Before the 2024 Division 1 women’s lacrosse season can get started — and Marquette starts on February 11th at home against Cincinnati — we have to get a preseason poll. We’re still waiting on the Big East poll, but Inside Lacrosse and the IWLCA teamed up to drop a national preseason top 25 on Monday.
No, Marquette is not ranked after ending last season at #22. These things happen. However! Marquette did earn votes in the poll. Meredith Black and the Golden Eagles start the season as the unofficial #29 team in the country, landing behind Rutgers, Yale, and Princeton in the Receiving Votes department and ahead of Jacksonville. This likely means that MU snagged a vote or two out of the 21 ballots somewhere in the 20s, but it’s always better to be on a few national minds than none at all to start the year.
As luck would have it, Marquette will get a chance to prove that they are better than Jacksonville in the fourth game of the year. That’s a road trip down to northeastern Florida on February 24th. However, that won’t be the first time this season that Marquette tangles with a team that earned votes in the poll. That comes one game earlier, on February 19th, when the Golden Eagles head a little bit south on I-94 to square off with preseason #1 and reigning national champion Northwestern. That one holds a little bit extra interest for the Golden Eagles, as Mary Schumar, MU’s all-time assists leader, is spending her bonus season of eligibility with the Wildcats as a grad transfer.
That’s not the only non-conference contest against a ranked foe. Marquette will wrap up non-con play against preseason #12 Michigan, and that one will be at Valley Fields on March 24th. The Wolverines went 12-8 last season and beat Central Michigan (also on MU’s schedule this year!) in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
MU might have a challenging back-to-back set at this point of the calendar, as their Big East opener will be six days later on the road against preseason #22 Connecticut. Two games after that, Marquette will visit preseason #4 (and presumptive Big East favorite) Denver. That’s a challenging run of four games there with a home date against Butler as Game #2 on the Big East slate, all in a span of 14 days.
You can check out the entire preseason top 25 right here.