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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish comeback is not enough to beat Cornell

Greg Arbogast | Monday, March 6, 2006

In a battle of top-15 teams, No. 12 Notre Dame (1-1) rallied but could not overcome its slow start in a 9-6 loss to No. 8 Cornell (2-0) Saturday. The game, played on the campus of Benedictine University, was the first ever Division I lacrosse game played in the Chicago area, according to und.com, and was attended by 3,523 fans.

Trailing 6-4 entering the fourth quarter, Notre Dame gave up three unanswered goals, pushing Cornell’s lead to 9-4 with only 1:44 remaining in the game. Cornell senior All-American midfielder Joe Boulukos scored two of the three goals and finished the game with a hat trick.

“[Boulukos] is an All-American, and he played like one,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said after the game. “He was very assertive, and he made a number plays when he had the chance to.”

The Irish fought back as senior attack Pat Walsh and senior midfielder Matt Ryan scored goals 18 seconds apart to cut the deficit to 9-6 with just over one minute left to play. But that was as close as Notre Dame would come.

“It just seemed like we were in a funk out there,” senior co-captain DJ Driscoll said. “When they jumped out to a three goal lead, it got in our heads, and we overreacted. We were only down by two at halftime, but the look in the guys’ eyes was like we were down by five or six.”

The Irish played from behind the entire game.

Cornell jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, as the Big Red tallied the first of their two runs of three straight goals on the day.

“We didn’t come out the way we wanted to,” Corrigan said. “We didn’t execute our game plan, and we didn’t play with the intensity that we needed to.”

Notre Dame recovered from its shaky start to cut the Big Red lead to 3-2 in the second quarter, but a controversial goal from Cornell’s Eric Pittard, scored with no time left on the clock, pushed the Big Red’s lead to 4-2 at halftime.

Less than a minute into the second half, senior midfielder Matt Karweck scored an unassisted goal to bring the Irish within two. The goal extended Karweck’s point streak to ten straight games.

Saturday’s loss evens Notre Dame’s record at 1-1, and the Irish will have little time to dwell on their game with Cornell as they face WHATS THEIR RANK North Carolina, another top 25 opponent, next weekend.

“We need to start preparing ourselves for that game right from the beginning on Monday,” Corrigan said. “We have to start doing the little things that prepare us for the game, and that’s something you have to do every week. We didn’t do it last week, but it’s something we’re very capable of.”

Notre Dame’s takes the field against North Carolina Saturday at 1 p.m. at home.