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Maryland lacrosse preview: Terps take on top-ranked Notre Dame in California

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The Terrapins look to knock off top-ranked Notre Dame Saturday in the Pacific Coast Lax Shootout.

Sammi Silber/Testudo Times

Coming off its first loss of the year, No. 8 Maryland lacrosse looks to bounce back against No. 1 Notre Dame in California for the Pacific Coast Lax Shootout. The teams play at 8 p.m. EST.

It is the ninth matchup between the programs, with Maryland (1-1) holding a 5-3 series lead. Maryland is undefeated against top-ranked opponents under head coach John Tillman, posting a 3-0 record. After losing to No. 7 Yale last week, Maryland is looking to prove its high preseason rankings were deserved. Fortunately, history is on their side: The Terrapins are 13-2 under Tillman after a loss.

Notre Dame (3-0) has been dominant all year, winning by at least five goals each game. Their defense has been outstanding, not allowing any opponent to score more than seven goals in a game this season.

How to watch it

The game will be streamed live on Maxlaxoc.com

Players to know

Matt Kavanagh: The senior is a three-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-America honoree, and a three-time all-conference selection. He was a Tewaaraton Award finalist last year as one of the top players in the nation after leading Notre Dame with 52 points. With 27 goals and 25 assists, Kavanagh is a threat whenever he has the ball.

Shane Doss: Notre Dame's goalie was named the season's first National Player of the Week after recording 14 saves in the Irish's 12-7 opening day win over No. 13 Georgetown. Doss is fifth nationally in save percentage (.667), ninth in saves per game (14.0), and 13th in goals-against average (7.0).

Mikey Wynne: The sophomore marksman scored 33 goals last year on only 73 shots, and boasted an incredible .753 shots on goal percentage. With only four assists, cutting off Wynne's shooting lanes is essential. He already has nine goals this season, including six in the season opening win over Georgetown.

Strengths

Defense: Notre Dame has held opponents to just six goals per game, tied for fourth best in the nation. They cause 10.3 turnovers per game, more than three better than the Terrapins. Teams can't win if they can't score, and the Irish's defensive success has helped them solidify their No. 1 ranking.

Experience: After making it to the national semifinals last year, Notre Dame has proven they can play well in the biggest moments. Maryland is equally prepared in big games, so both teams should be expected to perform at high levels.

Weaknesses

Turnovers: The Fighting Irish are 49th overall in turnovers per game, losing over 15 a game. Maryland allows only nine goals per game and forces seven turnovers per game. If the Terrapins' defense could cause turnovers and end Notre Dame possessions early, Maryland should have a good chance of leaving California with the upset.