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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish take 6-0 record into league

Sam Werner | Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The No. 3 Irish will go into today’s matchup against Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) foe Bellarmine sporting a 6-0 record for only the second time in school history, but don’t expect Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan to get caught up on his team’s record.

“The record is about what you’ve done in the past,” he said. “And if we’re focused on the past then we’re missing something.”

Even though Corrigan won’t talk about it, the Irish are on the short list of teams in contention for a national championship, and a win against the Knights today would only further their cause.

The Knights (5-2) are also opening their conference season today, and hope to improve on 2008’s 0-5 GWLL record. Bellarmine relies primarily on three players for their offensive production – sophomore midfield Dereck Hopcroft, junior attack Sean Doyle and freshman midfield Jarrett Davis. In this respect, Corrigan said the Knights are comparable to Vermont, who the Irish beat 13-7 on Saturday.

“I do think they’re similar in that way,” he said. “They’re also similar in the way they try to generate their offense. I think some of the challenges on the defensive side of the ball will be similar.”

Corrigan also said he expected Bellarmine to use picks offensively, as the Knights did against the Catamounts.

“They did some things offensively with picks that could be problematic,” he said. “We didn’t do a great job against Vermont in the way we played picks.”

In order to come out with a win against the Knights, Corrigan noted that the Irish would have to focus on their own team first, before they worry about the opposition.

“While we certainly respect Bellarmine and appreciate what challenges they bring, we really need to concern ourselves with our execution right now,” he said. “And make sure we’re doing the things that we need to do before we worry too much what they’re doing.”

One part of the Irish gameplan that Corrigan said needed improvement was the “offensive fluidity.”

“We’ve done a lot of things well at different times offensively over the course of a game, but we haven’t established our identity at that end of the field,” he said.

Even if Corrigan is concerned with Notre Dame’s offensive efficiency, the one positive point for the Irish on that side of the field is the team’s ability to spread the scoring around. So far this year, seven different Irish players have netted hat tricks, and 16 have registered a point. Most recently, it was senior attack Ryan Hoff who netted five goals in the win over the Catamounts.

The Irish are averaging 12.33 goals per game, while giving up only 7.33. The defense is anchored by senior netminder Scott Rodgers, who has started every game for the squad. He will be faced with a Bellarmine offense that comes in averaging 11.86 goals per game.

The match begins at 4 p.m.