NCAA Lacrosse: Denver Men’s Lacrosse Travels To #8 Notre Dame On March 18 Before Facing #4 Cornell On March 20

Ninth-ranked Denver appears sufficiently recovered from its season-opening loss to Ohio State. The Pioneers have won four straight, and are filling up the net in fine form. Denver (4-1) has averaged 15.8 goals during the streak, which includes lopsided wins over Michigan and Robert Morris. But last week's 14-6 rout at Penn State – a rare flop by Nittany Lions goalie Austin Kaut – deserves notice. And now, it's time for a major test, as Denver takes its high-powered offense to South Bend on Sunday to face No. 8 Notre Dame, before moving on to No. 4 Cornell on Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y. Sunday's matchup might as well be dubbed, "The Irresistible Force and The Immovable Object." Talk about opponents who have taken opposite paths to get to this moment. There is Denver, which is always looking to score under second-year coach Bill Tierney, who spent all of those years as the Minister of Defense while winning six national titles at Princeton. The Pioneers are averaging 14.4 goals on blistering, 41.6 percent shooting. They put two of every three shots on cage. In the other corner is Notre Dame (3-1), sporting an airtight defense led by junior goalie John Kemp, who leads Division I with a ridiculous .742 save percentage and has allowed just 17 goals in four games. The Fighting Irish defense, also anchored by close defenseman Kevin Randall, has strangled opposing offenses to the tune of 13.3 percent shooting. That has covered up Notre Dame's awful, 17.5 percent shooting, which includes 0-for-7 shooting in extra-man situations. "It's not like Notre Dame is slowing it down that much. They're still averaging 32 shots a game," Tierney said. "But they are meticulous about getting the right shot. I'm as worried about stopping them as I am about scoring on them, because one of these days they are going to explode."

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