After two straight home games, Maryland men’s lacrosse hits the road again to take on No. 4 Notre Dame in South Bend.
The No. 1 Terps (4-0) are coming off a narrow 12-11 win over Yale in which they almost let a six-goal lead slip through their fingers. They made is out alive, but it could have easily been their first loss of the season. Saturday’s matchup against the Fighting Irish marks the second-straight game against a ranked opponent, and the third one the Terps have seen so far.
These two programs faced off last year in Costa Mesa, Calif., with the Fighting Irish pulling away late to beat Maryland 9-4. It was Maryland’s second loss of the season, but the team then went on a 16-game win streak that ended in the national championship game.
Maryland was held scoreless in the final 20 minutes of play against Yale, and will need to put that effort well behind them to beat a team in serious contention for a National Championship.
When and Where: Saturday, 12 p.m., South Bend, IN.
How to Watch: ESPN3
No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0)
Head coach Kevin Corrigan
Entering his 29th year with the program, Corrigan is practically the face of Notre Dame lacrosse. He transformed a program bereft of an NCAA Championship appearance to an annual title contender. The Fighting Irish have won 18 regular season conference titles, two NCAA Championship appearances in the last 6 years with a 276-126 record in Corrigan’s time with the program. He’s the second winningest coach in Division I lacrosse.
Players to watch:
Ryder Garnesy, sophomore, attack, No. 50. Garnesy wasted no time getting to work after an impressive freshman campaign. His 27 goals, 12 assists and 13 ground balls were enough to earn him the ACC Freshman of the Year, and he’s already notched a team-high 12 points on the season.
John Sexton, junior, long-stick midfielder, No. 46 . A USILA Second Team All-American, Sexton has already scooped eight ground balls in just two games. He was second on the team last year in total ground balls, and he’s become an imposing long-stick presence in the midfield.
Outshooting opponents. Notre Dame has more than doubled its opponents in shots taken, with 102 on the season. That's over 50 shots per game, and more than half of those attempts are on target too. The Fighting Irish haven’t faced a defense as tough as Maryland’s, though.
A similar two-man attack. Maryland has Rambo and Heacock, and Notre Dame has Garnesy and junior Mikey Wynne. Fifth and 11th in goals per game in Division I, respectively, the duo has combined for 15 goals and five assists.
At the moment, nothing really. It’s still too early to really nitpick over any of the Fighting Irish’s stats. One could make the argument that they haven’t really been tested yet with wins over Georgetown and Michigan, but Notre Dame’s schedule over the next five weeks goes as follows: co-No. 1’s Maryland and Denver, No. 9 Virginia, No. 17 Ohio State and No. 10 Syracuse. Corrigan’s team is the No. 4 team in the country for a reason, and they’re facing the toughest teams in the country to prove themselves early.