When you see a team earn their first ranking in program history, but only just kind of barely, and then they lose to a top five team and they only score five goals in that loss, you get nervous. How will the poll voters react to seeing that loss to a ranked team, especially when it’s a performance that doesn’t match up with the general tone of how the team has played all season long?
That’s the situation facing Marquette women’s lacrosse after they lost 12-5 to then-#3 Denver in the regular season finale on Saturday. After breaking into the IWLCA/ILWomen top 25 for the first time ever at #24 last week, it was hard to say for certain how the voters would take this into account.
The end result? Marquette jumped up FIVE ENTIRE SPOTS in the poll to #19 this week!
Moving on #WeAreMarquette pic.twitter.com/hDpQImOftg— Marquette Women’s Lacrosse (@MarquetteWLax) May 1, 2023
No, I can’t really explain it. I could understand MU’s spot in the poll solidifying, maybe earning more points in the voting because lots of voters tuned in to the MU/DU game because it was two ranked teams and the Big East title was on the line. But jumping up five spots? That’s crazy.
The Golden Eagles snagged 118 points in the polling, waaaay up from the 67 they had a week ago. That landed them in between an 8-8 Johns Hopkins team at #18 with 119 points — yes, Marquette was very nearly the #18 team in the country — and #20 Clemson with 112 points. Lots of narrow margins deciding who went where this week, as Penn State is at #21 with 110 points.
Northwestern, one of just two teams to beat Marquette this season, is still the #1 team in the country, same as they were last week. The Wildcats snagged 18 of the 20 first place votes, which is kind of crazy….. because Still Undefeated After Beating Then-#24 Marquette Denver is not earning any first place votes at all…… AND the Pioneers DROPPED two spots to #5 in this week’s poll. Just barely, as #4 Syracuse had just one more point than them, but #4 is still lower than #3 where Denver was last week. I really don’t get how Marquette can jump five spots while Denver loses two spots. I don’t think “actually, Marquette is so good that we need to reconsider how good Denver actually is” is not the right opinion to take from a game where Marquette scored one goal in the second half, but that’s the opinion that the poll is giving us. UConn is the only other team on Marquette’s schedule this season that’s earning votes this week, and the Huskies come in at #24 in the country, one spot down from where they were last week.
It’ll be those same Huskies on the other side of the field when Marquette returns to action. Marquette and UConn will face off as not only #19 and #24 in the poll, but #2 and #3 in the Big East tournament semifinals. That game is scheduled for 12pm Central time on Friday, May 5th, and FloSports will have the streaming broadcast. The winner will advance to Sunday’s Big East championship game against either Denver or Villanova. That title game will be at 11am on Sunday, and FS2 will have the broadcast.
You can check out the entire top 25 right here.