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Men’s lacrosse to face Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament

The+men%27s+lacrosse+team+celebrates+their+selection+during+the+Selection+Show+viewing+party+at+the+Union+Sports+Annex.
The men's lacrosse team celebrates their selection during the Selection Show viewing party at the Union Sports Annex.

The men's lacrosse team celebrates their selection during the Selection Show viewing party at the Union Sports Annex.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

The men's lacrosse team celebrates their selection during the Selection Show viewing party at the Union Sports Annex.

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When men’s lacrosse went to the NCAA Tournament last year, they faced a team they’d never seen before in North Carolina. This year the Golden Eagles will face a more familiar foe, one Marquette has seen once a year since the start of the program.

The Golden Eagles will make a short trip to South Bend to battle Notre Dame, who earned the fourth seed in the tournament. The teams will play at 11 a.m. Sunday and the winner will face the victor of the Denver vs. Air Force matchup.

“We know them and they know us,” head coach Joe Amplo said. “We know that they’re going to be highly skilled and be very well-coached and play hard. I’d like to think that they know that they’re going to see a scrappy team come down and give their best effort.”

Marquette has never beaten the Fighting Irish in five attempts, but the Golden Eagles have come close in their last two outings. Marquette lost 8-7 in overtime last year and 11-10 this season.

“We’ve showed that we can play with the best teams in the country,” defenseman Nick Grill said. “We just have to get that final push. … I really feel that if we put a full game together, I think we can compete with anyone.”

Notre Dame enters the tournament with injuries to two of its biggest weapons, Sergio Perkovic (22 goals, seven assists) and Ryder Garnsey (19 goals, 20 assists). Neither played in the Fighting Irish’s regular season finale against Army Saturday.

“I would be shocked if those two kids aren’t on the field,” Amplo said. “I think you have to game plan like they’re going to be 100 percent.”

Notre Dame went 8-5 this season and boasts impressive wins against tournament teams Ohio State, Duke, North Carolina and Maryland in addition to Marquette.

Marquette, who earned a spot in the NCAAs with a victory in the BIG EAST tournament last weekend, has had its back against the wall for two games now. Sunday presents another enormous hurdle for the Golden Eagles to leap over if they want to keep their season and the seniors’ NCAA careers alive.

“We’re fighting for another opportunity, another week, another game to be able to play with them,” goalie Cole Blazer said.

“We ride our emotions, we play very hard, but (Amplo) has been harping that it comes down to execution,” Grill said. “We give our heart every game, but if we execute we can compete with everyone.”

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