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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MLAX takeaways: Three observations from Blue and Gold scrimmage

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(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Last season, the Marquette men’s lacrosse team hosted the Big East Tournament for the first time ever at Valley Fields. However, it did not qualify to play in the tournament.

After a 6-8 season riddled with crushing defeat after crushing defeat, the Golden Eagles are looking to bounce back this year.

Marquette played its Blue & Gold Scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Valley Fields, giving both fans and players a taste of what the 2024 squad is bringing to the table this season. 

“I thought from there we made some really good adjustments offensively,” head coach Andrew Stimmel said. “Really pleased overall, I thought a lot of guys put some good stuff on tape and found ways to get better for next week.”

Here are three observations from the scrimmage:

Brandt shows flashes

When all the letters of intent had been signed last year, Marquette had just one top 100 recruit in its 2023 class, and it was attacker Carsen Brandt. 

Brandt, a first-year out of Benilde-St Margaret’s School, was rated the 54th best player in the class of 2023 by Inside Lacrosse. Brandt lived up to the expectations that come with being a team’s highest-ranked recruit on Saturday, as he would tally six points on the afternoon. 

Brandt, who attended last year’s Blue and Gold Scrimmage, said that he liked the way that the teams battled today. 

“I thought we were really competitive today and we went up and down the field a lot,” Brandt said. “I think that was good, just to get our legs flowing for the big week that is ahead of us.”

Senior leadership will be key

When looking at the Golden Eagles roster, there is no question that they don’t have experience. The 14 seniors are accompanied by 10 graduate students that have been allowed to play due to the NCAA’s Covid policy, making up nearly half of the team.

The transition from high school lacrosse to collegiate level has been an adjustment for the 13 first-years, yet it’s the upperclassmen who have made it home for them. 

“I think those guys set the tone with really being just welcoming and inclusive and trying to get guys kind of into their into their crew and in the relationship and from the top down,” Stimmel said. 

Brandt said he was feeling the first-year nerves coming into the scrimmage, but that his teammates reminded him that it was like any other day of practice. 

“The older guys lead by example. Devin and Bobby, that’s actually who really helped me out. Kind of tell me to take a deep breath and realize just a scrimmage,” Brandt said. 

Woodward said that as long as the team continues to trust the process and really “love each other,” that it will help them work together throughout the season.

Turning it around after sloppy start

Kicking it off, it was a slow start for both teams in the first quarter, but as the game continued on, the dynamic shifted. 

“In all honesty, I think we were a little bit tight and sloppy,” Stimmel said. “I thought the first quarter was dictated by our defense. Some great saves were made, and I thought from there we made some really good adjustments offensively.”

Turnovers were made in the opening minutes, but they ceded as the game went on as well and both teams responded to their early mistakes.  

Encouragement was coming from both sides of the bench no matter who was scoring and performing well. 

“I thought we kind of ramped it up in the second, third and fourth quarter, I think that goes with extra work,” graduate student defender Mason Woodward said. 

Next up

The Golden Eagles will travel to Durham, N.C. for an exhibition game against the Duke Blue Devils Jan. 27 at 8 a.m. CST. Their first regular season match will take place at the U.S Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Feb. 3 when they take on Air Force at 1 p.m. CST.

This article was written by Matthew Baltz and Raquel Ruiz. Matt can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @MatthewBaltzMU. Raquel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @RaquelRuizMU.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Baltz, Sports Reporter
Matthew Baltz is a sophomore from Colona, Illinois majoring in journalism and minoring digital media. He is a sports reporter for the 2023-24 school year. In high school, he played basketball, baseball and ran cross country. In his free time, Matt enjoys hanging out with his friends and going to MLB games. He is most excited to write game recaps and tribune stories.
Raquel Ruiz, Sports Reporter
Raquel Ruiz is a first-year student from Mundelein, Illinois studying digital media and is a Sports Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing volleyball, volunteering in her local community, spending time with friends and family and binge-watching tv shows. She is excited to learn from different people and explore what it is like to be a journalist in the media field.

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