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Men’s Lacrosse: Laxers travel to face Air Force in Colorado Springs

Ellyn Michalak | Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coming off a 14-7 win over Lehigh, the No. 9 Irish travel to Colorado to take on Air Force in their penultimate conference game.

The match-up was originally scheduled for earlier this season, but inclement weather in the Chicago area prevented the Irish from traveling.

The Irish currently boast an overall record of 9-2 (2-1 GWLL), while the No. 43 Falcons, recently coming off of an 11-10 overtime loss to Quinnipac, hold an overall record of 3-7 (1-2).

“[Air Force] plays like most [service] academy teams,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “They are disciplined, they play hard, they are well-conditioned, and you have to be ready for tough competition because they play hard for a full 60 minutes.”

Despite the Lehigh game being the seventh time this year his squad has recorded 14 goals, Corrigan attributes Notre Dame’s success to effective defensive tactics throughout the season.

“We’re playing good defense, winning faceoffs, and getting good goaltending,” Corrigan said. “Those are pretty reliable things. When you can do those things well and consistently, you become a very hard team to beat. Our offense has been less effective but when you have those three things, you have a very tough team.”

The Irish are led by junior attack Ryan Hoff, whose four goals in the Lehigh game moved his team-leading tally to 30. Senior attack Alex Wharton leads the squad in assists after earning his 22nd against Lehigh. Senior goaltender Joey Kemp recorded his ninth win of the season in the same game.

Despite close competition and a tied first quarter score of 2-2 in the Lehigh contest, Notre Dame’s senior midfielder Taylor Clagett ignited the Irish offense, scoring the second goal of a 9-0 Irish run.

“The biggest thing that was a turning point in the game for us was when Taylor Claggett won the faceoff [in the second quarter],” Corrigan said. “Not only did he win it, but he scored a goal and allowed us to score four goals after that. It was make it-take it at that time and he allowed us to advance the score and separate from Lehigh.”

The Irish hope to carry their success into the final two GWLL contests of the season against Air Force and Ohio State.

Tomorrow’s contest against the Falcons begins at 4 p.m.