“…I could not have been more wrong. Not only were all of the normal Notre Dame lacrosse personnel in attendance of the Saturday morning practice, but there were a surprising number of recruits, fans and parents on hand to watch the scrimmage. As the game unfolded below (complete with three 25 minute running periods and contracted referees) I caught up with some parents and recruits in the press box and on the field…”
They also noted how impressed they were with Arlotta stadium and the other lacrosse facilities, saying that they were “by far the best facilities we have seen so far… and we have visited a lot of places.”
As I watched the scrimmage below I had a chance to speak with junior goalie Colt Power who was keeping time and score as he sat out the scrimmage with a walking boot on his leg. He, like most of the players I talked to, mentioned that fall ball had basically been business as usual. No drastic changes. No philosophy adjustments. And really… why would there be? The system they used last year got them within an OT goal of a national championship. The players all clearly buying what the coaches are selling.
“There are no celebrities on this team,” explains assistant coach and defensive mastermind Gerry Byrne, “We have a system, we put the right players in the system, and they do their job.” Even to the casual observer, it is clear that Notre Dame plays a different style of lacrosse than some other top programs.
“Our defense is predicated on great goaltending and not giving up high percentage shots,” says Byrne, “you come across a lot of teams who expect to be able to run up and down and take wide open shots from the middle of the field. We focus on making teams choose between taking low angle shots or trying to force the ball inside. Either one is as good as a turnover.”
Power also noted how the team was focused on building on their success last season. All of the players are well aware their successes do not allow them to be complacent.
“The coaches have stressed how we have to start over,” says Power, “last year was last year, and this is a completely new season. We have to put in the work if we want to get back this year.”