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Men’s Lacrosse: Laxers battle Ohio St. for No. 1 seed in GWLL

Griffin Dassatti | Friday, April 25, 2008

In their final home game of the season, Notre Dame has one last shot at a No. 1 in next week’s Great Western Lacrosse League tournament.

That shot comes Sunday at noon, when the No. 7 Irish (10-2, 3-1 GWLL) take on No. 13 Ohio State (9-3, 4-0 GWLL).

“We need to win this game.” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “If we win this game, we’ll be the No. 1 seed going into the [GWLL] tournament this weekend. If we lose this game we’re going have to beat [Ohio State] and Denver.”

The Irish, who are coming of three wins in five days over Quinnipiac, Lehigh and Air Force, should be extremely tired after having to travel across three different times zones. But, according to Corrigan, his team is far from jet-lagged.

“It was a challenging weekend but we did what we needed to do and we got into the games and didn’t allow ourselves to get worn down athletically. In terms of managing everything it was interesting, but we got back, got a little time off and they’re fresh and ready to go,” he said.

Notre Dame has outscored their opponents 153-82 this season, mainly due to the efforts of a few consistent offensive stars. Junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads the team with 32 goals, and is followed by fellow junior attacker Duncan Swezey with 19 and senior midfielder Michael Podgajny and sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs, each with 17. Senior attackman Alex Wharton rounds out the top five with 16 goals and also leads the team with 23 assists.

But despite all this offensive firepower, Corrigan said the Irish – who haven’t given up double-digit goals all season – will be stressing a more defensive strategy against the Buckeyes.

“This is a very good offensive team…. They’ve got six different guys offensively who are doing a lot for them so I think [the defensive end is] where it’ll start for us. We need to play a smart, disciplined game on both ends of the field without losing aggressiveness and I think that’ll serve us well,” he said.

Corrigan also noted that this would be the last home game for the senior class, a fact he says he’ll certainly be thinking about come game time.

“We don’t do a big senior day presentation on game day, but it’s always a big game for our seniors, it being their last game at home. This has been a great senior class. They’ve been tremendous for us,” he said. “We’ve got a guy at every spot who’s not only played an important role for us but has been a leader. Even the guys who aren’t playing take tremendous pride in our team they work hard and they’re selfless in their contributions.”