FOXBOROUGH - Perhaps they were just making sure they were in compliance with NCAA policy. Or they were just giving him a hard time.
But without fail, whenever any of Will Corrigan’s lacrosse buddies came by the house for, say, dinner, one of them had to ask, “Hey, is this an illegal benefit? He can’t be serving you food!’’
There was a good chance the chef was Kevin Corrigan, Notre Dame’s coach the past 24 years, and Will Corrigan’s father the past 19.
When Will decided to go to Notre Dame this season, he knew the father-son dynamic would be hard for some people to get past, but it’s always come naturally for them. He looked around at some Division 3 schools and some at the Division 1 level, but playing for his father was the best fit.
“He’s always been a dad first,’’ Will said. “He always told me he wanted me to be happy. He wanted me to go where I could fit in and be good. Ultimately, I really wanted to play for him. That was one of the main reasons I went to Notre Dame. Obviously, there’s some trying times whenever he gets on me, but he’s not any tougher on me than he is on any of the other guys.’’
There are family ties weaving through the Final Four at Gillette Stadium this weekend.
For the first time in his college career, Loyola midfielder Phil Dobson will have to square off against his brother, Devon Dobson, a midfielder at Notre Dame.
Maryland’s John Haus will see his little brother, Will Haus, on the Duke sideline. Their father, John Haus, was an All-American at North Carolina.
Only two years apart, the brothers have always been close, but during the weeks leading up to games, John said they don’t speak, preferring to focus on business.
They’ve met twice this season, but the stakes in this game are higher.
“This year’s definitely been a little different, playing against him,’’ John Haus said. “This one, it’s just so much more magnified being the Final Four. The first two were definitely important, but this one is you lose and you go home. So it’s that much more important.’’
If Maryland and Notre Dame win, Terrapins midfielder David Miller would have to battle his younger brother, Matt Miller, in the title game.
“Obviously, Saturday’s a little bit easier,’’ said Maryland coach John Tillman. “But if both teams are able to win, one guy’s going to be a lot more excited than the other. But I think it’s a great problem to have, and what a great experience.’’
Corrigan has played in all 15 games this season (five goals, one assist), but nothing has been handed to him.
“You know, there are moments where I’m pretty sure [my father] thinks I’ve lost my mind, and there are moments where I’m pretty sure that his mind is not fully formed yet,’’ said Will.
Kevin Corrigan laughed and said, “No different than anybody else. It’s been terrific. Fortunately, we had a great relationship coming into this and I think we still do.’’
An impressive run
Duke coach John Dankowski has led the Blue Devils to the Final Four in each of his first six seasons. Only one other coach, Syracuse’s John Desko, has done so . . . Loyola’s game-changer may be J.P. Dalton, who has been strong on faceoffs, winning 202 of 368.Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.