In 2014, head coach Kevin Corrigan and the Fighting Irish won the ACC Tournament and advanced to Championship Weekend for the third time in the last five seasons.

Kevin Corrigan Quotes From Media Conference Call

May 22, 2014

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan was part of a media conference call on Tuesday in advance of Championship Weekend. Here is some of what was covered …

On the faceoff game…
“We have to do a good job on the wing and there’s no question about that. Liam (O’Connor) in the first two games (against Maryland) was at a point where he was having a lull in his season, but he’s been playing very well again of late. Hopefully he’s ready to battle a little bit more than in the previous two games and I know Nick Ossello will get in there and compete athletically. We just have to do a good job and be smart on the wings and try to equalize the number of possessions in the game.”

On senior faceoff specialist Liam O’Connor
“He was great early and he was great late and in between he wasn’t. We’re certainly going to keep working with him and I think he’s prepared to put his best foot forward. The kid has been facing off for four years at this level and we’ve been playing at a high level for four years so he doesn’t need me whispering in his ear now at the 11th hour about new things that we need to do or anything else. We just need to get him comfortable and have him go out there and have some strategies to counteract if he’s not being successful and that’s all we can do at this point. We’re not going to reinvent his game right now.”

On the team’s offense this season…
“Nobody seems to remember we opened the year scoring 19 goals at Jacksonville and we had 18 goals against UVA and we had eight goals in the second half against North Carolina. We’ve been productive offensively on and off all year. Just like every team, we’re going through the season and learning when people defend us well or they do something against us that causes us problems or somebody on our team is struggling, where do you go next and what do you do next. We don’t look at it maybe the same way as you do because I remember beating Maryland 6-5 in probably the biggest game of the year for us. You’re making adjustments, you’re playing the game you’re playing at that’s the biggest thing. We weren’t going to win the Army game with six goals. You play that game the way you need to play that game. We weren’t going to win the Maryland game with 14 goals. So you play that game the way you need to play that game. That’s all I can say. We started the season scoring goals and we’ve had some great offensive games during the year. What you hope you’re prepared to do this time of year offensively is do what needs to be done. If that means you need to have some sustained possessions to keep the ball away from somebody then that needs to be part of your offense just like scoring goals. If you need to score goals and be more aggressive then you better be prepared to do that. It’s just about finding a way to be one goal better than the other team at the end of the day.”

On the possibility of playing two games in three days this weekend…
“It is tough but the biggest thing is did you get anybody banged up or just get really run down. The last time we went to the championship game it was 90-something degrees both days and that saps anybody I don’t care what kind of shape you’re in. It’s tough to play 120 minutes of lacrosse in less than 48 hours in that kind of heat. That aside, it’s really the mental challenge of getting back up and getting back to being disciplined when you’re a little bit fatigued. I’d like to think our guys over the course of this year have shown some great mental toughness and hopefully that stands as well if we’re fortunate enough to have that problem …there is no Monday. There is just Saturday.”

On scoring 14 goals in the previous two meetings with Maryland…
“The first thing I’ve been doing is watching those first two games to see how we got those 14 goals. Let’s not spend a lot of time dwelling on what we didn’t do, let’s figure out what we did do. We scored 14 times in two games and we need to figure out how we scored those goals and what of those things can we replicate or put ourselves in some of those situations in different ways. The next thing is that we didn’t win faceoffs and we didn’t clear the ball well. There are only three ways to get the ball and those are two of them. We’re up against it when we’re not doing those things. Our guys really battled just to be in those games at times where we simply weren’t having possession of the ball. That could make a big difference.”

On junior goalie Conor Kelly
“I look at how he’s playing everyday. Is he seeing the ball? Is he settled and making a good strong move to the ball and getting his hands to the ball? Is he balanced and poised and ready to do those things? Or is he cheating and trying to fake people out? When a guy is struggling he starts to do some of those things and I don’t see that from Conor right now. He’s a guy who’s playing very good lacrosse. Even some of the goals that went in the other day (against Albany), he did everything right, guys just scored some good goals on him. I like where he is right now and I like the way he’s playing. Outside of the cage he’s really starting to understand our clearing game and he’s becoming more vocal and helping other guys make good decisions and I think that can make a difference for us, too.”

On sophomore attackman Matt Kavanagh
“I think he’s seen a little bit of everything thrown at him and we have collectively gotten a little bit smarter with him and his teammates figuring it out. People are going out of their way to scheme him and make things difficult for him. Sometimes that means playing a different role within the offense and sometimes it means us having to move him around a bit to get the ball in different spots. Sometimes it means giving him a little company over there to give the other team something to think about. There are different things we can do and I think we’re getting a little better at recognizing them to counteract what people are trying to do against him. He’s two things that are almost contradictory: he’s extremely poised with the ball in his stick and he’s competitive. With that combination, if it goes too far in one direction the competiveness could turn into frustration and if it goes too far in the other direction, he’ll want to hold the ball too long.”