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Men’s Lacrosse: Georgetown bound

Megan Golden | Friday, April 13, 2012

Coming off a dominant win over Providence, the No. 6 Irish are looking to extend their winning streak to eight as they travel to conference rival Georgetown.

Notre Dame’s defense showcased its talent against the Friars on Saturday, when it limited Providence to just one goal behind junior goalkeeper John Kemp’s seven saves.

Kemp said the defense will continue to stick to the game plan and improve on last weekend’s performance.

“First and foremost, [we need to execute] everything we work on in practice – communication, being clear with sliding and limiting their opportunities,” Kemp said. “We go into all of our games thinking the other team can beat us. It’s just another game and helping us move forward toward our goal of winning a national championship.”

Notre Dame (8-1, 3-0 Big East) has played just three road contests but has not lost away from Arlotta Stadium thus far.

Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said he expects the Hoyas (5-5, 1-1) to challenge Notre Dame, despite Georgetown’s record.

“They’re a very good team, very talented team and kind of what we’ve seen the last couple weeks in league play,” he said. “They’re a team with its back against the wall a little bit. They need a win, and we’re kind of a team that can give them life in their season. Anytime you’re in that situation, you expect to see that team’s best.”

Georgetown is looking to regain its winning record against the Irish after dropping its second straight game – a 13-12 overtime loss – Saturday at the hands of No. 20 St. John’s.

The Big East matchup will feature a talented Georgetown offense going against a dominant Irish defense. The Hoyas score an average of 9.4 goals per game, while the Irish defense allows just 5.4 goals per game.

Georgetown junior attack Brian Casey leads the team with 27 points, having recorded 14 goals and 13 assists this season.

Corrigan said the Irish must overcome pressure from the Hoyas in order to escape with a victory.

“They put pressure on you in a number of ways,” he said. “They are consistently pressuring you, whether it’s riding and clearing, whether on the offensive end or defensive end when they pressure you. Handling that and the speed of play and still making the appropriate plays will be the key for us.”

Notre Dame’s only loss came Feb. 26, when the Irish fell 4-3 to Penn State in overtime. Corrigan said his team has improved dramatically throughout the course of the season.

“I think we’ve been consistently gaining momentum through the season,” he said. “We’re confident in who we are and how we can be effective. We continue to learn about ourselves, and I’m happy with where we are.”

Georgetown’s roster features four graduates of Georgetown Preparatory School, while the Irish feature five former Little Hoyas, including Kemp.

Kemp said he and his former high school teammates have exchanged several lighthearted Facebook messages in anticipation of this weekend’s matchup.

“There’s a rivalry,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. Obviously, it’s good to see guys you played with in college moving up in the next level.”

The Irish will face the Hoyas on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

Contact Megan Golden at mgolde01@saintmarys.edu