March 18, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For his role in Sunday's 18-9 win over No. 7 Virginia, Notre Dame senior Stephen O'Hara has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week.
O'Hara (West Chester, Pa./St. Joe's Prep) helped the Fighting Irish defense hold Virginia, which entered the contest averaging nearly 14 goals per game, to a season-low nine goals and only 26 shots. O'Hara caused three turnovers and picked up four ground balls, while helping to limit Virginia's James Pannell, who entered Sunday with 24 goals in seven games, without a point.
After allowing the first goal of the game, the Irish defense surrendered just one score in a span of 26:23 en route to taking an 8-2 lead. Notre Dame also limited Virginia to just one goal in five man-up opportunities.
"Our defense was very solid," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said following Sunday's victory. "Steve O'Hara is just a stud. He is a guy that we don't have to slide to when he's on the ball. If you can have a couple guys like that, it makes it a whole lot easier to play team defense. He's playing at a very, very high level."
Notre Dame is in its inaugural ACC campaign and O'Hara is the first Fighting Irish player to cop an ACC player-of-the-week accolade for men's lacrosse. The win over the Cavaliers improved Notre Dame to 2-0 in ACC play and the Irish currently are tied with Maryland for first place in the league.
O'Hara, a Notre Dame team captain, has started 37 consecutive games in the Fighting Irish defense. He garnered second team all-BIG EAST honors last season and was tapped as a first team preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse heading into the 2014 campaign. In January, the Ohio Machine selected O'Hara in the sixth round (41st overall selection) of the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. He currently is a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award.
No. 8 Notre Dame (3-2) is back in action next Tuesday (March 25) at Ohio State. The non-conference tilt is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) in Columbus, Ohio.
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