Irish set for top-ten matchup against Ohio State
Nate Moller | Thursday, March 9, 2023
The second-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will return to action this weekend when they face No. 9 Ohio State at Arlotta Stadium.
The Irish come into this game against the Buckeyes as hot as ever, having beaten fourth-ranked and defending national champion Maryland on the road in triple overtime last weekend.
Last year, the Irish were left out of the NCAA tournament despite winning their last six games of the season. Notre Dame was considered a top-five team by many experts at the end of the season, and their absence from the tournament was surprising to many.
On the flip side, Ohio State was one of the last teams selected for last year’s NCAA tournament. Although the Buckeyes finished last year with a worse RPI than Notre Dame, they beat the Irish in Columbus, Ohio earlier in the season by a score of 14-11, which was likely the difference in the selection.
In last year’s game, the Irish got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter and held a 4-2 lead at the beginning of the second quarter. As the second quarter progressed, however, things went south for the Irish as the Buckeyes scored four goals over the remainder of the period to take a 6-4 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Buckeyes continued to dominate early on, scoring two more goals in the opening minutes of the half to take a commanding 8-4 lead. The Irish would claw back over the course of the period to bring the score to 9-8 in favor of the Buckeyes with 2:42 to play in the third quarter. The Buckeyes found the back of the net twice in the final minutes of the quarter, though, to take an 11-8 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Irish once again got the lead down to one with just over five minutes to play in the game, but the Buckeyes were too much for the Irish and ended up winning by a three-goal margin.
In that game last year, the Buckeyes scored five of their eleven goals while up a man. If the Irish are going to avenge last season’s defeat in Columbus, they will have to avoid penalties.
They will also need to limit Buckeyes’ senior attacker Jack Myers. In last year’s game, Myers torched the Irish and recorded four goals and three assists. Myers leads the Buckeyes in points this season with 19 (8 goals and 11 assists).
The Buckeyes also returned Colby Smith to their lineup. Smith was an integral part of the Buckeyes’ team last season, scoring 41 goals and recording 6 assists. He also recorded three goals against the Irish last season.
The Buckeyes come into Saturday’s game with a 3-2 record on the year, but their only losses are to No. 3 Cornell and No. 1 Virginia. Their most impressive victory of the season came against No. 15 North Carolina.
The Irish will be led on the attack by the Kavanagh brothers. The brothers are first and second in points this year with sophomore attack Chris having 21 points and senior attack Pat having 20. Chris leads the team in goals with 15 and Pat leads the team in assists with 16.
The Irish have a series of weapons on their roster and will look to utilize a combination of junior midfielder Eric Dobson, graduate student midfielder Quinn McCahon, sophomore attacker Jeffery Ricciardelli and senior midfielder Reilly Gray for the rest of their offensive production. The Irish will also rely heavily on senior goalie Liam Entenmann to keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard as much as possible. Entenmann finished with 14 saves against Maryland on Saturday.
Saturday’s top-ten showdown from Arlotta Stadium will start at 2 p.m. EST and can be viewed on the ACC Network.