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Men’s Lacrosse: Squad scrimmages No. 2 Duke

Joe Meixell | Monday, February 13, 2006

Notre Dame played its weekend pair of scrimmages Saturday in Durham, N.C. without a running scoreboard. Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said he did not concern himself with the scores of the team’s games against No. 2 Duke and No. 25 Bucknell, instead looking for sound, mistake-free play.

Though the scrimmages were complete with officials to simulate real game play, the only goal Corrigan kept track of was improvement – which he said he found in his team’s effort Saturday.

“Playing a sound, fundamental game has been a point of emphasis this year,” Corrigan said. “It was good to see them go out and play that way. It was a great weekend for us -exactly what we needed.”

Corrigan said his strategy was to use the trip as a chance to improve before the Irish open their season Feb. 26 against Penn State.

“We were trying different things with different lineups Saturday,” he said. “We were more concerned with doing what we wanted to set out to do than we were with a final score.”

Corrigan believed his squad, ranked No. 12 in the country, accomplished its goals in the scrimmage. He did not single out any individual performances but said the defense played particularly well in the effort, matching the other squads’ levels of intensity. “Both teams were very athletic and very physical,” he said. “That was good for us to play against teams that come after us physically. We played some very good teams. The trip was extremely beneficial.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Corrigan thought the Irish played well but with room to improve.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well, and we could’ve been more selective in our shots,” he said.

Now, Notre Dame will use its first taste of game experience and continue to improve its fundamentals in practice, which Corrigan believes will be the key to defeat Penn State in two weeks.

“In the early games,” he said, “you don’t get to scout and have info on teams like you do later in the year. Playing sound and good fundamentally is how you survive those early games.

“The best thing we gained was a chance to test ourselves and to compete to be a better team when we play Penn State. It’s all about us taking steps forward.”