ND looks to rebound from Duke loss with three-game homestand
Tobias Hoonhout | Wednesday, April 10, 2019
No. 10 Notre Dame will look to get back on track with a three-game homestand beginning Wednesday afternoon against Marquette. The Irish (5-4, 1-2 ACC) suffered a six-goal loss to Duke over the weekend, but can close out the regular season on the right foot with three games at Arlotta Stadium before the conference tournament.
For Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan, such an opportunity gives Notre Dame a chance to hit top gear before playoff lacrosse.
“Our biggest problem as a team right now is just a consistency of what we’re doing from play to play, quarter to quarter,” he said. “That’s the thing that we’ve got to address, and whether it might look like something statistically — when you look at it on the whole — but it’s just a manifestation of the overriding problem, which is we’ve been inconsistent. And that’s sometimes what happens with young teams, but you can’t use that as an excuse. We need to be growing and developing as we go through the year, and that’s a huge piece for us.”
The Wednesday’s matchup with the Golden Eagles (6-4, 2-1 Big East) will mark the eighth matchup between the two programs. While Corrigan and Notre Dame are a perfect 7-0 in the previous meetings, three of the last four have been decided by only one goal.
“I think it always colors the game if you can get off to a good start and put a little bit of the game pressure on them, so it’s obviously important,” Corrigan said. “ … We’ve played a lot of one-goal games with these guys the last few years, so we know we have to come out and be ready to play.”
Although Marquette was picked second in the Big East preseason coaches’ poll, the team sputtered to a 2-3 start after losses to Detroit and Cleveland State. But the Golden Eagles, led by the Canadian offensive duo of senior midfielder Tanner Thomson and senior attacker John Wagner, has since gone 4-1.
“I think we’re playing a team that’s playing very, very well right now — by far the best they’ve played all year,” Corrigan said. “They struggled early in the year, but they are a different team now than they were then, so we have to concentrate on what they’ve done in their last few games, which is they’ve been very productive offensively. They know how to get their best players in good spots to make plays, and they do it consistently, so they put a lot of pressure on you, because it’s their better players in spots where you know that they’re effective. We’ve got to do a good job of keeping those guys from being in those situations and being in those positions. We just got to make better decisions in terms of our slide game and that kind of thing than we have recently.”
With a young team still finding its feet, Corrigan said the key for the Irish to deliver a winning performance will be good possessions on both ends of the field.
“The next step is to be consistent. The quality of our possessions needs to be consistent,” he said. “If it is, we have a lot of guys who can make plays, but you have to have quality possessions so that you take what is the best opportunity from the ones that you get over the course of a quality possession and that you’re not forced into taking the first thing that comes along or something that comes at the end of the shot clock. We just need to be more consistent in the quality of our possessions.”
The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m. in Arlotta Stadium.