#7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish lacrosse won with authority over Johns Hopkins, 16-9, on a rainy evening at Arlotta.  The Irish move on to play #2 Duke in the NCAA quarterfinal on Saturday at 2:30, at Shuart Stadium on Long Island, ESPNU.

The Scoring and the Data

Mo Mirer led the boys with 4 outstanding goals.  Ryder Garnsey came back with 3 goals and an assist, while Costabile had a “routine” hat trick.  Freshman McCahon had a goal and 3 assists, while Leonard, Willets and Morin added a goal and an assist each.  Gleason and Stinn had a goal each.  That’s 9 different players with points.

Schmidt had 9 saves in the win.  Leonard won 17 of 29 draws.

On the defensive end, we’ll recognize Atlanta’s Charlie Trense for his defensive performance coming off the bench late in the game.

Joey Epstein had a solid day for the Blue Jays with 3 goals and 3 assists.

The Irish had 42 (net +5) possessions and were an excellent 39% efficient (in the rain!).  The defense held Hopkins to 24%.  Notre Dame went to the cage 38 seconds into their possessions.

A notable stat was that 74% of Irish shots were on net.

The Plot

The Blue Jays opened the scoring, but the Irish, beginning with nice goals by Costabile and Morin, rattled off the next seven.  The boys kept up the pressure and went into the half up an incredible 10-2.  The Irish regularly took advantage of Blue Jay ball-watching with well-timed skip passes.

The Irish had a little taste of the pasta bar at halftime and let the Blue Jays start a mini-run to open the second half, but Mirer and Garnsey put a stop to it and Hopkins failed to threaten the rest of the game.

The defense kept control of the situation and the Irish coasted through the 4th quarter in relative comfort.

Our Questions

Our pregame focus items were answered with great strength:

  1. Which team shows up?  The great one!
  2. Offensive efficiency:   We hoped for 30%, we got almost 39%!!
  3. Continue good specialist play:  Leonard and Schmidt were consistent, good and reliable.  Hard to ask for more than that.  Leonard showed great tenacity even when he didn’t win the clamp clean, and Schmidt made some very difficult (and probably painful) saves at critical times that stifled all Hopkins momentum.

The defensive plan was interesting.  The Irish seemed comfortable to let Hopkins force a switch and leave an SSDM on Epstein. If that was intentional, it showed great confidence that they were comfortable letting Epstein get his chances knowing they had the rest of the team buttoned up.

Mo Money

If any of you were surprised Mo Mirer had a big game, you probably should not have been.  Mo has been on the verge of a breakout since being named MVP of the Barcelona City Tournament last summer during the team’s Spain trip.  It’s also important to note the 2nd midfield line in general had a huge performance.  To our observation they were on the field for nearly half of the entire Notre Dame offensive output, an amazing level of production.

Our Ryder

There was an incredible buzz over Ryder’s potential return last week.  When he was seen warming up with the team, Twitter was on fire with excitement, and he did not disappoint.  It was also fun to see the team’s reaction after his first goal.  We were asked if we knew if Garnsey has ever scored a “normal” goal.  We can’t think of any, they are all pretty silly.

Excitement aside, the addition of Garnsey opens up the playbook, especially on EMO and unsettled situations.  Someone from the group of Costabile, Gleason, Morin and Willets will also enjoy the shift in defensive attention.

Don’t forget Costabile!

No hat trick should ever go uncelebrated!  It shows how consistent and good ACC Offensive Player of the Year Bryan Costabile has been all season that 3 goals is viewed as routine!

Other notes

  • Next week the Irish will have their 20th meeting with Duke this decade.
  • We’ll put together a preview later in the week, but at this point the do’s and don’ts should be well known to all involved.  Even the addition of Garnsey won’t be a huge change of pace for Duke as they’ve seen him 6 times already.  Whoever executes better will win.  It’s that simple.
  • Thanks again to LacrosseReference.com for compiling data!
  • Among our favorite traditions seems likely to take place on Long Island this week, namely the road graduation for our seniors.  With the formal graduation taking place on campus during their quarterfinal match, the graduates will have their own ceremony to celebrate their successful completion of their academic work.  We congratulate them and their families on this joyous occasion!