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Saturday, April 13, 2024
The Observer

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Irish start title defense with thrashing of Cleveland State

Jake Taylor and Jordan Faison lead the way in Notre Dame's 25-3 win

Notre Dame's quest for back-to-back national championships in men's lacrosse couldn't have gotten off to a better start. The Irish improved to 4-0 all-time against Cleveland State and won their 22nd straight season opener by dispatching the Vikings 25-3.

The Irish didn't waste any time to get going, and once the goals started coming, they never really stopped. Freshman forward Jordan Faison scored the season's first goal less than a minute in. After having an incredible season as a walk-on wide receiver for Notre Dame football in the fall, Faison showed why he was a four-star recruit in lacrosse with blazing speed and a hat trick in his first collegiate game.

Notre Dame led 4-0 after 15 minutes of action with goals from four different players. The team really exploded in the second quarter, with two different spans where they scored three times in less than three minutes. Graduate student attacker Jake Taylor delivered a natural hat trick during the frame and wound up tying his season high from last year with 5 goals on the night.

Graduate student goaltender Liam Entenmann was fantastic, stopping all 8 shots he faced in the first half. However, Cleveland State got on the board late in the second quarter when sophomore long stick midfielder Will Donovan appeared to get turned around on a face-off battle and fired the ball into his own, vacant net with 1:32 to go in the half. The Irish weren't phased, though, as they scored 2 more goals before the break and tacked on 13 more goals in the last 30 minutes.

The Irish used over 40 players in the win, with numerous players getting a chance to make their case for a bigger role in the second half. Thirteen different players scored a goal for Notre Dame, with Taylor and the Kavanagh brothers (Chris and Pat) each scoring 5 points.

The next game for the Irish is Sunday, Feb. 18, as they travel to face Marquette. The Irish defeated the Golden Eagles 21-10 in their 2023 season opener. The contest begins at 2 p.m.

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