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Men’s Lacrosse: Laxers to face Bucks at ‘Horseshoe’ with 30,000 in attendance

Joe Meixell | Friday, April 24, 2009

A typical college lacrosse game played in front of a large crowd would have one to two thousand fans. Saturday at Ohio State, Notre Dame will play in front of upwards of 30,000 fans at Ohio Stadium.

No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0, 4-0 GWLL) faces Ohio State (7-6, 3-1) at Saturday at “The Horseshoe,” the Buckeyes’ football stadium, in the “Showdown in the Shoe.” Ohio State hosted Denver in the inaugural “Showdown,” in 2008, and close to 30,000 fans were in attendance.

The “Showdown” is played immediately before the Ohio State spring football game, the Scarlet and Gray Game. The Horseshoe’s maximum capacity is 102,000, and typically the spring football game fetches nearly half of that.

“We’ll start with less than that, but by the end be close to that,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “It will be quite the environment. I’m excited, and our guys are excited.”

Such an atmosphere will be a brand new experience to the Irish.

“We had over 7,000 for a couple different games, but nothing truly comparable to this,” Corrigan said. “We did play at Invesco Field out at Denver, so we have played in a venue of this nature, but nothing of this magnitude.”

Even the NCAA tournament will not compare to Saturday’s atmosphere as the Irish bid for a perfect regular season.

Having opened the season with 12 wins, the Irish could feel pressure to keep the streak alive. Rather, the team does not even think of the streak.

“You can only win the game that you are playing,” Corrigan said. “We are not discounting [the streak], but it is just not something we can focus on because it does not contribute to us winning the game this weekend.”

Indeed, this weekend the Irish face a formidable foe in the Buckeyes. Last year Ohio State scored 12 goals against Notre Dame’s defense.

“They are extremely good in transition opportunities,” Corrigan said. “That is something we know we have to make sure to watch.”

The last line of defense against such transition opportunities will be senior goalie Scott Rodgers, recently nominated for the national player of the year award, the Tewaarton Trophy.

“That is a wonderful honor for Scott,” Corrigan said. “I hope he gets it, and it will happen if we are successful.”

Rodgers and Notre Dame face Ohio State at 11 a.m. Saturday.