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MEN’S LACROSSE: Struggling team falls to Denver in game

Bobby Griffin | Friday, April 8, 2005

The Irish knew coming into Thursday’s game with Denver that they were going to have their hands full.What they did not know was that they would be outplayed on both ends and fall 9-6 to a team that was equally hungry for a win coming into the game.Notre Dame learned exactly why every game matters, as it dropped its first league game this season at a time when the Irish needed it most.”We just didn’t respond well to the pressure today,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “To their pressure on the field, to the pressure of the situation, we just didn’t handle it very well.”Coming into the game, the Irish were sitting at 5-2 and needed to win out in order to guarantee themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament.Now they will have to rely on outside circumstances.After a scoreless first quarter, Denver got on the board with 13:58 remaining on Ryan Zordani’s fourth goal of the season.Notre Dame quickly answered back when Drew Peters netted his second goal of the year with 11:56 remaining.The rest of the game progressed accordingly. Denver would score, the Irish would answer, and then Denver would respond again shortly after.Denver’s defense was also relentless.”They played very well. They pressured us all over the field,” Corrigan said. “I thought we were athletic enough to handle that pressure, but we didn’t look like it today.”Denver took the lead 3-2, 3:15 before the half on Matt Brown’s 21st goal of the season.The Irish came out of halftime and quickly tied the game at three when Brian Giordano found Jim Morrison with a clear shot at the net.Unfortunately for the Irish, Denver scored back-to-back goals 15 seconds apart and regained the lead for good.Morrison and Peters each had two goals for the Irish. Matt Karweck added a goal and two assists in the loss.The Irish now need to focus on Sunday’s game with Air Force.”We’ll find out what the character of our guys is,” Corrigan said. “This is a gut check for our guys – you got to get ready to play on Sunday. Those people aren’t going to feel sorry for you. They are coming here, and they are going to try to win a game.”Corrigan stressed that while the loss hurt, it was not the end of the season. There are several games left, and the Irish have their chance to make things happen.”Our season’s not lost, there are games all over the country right now. We don’t where these guys are going to finish; we don’t know where we are going to finish,” Corrigan said. “We just gotta take care of what we can do. We control the next three games; that’s all we control.”