After picking up its first win in almost a month, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (2-5, 1-0) welcomes No. 7 Notre Dame (3-2, 2-0) to town, a team the Buckeyes haven’t beaten since 2004.
Junior defenseman Evan Mulchrone said this game provides a big opportunity for OSU to earn a quality victory as well as getting a chance to take down a team no current Buckeye has done in his career.
“Right now at this point in the season we are just taking it one game at a time,” Mulchrone said. “This is a big one on our schedule. They’re not in our conference but they are a team that we haven’t beaten in years so we are trying to get the opportunity to get back at them for once in my career.”
Playing without its leading scorer in junior midfielder Jesse King as well as starting goaltender Greg Dutton, OSU was able to snap a three-game skid Friday with a 10-7 win against ECAC opponent Bellarmine.
Never trailing throughout the contest, the Buckeyes got big performances from sophomore attackman Carter Brown, who had five points, as well as freshman goaltender Nick Doyle, who made nine saves in his first collegiate game.
OSU coach Nick Myers said the Buckeyes will need more of the same on the offensive end Tuesday if they are going to score on a Notre Dame defense yielding only 8.80 goals per game.
“It’s important that we run our offenses, that we turn scoring opportunities into shots on cage, and make sure that we generate quality opportunities,” Myers said. “They’re defense is excellent. They have great goalie play, they are very well schooled, very well prepared … but I think for us, it’s executing our schemes, focusing on taking care of the ball and making sure we end up with shots not turnovers, and then doing a great job on the defensive end of making our stops.”
Playing in the ACC, arguably the toughest conference in college lacrosse, Notre Dame has played four teams currently ranked in the top 20 in its first five games.
However, after splitting their first four contests of the season, the Fighting Irish picked up a convincing win over No. 8 Virginia, 18-9, March 16.
Leading the way for Notre Dame was sophomore attackman Matt Kavanagh with four goals and six points. Only once this season has the Rockville Centre, N.Y., native been held to fewer than five points in a game.
Senior defenseman Joe Meurer said OSU cannot expect to stop Kavanagh every time, but his coaches have a gameplan in place which Meurer expects will limit his chances.
“We’re going to stick to our scheme,” Meurer said. “We have a really good game plan going into the game. Matt’s a great player, he’s very dynamic, but we are going to play with seven like we do every week and try to limit him as much as possible. He might get a play or two here and there, but we are going to do everything we can to limit him.”
This is the first meeting between the two teams since March 2013, a 9-4 victory for Notre Dame.
Game time is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday inside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.