Irish prepare to host No. 19 Michigan on Saturday
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 17, 2022
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse team is gearing up to face the Michigan Wolverines this Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. The Wolverines currently hold No. 19 in the rankings, just three behind the Irish, laying the groundwork for an exciting game. Coming off of another close loss of 14-11 to No. 10 Ohio State, the Irish are hungry for a win.
Despite the loss, the Irish put up a good fight against the Buckeyes trading goals for most of the game. Notre Dame was able to get in three goals in the third quarter to bring the score up to 8-7 but ultimately ended the game with a score of 14-11. The Irish were led by junior Pat Kavanaugh and sophomore Eric Dobson, each scoring three points. Junior Liam Entenmann had 11 saves in goal.
As a team, the Michigan Wolverines lead the nation in assists per game (11.12) and points per game (28.38). They also hold top five rankings in scoring offense, scoring defense, man-down defense, and opponent clear percentage. Michigan’s cumulative offensive efficiency ranks No. 1 and their defensive unit ranks No. 3. These stats pose an exciting challenge for the Irish, but nothing that they cannot overcome. Notre Dame plays a settled offense with long possessions while Michigan plays a fast-paced offense-oriented to dominate their one-on-one matchups. Players like junior attackman Josh Zawata, who is the second leading points scorer in Michigan program history after only eight games, will pose a strong offensive threat, but nothing the Irish cannot handle.
The Irish defense, while allowing 14 goals against Ohio State, continues to play fantastic man-to-man defense, with five of the Buckeyes’ goals arising from man-up opportunities. Buckeye goals late in the game also inflated the scoring differential, similar to the differentials in both the Maryland and Georgetown games. Notre Dame’s defense stacks up well against Michigan’s scoring threats, with senior Carson Cochran and graduate student transfer Jason Reynolds being led by fifth-year All-American Arden Cohen to create a nearly impenetrable defense. Offensively, the Irish have found their footing with nine players scoring in the last game against Ohio State. This bodes well for the Irish, as the Timberwolves will have to cover a multitude of possible scorers for the Irish.
The matchup will take place at noon this Saturday, March 19 at Arlotta Stadium.