December 8, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After six weeks and over thirty practices, the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team wrapped up the fall season on October 10th with a weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Navy, Stony Brook and North Carolina were the opposition for the Irish in four one-hour scrimages.
In the first contest Notre Dame squared off against a Navy team that finished the ’98 season ranked #17 in the country. The early morning tilt was played in the mud and featured a low scoring affair to the credit of both goaltenders. The Irish led at halftime but eventually fell to an improved Navy squad in the second half. Notre Dame’s defense, led by junior goalie Kirk Howell, played well at times but was had some offensive inconistencies and struggled with its clearing game.
In the second contest, the Irish faced Stony Brook University from Long Island, N.Y. This game was the first for many in an Irish uniform. After settling from all the excitement, the Irish showed encouraging signs for the future. Th offense was lead by freshman John Flandina’s three-goal performance. The defense turned in another strong performance and was once again able to slow down the opposition in the win.
The highlight of the afternoon was the final clash against North Carolina, who finished the ’98 campaign ranked #10 nationally. This game showed the potential of Notre Dame’s 1999 spring season. No one individual stood out in the contest. Many players made important contributions to the team’s performance. The entire first attack unit (Chris Dusseau, Ned Webster, and David Ulrich) showed its potential with crisp passing and well executed goals.
The midfield was able to control the pace of the game and reward the offense with good scoring opportunities by winning the groundballs in the middle of the field. The defense concluded their afternoon with their third straight solid effort, adding up to a 7-3 Irish win.
This was the perfect way to end the fall season, competing against some of the best teams in the country and finding out exactly where the team stands at this point in the season. There are plenty of things to work on in the off season to prepare for a schedule that faces nine teams from the 1998 top 20 poll, but the Irish should enter the spring with confidence from a challenging and successful fall season.