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Men’s Lacrosse: Hoyas handled

Megan Golden | Sunday, April 10, 2011

It took all four quarters of a tightly-contested afternoon for the No. 2 Irish to defeat rival Georgetown 7-6 in front of a packed stadium in their Playing for Peace game Sunday.

The Irish (8-0, 3-0) opened the game with a goal from junior attackman Sean Rogers, but the one-point lead did not last long. Georgetown (5-5, 2-2) sophomore attackman Travis Comeau quickly responded, as he and Rogers exchanged a pair of goals to end the first quarter even at 2-2. Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said Comeau presents several problems for any defense.

“He’s so nifty and he gets the tough ground balls inside on rebounds and stuff like that,” Corrigan said. “He’s hard to find and cover because they’ve got so many other guys you’re worried about on the perimeter. At the end of it all, you have to find him on the inside because they do. It takes one guy to make a mistake, and he makes you pay for it.”

The Hoyas fought back and were in control of a 3-2 lead well into the second quarter, but the Irish answered with a pair of goals. Comeau kept Georgetown in the game, however, as he completed a hat trick with his third goal of the half, making the score 4-4 at halftime.

Notre Dame’s defense made its necessary adjustments at the half and held the Hoyas to only one goal in the third quarter. The sole goal was pivotal though, tying the game at five heading into the final quarter.

“We’ve proven ourselves to be a pretty good defensive team,” Corrigan said. “We make it hard on people. We make them earn their goals. [The Hoyas] had to earn theirs today. We gave them a lot of extra chances today because of some mistakes. That was a little disappointing, but it was good to know our defense and [sophomore goalie] John Kemp were up to the challenge.”

Senior midfielder David Earl led the Irish with two goals and one assist. Earl drew a penalty on the Hoyas with three minutes remaining, which led to a man advantage and a game-winning goal by junior midfielder Max Pfeifer.

“[The key to the game was] good possessions toward the end of the game. It’s a one-goal game, so you never want to give possessions away,” Earl said. “We got good shots, [took] our time on offense and obviously [were] able to bury some [goals]. At the end we were able to keep them away from scoring and play some good defense at the end of the game.”

Corrigan said he has been able to rely on his co-captain to make plays during crunch time.

“David Earl is just a stud. He does everything for us. We’ve come to count on him doing everything,” Corrigan said. “At the end of the game, whether we’re on offense or defense, David Earl’s going to be on the field, and we’re going to be counting on him to make a play. That’s just about everything you could say about a guy.”

Earl said the Irish and Hoyas have several players on their rosters who attended Georgetown Preparatory in Maryland, so the Irish had added incentive to snag the victory against this particular team.

“I think about 10 kids on our team know about 10 kids on their team, so between them, it was definitely a rivalry,” Earl said. “They beat us last year, so it was nice to come away with the victory today.”

Corrigan said the Irish enjoyed earning the victory at home under the sun.

“It’s like a spring sport here at Notre Dame — lacrosse. Who’d have figured?” he said. “It was a great day to get a win. I don’t know if we played as well as we were hoping to, but that credit goes to Georgetown. They are a very good and talented team. We knew it was going to be a game until the last second, and it was.”

The Irish return to action for their final home game Saturday against St. John’s at 7 p.m. at Arlotta Stadium.