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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish scrape by Knights

Matthew Robison | Monday, March 25, 2013

No. 3 Notre Dame barely escaped with a 7-6 win over Rutgers on Sunday in Piscataway, N.J., behind three fourth-quarter goals from junior midfielder Jim Marlatt that propelled the Irish in their Big East opener.

Irish coach Kevin Corrigan, however, was not at all pleased with his team’s performance on either end of the field.

“I thought we did not play well at all,” Corrigan said. “But we made enough plays to win. We’re not going to win many games playing like that.”

The Scarlet Knights (2-7, 0-2 Big East) held Notre Dame (6-1, 1-0) scoreless for the entire first quarter and nearly 10 minutes of the second stanza. Freshman attack Matt Kavanagh broke through with a goal at the 5:35 mark. Senior midfielder Ty Kimball fed Kavanagh with an assist. Kavanaugh had two goals, and senior midfielder Ryan Foley and junior attack John Scoscia each scored once. Sophomore attack Will Corrigan had two assists.

But Kevin Corrigan didn’t see anything in Rutgers that caused the lack of offensive output early. The Irish simply were not executing.

“It had very little to do with what Rutgers was doing,” Corrigan said. “They played the same game plan that we’ve seen and expected them to play. We just played very poorly.”

For much of the game, the Irish were ineffective, turning the ball over 14 times, grabbing two fewer ground balls than Rutgers and putting only 21 of its 38 shots on goal. But Marlatt saved the Irish with his fourth-quarter barrage.

“We didn’t move without the ball,” Corrigan said. “We didn’t attack the cage. We didn’t handle the ball well, and we didn’t shoot well.”

Notre Dame is now 4-1 this season in games decided by one goal. But according to Corrigan, the Irish need a larger margin of victory and better play overall if they want to compete for a Big East championship and an NCAA title.

“My takeaway is that we’re not going to win that many games if we play that way,” Corrigan said.

Notre Dame outshot Rutgers 38-25. Irish senior goalie John Kemp had six saves.

There were a few bright spots for Notre Dame in the otherwise frustrating day. Junior midfielder Liam O’Connor won 11 of his 17 faceoffs, and the Irish killed all but one of the Rutgers man-up opportunities.

The Irish have played three games in eight days and Corrigan said they will take a few days off before preparing for a matchup with St. John’s on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium at 1 p.m.

Contact Matthew Robison at [email protected]