Thursday morning is going to be an interesting test for Marquette men’s lacrosse.
This past weekend, they beat Michigan and traveled home from Naples, Florida — essentially the very southern tip of Florida — with the idea that they would have a week off between that victory and heading out on the road to, coincidentally, Michigan to visit Detroit Mercy for their next game. The contest was scheduled for Saturday….……
…… but a winter storm hitting Detroit on Friday with 2 to 4 inches of snow late in the day and overnight means that Titan Field isn’t likely to be ready to play on Saturday, and also it’s probably not super safe for Marquette to attempt to travel to Detroit on Friday.
And so: SURPRISE THURSDAY LACROSSE OUTTA NOWHERE, as Marquette agreed to head to Michigan to play two days earlier than expected.
What does that mean for Marquette’s original plan for training and game planning this week? What does that mean for the sports medicine and conditioning sides of things relative to the players recovering from playing 60 minutes of lacrosse in Florida on Saturday? Does all of that put Marquette at a major disadvantage given that Detroit Mercy hasn’t played at all since February 11th? Does the less than originally scheduled prep time lead to head coach Andrew Stimmel just telling his guys “hey, just go play some lacrosse the way Marquette is supposed to play lacrosse” and hoping it works? Is that idea better or worse when you consider they’re playing a team that lost 17-2 in their most recent game?
By the way? This is kind of a big game for Marquette, who comes in at 2-2 on the year so far. The Golden Eagles have only had a winning record after five games in five seasons in program history, and they’ve only done it once since Stimmel took over. That came in his first season in charge, and that campaign was shut down due to COVID just two games later.
Game #5: at Detroit Mercy Titans (0-2)
Marquette is 8-1 all time against Detroit Mercy. The teams met for the first time in the first ever home game in MU lacrosse history, and that went as a 14-9 victory for the Golden Eagles at Hart Park. Marquette won the first six encounters before UDM broke through in 2019. The series took a year off in 2021 for COVID related reasons, but Marquette won 13-7 last season at Valley Fields in the most recent contest.
To give you a feel for what Detroit Mercy Lacrosse is this season, I have some relative information. Utah, who beat Marquette 18-16 in Salt Lake City, is the preseason favorite in the ASUN, the same conference that is home to UDM. Lindenwood, which Marquette beat 17-2 in the season opener, was picked to finish one spot behind Detroit Mercy this season..... but that just means that the Titans were picked as the worst returning D1 team in the ASUN this season as both Lindenwood and Queens are behind them in their first year in D1.
More information: Detroit Mercy is coming off of a 2-9 season in 2022 and they went 1-4 in ASUN action with a 13-12 win over Cleveland State as their lone conference victory.
More information: UDM is 0-2 this season so far after a 14-11 defeat on the road against VMI and a 17-2 loss on the road to High Point. The Panthers led that game 5-0 after 11 minutes and 15-1 with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
More information: The Titans got outshot 54-36 by VMI in a game they trailed 14-5 with five minutes left in the third quarter.... and then got outshot 71-27 by High Point. I want to make this clear: In a game with an 80 second shot clock where it only resets if you hit the posts or the goalie makes a save, High Point averaged a shot every 50.7 seconds.
Ryan Birney is officially leading the Titans in points and goals with five strikes this season. Bad news: He got all five against VMI, and High Point shut him out on seven shots, none of which were on goal. Luke Majick and Cole Gellatly are tied for the team lead in assists with two each, and again, both men got both of their assists against the Keydets.
Jakob Hemme started the opener against VMI, while Tyler Hart started the game against High Point. I make the point to say who started because each guy came on in relief for the other one in the game that they did not start. Hemme lasted 37 minutes against the Keydets, surrendering 13 goals while making 7 saves, while Hart was relieved at halftime against HPU. As you’d expect, neither one has stellar stats so far, with both guys north of 13 goals per 60 minutes of action. Hart is at exactly 50% save percentage and Hemme is juuuuuust a little bit better at 51.3%.