Notre Dame Fighting Irish lacrosse (#11, 4-2 0-1 ACC) recovered from the weekend and took down the Michigan Wolverines (3-4, 0-0 B1G) by the score of 12-9.
It’s always good to beat Michigan.
Up next the Irish host the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes (#5/#7 6-0, 0-0 B1G) at Arlotta. Saturday, 1:00 pm WacthESPN/ACC Network Extra
The Scoring and the Data
The scoring against Michigan was well balanced: Gleason (1 assist), McCahon and Morin had 2 goals each. Willets, Jackoboice (2 assists), McNamara, Cosabile, Westlin (1 assist) and Hallenbeck (1 assist) contributed a goal each.
The Irish had a huge advantage in shots, 39-29 (25-12), and in ground balls, 38-23.
Turnovers were close, with Notre Dame giving up slightly more, 17-15. Notably, 10 of Notre Dames 17 turnovers were caused by Michigan.
Notre Dame was only 1 of 5 man-up, and conceded goals in 2 of 5 Michigan opportunities.
Time of possession was essentially even. Notre Dame had 45 possessions at about 35 seconds per possession, with Michigan having 35 possessions at 50 seconds. Both teams ran at about 26% efficiency.
Leonard cranked out wins in 20 of 24 draws.
Only 22 Irish players saw the field.
Weird state of the game: Matt Schmidt, 3 shots taken.
The game started off with the surprising news that star Michigan scorer Brent Noseworthy was out with an injury, along with what appeared to be the bulk of the Wolverine faceoff unit. It was immediately clear Michigan coach Conry’s solution would be to press and hammer the Irish in the hope the game would devolve into a free-for-all slugfest. We have to give credit where credit is due: it was a good plan for the circumstances.
The Wolverines scored first off a failed clear, but Gleason, Willets and Morin scored in quick succession. Michigan used heavy ride pressure to keep themselves in contact with the Irish, but Notre Dame led 7-4 at the half.
The Irish couldn’t fully shake the Wolverines, and the score was ominously tied near the end of the third, stoking worries left over from Charlottesville. Westlin, Jackoboice, Gleason and Morin then scored consecutively to secure what became a comfortable win.
The Michigan injuries and their game plan adjustments made most of our pregame observation plans obsolete.
- Rest and Recover: On short rest the boys came ready to play. The faceoff and ground ball metrics looked good, but there was still a troubling number of turnovers. The Irish successfully applied pressure, but at the same time were challenged by the Michigan pressure. A win is a win.
- Stop Noseworthy: Not applicable. He was injured. The Irish more-or-less kept a lid on everyone else in his absence.
- 6-on-6: Improved. The bulk of the Irish scoring came at even strength. Early offense wasn’t all that successful, and Notre Dame had to go deep into possessions, but they were reasonably effective. Picks and two-man game looked nice.
Given Michigan’s unexpected approach to this game, we probably shouldn’t analyze the data very strictly. They decided to make it a riding and ground ball war and found some success. The Irish did better with the pressure as the game went on, but the boys will probably feel they missed out on a few good opportunities to have put the game out of reach earlier, including a few half field shots into an open net that didn’t land.
Regardless, a road win on short rest is a good thing no matter how it happened.
The Buckeyes are up next, this Saturday at Arlotta. The Irish have had good success against Ohio State, especially at home. They’ve won the last 16 games straight. But this time the opponent comes in undefeated and ranked higher than the Irish, so they have their work cut out for them.
The key players to watch are some of the usual suspects from previous games. Tre LeClaire, Jack Jasinski, and freshman Jack Myers are the main scoring threats. Ryan Terefenko remains one of our favorite opponent two-way middies.
They are a good clearing team, so pressuring them will be difficult, but they also don’t emphasize ride pressure either. Justin Inacio and their faceoff unit are strong, and the team shoots at a very high percentage.
Our Ohio State Pregame Questions
Ohio State is a very different team compared to the teams the Irish have played so far, so we’ll change things a bit:
- No regression at faceoff: The faceoff unit has been good the past few weeks, including the record-setting game against Michigan. Inacio will be a challenging test where the Irish can’t afford to backslide. Ohio State handles clears well, so there will be less of an opportunity to regain possessions lost at faceoff.
- Keep defense tight: Ohio State has a lot of Canadians on the roster, and as such the team plays more of a Canadian style. With a short week to prepare, the defense will have to be disciplined.
- Costabile’s radar: Costabile’s shooting percentage cratered the past few weeks. He’s still scoring, but the offense is way better when he’s shooting at a high success rate. Much like we did with Perkovic a few years back, we’ll keep track of his shooting percentage as an indicator of how comfortable the Irish are against the Ohio State defense.
Let us know your pregame thoughts in the comments! These short prep weeks don’t give us a chance to fully vet our thoughts, so we’d appreciate knowing what you think.
Notre Dame women’s lacrosse is having a great start to the season opening 9-0!!
Internet reports indicate freshman Ramsey McCreary will be transferring to Utah after this semester. It is unfortunate things did not work out for him at Notre Dame, but we wish him success in pursuing his academic and lacrosse careers.
If you are a fan of lacrosse generally, please also visit LacrosseReference.com and follow them on Twitter at @laxreference and @laxrefbot. They have been very generous with their data.