The Golden Eagles dropped their 2017 schedule yesterday and OH BOY is it something. BOSS Amplo put together a diverse national schedule that will certainly keep MU fans interested all spring. Our man BrewtownAndy out together a great post breaking down the schedule, which I highly encourage you all to read.
It’s really incredible how well the Golden Eagles have been after only four seasons. After two sub-.500 years in 2013 & 2014 (MU was an independent in their first season and in the Big East for season two), Marquette went 21-11 combined in 2015 & 2016. MU won their first-ever Big East tournament in 2016 and made their first-ever Big BBQ appearance last season as well. Long story short, 2016 was a great year to be a MU lacrosse fan.
While 2016 was the program’s best season, you certainly get the feeling that Marquette is a team on the rise. Let’s take a look at their 2017 regular season schedule.
After scrimmages versus Michigan (Feb. 4) & Penn (Feb. 11), the Golden Eagles open their season on the road with two away games. MU starts 2017 against the newly revamped Jacksonville Dolphins (Feb. 18) & then MU travels to Virginia to take on Richmond (Feb. 27).
As we saw last season, the SoCon is not a conference to take lightly and there’s no guarantee that MU makes it out of February without at least 1 loss. MU beat Richmond last year 7-2, but the Spiders are a dangerous opponent and Coach Amplo’s lads will need to bring their best against Richmond.
MU kicks off March with a couple regional opponents. The Golden Eagles will host Ohio State (March 3) & Detroit (March 5) in the Midwest Lacrosse Classic. OSU had a difficult season in 2016, but they were still able to beat MU 12-8. Detroit gave Marquette a handful last season in a close 10-8 loss to the Golden Eagles.
After the Midwest Lacrosse Classic, MU travels to Robert Morris (March 11) to take on Colonials. MU then gets a two week break before they go on the road again to take on the Hoyas (March 25) in their first conference game of 2017. It is a good thing MU has two weeks off in March, as they take on Air Force (March 28) only three days after the Georgetown game.
Marquette kicks off April with a couple conference games. MU travels to Philly on April 1st to take on Villanova and then hosts St. John’s on April 8th. Next the Golden Eagles face another tough opponent on short rest when they travel to Notre Dame to take on the Irish on April 11th. This will be pivotal game for both programs, as late season out of conference wins are very valuable.
After the Irish, MU goes back to their Big East schedule as they travel to Providence on April 15th to take on the Friars. While MU should be favored against Providence, the conference game will be the third game in a week for Marquette, so fatigue may be a factor. Additionally, Providence is no pushover, they barely lost to Marquette last season (8-7), and this game will be in Rhode Island, which may give the Friars a boost.
MU’s final two games of the regular season are against Duke (April 22) & Denver (April 29). Both games will be at Marquette. Duke took it to MU last year, beating the Golden Eagles 16-1. Hopefully Marquette keeps it a little closer this time around. While MU beat Denver in the Big East tournament last season, Denver still runs the conference. Moreover, I have a feeling that Denver would like to tag Marquette back for stealing the conference crown last season in Denver. I expect this one to be one of the best games of the year.
BOSS Amplo should be commended for putting together a great schedule. It’s a challenging schedule, that will put the Golden Eagles in markets throughout the country. After last season’s success MU won’t be able to sneak up on anyone anymore, and it’ll be interesting to see if Marquette can equal last season’s success. Marquette may not be one of the haves just yet, but they’re certainly not a have-not anymore, and everyone will be gunning for them in 2017.