MEN'S LACROSSE: Notre Dame wins sixth in a row with 12-5 victory
By JOE LICANDRO
After four straight home wins, the Irish were forced to go on the road last Sunday. The change of venue proved unimportant, as the Irish cruised to their sixth straight win overall, crushing their hosts the Fairfield Stags 12 to 5.
Thanks to another tough defensive performance and strong play in the net by senior goalie Kirk Howell, the Irish improved to 11-1 on the season. The win wrapped up Notre Dame's Great Western Lacrosse League divisional play with an unblemished 4-0 record, good enough to clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
While Howell's 13 saves kept Fairfield's offense in check, junior attackman John Flandina led the Irish offense with three goals. Notre Dame career assist leader David Ulrich chipped in with four more assists to raise his career totals to 106. The Irish were held somewhat in check by some strong play by Fairfield goalie C.J. Kemp.
Irish Coach Kevin Corrigan was impressed with his team's relentless offensive pressure.
"Fairfield's goalie did a great job in net. He's probably the best goalie we faced all year, but we kept battling. We just did a lot of good things in every area of the game. We really didn't show any weaknesses out there," said Corrigan.
Fairfield actually scored the first goal of the game, but the Irish rattled off five unanswered goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead. As usual, the Irish defense refused to allow its opponent back in the game, enabling Notre Dame to sustain their lead and control the pace of the game.
Balanced team play has been the key to success all season for the Irish. Seven different Irish players scored on Sunday — seniors Jon Harvey, Chris Young and Steve Bishko all scoring two goals each to go along with Flandina's three goals.
"We had another balanced offensive attack. I have been very impressed with the play of John Flandina lately. This year he has emerged as a true leader of this team."
With only one home game left against Harvard on Saturday, the fourth-ranked Irish need to continue their balanced offensive attack if they hope to close out their season with a win and maintain their momentum heading into the NCAA tournament.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, April 24, 2001