John Heisler | May 14, 2017
Didn't know if top face-off specialist P.J. Finley, who also sat out the Army match, would be ready for duty Sunday?Wondering if sophomore sniper Ryder Garnsey was any closer to full effectiveness after he sat out last weekend's regular-season finale at Army?
Thinking that the Irish, who had won only three of their last seven games--and all three of those by a single goal--seemed headed in the wrong direction?
Believing that the team with the most momentum actually was unseeded Marquette after the Golden Eagles' Big East Championship victory last weekend, including a win over NCAA five seed Denver?
Worried that maybe Inside Lacrosse was right in branding Notre Dame a "shaky home favorite"?
Distressed when the Irish injury situation only got worse five minutes into the game when senior captain Nick Koshansky limped off the field and returned on crutches?
Yet remember that--other than Koshansky's latest issue--the rest of those scenarios were left from the regular season.
Thinking that all this looked terribly familiar, considering Marquette needed to win its conference tournament to have a chance to play in the NCAA Championship in much the same fashion North Carolina did in defeating Notre Dame to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference crown two weeks ago?
It was obvious Sunday the fourth-seeded Irish (now 9-5) had left all that behind as they began their second season--the NCAA Championship. They handled the first round of the postseason bracket with a poised and impressive 15-9 wire-to-wire victory over an unseeded Marquette team (finished for 2017 at 8-8) making its second consecutive NCAA appearance in only its fifth season as a varsity program.