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Irish try to build on winning streak

Pat Leonard | Thursday, April 15, 2004

The tide has begun to turn for the Irish. Now all the team has to do is ride this wave into the postseason.After a disappointing three-game early-season losing streak, that included defeats to North Carolina, Loyola and Hofstra, No. 14 Notre Dame (5-4, 2-1 GWLL) has won three straight contests and two straight conference games.The Irish travel to Indianapolis today to take on Butler, seeking a fourth straight victory in its quest to overtake Ohio State for first place in the Great Western Lacrosse League.The Buckeyes defeated the Irish 9-8 at Moose Krause Stadium on March 31, and Ohio State sits atop the conference with a 2-0 record.Notre Dame is on a roll of late, winning games against Dartmouth and Air Force by a combined score of 22-5. After a victory over the Falcons, the No. 18 Irish overcame a 9-6 deficit to defeat No. 17 Denver, another Colorado team, on Sunday by a score of 14-12.That victory moved the Irish past the Pioneers in the polls, with Notre Dame at No. 14 and Denver dropping to No. 16. Pat Walsh tied a career-high with four goals and seven total points against the Pioneers.Last year, Walsh also plagued the Butler Bulldogs, notching two goals and four assists as a freshman in a 9-2 Irish victory. Attackman Dan Berger scored a hat trick, as well, as Notre Dame scored the first eight goals of the game and out shot Butler 38-24.Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Butler, 10-1, and the Bulldogs lost four of last season’s starters to graduationButler also will have to deal with goalie Stewart Crosland, who over the last three games is 3-0 with a 5.12 goals-against average and a .727 save percentage.The Bulldogs, coached by Craig Kahoun in his sixth season, have a 5-5 record with losses to Maryland and Fairfield, the two teams remaining on Notre Dame’s schedule after today’s game. Butler lost to Ohio State, as well, by a score of 12-5 – a much wider margin than the Irish defeat. Butler is currently 0-2 in league play.The Bulldogs finished last season with an overall record of 5-8 and a 1-4 conference record.Notre Dame and Butler square off at 4 p.m.