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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish to face Hoyas Sunday

Megan Golden | Friday, April 8, 2011

In anticipation of a large crowd and a competitive matchup, the No. 2 Irish are eager to take the field for their Playing for Peace Game against Georgetown as they look to remain undefeated on the season.

Coming off a 13-7 win over Mount Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, Georgetown (5-4) has won three of its last four contests. However, three of its four losses were against opponents currently ranked in the top five of Inside Lacrosse’s national standings.

Irish junior attack Sean Rogers said he is confident the team will approach the Hoyas with the same intensity as always.

“First and foremost, they beat us last year,” Rogers said. “It came down to us and them for the final spot, and we beat them out. They are going to come in with a lot of desire. A lot of our kids played their kids in high school, and their roster’s full of big time players and All-Americans. I’m not worried about us overlooking them, that’s for sure.”

The Hoyas average 11.8 goals per game, but their opponents average 11.1 goals, which has created several down-to-the-wire match-ups thus far. The fewest number of goals they have scored this season is eight.

“I looked at their scores, and there are two games that they gave up 20 and 16 goals, respectively,” Rogers said. “Besides that, the numbers are skewed. When teams want to go up and down with them, their team gets a sense of that, and their offense tries to score goals and [their] defense gives up more goals. We’re not necessarily a team that will get into that kind of match with them, but who knows, after last week we could put up a lot of goals.”

The No. 8 Hoyas bring a fast-paced offense and an athletic defense to the field. Senior defenseman Kevin Ridgway said the Irish (7-0) must treat Georgetown like any other team and play to their strengths in order to be successful.

“They have a bunch of guys who can make plays, and they’re very in tune to how they make those plays. They put those guys in position to be a threat to score,” the co-captain said. “Obviously you want to win your individual matchup. We want to just play the way we play. We’re good at slide and recovery, and if we do that well then we should be able to hold them to less than eight [goals].”

Ridgway commented that this experienced Irish team is unlikely to fall in the same trap as last year’s squad did and become overly concerned by the rankings.

“We’re not getting too caught up in [the rankings],” Ridgway said. “We got a little lost in it last year, but this year [I tell my teammates], ‘Just keep the focus day to day. Don’t worry about our ranking. It’ll take care of itself if we just focus on the little things.'”

Under Irish assistant coach Kevin Dugan’s direction, the team will be sponsoring a Playing for Peace seven-versus-seven interhall lacrosse tournament following the Georgetown game. The event is co-sponsored by the men’s lacrosse and men’s basketball teams.

“We hope that the student body will come out to cheer on our team,” Dugan said. “We’ve really worked hard to raise awareness in Sudan, but we’ve also done it in a way that we’re building relationships with our fellow students. We hope the students want to come out and support the need to be in solidarity with Sudan, but also their alma mater, their school.”

Rogers said he has high expectations for the event, and he hopes to see the students at the game Sunday.

“We obviously loved the support we got for Villanova,” he said. “We fed off the energy. It’ll be a TV game, so come out and get on TV. Make a sign or something. All the students on the hill out there — they’re so loud, and [they make] it tough for the other team. We definitely hear them.”

The Irish look to extend their winning streak against Georgetown Sunday at 12 p.m. at Arlotta Stadium.