Notre Dame looks to continue growth, get back on track against Marquette
Meagan Bens | Wednesday, April 11, 2018
No. 15 Notre Dame will travel north and face Marquette on Wednesday for a midweek matchup against the Golden Eagles.
After never finding an offensive rhythm against No. 5 Duke and losing 8-2 at home, the Irish (5-4, 1-2 ACC) will travel to meet the Golden Eagles (5-4, 2-1 Big East) for the seventh time in program history. Notre Dame has not lost yet in the series, with six wins in as many matchups. But despite the history of success against Marquette, the Irish will not be overlooking the Golden Eagles by any stretch.
“We don’t have any neutral opponents,” Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “Marquette is a well coached team, and they are very disciplined. We aren’t going to do anything different against them.”
Although the Irish struggled offensively in their last game, their defense allows an average of 9.00 goals per game, ranking 18th in the country despite having faced four of the top-11 scoring offenses in the country so far this season. Notre Dame’s defense has held six of its nine opponents to fewer than 10 goals scored, and it held both Duke and No. 12 Virginia to season-low scoring totals in its games against them.
“We’ve been consistent, but we are still growing and will get better,” Corrigan said of his team’s development. “During the game against Duke, we didn’t play well offensively, but we did defensively. … We need a little more of an experienced offensive that displays together. We’re missing guys, pivotal guys in our game, and we can overcome that if we play together. The young guys have trouble with that, so we will throw in some more experienced players in future matches.”
With the injuries on the team, Corrigan said senior midfielder Pierre Byrne has rised to the occasion.
“He has played very well, and there’s a lot on his shoulders at the moment,” Corrigan said. “He is one of our main creators now since guys are hurt and on the bench. We’ll get more experience and relax a little, and we’ll continue to go up.”
In addition to the solid defense and players stepping up due to injuries, several Irish leaders earned recognition recently when Inside Lacrosse unveiled its 2018 midseason All-American list. Senior long stick midfielder John Sexton earned first-team recognition, while sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile earned second-team recognition. Additionally, junior short-stick defensive midfielder Drew Schantz made the third team, and junior attack Brendan Gleason was listed amongst the honorable mentions.
Even though the list is out, Corrigan said he does not pay much attention to it, but instead focuses on the need to keep playing and settling the team to work around the injuries.
That work will continue Wednesday night, when the Irish and Golden Eagles will battle it out at 7 p.m. at Valley Fields in Milwaukee.