8 in their first season as an independent program after the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation stopped sponsoring women’s lacrosse mostly speaking because the Pac-12 started sponsoring it. Five of their losses a year ago were to teams earning national poll votes at the time, although it was kind of impressive that three of those were at Aztec Lacrosse Field in San Diego. Good on y’all for getting those teams to come visit you.

They return just two of the women who scored at least 10 goals last season, but the good news is that one of them is Deanna Balsama. She had 62 goals and 11 assists in SDSU’s 15 contests, and yes, I think averaging over four goals a game is very good. Brook Waddell also returns for the Aztecs after a 21 goal and team high 17 assist season in 2022. It might be a little hard to come by goals for San Diego State this season, at least until they start showing other women who can be credible scoring threats. Balsama will draw a lot of attention from defenses, much like she did from Marquette last season. The Golden Eagles held her without a goal until the fourth quarter and to just five shots in the entire game, but because they had multiple options, Balsama’s first goal of the game gave SDSU a 16-10 lead.

Sam Horan returns in goal for the Aztecs this season after playing all but 15 minutes of last season for them. Her goals-against average of more than 14 per 60 minutes and her save percentage of just over 45% aren’t bowling anyone over, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that head coach Kylee White looks at one of her other three goalies on the roster at some point this season. Is that going to be Sunday, in their second game of the year?