Notre Dame lacrosse (Rank: #6/#6,  1-0, 0-0 ACC) beat Detroit Mercy, 10-7, this afternoon at Loftus.  A win is a win, and despite some rough patches, the Irish improved significantly as the game went on, finally pounding the Titans in the 4th after Detroit had taken a lead in the 3rd.


The Stats

Bryan Costabile led all scorers with 5 goals and 2 assists, Mikey Wynne added 2 goals, and Brendan Collins 1 goal and 2 assists. Brendan Gleason has a goal and an assist, Ryder Garnsey had a goal, and Jack Kielty an assist.

Detroit heavily outshot the Irish 34 to 25.

Notre Dame had a decent ground ball edge, 22 to 17, and won 13 of 20 faceoffs.  Notre Dame had a very ugly 21 turnovers to 12 for the Titans, and succeeded in a sup-par 18 of 22 clear attempts to Detroit’s 19 of 21.

Freshman Matt Schmidt had a very good first outing with 9 saves.

The Lineups

No Sexton, no Schantz.

The attack started with Wynne/Garnsey/Willets, with Morin getting a good amount of time in the mix.

First midfield of Collins/Gleason/Costabile, second midfield of Byrne/Drake/Phillips, with Mirer looking like he got a peek.

Defense opened with Crance/Kielty/Cohen, with Trense getting a bit of time.

Man down was Crance/Kielty/Gaiss/Hadley/Young (although Young not on scorecard??)

Man up was Gleason/Garnsey/Willets/Drake/Wynne/Costabile.

SSDMs were Gaiss, Cassidy, Millikin, Stinn

LSMs were Cochran, Hadley, Trense, Young as best as we can tell.

Freshman Schmidt got the start in goal.

The Plot

Very sloppy play for nearly three quarters, with an unacceptable amount of turnovers.  This derailed any effort at establishing momentum.  The Detroit defensive plan was to pound on the attackmen, and Garnsey, Wynne and Morin took a beating.  Garnsey even seemed to get the People’s Elbow behind a play.  It was effective in that this group contributed 12 turnovers.

With the attack getting so much attention, the midfield got some nice looks and they took advantage of them. Costabile was simply on fire.


The defense was solid throughout, and went well into the 3rd quarter before giving up a goal on the 6-on-6.  Sloppy clears early contributed to Detroit scoring, including a mess with 2 seconds left in the half.  With a freshman goalie and defensemen playing their first game, and both defensive midfield all-Americans out of the game, this is perhaps not unexpected.  However, things improved dramatically as the game progressed, and this is good.

Matthew Schmidt was as advertised:  a premier stopper.

More below in our three questions.

Three Questions

Our pregame questions:

  1. Face-offs:  Hyland looked good at the start but limped off with an apparent ankle injury. We hope the injury in minor.  Travisano had a very good percentage day, but still struggled to make much of his wins.  Still, possession is possession, so we’ll say so far, so good, so long as Hyland is not seriously hurt. We’ll also note late in the game Cohen and Crance played the wings.
  2. Man-Down Unit:  There were only two penalties, so it’s hard to judge.  An unusual lineup, and they seemed willing to concede the outside shot (which Detroit took advantage of).  We’ll leave this question open.
  3. Offensive creativity:  This was a bit disappointing.  The Irish seemed determine to start every play with the player coming out of the box, reset up high to start the same play again, and seemed predictable, to our eyes at least.  We’ll give Detroit some credit in that they were so physical against the attack, but when the defense extends out so far, midfielders should be able to blow past the defensive midfield and take advantage of the early Detroit slides.  It took way too long for this to come together.

Overall thoughts

Considering the Irish played without both all-Americans and had multiple freshman playing large roles in their first game, we are pleased they improved as the game progressed.  They did not fold when things got rough.  It’s also important not to overreact, as this game is only important if Detroit Mercy has a great season moving forward.  The NCAA seeding in an RPI game, and this will just be a win and nothing more.  Our new players look great, the rust is off, and we move on. Still, we look forward to hearing our friends at CollegeCrosse overreacting to the Irish’s early sloppiness.

Up next

The Fighting Irish have two weeks to get healthy before the Richmond Spiders come to town.

Go Irish!