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Men’s Lacrosse: Team tries for record 8-0 start

Douglas Farmer | Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Undefeated this season and in its last 22 home games, Notre Dame will look to match the best start in program history today at home against non-conference opponent Villanova.

The Wildcats (6-2) are coming off of a tough loss to Sacred Heart and hope to reverse their fortunes at Alumni Field against the Irish (7-0).

“They dropped one the other day. I think they outplayed [Sacred Heart], but Sacred Heart’s goalie had a great day. Before that they were ranked in the top 20 of the country,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “I’m sure it was disappointing to them. We expect a heck of a game from them, and you have to count on a hard fought 60-minute game.”

The Wildcats play a game quite different from Notre Dame’s aggressive, attacking style.

“They control the ball, and they play patiently,” Corrigan said. “They take good shots and are very selective in their shot selection. That is challenging as they are not a team that give away possessions.”

The Villanova offense is led by senior attack Tim Driscoll, who has tallied a team-high 14 goals in eight matches. Wildcats junior Paul Webber leads the team in points with 19 on nine goals and 10 assists.

To counteract this conservative nature of Villanova, the Irish must maintain their composure throughout the entire 60-minute contest.

“We have to be efficient offensively,” Corrigan said. “We can’t trade long possessions for short ones, but we have to keep our aggressiveness and make sure we are attacking the cage to put some pressure on them.”

Such a task is often easier said than done, but Notre Dame should be prepared. This season, led by senior goalie Scott Rodgers and his .637 save percentage, the Irish have the No. 7 defense in the nation, as well as the No. 7 scoring offense.

“We are not short on momentum right now; we have not lost yet this year,” Corrigan said. “But I don’t know how much that will really effect tomorrow. We just have to go in with the mindset of outplaying them and outworking them for 60 minutes.”

If able to do so, Notre Dame will match the best-ever start by the program at 8-0, achieved by the team in 1993. Furthermore, the team would also extend the program-record home win streak to 23.

Faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at Alumni Field.