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Men’s Lacrosse: Friars pay a visit

Sam Gans | Tuesday, April 3, 2012

After heading east last weekend to participate in the Big City Classic, the No. 6 Irish return to the friendly confines of Arlotta Stadium on Saturday afternoon to face Big East foe Providence.

Fresh off a 13-6 victory over St. John’s in East Rutherford, N.J., in which the Irish (7-1, 2-0 Big East) trailed at halftime before dominating the second half, Notre Dame will look to extend its winning streak to seven when it hosts the Friars (1-7, 0-3).

Providence will play its third game in eight days after losing to Rutgers in overtime March 31 and hosting Yale on Tuesday. The Friars have had a rough season up to this point, having been outscored 76-63 on the season entering last night’s game against the Bulldogs, including a 27-12 margin in the first period.

While the only win for Providence came in late February against Wagner, the return of senior attack Jake Nolan on Saturday following a four-game absence provided a spark for the Friars. Nolan, who led the team in scoring last year and is currently second this year despite playing in only half of Providence’s games, scored twice against the Scarlet Knights. In addition, three Friar losses have been by two goals or less, suggesting the Friars’ record might be more competitive than their record indicates.

Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said Providence’s unique style of play could provide a challenge for the Irish.

“[Providence has] got a young team and they play a little different than a lot of people do, which is a challenge in itself,” Corrigan said. “This time of year, you get kind of to the point where you’ve seen enough things where you get comfortable against them. When you play a team that plays differently, you go back to the beginning of the year.

“They’re a challenge that way, and they’ve got a good team. They’ve played everyone tremendously, and I think they’re a team on the cusp.”

Though it might be easy for the Irish to overlook one-win Providence, Corrigan has stressed to his team the importance of focusing on itself instead of on the opposition.

“One of the things we talked about [Sunday] is that we want to concentrate on ourselves. We don’t want to play according to our competition,” Corrigan said. “I hope they play with confidence, but not with arrogance. There’s a fine line between the two when you’re playing against a team, thinking, ‘we’re 7-1, and they’re 1-7.'”

The Irish will look to improve their Big East and overall record when they take on Providence at Arlotta Stadium on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.


Contact Sam Gans at sgans@nd.edu