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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish face OSU for conference crown

Pat O'Brien | Friday, April 27, 2007

Notre Dame travels to Columbus, Ohio, Saturday to take on conference rival Ohio State in a matchup of two teams on hot streaks. The No. 10 Irish (9-3, 3-0 GWLL) have won six in a row while the No. 20 Buckeyes (8-4, 4-0) are coming off four straight victories.

Not only are the undefeated conference records on the line, but the winner of this game also receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the GWLL champion.

“In the back of our minds, we know it’s a big game,” Irish defender Ross Zimmerman said. “[Ohio State] is a different team with a few new players in big roles. They are very physical and are a good defensive team with offensive threats.”

Freshman attack Will Yeatman leads the Irish offense with team-highs in points (37) and assists (19). Sophomore attack Ryan Hoff is the team leader in goals with 30.

Junior midfielder Taylor Clagett leads the Irish in face-offs. He has won 137 out of 226 draws for a .606 percentage.

Junior goaltender Joey Kemp mans the defensive end for Notre Dame. He has recorded all 12 decisions, making 122 saves along the way for a save percentage of. 635. Sophomore goalie Scott Rodgers, who has played more minutes recently, has seen action in five games. He has stopped 20-of-24 shots on goal for an impressive .833 save percentage.

“In the last six games, we played well defensively,” Zimmerman said. “We are a great defensive unit. We need to play within ourselves, and we will come away with the win.”

Ohio State is led by sophomore attack Joel Dalgarno, who has a team-high 42 points. Junior midfielder Kevin Buchanan is on a 26-game point streak dating back to 2005 while leading the Buckeyes in the assists category with 20 helpers. Sophomore attack Jeff Ryan leads the team with 24 goals.

Senior midfielder Eric O’Brien has won 127 out of 211 face-offs (.602 percentage) for the Buckeyes.

Junior goalie Stefan Schroder has recorded all 12 decisions for Ohio State and has registered a .564 save percentage while making 114 stops.

“We prepared well all week to play a talented Ohio State team,” Kemp said. “We have done a great job with our scout team. Our coaches have prepared us.”

The opening faceoff will be at noon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.