March 30, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After beating No. 1, the Fighting Irish now are No. 1.
The University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team sits on top of both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (coaches) and Cascade/Maverik (media) polls after defeating top-ranked and undefeated Syracuse, 13-12 in double-overtime, on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. The Fighting Irish were ranked second in each poll last week.
This is the fifth week in the history of the Fighting Irish program that they have been No. 1 in both polls. Here are the previous appearances:
April 18 – May 2, 2011 (USILA & media polls – 2 weeks)
March 25 – April 1, 2013 (USILA & media polls – 1 week)
April 22 – April 29, 2013 (USILA & media polls – 1 week)
IT DOESN’T GET ANY EASIER
The victory over the Orange signified the first time the Fighting Irish had ever defeated a team ranked No. 1 in either the coaches or media polls. While the win was significant for this year’s team since it moved them to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, the Irish have several more challenges ahead, beginning this Saturday at No. 7 Duke (5 p.m. ET on ESPNU).
“I told the team in the huddle after the (Syracuse) game while they were celebrating that I checked with the NCAA and we still have to play Duke next week,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “That’s the league we’re in. We’re playing a bunch of teams the rest of the season that could be No. 1 or No. 2 so we can’t get caught up in that. We just have to do our work and preparation.
“We have to get back on Monday and start preparing ourselves. If we do that, then Saturday will happen the way it happens. I love this conference because every game is a big game and every game is meaningful. That’s the challenge of it, but that’s the joy of it as well. Our guys really enjoy competing at that level knowing they can enjoy this one, but that doesn’t change the fact we have to get back to work because it just keeps coming.
“We’re not the team we want to be yet. We’re the team that we were today and it was just barely good enough, but if we’re not better from this a month from now, we’re not good enough. They understand that, too. We have to keep working.”
Following Saturday’s showdown at Duke, Notre Dame will play host to No. 12 Marquette and No. 4 North Carolina in its next two games. Nine of Notre Dame’s 11 regular-season opponents currently appear in both polls, including five in the top 10.
MORE FROM THE OVERTIME THRILLER AGAINST THE ORANGE
Jack Near’s goal with 2:54 left in the second overtime period brought Saturday’s thrilling back-and-forth ACC affair between No. 1 Syracuse and No. 2 Notre Dame to an end with the Fighting Irish standing on top, 13-12.
Notre Dame’s six-goal (9-3) third-quarter lead was whittled down by the Orange offense and Syracuse grabbed its first lead of the game (12-11) with just over a minute left in regulation. Following that go-ahead score, Notre Dame sophomore P.J. Finley won the faceoff and jetted down the field with the ball and buried the tying goal to force overtime. It was the first goal of his career.
Fighting Irish sophomore goalie Shane Doss, who was fresh off earning national and ACC defensive player-of-the-week honors, registered the biggest of his 12 saves of the day in the first overtime. Syracuse’s Dylan Donahue netted seven goals in the game, but was denied an eighth as Doss stopped his shot in the final seconds of the extra period.
Doss and the Fighting Irish defense came up big earlier in the game by limiting Syracuse to just three first-half goals, which was the Orange’s second-lowest scoring output in any half this season. Notre Dame held Syracuse without a goal for 18:54 during portions of the second and third quarters en route to building the 9-3 lead that signified Syracuse’s largest deficit of the season.
Kevin Corrigan – Notre Dame Head Coach
On Jack Near’s game-winning goal…
“We trust Jack when he comes down the field in those situations because we practice those situations. We had a timeout we could have called right there and we didn’t call it because we know Jack in those situations is really hard to cover. If you come off of someone else, you’re coming off of (Matt) Kavanagh, (Conor) Doyle or (Mikey) Wynne and no one wants to come off of those guys in that situation.”
“Those are decisions we work on all the time. But once you work on them you have to trust the guys to make them and we do. We didn’t call a timeout there because we weren’t concerned about that situation at all. We viewed that as an opportunity.”
Jack Near – Senior – Midfielder (SSDM)
“It’s obviously a great win and they (Syracuse) are a great team and they’re going to be around at the end (of the season) there’s no doubt about that. We’ll learn from this. We did a lot of good things, but we also have a lot of room to improve, especially against a good team like that. As coach put it, we have another game next week that’s just as big.”
Matt Kavanagh – Junior – Attackman
“It’s another big win. We play top-five teams nearly every week, especially in the ACC. We were up early and they came back to take the lead late. P.J. Finley did a great job scoring that one goal and he did a great job all game neutralizing the faceoff X, which has been an advantage for Syracuse throughout the year. We battled back and played a complete game today.”
“He’s (Shane Doss) a great goaltender and we have three great goaltenders. We’re confident with anyone we put in there. He played great today. Our defense really wasn’t giving up any great looks. They’re (Syracuse) a great team so they’re going to make some great plays, but he made all the stops he could make. He’s played great the past couple weeks.”
Shane Doss – Sophomore – Goalie
“It’s one thing to get the win when you can dominate the whole game, but to be able to fight off the attack they (Syracuse) made at the end of the game was huge. It shows we are never out of the game no matter what even when they had all of the momentum. Guys stepped up and made plays.”
“They (Syracuse) had a ton of momentum at the end of the game and sometimes it felt like how are we going to stop them, but we just went back to the fundamentals. Especially in overtime, that’s when the fundamentals kick in. He (Dylan Donahue) got a good shot off, but I was lucky enough to make the save. There was a lot of pressure in that situation, but that’s why we play. It’s a lot of fun.”
— Lacrosse Film Room (@LaxFilmRoom) March 29, 2015
— Inside Lacrosse (@Inside_Lacrosse) March 28, 2015
That game though… pic.twitter.com/h5QmwMAVVZ
— Terry Foy (@TerenceFoy) March 28, 2015
— Lacrosse Film Room (@LaxFilmRoom) March 28, 2015
— Lacrosse Magazine (@LacrosseMag) March 30, 2015
Cool tradition. 2nite “#1” sign will b lit atop Grace Hall, recognizing when any ND team has ascended 2 top of polls pic.twitter.com/jcVKQFlglE
— Gerry Byrne (@byrneirish) March 30, 2015
Jack Near with the Game Winning Goal, SportsCenter Top Ten (chosen as #2)… http://t.co/kBRgHWAF9b
— Notre Dame Lacrosse (@NDlacrosse) March 30, 2015
— UA Lacrosse (@UALacrosse) March 28, 2015
— Mark Dixon (@DixonLacrosse) March 28, 2015
— Paul Carcaterra (@paulcarcaterra) March 28, 2015
— Lacrosse Magazine (@LacrosseMag) March 28, 2015
— 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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