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Men’s Lacrosse: Perfection falls in first round

Mike Gotimer | Thursday, August 13, 2009

Notre Dame’s unbeaten season came to a screeching halt Sunday in a 7-3 loss to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“We’re a very good team,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “I’m not going to beat up our team for going 15-0. We had a great season, but we didn’t play well today and therefore we lost.”

The Irish started off the season with nonconference wins over Loyola (Md.), Penn State, and Dartmouth. On March 8, Notre Dame notched its most impressive win of the season over then-No. 3 North Carolina.

Notre Dame rolled through Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play, winning each game by no fewer than two goals and rising as high as No. 2 in the nation. The Irish conference dominance continued in the conference tournament, which they won with victories over Quinnpiac and Ohio State.

The cornerstone for Notre Dame’s success this season was its defense, which allowed a nation-best 6.19 goals per game. The Irish backline was anchored by senior netminder Scott Rodgers, who led the NCAA with a 6.14 goals against average and a 0.663 save percentage.

In addition to their team accomplishments, the Irish boast a number of seniors with significant individual achievements, which came to a peak during their final season on campus. In April, senior attackmen Ryan Hoff and Duncan Swezey, midfielder Peter Christman, defenseman Regis McDermott and Rodgers were all named first team all-conference in the GWLL, which the Irish have won each of the past three seasons.

Furthermore, Rodgers, who leads the country in goals against average, was named GWLL Player of the Year and has been named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top lacrosse player.

“More than anything else, they did things right,” Corrigan said. “They worked hard, loved each other, loved play lacrosse and represented Notre Dame in excellent fashion. They love what they’re doing, love being a part of the team, and bring a sense of fun to the team.”

Corrigan ultimately thinks that this is the best lesson that his seniors could teach the program that they have contributed so much to in their four years on campus.

“The lesson [from the seniors] is that you should do something because you love it and do it right,” Corrigan said.