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Men’s Lacrosse

Irish to face Richmond after opening-season win

| Friday, February 22, 2019

No. 8 Notre Dame will hit the road this weekend for this first time this season, as the Irish head southeast after a dominant 19-6 home opener against Detroit. Next up for coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad is a matchup with Richmond, a team that has won two-straight after losing a nail-biter against No. 3 Maryland to open the season.

Observer File Photo
Irish junior attackman Brian Willetts looks to pass during Notre Dame’s 13-12 loss to Michigan on March 21 at Arlotta Stadium.

For the Irish (1-0), a showing like the one the team put on last weekend against Detroit (1-1) would go a long way in walking away with a win. Notre Dame delivered a complete performance Saturday inside Loftus Sports Center against the Titans, as the 19 goals were the most the Irish have scored since 2015, and the 13-goal win was the largest margin of victory in a season opener since 1993.

“As I told the guys, I thought there were times where we played well, times that we didn’t play well, but we made plays throughout the game — that’s different from playing well, but it’s very important,” Corrigan said. “You have to make plays, and we did that well, so I thought all in all, a lot to build on from the first game.”

Notre Dame’s offensive outburst was in large part aided by 15 forced turnovers on defense, something Corrigan highlights.

“That’s always a point of emphasis for us — we work very hard to be a good riding team, and to keep a full-field pressure on people that makes it hard for them,” he said. “So that was good to see, that we did that well, but obviously they didn’t always handle the pressure well, but some of that is due to us being relentless with it. I think that’s what pressure does to people.”

Another takeaway was the wealth of options at Notre Dame’s disposal, as 10 different players finished on the scoresheet. While familiar names, including senior midfielder Brendan Gleason and a couple juniors in midfielder Bryan Costabile and attack Brian Willetts were featured, so too were some fresh faces.

“It’s one game, but I do think that we have a variety of people who can score for us and make plays for us,” Corrigan said. “[Junior faceoff specialist] Charlie Leonard, I think everybody would be lying if they told you they weren’t a little surprised that Charlie Leonard has two goals at the end of the day, but none of us are surprised to see Charlie Leonard in there just competing like crazy, because that’s what he does. I think we have a lot of guys who can make plays, and I think that over the course of the year, if we play the play we want to play, that is going to be a strength for us. We have got a couple guys that everybody knows about, but I think we have a lot of other guys that can make plays as well, and that certainly makes you harder to play against.”

For Notre Dame to beat the Spiders (2-1), Corrigan said the Irish will have to play with the same intensity, as Richmond continues to be a program on the rise.

“We’ve seen from them that frankly, they’ve played 12 quarters, and 11 of them at a really high level. So we know what they are capable of, and I hope there’s nobody on our team that’s kidding themselves about how good a team this is, because they’ve proved it in these first three weeks,” he said. “Even more than that, they’ve established themselves as a program that is very well-coached, very smart about who they are and how they play, and you don’t you have to look very far this year in college lacrosse to see that there are an awful lot of good teams out there, and we know that Richmond is one of them.

“ … We’ve got to worry about Richmond. We play a great schedule and we know that, and the only way to play a great schedule is to concentrate on the one that is right in front of you, and so that’s the one that we’re focused on right now.”

The Irish and Spiders are scheduled to start play at noon on Saturday.

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About Tobias Hoonhout

Toby served as Managing Editor in the 2018-2019 term.

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