Marquette men’s lacrosse is 2-0 for the first time since 2020. On Tuesday afternoon in The Valley, they will attempt to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2018. I’m not going to go so far as to say that the Golden Eagles are rocking and rolling quite yet, but it’s hard to argue with the results.
Over the first seven quarters of the season — sorry Lindenwood, but head coach Andrew Stimmel pulled all of his starters for the fourth quarter — Marquette is outscoring teams 26-9. The 12-6 win over Air Force, including dropping a game high 4 fourth quarter goals on the Falcons, probably tells us more about MU this season than opening up a 14-3 lead on Lindenwood, but running through the Lions tells us a lot as well. Marquette struggled with consistency last season, and opening up a can of whoop-ass on an overmatched Lindenwood team is important to the season long development of what the Golden Eagles are going to be.
It doesn’t hurt that freshman Carsen Brandt had a breakout game against the Lions either. It seemed obvious that he was going to get a chance to show what he could do before the season, and the top 60 propsect was inserted straight into the starting lineup to begin the season. He had a good start against Air Force, netting his first two career goals, but leading Marquette in points on three goals and three assists against Lindenwood could turn into a big confidence builder for him. The more options Marquette has, the more dangerous they are. We know that Bobby O’Grady and Devon Cowan can score, and we know that Jake Stegman can find them for goals. Having another guy out there doing both things? Just an extra facet that can kick things up a notch.
Before we dive into what to expect from Detroit Mercy on Tuesday, I want to tip my cap to defenseman Mason Woodward. MU’s first ever three time All-American broke the program record for ground balls with four against Lindenwood, and he did it in just 47 career games, well short of the 61 that Liam Byrnes appeared in during the first four years of the program. Who knows where that record is going to end up at season’s end, but it’s going to take one hell of a lacrosse player to get past wherever Woodward leaves it when he’s done.
One final note: Winning on Tuesday for the sake of winning is important. But it’s also Marquette’s final tune-up before their schedule starts firing fastballs. MU’s next three opponents and four of the next five after Tuesday all qualified for the NCAA tournament a year ago, including reigning national champions Notre Dame coming up in Milwaukee on Sunday, February 18th.
Stat Watch: Bobby O’Grady needs 5 points to tie and 6 points to pass John Wagner for the 4th most points in program history.
Stat Watch #2: Jake Stegman needs 5 points to become the sixth player in program history with 100 career points.
Stat Watch #3: Luke Blanc needs 1 goal to break a tie with Peter Henkhaus for the 12th most goals in program history. He needs 2 to pass Andy DeMichiei and Kyran Clarke for 10th.
Stat Watch #4: Jake Stegman needs 1 goal to tie and 2 goals to pass Griffin Fleming for the 16th most goals in program history. He needs 4 to pass Bryan Badolato for 15th and 5 to pass Blaine Fleming for 14th.
Stat Watch #5: Jake Stegman needs 2 assists to tie and 3 to break Conor Gately’s program record for assists in a career.
Stat Watch #6: Devon Cowan needs 1 assist to tie and 2 to pass Tyler Melnyk for the 6th most assists in program history. He needs 4 to pass John Wagner for 5th.
Stat Watch #7: Will Foster needs 1 assist to break a tie with Tanner Thomson for the 8th most assists in program history. He needs 3 to pass Tyler Melnyk for 6th and 5 to pass John Wagner for 5th.
Stat Watch #8: Every ground ball picked up by Mason Woodward is a new program record.
Game #3: vs Detroit Mercy Titans (0-0)
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Time: 2pm Central
Location: Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble, Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: FloSports, with Scott Sudikoff calling the action
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Line: Marquette -10.5 from our friends at Draft Kings.
Bluesky Updates: @AnonymousEagle
Marquette is 9-1 all time against Detroit Mercy. The Titans were on the losing end of Marquette’s first ever home victory back in 2013, and the Golden Eagles won the first six meetings before a 15-12 defeat in 2019. Since then, minus a year off in 2021 for COVID protocol reasons, it’s been all MU victories, including 10-5 in Detroit after trailing at the half last year.
As you can see from the top of the info dump for the game, Detroit Mercy hasn’t started their season yet. In fact, Tuesday’s game in Milwaukee will be their only game for the entire month of February, as their next game will be in Ohio against VMI on March 2nd. Weird!
In any case, the Titans went 2-11 last season, including that loss to Marquette. Both wins came in ASUN competition where they went 2-7 but still finished the campaign with four straight losses. In a world where realignment happens at the drop of the hat, UDM is in the ASUN again this season, and they’re picked to finish eighth. Yes, this is Marquette’s third straight game to start the year against an ASUN opponent. To review: Air Force was picked third and Lindenwood was picked 10th/last, so the ASUN poll voters have Detroit Mercy somewhere in between those two teams that lost to Marquette already this year.
Midfielder Luke Majick is Detroit Mercy’s only preseason ASUN honoree. He tied for the team high last year with 31 points, tallying career highs in both goals with 20 and assists with 11. He did a lot of his scoring work in 2023 with a seven point day against Mercer, going for four goals and three assists in UDM’s 16-12 loss to the Bears.
While Majick is the only preseason honoree on the roster, the guy he shared the team lead in points with last year returns in 2024 as well. That’s Drew Kessenich, who had 21 points and 10 assists to get to his 31 points. The Titans return two of the other four men who had at least 10 points last season in Nolan Graalman (15G, 1A) and Aidan Bishop (8G, 5A), so they’ve got a scoring crew that’s relatively familiar with each other and how to play together.
Jakob Hemme played over 560 minutes in net for the Titans last season, and he returns for his junior campaign in 2024. He finished last season with a goals-against average of 15.91 and a save percentage of .479. Hemme is the only goalie on the roster with Division 1 game experience, so that seems to indicate he’s the shoo-in to start against Marquette, but they have five other netminders on the roster, including a transfer who played for Team Latvia in the 2023 World Championships in Ryan Richters.