When the men's and women's lacrosse schedules were announced, the women's team was supposed to be playing Villanova at noon on Saturday in the Valley, while the men were slated to take on Georgetown at 1pm at Hart Park. Luckily, smarter heads prevailed, and the game times were changed and the women's game was moved. Thus, we get a co-ed doubleheader out in Wauwatosa tomorrow. It'll be easiest if we just preview both games in one post, so we'll go in chronological order then...
Women's Lacrosse Big East Game 6: vs Villanova (7-7, 2-3 Big East)
When: Saturday, April 19, 2014, at 11am
Where: Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI
Audio/Visual: Only live stats if you can't make it out there.
Special Promotions: All students that make it out will get a free bobblehead. There will be a all ages Easter Egg hunt following the women's match.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWLax
I might be completely wrong due to the complicated nature of multi-team tiebreakers, but I think that Marquette's 11-7 loss to Temple on Thursday afternoon has eliminated them from the Big East tournament. It's possible that they could still sneak in somehow as I haven't seen anything official on the topic, so a win over the Wildcats would obviously be crucial to that crusade.
Villanova comes in having lost three of their last four games, with the lone win coming against last place and winless in Big East action Cincinnati. The Wildcats are an interesting squad, as they rank second in the Big East in assists per game, so they pass the ball very well, but they're only fourth in goals. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Villanova has the second lowest goals per game allowed, letting in just 9.77 goals each time out on average.
Jessica Mucci is a large reason why Nova is such a good passing team, leading the Wildcats with 22 assists this season and ranking third in the Big East in assists per game. Mucci and sophomore Meghan Breen (23G, 8 A) are tied for the team lead in points with 31 points, with Chelsey Henderson close behind with 29 points on 15 goals and 14 assists. Jaclyn Fraum (9.58 GAA, .419 SV%) has been the goalie of choice for head coach Julie Young, but she was lifted on Thursday afternoon against Georgetown after allowing five goals in just over 10 minutes.
Men's Lacrosse Big East Game 5: vs Georgetown (4-8, 1-3 Big East)
Back on Saturday, I figured that Marquette's win over Providence locked them into the Big East tournament. After all, that meant that Marquette couldn't finish lower than 3-3 and two teams that they had beaten, Rutgers and St. John's couldn't finish higher than 3-3. Where I went wrong was that St. John's still has a game left with Villanova, and it's possible for Villanova to join a pile of teams at 3-3. That means you have to look at their records against each other, and throw out the games against the rest of the league. In that convoluted process, Marquette's theoretical loss to Georgetown would keep them out of the Big East tournament.
So, yes, let's just say that Saturday's game is very important to both sides. And yet, it might not matter to Marquette by halftime. With Villanova-St. John's starting up at 1pm Central, we'll know halfway through the game whether or not if the Red Storm have picked up their season saving win while hosting the Wildcats. If VU comes away with the win, Marquette is in the Big East tournament, regardless of what happens against the Hoyas.
Georgetown comes into the game scuffling. They've won just one of their last six games and two of their last 10. The wins in question are a 10-8 home game against the Providence team that Marquette snuck past without leading scorer Tyler Melnyk (hand injury, day-to-day) and a 16-9 home win against Furman, currently 1-10 in the first year of Division 1 lacrosse. So yeah, not a lot of highlights here.
The Hoyas find themselves in a similar situation to Marquette's women's lacrosse team: No goal scorers in the top 10 in the league, but somehow managing to put someone in the top 10 in assists. Bo Stafford currently averages 1.33 assists per game, tied for fifth best in the conference. Stafford's 10 goals and 16 assists have him second on the team in points to Peter Conley's 32 (21G, 11A) points. Tyler Knarr is second in the Big East in face off percentage, winning at a 64% clip, and he's second in the conference in ground balls to Rutgers' Joseph Nardella, the guy he trails in FO% as well.
Redshirt junior Jake Haley has played all but 2 minutes and 30 seconds in net for Georgetown. He allows 10.62 goals per 60 minutes and stops 49.8% of the shots on net. Haley was also the keeper last year when Georgetown outscored MU 7-3 in the fourth quarter to earn a 17-12 victory in Washington, D.C.