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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish prepare for a midweek game against the Buckeyes

Matthew Robison | Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coming off a thrilling triple overtime home victory over No. 8 Denver on Sunday, the No. 7 Irish hit the road today to take on Ohio State. The midweek showdown is a change of pace for the Irish (4-1), as all of their other regular season matchups fall on either Saturday or Sunday.

In that case, the Irish usually have a full week to prepare for an opponent. This time around, Notre Dame had only one day between games, which makes preparation a much more condensed exercise.

“The biggest thing is it means most of your preparation is mental, because you don’t have the time between recovering from this game and trying to prepare for that game,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “You just don’t have the field time and the ability to get your guys out there and go full speed against the stuff they’re doing.”

The majority of preparation happens in the film room reading through scouting reports, and on the field in walk-through exercises, Corrigan said.

“Hopefully our guys can handle that kind of preparation because it’s different than what we’ve been able to do for every other game,” Corrigan said.

The Buckeyes (3-4) started the season strong, going 3-0 with victories over Detroit, Mercer and Denver. Since then, the Buckeyes have dropped four straight, losing to No. 3 Massachusetts, No. 17 Penn State, Robert Morris and No. 1 Virginia.

But the slide is not indicative of a weak team, Corrigan said. The Buckeyes are consistently one of the top teams in the country, and this season is no different.

“They’re a very, very good team and a team we went down to the last seconds with last year,” Corrigan said. “So we know we’ve got another dogfight on our hands on Wednesday.”

Last year, senior attackman Sean Rogers netted the game-winning goal with 33 seconds to play to beat the Buckeyes in Arlotta Stadium. Rogers was also the hero Sunday with a goal in the third overtime period to give Notre Dame the sudden death win over the Athletics.

Rogers, a tricaptain, has been a catalyst for the Irish all season, tallying a team-high seven goals and adding an assist. Sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt is the leading scorer for the Irish with seven goals and three assists.

On the defensive side of the field, Notre Dame has been led by senior tricaptain Kevin Randall, and the Irish have allowed only 26 goals on the season. Junior goaltender John Kemp has made 56 saves, resulting in the nation’s best goals allowed average (4.97) and save percentage (.683).

The Irish faced some early adversity when they fell in overtime at home to Penn State on Feb. 26. But since then, the Irish have battled back with a home victory over Denver and road wins over Drexel and No. 19 Hofstra.

The Irish face off against the Buckeyes today at 4 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. The game is the last nonconference matchup for Notre Dame before it begins its Big East schedule.

 

Contact Matthew Robison at mrobison@nd.edu