The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Men’s lacrosse to face Penn State

Pat Leonard | Friday, February 27, 2004

Lions-versus-Irish has become a season-opening tradition.The lacrosse team opens its 2004 season against Penn State Sunday afternoon at Loftus Sports Center at 1 p.m. The match marks the eighth consecutive season opener played between the two squads.No. 11 Notre Dame has won six of its ten all-time meetings with No. 16 Penn State, including a 10-9 victory last year at State College, Penn., to open a 9-5 season.Attackman Dan Berger scored four goals, and attackman Matt Howell had a goal and five assists in the game. Goalie Stewart Crosland made 18 saves.The teams have developed a rivalry with the consecutive early season matches. The games have become solid tests on schedules that have increased in difficulty for the Irish.”Every year this has been a great game, often the most exciting each year,” head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We’ve both got indoor facilities. This is an early weekend for either team to play unless we have indoor facilities, and both of us do. So we’ve developed a sort of tradition.Penn State is 1-0 after beating Ohio State 5-4. Notre Dame has seen the Nittany Lions play that one match, though in the early season the Irish will not concentrate on containing a specific aspect of the Penn State attack.”We have to match up with their athleticism,” Corrigan said. “Still, in any first game, you’re really concentrating on yourself. You can’t worry about anyone else. Having seen them play once, that’s still only one game. Without a tremendous amount of scouting, we have to rely on our own team’s play.”Three exhibition games have the Irish in shape to begin the season. The team has not left home yet as it has defeated Mercyhurst, the Boston Cannons and Denison all at Loftus in exhibition play. The Irish outscored its three opponents51-17.”Since the fall started, we have had a lot of different opportunities to get better,” Corrigan said. “We had two different competitions in the fall and played number of good teams. We played the three exhibitions in the spring.” Last season began with three straight Irish wins over Penn State, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. A win out of the gate against a talented squad like the Nittany Lions is what Notre Dame needs to jumpstart its season. Corrigan and the players realize that.”We’re more than ready,” Corrigan said. “We’re extremely anxious.”