No. 7 Irish look to shake off last loss
Greg Hadley | Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Stuck in a rut and the bottom half of the ACC, No. 7 Notre Dame has the chance to rebound Tuesday from its 15-7 loss to No. 3 Duke on Saturday, when the team heads to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette.
With the loss to the Blue Devils, the Irish dropped to 4-4 on the year and 2-2 in the ACC, good for just fourth place out of six teams in the conference. In the home matchup, the Irish never led and were down 6-3 early in the third quarter before surrendering six unanswered to put the game out of reach.
Since defeating Ohio State13-7 at home on March 25, the Irish have lost two in a row, their first losing streak of the season. In addition to the loss to Duke, Notre Dame dropped a narrow 11-10 decision to Syracuse on March 29, its first ACC loss of the season after winning its first two conference contests and taking first place.
The Golden Eagles (4-7, 2-1 Big East), on the other hand, have recovered from a rocky 1-5 start to win three of their past five, including a thrilling double-overtime triumph over St. John’s. Among their losses, the Golden Eagles have dropped games to Jacksonville and Ohio State, both of whom the Irish have defeated this year.
Against Duke, the Irish offense struggled early and often, falling behind 13-3 and registering below their average of 11.5 goals and 4.88 assists per game. The Marquette defense, however, ranks 58th of 67 programs nationally, allowing 11.91 goals on average.On offense, the Golden Eagles average 9.82 goals per game and are led almost single-handedly by senior attackman Tyler Melnyk, who leads the team in points, goals and assists. Melnyk’s 32 goals is double the total of the second highest scorer for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette and Notre Dame are former conference foes, but have played each other just once, after Marquette introduced its lacrosse program in 2013. On April 2, 2013, in Wilmette, Ill., the Irish bested the Golden Eagles, 17-5, the start of a four-game win streak for the Irish.
Despite their recent struggles, the Irish boast a top-20 offense and still have four more regular season games, including one last ACC game against Maryland.
“Going forward to Marquette, we will just stick to our game plan and do what needs to be done,” sophomore defense Edwin Glazener said. “[It’s a] long way to May so it’s better to learn from our mistakes now rather than later.”
Notre Dame and Marquette square off in Milwaukee, Wis., on Tuesday at 5 p.m.