Saturday, March 22, 2014
When: 2:00 pm Eastern
Marquette Golden Eagles (2-5) vs.
Villanova Wildcats (1-4)
None. Marquette's Men's Lacrosse Program is just two years old and this season marks the first in the Big East Conference.
Golden Eagles Download
Marquette has yet to play a home game this season, until now. Their 15-10 win last Saturday against Detroit snapped a 4-game losing streak, in which they lost by an average of 5 goals/game.
Marquette's early schedule clearly shows why the Golden Eagles have struggled out of the gate. Two wins are a strong showing when 6 of your 7 opponents are in the top 35 RPI of NCAA Lacrosse, including 4th ranked Duke.
The Golden Eagles average more goals/game than the Wildcats ( 9.71 to 8.83 ) however they allow more goals too (12.57 to 11.00). That offensive prowess is lead by Tyler Melnyk who has 20 goals and 8 assists thus far, putting him near an average of a hat trick a night. His shot on goal percentage stands at a respectable 70.8%, meaning he can create a lot of opportunities for himself. Also passed the 10-goal mark is Bryan Badolato and Kyle Whitlow.
As stated, the goals against average is much higher than the Wildcats. Goaltending is an obvious weakness for Marquette, as their goalie JJ Sagl stands at a poor save percentage of 27.8% and averages only 4 saves per game.
One positive for the Golden Eagles is their turnovers. So far this year, they have 20 fewer turnovers than the opponent. This season, Villanova has struggled with turnovers out of the gate, so we shall see if this strength of Marquette gives them the upper hand in the first quarter, a quarter in which both teams struggle the most to score.
Villanova comes off a morale-killing loss to the Princeton Tigers by a score of 14-6. The Wildcats sit at 5th in the standings, a conference that contains only 7 teams.
The `Cats' leading scorer is still Kevin O'Neill with 11 goals and 15 total points. The next highest scorer is Eric Gartner with 8. The Wildcats and their opponents split the face-offs nearly 50-50, so a step up in that stat category will help give 'Nova the edge.
Dan Willis anchors Villanova's defense in the net. The freshman has adjusted well to high-major college play, allowing only just above 10 goals per game ans sporting a 46.4% save percentage.