April 11, 2014
ROBERT MORRIS (5-6)
#10 NOTRE DAME (5-4)
Saturday, April 12 – 1 p.m. (ET)
Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
WatchND.tv (free broadcast)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – You only get one chance to make a first impression and the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team has a habit of rude introductions.
Since the start of the 2000 season, the Fighting Irish are 13-2 against first-time foes, including a streak of 12 straight wins. Notre Dame (5-4) will introduce itself to Robert Morris (5-6) on Saturday as the Fighting Irish and Colonials clash for the first time ever. Faceoff is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) at Arlotta Stadium.
The Colonials will be the second first-time opponent this season for the Fighting Irish, who topped Jacksonville, 19-7, on Feb. 16 in the inaugural showdown between the two schools. Robert Morris will be the 48th Division I program out of the 67 that currently sponsor men’s lacrosse that Notre Dame will have faced in its history.
The Fighting Irish added Marquette to that list last season and this year’s showdown with the Golden Eagles took Notre Dame to Milwaukee on Tuesday. The trek to Wisconsin, which resulted in a 12-7 Irish victory, marked the seventh different state Notre Dame has competed in during its first nine games of the season.
The Irish will finally be able to unpack their bags for a bit as the next two contests take place at Arlotta Stadium. Following the showdown with Robert Morris, Notre Dame returns to Atlantic Coast Conference play next Saturday versus Maryland before heading to the ACC Tournament (April 25-27). The Irish will conclude the regular season May 3 versus Army at Arlotta Stadium.
No matter if it’s February or April, compiling wins always is the objective but with just a handful of contests remaining on the 2014 docket, there is the inherent sense of urgency that comes as the calendar inches closer to May. The victory at Marquette snapped Notre Dame’s brief two-game losing streak and hopefully put the Fighting Irish on the right track for the final stretch of the campaign, which continues Saturday against the Colonials.
“They (Robert Morris) have a lot of Canadians on the roster and they play a lot of the two-man game,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “They have sets that are a challenge to defend. They are very dynamic in the middle of the field and they like to attack the goal from the middle of the field.”
The Irish used their standard recipe for success on Tuesday to clip the Golden Eagles. Notre Dame entered the week with the nation’s fourth-best man-up conversion rate and the Irish raised that mark by going 3-of-4 to put their percentage at .568 for the campaign. The Irish also won the faceoff battle (12-of-22) for the eighth time in nine games and they spread the wealth offensively as six different players scored a goal. Notre Dame is averaging 14.6 goals and 8.8 goal scorers in its five victories this season.
Notre Dame also flexed its muscle down the stretch by scoring five of the game’s final six goals. The Fighting Irish have outscored opponents 35-21 in the fourth quarter this season.
“It’s really two things: mental toughness and our depth,” Corrigan said about his team’s second half success this season. “We are able to play enough guys that we’re fresh late in the game.
“We were up 4-1 with 30 seconds left in the first half (against Marquette) and then the game was tied 4-4 less than two minutes into the second half. It was frustrating as it was developing, but we then went on an 8-3 run from that point on and that was the most satisfying thing for me. We were coming off a loss on Saturday (to Duke) and we were playing midweek, but we manned-up and came away with the win.”
Sophomore midfielder Trevor Brosco sparked Notre Dame’s second-half surge on Tuesday as he deposited all three of his goals in the third quarter. Brosco wasn’t alone in the hat trick department as his first-line mate Jim Marlatt went for three goals and one assist. They became the fifth and sixth Fighting Irish players to notch a hat trick this season.
“We started off a little slow (versus Marquette) but then we were a little more patient in the second half on offense,” Brosco said. “We were going through all of our looks and I was finding space. All of my goals were assisted so everyone was doing a good job.
“We have some real important games coming up and we just want to be playing our best lacrosse right now. It’s all about trying to play within our identity.”
— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director
The University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team pursues excellence on and off the field through the three pillars in which the program is built: Character, Culture & Community. These three foundational values guide the promise of the program, which is to provide its student-athletes with the most compelling and enriching experience in all of college athletics. Through academics, competition, service and travel, the program aims to immerse its players in situations that enhance their student-athlete experience to help them become the people, students and teammates they aspire to be.
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