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Men’s Lacrosse

Wynne’s six goals power Irish victory

| Monday, February 29, 2016

Just three games into the season, No.1 Notre Dame already appears to be in midseason form.

The Irish (3-0) ousted Detroit, 14-5, this Saturday afternoon at Loftus Sports Center.

Against Bellarmine on Wednesday, the Irish struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the second half, but it seems that those issues have been addressed since then. Despite allowing a score to the Titans (0-3) within the first minute and nine seconds, the Irish responded by taking off on a 7-0 run.

Sophomore attack Mikey Wynne recorded the first three goals of Notre Dame’s run. The first was a result of junior midfielder Sergio Perkovic’s shot being deflected in front of the net. Wynne immediately picked up the ground ball in front of the goal and scored the first of his six goals during the game.

After Wynne’s dominant first quarter performance, the Irish offense went on to score three more goals in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Freshman midfielder Drew Schantz scored his first collegiate goal off an assist by senior attack Matt Kavanagh early in the quarter. Kavanagh scored a mere 15 seconds later, and then, Perkovic fired a shot to score the first of his four goals just 33 seconds after Kavanagh’s score.

“We were outplaying them,” Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We had 22 shots to [Detroit’s] nine in the first half. We had the better of play the whole time, but sometimes the ball doesn’t go in. Their goalie made some saves, and we didn’t finish some balls that we would’ve liked to finish. … Something we need to continue to work on is being more selective shooting the ball. We sometimes settle for something early in a possession when I know we can get better if we just are a little more determined to [get] a better shot.”

In the second half, the Irish picked up right where they left off in the first.

Notre Dame went on a 4-0 run in the third quarter to make it a 12-2 lead. At that point in the game, Corrigan removed most of his starters to both prevent injury and to allow some of the less experienced players playing time, he said. The Titans outscored the Irish 3-2 in the final quarter to cut the deficit down to nine goals, but it was too late to make any serious attempt at a comeback.

The Irish outplayed the Titans across all aspects of the contest. They won the face off battle 15-7, had a 32-29 advantage in ground balls and maintained a 28-16 advantage in shots on goal. Despite the dominant performance, Corrigan said there were flaws in his team’s play.

“They won the first face off, had a good possession and got one there,” Corrigan said. “But honestly, I thought that the biggest thing there was that our stick work was a little bit sloppy. When I look back at most of the turnovers we made, we were playing good offense, doing all the right things, and then, just throwing the ball away. We just need to be cleaner with our stick work, and that’ll be a point of emphasis for us this week.”

After the game, Corrigan had a strong message for his team: “Before becoming champions, you need to carry yourselves as champions.” Corrigan said he has stressed that he is more concerned about the quality of his team’s play than what the scoreboard displays. By focusing on the quality of play, the accolades will surely follow suit, he added.

“I don’t think we’ve changed our style at all,” Corrigan said. “I don’t think we’ve changed anything, and that’s a reminder that we’ve given our guys for a long time. You carry yourselves as champions, and that’s how you get to be a great team at the end of the year. Whether you’re the national champion or not, there are a given number of teams within any given year that have a great year, and we want to be one of those teams. We feel like the character aspect to that and conducting themselves right, on and off the field, is a big part of that. That’s nothing new.”

The Irish will travel to Orange County, California, on Saturday to face Maryland in the Pacific Coast Shootout at 8 p.m.

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About Manuel De Jesus

Manuel De Jesus is a junior from Chicago, Illinois. He is an American Studies major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He is currently covering ND Volleyball, Men's Soccer and Men's Basketball.

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