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Men’s Lacrosse: ND recovers from loss with overtime win

Greg Hadley | Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coming off a heartbreaking 8-7 loss at home to No. 15 Hofstra, it would hardly have been surprising if the No. 3 Irish had suffered a letdown a week later on the road against No. 5 Denver. Instead, the Irish (4-1) rallied to beat the Pioneers (5-2) in overtime, 13-12, on Saturday and win their third overtime game this season.

In what has become a theme this season, the Irish fell behind Hofstra (5-1) and trailed in the closing minutes of regulation. However, two quick goals in the final four minutes narrowed the lead to one, giving the team hope for another comeback victory, or at least a chance for overtime. The Irish failed to tie the score and suffered their first defeat of the young season.

“I wasn’t surprised that we struggled against Hofstra,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “It was our fourth-straight game against a top-[15] team, which is a heck of a challenge. We weren’t disheartened. I just told the guys that we had to get back to work, because we can’t afford to waste time.”

After the loss, the Irish traveled across the country to Colorado to take on Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos. Denver marked the fourth top-10 team the Irish have faced this year.

Once again the Irish fell behind, trailing 6-4 at halftime and then 9-8 entering the fourth quarter. However, the Pioneers were unable to shake the Irish, who kept within striking distance, tying the game nine times. With less than three minutes to go, seniors midfielder Steve Murphy and attack Sean Rogers both scored to tie the game at 12 and force overtime. Junior midfielder Jim Marlatt then clinched the victory in the second minute of overtime with his team leading 10th goal of the season.

Corrigan praised the performance of Marlatt, Murphy and Rogers, but was also quick to mention that the team has had contributions from many different players.

“On the [defensive] end, we have [senior goalie] John Kemp and [senior defenseman] Matt Miller, but really, we’ve had so many contributions from so many people on both ends,” Corrigan said. “That’s who we want to be and it’s going to serve us well in the long run. Teams have to guard the knowns, the big names, but also have to watch out for the unknowns because we get a lot of help from a lot of different people.”

Moving forward, Corrigan believes his team has no weaknesses besides inconsistency.

“Against Hofstra, I was disappointed with the inconsistency,” Corrigan said. “There’s not an area of the game that we haven’t been exceptional in at some point this year. What we’re working towards is being a team that doesn’t give away anything.”

The Irish face Ohio State, their sixth straight top-10 opponent, at 4 p.m., Wednesday in Arlotta Stadium.

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadley@nd.edu