Drawing Crowds

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Fall ball intensified and then concluded, with the final three weeks providing great exposure and drawing generous crowds.  Trips to Long Island, The Bronx , Chicago and New York City exposed the team to quality competition and a view of life after lax. The Irish scrimmaged The Naval Academy and Stony Brook University in Long Island. The following day, they spread goodwill with a youth clinic in The Bronx before a spirited, but soggy scrum with a talented  Notre Dame alumni squad. The following week included a youth clinic in Chicago and the team’s final intrasquad scrimmage on campus.  The Fall Experience concluded with the annual  junior trip to New York City, where business introductions and presentations seeded summer internships on Wall Street and at Rockefeller Center. Since October 1, the team’s played  12 quarters of up tempo lacrosse. The alumni will tell you they posed the most fierce competition.  Each chapter had its moments. All drew generous crowds.sbtailgate

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Parents, friends and alums ventured to Long Island, eager to see the Irish compete in an off-campus competition.  The season’s first tailgate was led by Liz and Paul Finley, Rob Simpson, Lisa Koshansky and Julie Marini.  Kathy Koshansky, a 30-year Stony Brook faculty member, lent a helpful hand. Special thanks to Ed and Beth Lubowicki, last year’s leaders of parent nation. They  joined us and graciously donated the larger-than-life leprechaun that greeted Irish tailgaters. An Irish salute to team assistant Rob Simpson, who secured a tent that accommodated a crowd of 200.  Chicken, authentic Long Island sandwiches, tomato pie and a rich assortment of desserts were plentiful. Many thanks to John Marchese, Kathy Koshansky and Liz Finley for more than 500 photos. They endured a soggy Long Island rain.

The 2016-2017 edition of Irish lacrosse hit the turf at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium for a high-noon encounter with Navy.  The Midshipmen finished 2016 with an 11-5 record.  They upset #4 Yale on the road in the NCAA Tournament before falling to #5 Brown 11-10.  Navy’s defense was ranked as high as second nationally last year.

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Sophomore Brendan Gleason got the Irish on the board early, teamed on a line with Mikey Wynne and Ryder Garnsey.  Their ball movement was crisp. The offensive middies included senior Sergio Perkovic, freshman Tommy McNamara and junior Pierre Byrne.  Faceoffs was handled by senior PJ Finely and junior John Travisano. Long Stick middie extraordinaire John Sexton was active and was joined on defense by sophomore Drew Schantz, junior Patrick Hadley and senior  Bobby Collins.  They were physical in slowing Navy’s transition from defense to offense. Notre Dame’s defense was led by senior goalie Shane Doss.

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Brendan Gleason scored three quickly.

Pat Healey, Hugh Crance and Will Young formed the Irish close defense, challenged to replace two-year starters Matt Landis and Eddy Glazener.  Landis was a two-time defensive player of the year and Tewaraaton Trophy finalist. Glazener was the defensive quarterback, along with an accomplished bag piper.

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Junior LSM John Sexton was active at both ends of the field.

Sophomore Timmy Phillips put the Irish up 2-0 on a nice feed from Garnsey.  Navy would respond with two goals to bring the quarter to close, tied at two. The coaches agreed to keep score by quarter, so freshman Tommy McNamara’s neat dodge up top that led to his first Irish score put ND out front 1-0 in quarter two. Doss made a stellar kick save before Garnsey made it 2-0, somehow getting his hands free in congestion. Navy struck back to close to 2-1. Gleason launched two more to complete a hat trick.  Doss would close out the quarter with quick save up high and the Irish leading 4-1.  Credit Healey, Crance and Young, who kept the play in front of them. I had the halftime score at 6-3. Navy would score twice in the third quarter, to take that frame 2-0, despite two stall warnings.

Freshman Kyle Hyland saw his first face off activity, while freshman Jack Kielty and  sophomore Charlie Trense contributed on the defensive effort. Junior Kyle Borbi joined the midfield. Sophomore Mike Marchese relieved Doss in goal for the fourth quarter. After Navy jumped out to a 1-0 lead, Marchese made two stout saves and a smart outlet pass. Long Island native Jordan Walter scored his first goal with 5:43 remaining to tie the fourth quarter contest at 1.  Freshman midfielder Keaton Komatz gave the Irish a lead with his first tally, before Navy would respond to tie the game at 2.

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Senior Shane Doss looked sharp.

The Midshipmen would take a 3-2 lead 14 seconds remaining. Off the faceoff, freshman LSM Charlie Leonard raced down field and rang a shot off of the post with five seconds remaining, leaving the teams tied at 8 after four quarters.  Plenty of reason for optimism.

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Carlson Milikin played stout defense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With barely a sip of water and mild stretching,  the Irish rolled into their scrimmage with host Stony Brook. The Seawolves finished 2016 with a 12-4 record and were ranked as high as 8th. Owen Molloy got the start in goal for ND.  He began the game stoning a Seawolve on the crease. Notre Dame’s McNamara began the scoring, coming in from the wing for his second goal of the day. Mikey Wynne put the Irish up 2-0 with a neat backhand shovel shot in close. Sophomore Nick Stinn joined Drew Schantz at midfield, with Patrick Hadley continuing to play well at LSM.  Navy scored before lefty Bobby Gray would dodge left, while shooting low, far side right to put ND up 3-1.  He’s done that a few times before.

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Bobby Gray went low, far post against Stony Brook.

After Sergio Perkovic fired a shot off the goalie’s mask, Stony Brook would score  to end the quarter with the Irish leading 3-2. The Irish deployed a  middie line of Brendan Collins, Pierre Byrne and Tommy McNamara. Freshman Eric Restic played very well on defense. The Seawolves jumped out to a 2-0 before Ryder Garnsey fed Mikey Wynne in tight for an Irish goal. ND’s Molloy would then register a brilliant save on the doorstep.  The Irish and Sea Wolves exchanged goals, thanks to Perkovic and Pierre Byrne. My math had the Irish up 6-5 at halftime.  Special thanks to Linda and Mike Carter, who distributed enlarged, laminated lineup cards prior to the game.  Lots of new faces and even more new numbers. Ryder Garnsey opened the scoring in the third quarter, coming in from behind the net.  While Professor Gerry Byrne was teaching his new defensive assignments, ND’s Timmy Phillips would add his second of the day to tie the score at 2. That’s when Mikey Wynne spotted senior Anthony Marini, who sent a low liner far post to put the Irish up 3-2 with 2:33 remaining.  Jack Beare entered at attack for the Irish.

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John Travisano was strong in face-off battles.

The fourth quarter began  with freshman Brian Willetts, Beare and Tyler Ruhle at attack. Mike Marchese returned to goalie, posting two strong saves. Stephen Chase joined the attack, with Mitchell Olinger, Jacob Kanak and Chris Carter playing close defense. Kyle Borbi returned to midfield, while Charlie Leonard claimed a faceoff win. Stony Brook closed out a strong fourth quarter with a 4-0 run amidst a steady drizzle.

Sunday’s festivities moved to the Bronx and Cardinal Spellman High School.  Teaming with CityLax, the Irish tutored players of all skill levels. A few downpours did little to distract from the moment.  Despite the weather, the turnout, tips and new friendships served the players and the game well.

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What rain? ND coach Kevin Corrigan greeted CityLax on a Sunday in the Bronx.

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Team USA and ND defenseman Hugh Crance.

The clinic included skill development with the ND players, a coaching clinic and a question and answer session in the Cardinal Spellman gymnasium. ND lacrosse alum Dan Pace  generously donated the bagels. Immediately following the clinic,  a pair of Notre Dame lacrosse teams headed outside to engage in a cold, soggy battle.  An Irish alumni squad of 40 paraded behind ND’s original bag piper Sean Meehan, who’s talent inspired the current lacrosse tradition in 1996. Six pipers have followed.

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ND’s original piper Sean Meehan led the alums.

Smartly dressed in gold uniforms and assorted helmets, the alums included eight All-Americans and two Tewaaraton Trophy finalists. The current team had 50 or so that could play as well. Conor Kelly, Kyle Ripp and Rob Simpson sparkled between the pipes for the alums. Kelly started, posting signature saves early. Ripp was equally sound. Simpson finished, with a flurry of kick saves after ducking a Sergio Perkovic laser. For a day, they traded professional careers representing Citi, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Riverside, JLL, IBM, Deloitte, ESPN, Time Warner and Piper Jaffray to rekindle college relationships and memories of Irish glory. The alums got an extra boost from Eamon McAnaneny, who left his ESPN booth to suit up. Classes were represented from the club team of 1965 through last year’s accomplished seniors.  They were spirited,

image-1-3in surprisingly good shape and scored first. Imagine, a stable of thoroughbreds, representing the same school, thundering on a rainy October Sunday in the Bronx.  Only Notre Dame.  It was equally great to see alumni parents John and Michelle Soscia, Bob and Barbara Rogers, Debbie and Tim Brenneman, Bob and Norma Landis and Doug, Joy, Joy Marie and Cal Hopkins. Apologies for those that I missed.

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While the current team quickly responded with goals of their own, it was clear that Kelly was sharp, Kevin Randle was fiery,  Zack Brenneman and Jack Near were still fleet and Matt Landis, Steve O’Hara and Eddy Glazener were unyielding  Coach Matt Karweck played and held little back.  My math had the score even at eight.  Nobody requested overtime.

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The annual trip to Chicago followed,  with the Irish landing in Garfield Park with The OWLS as part of the ND’s Playing For Peace Initiative. OWLS, (Outreach With Lacrosse & Schools), creates opportunity for Chicago’s most at-risk youth through scholarship, service and the sport of lacrosse. This year’s event included visits from local teachers, police, government employees and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The focus of “Playing for Peace” is to publicly display how the OWLS organization can help strengthen the many communities of Chicago through peaceful play. The day included team-building with police officers, peace projects, lacrosse clinics, local music, and closed with a “Blue and Gold” Scrimmage under the lights.

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The Fall Experience concluded with the Annual Junior Networking event in New York City.  Lacrosse alums from some of New York’s most prestigious firms hosted networking meetings and meals.  Several of this year’s senior class already have job offers secured through the networking they did as a junior at this NYC event.  Nowhere is the Notre Dame Network more evident than in the lacrosse community in New York City. For two days, players stepped into the cubes, conference rooms and trading desks of those who played before them.  Fellowship always follows.

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JLL Group executive and ND parent of two gold domers, Steve Collins, met with members of the junior class.

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NBC Universal provided a broad look into media.

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Conditioning, box competition and class work will take the team up to the holidays. Preseason will take us to Sarasota in January to battle Team USA.  We’ll kick off the season with Georgetown in Texas in February. As we learn of details, we’ll share.  TV coverage subjects everything to change. For now, enjoy the Fall.  Go Irish!

 

Fall Ball

 

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Saturday’s 13-7 Team A-1 victory over Team Prime in the annual Steak & Hot Dog  Game marked the midpoint of the  2016 Notre Dame Lacrosse Fall Ball schedule.   What began in early September with conditioning and competitive Blue/Gold Scrimmages, intensifies this weekend with the team traveling to Long Island. The Irish will battle Navy and Stony Brook at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium on Saturday. There will be little rest on Sunday, with ND traveling to Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx to challenge an Irish alumni squad.  Prior to the contest, both squads will team with CityLax and Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership in a youth clinic.  Food trucks and live music will bring a carnival atmosphere.city-lax

Drafted by senior captains, Saturday’s Steak & Hot Dog rosters were locked and published with Team A-1 a prohibitive favorite on Twitter. Each roster included one Collins, a Patrick and an Anthony, along with a Healey or a Hadley. Team Prime, coached by Matt Karweck, wore Irish gold pinneys, while Coach Gerry Byrne’s A-1 dressed in assorted pro and college retro jerseys. Stretches of the action were broadcast live on Periscope and FaceBook, with each team supplying color commentating and sideline insight.   Animated goal-scoring celebrations upheld tradition.  Twitter chirped a few highlights, which can be seen via the link below.

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Winning Coach Gerry Byrne

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On Sunday, the competition moved to Niles, Michigan and featured corn hole and longest drive contests, along with steak and hot dogs. Dan Connors, currently serving as adjunct professor at ND’s Mendoza College of Business, served as gracious host. Before joining Mendoza’s staff, Dan worked internationally for Bain & Company.  He began his career as an Air Force Captain attorney in the Air Force’s General Counsel’s Office at the Pentagon.  He practiced law for 10 years in Washington, D.C., before moving on to serve as Chairman and CEO of several companies. He developed a knack for turning companies around.  On Sunday, he made certain Team A-1 enjoyed their steak.

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Longest Drive teed off from back lawn.

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Steaks were plentiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend’s competition will include many new faces, as the freshman class includes 15 players.  Big shoes need filling with the graduation of All-Americans Matt Landis and Matt Kavanagh along with the one of the program’s most accomplished senior classes. That was evident when  Kavanagh teamed with former Irish mate Nick Ossello to win a Major Lacrosse League Championship this past summer with the Denver Outlaws. ND All-American Scott Rogers  was the opposing goalie. Rogers also earned MVP honors in this year’s All-Star Game.

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Matt Kavanagh and Nick Ossello won a title.

Landis also enjoyed his pro debut with the Florida Launch, while joining Under Armour’s Endorsed Team of Athletes. Another title enjoyed by Irish laxmen was a U-19 World Cup Championship, earned by sophomore defenseman Hugh Crance and freshman midfielder Bryan Costabile.  The US trailed 0-6 early, but scored with eight seconds remaining to defeat Canada 13-12 in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. Congrats to Matt, Nick, Matt, Scott, Hugh and Bryan.

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ND’s Bryan Costabile and Hugh Crance struck gold.

Saturday’s scrimmages begin with Navy and Stony Brook at 10:00 am. Notre Dame will battle Navy at noon. ND will face host Stony Brook at 2:00. Tailgating plans pre and post game are in progress. Sunday’s Clinic begins at 10:00 am with the much-anticipated alumni affair slated for 12:00 noon. The team will finish their fall slate with a Blue/Gold Intrasquad contest on Saturday, October 15 prior to the home football game versus Stanford. ND’s complete Fall Lacrosse Schedule can be viewed below.  Hope to see you Saturday on Long Island.  Go Irish.

ND Fall Lacrosse Schedule

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Welcome to Long Island!

 

Amazing Grace

 

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Watching Denver celebrate an overtime victory in last year’s semifinal win over Notre Dame, Irish fans searched for solace. The Irish had rallied behind an epic, individual performance to force sudden death. A brief moment with the ball and a chance to win was in our possession, then suddenly stolen.  In a blink, the ball was transitioned to offense, where the Pioneer’s senior sniper would terminate Irish hopes. Post game celebrations were cancelled. A return to the championship stage cut short.  A silver lining….next season.

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While a gutty group of seniors would depart, the returning squad was armed with Tewaaraton talent at attack, midfield and defense.  An injured scorer would rehab and return, determined to finish one of the program’s most decorated careers.  A defensive player of the year would come back to lead others while a midfield hitman would return and evolve. Goaltending talent had depth and upside, while the attack was deepest yet. Midfield would offer the most questions, as the departing class was stout. New talent was athletic and skilled. In time, they would distribute and transition on offense, run and bang on defense.  On paper, athletic and accomplished.  On the field, time would determine.

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As fall arrived,  skills quickly surfaced, wearing new numbers, personalities and character. Scrimmages would reveal potential. Then came winter, midterms, workouts in The Gug, box sessions, beep tests, snow, preseason rankings and expectations. A decorated class of seniors was prepared to step forward and capture an elusive crown. For the first time ever, Notre Dame entered February atop the preseason rankings.  Would two consecutive trips to The Final Four be followed with a third and a title?

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This past Sunday, aspirations to return to Philadelphia and erase that Denver loss were cut short. A North Carolina team who received one of the tournament’s final bids, defeated Notre Dame 13-9  in an NCAA Quarterfinal contest played in Columbus, Ohio. Playing as the #3 seed, Notre Dame surrendered eight consecutive goals while scoring a season low three goals through three quarters.QFShane

That 8-0 Carolina run began in the first quarter and ended in the third.  While the Tar Heels had defeated the Irish a month ago, they had also yielded 15 goals in that game.  Sunday, Carolina held the Irish to three goals on 24 shots (13%), while shooting 35% themselves.   QFSheridanGaining possessions was equally challenging, with Carolina claiming 17/25 faceoffs. Irish goalie Shane Doss made five saves in a third period where he faced 16 shots.  Mikey Wynne led the Irish offense, scoring four to finish at 40 for the year. Despite spending nine weeks ranked atop 71 division one programs, the Irish were eliminated. A sudden ending for one of the program’s most successful teams.

QFParents!With amazing grace and class, the seniors stepped forward and then aside, thanking coaches and encouraging the upcoming class.  Their resume included one championship, one semifinal and two NCAA quarterfinal appearances.  An Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship, 45 victories, two Tewaaraton finalists, All American and All Conference accolades, a parade of ACC Player of the Week honors, post graduate scholarships and full-time employment at Citi, Deloitte, Jefferies and Credit Suisse to name a few. A class with high expectations, achieved unparalleled results, yet departed disappointed.  Perspective over time will position this amazing class as one of ND’s greatest.

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QFWynne4As we staked  fall tents at Georgetown Prep, Beth and Ed Lubowicki began scheming to lead Parent Nation. Collaborating with Jonathan Rodak, hotels would be contracted, tailgates planned, team snacks ordered, game watches organized, apparel reviewed, rosters laminated, blogs organized and parents introduced. A cold spring arrived and a season of high expectations was underway.Grace Hall Signage

We began with barbecue and a combined seven goals from Mikey Wynne and Sergio Perkovic in a win against #13 Georgetown in Atlanta. Goalie Shane Doss posted 14 saves. Parent Ed Lubowicki led a team effort to support John Michael, a young lacrosse player, recovering from a rare stroke. We moved indoors to Loftus, where Eddy Lubowicki scored four to handle Bellarmine. A wintry storm moved the game indoors. Junior Nick Koshansky was dominant.  We stayed inside in defeating Detroit 14-6. Mikey Wynne scored six, while Doss, Landis and a smothering defense held Detroit to two goals. Grace Hall was illuminated with a #1, confirming the team’s national ranking. A Wynne over Maryland was fueled by a physical defense and a four-goal performance by Mikey Wynne in front of a sellout crowd.  The victory capped another memorable trip to California. The Crances and Glazeners entertained us, while GW and Mary Mix produced a first-class  Pacific Shootout.

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Another miracle comeback against Denver fell short in overtime. Four goals in a 43-second span gave us a late lead, but a Pioneer comeback in Arlotta would strip us of our #1 ranking. A return to Arlotta and overtime the following week versus Virginia would provide a better result. Sergio Perkovic would score late to tie and in overtime to win, while Doss turned in another 14-save performance. Alums Regis McDermott and Bob Rogers organized a game watch in New York that drew an overflow crowd. That crew also rallied to encourage Rob Gilmartin, who continues his fight against cancer.  A trip to Columbus saw us turn away an edgy Buckeye team in the Horseshoe.  Four different scorers complimented a steady defense and a robust midfield performance.  The Ollingers visited from California, the Trolleys from Canada and Marlotts from Virginia. The Beatties own Columbus and fed us pre and post game.DETWynne2

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Syracuse was next, celebrating 100 years of lacrosse. We ruined their party with a 10-goal victory, the worst Cuse home loss in 29 years. We’ll remember Matt Kavanagh’s nine points , Ryder Garnsey’s five goals, Austin Gaiss’ coast to coast  dash for his first goal, the season’s best barbecue and worst early morning snow. A return to Arlotta brought more drama with a come from behind win versus dreaded VALuboVASchantz

Duke in the game’s final minutes. Matt Landis, Garrett Epple and Eddy Glazener limited Duke’s offense to one goal in the final 26 minutes.  The game was played in 30-degree temperatures with The Holy Half cancelled due to snow. We moved to 8-1 overall, 3-0 in the ACC.  Just three days later, we turned away an upstart Marquette team in overtime. Marquette entered Arlotta 8-1 and ranked #17.  Matt Kavanagh scored early in overtime  after John Travisano collected his seventh faceoff win, a career-best.OSUPridemoreOSUPJ

Ranked #1, we traveled to Chapel Hill 9-1 and 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. A win would secure a second consecutive, undefeated regular conference title.   A 6-1 third SYGaiss

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quarter run provided  a 14-9  advantage going into the fourth quarter. Owning the nation’s best defense,  we led by five with 10 minutes remaining.   Carolina would score and win the ensuing faceoffs, leading to a 7-0 run. They outshot ND 18-6 and outscored the Irish 8-1 in the fourth en route to a devastating 17-15 loss.

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A week later, we led Duke 8-6 after three quarters,  only to suffer another fatal fourth quarter and an early departure in the ACC Tournament semifinals. Duke outscored us 3-1 in the fourth to force overtime, where they converted in 40 seconds. Suddenly, we had lost two consecutive games, surrendering fourth quarter leads.

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We caught our breath against Army, methodically scoring and defending in the senior’s regular season finale. Garnsey scored four, Doss allowed only three, with the defense focused. We tackled the Linebacker late into the night, one last time.  Named the #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, we hosted another armed forces unit, Air Force. Another five-goal run in the second period ended the Falcon’s 15-game winning streak. Finley and friends won faceoffs, Wynne scored five and the defense was physical en route to a 13-7 win. We advanced to Columbus and the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for a program record seventh consecutive year to play North Carolina. The Tar Heels had defeated #6 Marquette in Milwaukee after the home team had a chance to tie in the final minute.armylubo

 

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It was a rematch few expected, but we all wanted. Invited to the tournament largely on their 17-15 victory over Notre Dame a month earlier, Carolina had not won a quarterfinal match in the NCAA Tournament since 1993. For the Irish, a revenge win would put them in the Final Four a program-record third consecutive time.  For the Irish parents, the commute to Philadelphia would serve as a home game, with 29 of 49 players living in neighboring PA, NJ, MD or NY.

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Notre Dame and North Carolina had played 14 games, with each team winning seven.  No game had been decided by more than three goals. Four of the past five were decided by one. Two required overtime.  With Denver and Duke already eliminated, Sunday’s winner would be favored versus Loyola.

Parents gathered at Claddaugh’s Irish Pub on Saturday evening, stretching their legs and calming their nerves from the rainy commute to Columbus. Sunday’s pre-game at The Varsity, just off campus, got started at 9:00 am.  Both events were packed with determined Irish followers.QFPhillips

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Under bright sunshine, Carolina scored first, only to see Mikey Wynne tie it, as he had all year.  Carolina responded,  before Matt Kavanagh tied it with 0:39 remaining in the quarter.  As Denver had in last year’s bout, Carolina struck quickly to regain the lead 3-2 just seven seconds later.  QFDosssave

The quarter would end with the Tar Heels leading 3-2, playing carefree.  They would go on an 8-0 run, shutting out Notre Dame in the second quarter….and into the final two minutes of the third.

QFLandis! ND’s defense had shut down Denver, Duke, Syracuse in similar fashion. Long stretches without a goal.  The Irish offense had yet to be shutout for such a stretch all season. Through the first half, statistically, the game was close. But the third quarter was a different matter, as Carolina outshot ND 16-7.  Doss was forced to make five saves while Carolina’s Brian Balkam made one.  The entire quarter and perhaps the team’s destiny seemed to be captured in the half’s first 15 seconds.  Trailing 6-2, the Irish won the faceoff, moved the ball quickly to position Sergio Perkovic square to the net from 10 feet out.  Perkovic shot high to low. Balkam not only smothered the shot at his feet, his outlet pass came quickly.  QFBCollins

Carolina found space within the Irish defense and scored. The sequence represented a two goal swing, with the fortune of each team portrayed.  ND now trailed 7-2.  It felt more like Denver than Carolina.  The run continued until Mikey Wynne got one back with under two minutes remaining in the third. Again, Carolina got that goal back 42 seconds later to end the third leading 11-3.  Culture, tradition and faith required the game to be played out.  This team in particular had staged epic comebacks.

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The quarterfinal comeback against Albany just two years ago is one for the ages. Comebacks against Carolina have occurred in each of the past two years.  Six goals in the fourth quarter, got ND to within 13-9, but left us shy of advancing to Philadelphia.  Sadly, I was forced to pass Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, site of the Final Four/Championship Game, en route home.  QFAnthonyProudly, we transition a senior class of families from the active roster to the alumni squad.  Like the Kemps, McDermotts, Rogers, Pfeifers, Beatties, Brennemans, Marlotts, Hopkins, Soscias, Mixs, O’Haras and Nears, these senior families will stay with us. We’ll see them at a game watch, tailgate, football game, business networking event or a lacrosse game. As ND Board of Directors member Jimmy Dunne told the team prior to the Air Force game, Notre Dame is a special place.  The people are exceptional and much is expected.  That’s an opportunity to be leveraged, not wasted.  OSUSeniors

A final thanks to the Norma and Bob Landis and all of those who prepared and joined us in the tailgates. They’re legendary and keep our alums close to the family. A final thanks to Beth and Ed Lubowicki for the tireless efforts in leading Parent Nation. Rob Kelly, John Marchese, Kathy Koshansky and Bobby Arlotta provided wonderful photographs all year.  Rob’s retiring after snapping 25,000 shots over the past five years.  He and Connor will be missed on the field. Photos make the blog.  QFKelly

Thanks for capturing and posting a season in color.  Lastly, my thanks to Tim Brenneman. He created this blog five years ago. It’s evolved with 90,000 hits and generations of Irish nation now following.Parent Nation is already engaged for next season. Looking back over this year, all of us should take great satisfaction in achievements on and off the field. It  was historic. Let’s ensure our ambitious goals don’t blind us from our achievements.  This was a special class, who exited with amazing composure and class. Toast them and get ready for the fall. The future is now.  Go Irish!  Highlights of the game can be seen in the link below.

ND vs Carolina NCAA Quarterfinal Highlights

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Another Run

 

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For the second consecutive week, Notre Dame used a five-goal run in the second quarter to defeat a military academy at Arlotta Stadium, ending their opponent’s season.  Saturday evening, Mikey Wynne led nine different scorers, depositing five goals and grounding Air Force, 15-7.  With the wynne, the Irish advanced to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for the seventh consecutive year while ending a 15-game Air Force winning streak, the nation’s longest.   ND goalie Shane Doss answered when called upon with 11 saves, including eight in the second half.

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Jack Sheridan, Shane Doss and Eddy Glazener shape the Irish Curtain.

Last week, Notre Dame ended their regular season defeating Army at home. They rode a five-goal second quarter, fueled by Ryder Garnsey and Matt Kavanagh, to win 13-7. Saturday, the Irish extended a 4-3 lead to 9-3 against an Air Force defense ranked third nationally.

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A tireless worker, Mikey Wynne contributed six points and two ground balls.

 

Again, Kavanagh got it started with a goal, before Garnsey ripped three in a torrid, five-minute stretch. Brendan Collins contributed a career day with five points, while PJ Finley secured 15/22 (68%) faceoffs and a team-high five ground balls.  ND scored 15 goals on 37 shots (41%), surpassing their season average of 29%.   They’ll need that firepower on Sunday when they battle North Carolina in Columbus, Ohio at noon. It was Carolina who used a seven-goal run last month to erase a five-goal, fourth-quarter deficit, defeating ND to gain a share of the ACC regular season title. Sunday’s rematch will be broadcast on ESPN2 with the winner advancing to the Final Four in Philadelphia.

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PJ Finley provided the offense possessions, the defense a rest.

Saturday’s frigid win is the tenth NCAA Tournament victory for this senior class. They’ve advanced to NCAA Final Fours in each of the past two years and secured a quarterfinal berth their freshmen season. Overall, the senior class has won 45 games, an ACC Conference Tournament Championship (2014) and two regular season ACC Championships (2015, 2016).

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Matt Kavanagh scored once, collected two clever assists.

Gray skies, high winds and 43-degree temperatures greeted parents, alums and guests traveling to South Bend on graduation weekend. Breaking from recent tradition, the Irish lacrosse team was on campus to compete in the NCAA Tournament. In years past, the Irish have been on the road, competing in second round contests. Graduation ceremonies created exclusively for them were facilitated by accomplished athletes and dignitaries, based on where they were playing.  Saturday morning, Coach Kevin Corrigan gathered the team in The                                                                  Eck Visitors Center Auditorium to converse with Jimmy

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ND alum Jimmy Dunne captivated and inspired the team Saturday morning.

Dunne, a Notre Dame graduate and member of The Board of Trustees.  Dunne is Cofounder and Senior Managing Principal of Sandler O’Neill + Partners, LP, A New York-based investment banking firm.  On September 11, 2001, Sandler O’Neill lost 66 of its 171 partners and employees in the World Trade Center attacks, including Herman Sandler and Chris Quackenbush, two of the three executives who ran the firm. Dunne, who had been managing principal with

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Dunne is a frequent speaker and commentator.

responsibility for all aspects of the day-to-day operations, spearheaded the firm’s recovery process and set the tone for its determination to succeed. Dunne is also an accomplished golfer. A member of Augusta National, he is also President of Seminole Golf Club of Juno Beach, Florida. His score of 63 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in Long Island, N.Y. remains a record on a course which has hosted the U.S. Open Championship four times.

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Dunne watched the Irish ground the Air Force.

His inspirational words to the 2016 Irish lacrosse team focused on commitment; a sense of desperation with which to live each day; the importance of attitude and a willingness to embrace and leverage humility. The more you learn of Jimmy’s life, the more accomplishments you find and humility he applies.  An example is Jimmy’s failure to reference the $20 million donation he and wife Susan gifted to Notre Dame for the construction of a residence hall on campus. Dunne Hall for men will open this August for the 2016 fall semester.

Following Dunne’s discussion, families frequented Brothers and then Main Street Pub in preparation for Saturday’s game versus Air Force (15-2). This would be the final South Bend tailgate for senior parents. Thanks to Beth Lubowicki and Norma Landis for their coordination.  John Marchese and Rob Kelly furnished the photographs.  It was great to see All-American Nick Ossello in the house, along with Donna and Phil Pfeifer.  AFTailgate!

Bill and Suzy Gray, along with Mike Carter, made the trip from California. While parent nation polished off appetizers and drinks, the finality of the tournament, coupled with Dunne’s words and brisk weather, made for a focused group of parents headed to Arlotta. Duke had already been eliminated. Carolina advanced and awaited.  Jimmy Dunne joined the crowd of 1,017 and a national television audience, courtesy of ESPNU. The lights were on and the temperature was falling.  The parents were bundled, the team prepared. No leprechaun or pep band, just a will to advance against a team enjoying their finest season with aspirations to continue.

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Ryder Garnsey scored three in the second.

Air Force got off the ground first, getting a goal from Chris Allen, the Falcon’s all-time points leader, two and a half minutes in.  The Irish responded. Leveraging a man advantage,  crisp ball movement created a seam for Eddy Lubowicki, who threaded a pass to Mike Wynne on the crease. Wynne finished for the 32nd time this season to square the game at 1-1.

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Garrett Epple collected three ground balls.

Timmy Phillips picked up a ground ball from the ensuing faceoff.  Running like a thoroughbred into the first turn, he eluded those chasing him and shot far post to give the Irish their first lead, 2-1. The Falcons got even before Wynne would catch from Brendan Collins, tucking in his second to put the Irish up 3-2 and finish the quarter. The Irish Curtain of Defense – Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener, Garrett Epple, Jack Sheridan and John Sexton, forced three turnovers and chewed up clock with a smothering defense  that prevented any type of offensive rhythm.  Goalie Shane Doss was forced to make one save for the quarter, three for the first half.

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Timmy Phillips out of the gate, en route to a goal.

Matt Kavanagh’s 19th of the season put the Irish up by two before the Falcon’s returned fire to cut the lead to 4-3 four minutes into the second quarter. Then Garnsey caught fire, setting up Kyle Trolley’s sixth goal, before adding one of his own, his 24th, unassisted. Sergio followed, dodging his defender into a fall, he launched liquid smoke top shelf.

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Kyle Trolley pumped twice before unleashing a rocket far post.

 

Only the replay revealed where it landed. Garnsey followed. He was feeling it. Two side arm slings, where he dropped down to shoot low to high, somehow pinching net under the crossbar with Perkovic-like velocity.  An All-Conference goalie had no chance and in less than a five-minute span, Garnsey scored three to put the Irish up 9-3 with 4:16 left in the first half.  A six-goal lead also kept defensive middies Bobby Collins, Drew Schantz and Austin Gaiss fresh and physical. An Air Force attack averaging 10 goals per game was grounded. Worse, their possessions were prolonged, often restarted, with alleys shut down and dodges discouraged. Pat Healy, and Hugh Crance added depth and quickness. The Falcons connected with 2:26 left in the half to bring the halftime score to 9-4.

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Austin Gaiss split the Falcon defense in leading the transition.

Air Force came struck 90 seconds into the second quarter, prepared to compete. This team had won four games in overtime en route to winning 15 straight. There was no quit in that sideline.  But a minute after climbing to within four, Trevor Brosco cashed in on Brendan Collins’ third assist of the day to put ND up 10-5. Not 30 seconds later, Wynne would strike again, with Kavanagh serving up the assist.  Eddy Lubowicki would score his 8th on a man advantage opportunity before Collins finished a 4-0 third quarter ND run with 2:12 remaining. Four assists and a goal made for a personal best for the sophomore midfielder.  This run would put the game out of reach, with the seniors extending their careers another week.

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ND ended Army and Air Force seasons in consecutive weeks.

Mikey Wynne and Air Force each scored twice in the fourth to close the game out, 15-7. The Irish showed depth, rolling a third midfield line of Brendan Gleason, Pierre Byrne and Anthony Marini. Clever quickness and fresh legs prolonged possessions. John Travisano won 2/4 faceoffs, Carl Walrath joined the attack and Chris Carter grabbed a long pole to provide depth on defense. An accomplished Conor Kelly relieved Shane Doss in goal.  In all, the Irish deployed 30 players, ending the best season in Air Force (15-3) program history. Notre Dame (12-3) advances to a rematch with Carolina, who held on to defeat sixth seeded Marquette 10-9.

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Matt Landis is the lone defender among the five Tewaaraton finalists.

Congratulations to senior Matt Landis, who was selected as one of five finalists for the 2016 Tewaaraton Award, bestowed to the nation’s top male and female college lacrosse player.  Of the five finalists, only Landis and Brown’s Dylan Molloy are still playing in the NCAA Tournament. Landis, a senior from Pelham, New York, is only the fifth defenseman selected as a Top Five finalist. No defenseman has ever won the award. Landis has already been selected as ACC Defensive Player of the Year, for the second consecutive year. The five finalists will attend the 16th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony June 2 in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.  More to come.  See you Sunday.  Go Irish.  Highlights from Saturday are below.

ND versus Air Force Highlights

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See you in Columbus!

 

 

Closing

 

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Ryder Garnsey had six points, including four goals and a Sports Center Top 2 highlight.

 

Notre Dame used  a five-goal, second quarter run to defeat Army West Point 13-7 in the regular season finale Sunday at Arlotta Stadium. Irish attack took center stage with freshman Ryder Garnsey and senior Matt Kavanagh each collecting six points.

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Matt Kavanagh eclipsed 100 career assists with four against Army. He added two goals.

Garnsey scored four times, while  assisting twice.  Kavanagh tallied twice and distributed four clever assists, exceeding 100 for his career. Irish attack scored nine of 13 goals. ND Goalie Shane Doss limited the Black Knights to just three goals, the second time he’s held a team to three this year. Doss posted 10 saves behind the Irish Curtain of Matt Landis, Ed Glazener, Garrett Epple and John Sexton.  A convincing win and needed closure after two consecutive losses. For his efforts, Doss was named ACC Player of the Week for the second time.

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Shane Doss held Army to three goals.

The win earned Notre Dame (10-3) the #3 seed in The NCAA Tournament. The Irish will host Air Force (15-3), who won the Southern Conference Championship. The Falcons have won 15 straight games, including four in overtime.  Their last loss was a one-goal setback versus Denver, February 13.  Face off is Saturday at 7:30 pm at Arlotta Stadium.

Maryland (14-2) collected The Tournament’s  top seed, winning the Big Ten Championship.  Denver edged out Notre Dame for the second seed despite their loss to Marquette  in the Big East Championship. Joining ND in The Tournament from the ACC are  conference champion Syracuse (#8 seed), Duke and North Carolina.  Syracuse will host Albany, while  Duke travels to Loyola (#7) and Carolina visits Marquette (#6).  All games are televised on ESPNU.  First round winners will advance to quarterfinal games at either Brown (Providence, RI) or Ohio State (Columbus, OH). An ND win would pit them against the winner of Carolina vs Marquette in Columbus, home of Judy and Jim Beattie.

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Eddy Lubowicki scored his 7th.

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Mikey Wynne had one goal, two assists.

 

 

 

Overcast clouds gave way to sunshine on Saturday, as parents arrived in South Bend in time to view The Kentucky Derby.  A farewell gathering for the senior parents found its way to The Linebacker, as it did last year. Parents of underclassmen served  senior parents, who showed grace and creativity on the dance floor.  Talent from Maryland, Long Island and New Jersey left an impression. The new music from the 80’s brought unique karaoke talent not previously heard.ArmyKavTrav

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Sunday was a sun-splashed Mother’s Day. Parents gathered at The Ivy for  an early tailgate choreographed by Terry Doss. Bagels, biscuits and fried chicken were chased with mimosas, bloody mary’s, beer and grappa. Parent nation leaders Beth Lubowicki, Norma Landis and Ann Glazener emotionally thanked  fellow senior parents Cameron Riccardi, Melissa Goins, Tricia Brosco, Mary Ann Sheridan, Mary Kavanagh and all of the parents for their generous support. Special thanks to Suzy and Bill Gray, who furnished the coaches with an engraved leather wine traveler for their dedication. A year ago,  Liza and John Near  passed the torch to Beth and Ed Lubowicki. Sunday, the Lubos passed that same torch (stick) and an upgraded version, to Julie and Ben Marini for 2017.  Special thanks to Rob Kelly for Sunday’s game photos.  He, John Marchese and Kathy Koshansky have worked tirelessly all year to capture and post memorable moments from one coast to the next.

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Beth and Ed Lubowicki led parent nation in 2016.

However, there’s a championship to win and this senior-rich team has visions of playing on Memorial Day in Philly. This class has produced a four-season record of 45-17, played in three NCAA Championships (one national runner-up finish, one semifinal appearance and one quarterfinal appearance) and won six postseason games to go with an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in 2014 and ACC regular-season first-place finishes in 2015 and 2016. The senior class includes Matt Kavanagh, Eddy Lubowicki, Trevor Brosco, Cole Riccardi, Bobby Gray, Kyle Trolley, Matt Landis, Ed Glazener, Jack Sheridan, Adam Goins, Thomas Stephan and graduate students Conor Kelly and Carl Walrath.

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A well-decorated senior class has unfinished business.

The grassy berm at Arlotta was still filling when John Sexton scooped up the opening faceoff.  Ninety seconds later, Trevor Brosco went to net, bouncing a shot into the net to give the Irish a lead they would never relinquish.  Ryder Garnsey would make it 2-0 on ND’s next possession and a leprechaun launching shirts into the crowd began breaking into a sweat. Army responded with a goal before Mikey Wynne and Matt Kavanagh would return fire, ending the first period with a 4-2 ND lead.

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Trevor Brosco got the offense started. He scored twice.

The second period was vintage Kavanagh.  He scored once, assisted three times and on one possession, drew three defenders.  Ryder Garnsey scored twice, with Brendan Collins shooting high to low for a goal in between.  Garnsey was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year earlier in the week. He showed quick hands and agility around the net on both scores.  Garnsey then found Trevor Brosco in stride on the crease, pushing the ND lead to 8-2.  It was Brosco’s sixth of the year. Kav would then finish what he started, streaking to his left, he fired far post with 0:05 left in the quarter to provide the Irish a 9-2 lead at intermission. Credit the defense in giving the Irish offense opportunities. Matt Landis, Ed Glazener, Jack Sheridan and Garrett Epple were a force around Doss.  Bobby Collins, Drew Schantz, John Sexton and Hugh Crance were physical and fast around the perimeter, forcing Army to take shots that Doss saw. Pat Healy dove to to smother a shot at the buzzer. Schantz and Austin Gaiss were speedy but selective in transition.  The Irish successfully cleared 6/7 tries in the first half.

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The Irish Curtain of Defense starts with Matt Landis. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Both teams were cautious in the third quarter, with Army scoring three and half minutes in.  Fresh legs countered, with Pierre Byrne going to net without hesitation to score far post for his first goal of the year.

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Pierre Byrne en route to a goal.

Six minutes later, Garnsey finished a productive day, receiving a Mikey Wynne at the crease while spinning around. With his back to the net, he turned his stick, backhanding his fourth goal of the day into an open net in Sports Center Top Ten fashion. ND lacrosse tweeted and many retweeted, with the Irish now leading 11-3 with 4:31 remaining,  Kav would then feed senior Eddy Lubowicki, who caught high, fired low. Grad student Carl Walrath followed, coming from behind the net for his first goal in an  Irish uniform and a 13-3  lead.

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Garrett Epple was disruptive.

Senior Conor Kelly then relieved Shane Doss in goal, with Walrath now paired with Eddy Lubowicki and Anthony Marini at attack. Will Young and Thomas Stephan were now on defense,  with Chris Carter and Nick Stinn roaming midfield. John Travisano finished the face off duty.  Combined with PJ Finley, the duo went 12/24 at the X.  Army would reel off four straight goals to end the game.  With a 13-7 victory, Notre Dame closed out its regular season convincingly.  They’ll take on an Air Force squad they defeated in preseason, but who beat Duke in Durham, Richmond and Bellarmine twice and Detroit.

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First round tailgating details are flowing  to the parents via email.  Campus will be buzzing with graduation weekend and the Irish women’s lacrosse team hosting  NCAA Tournament play as well. Congratulations to the players, coaches, trainers and staff for a 10-win regular season, five All ACC selections, ACC Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year honors and three Tewaaraton Award Top 25 nominees and several Player of the Week Awards. This team was ranked #1 or #2 of 71 most of the year.  It’s now a single elimination affair. Win four games and you’re a champion forever. We start in Arlotta on Saturday.  See you then. Go Irish!

All of the highlights from Sunday’s ND vs Army contest can be seen in the attached.

ND vs Army Highlights

 

Friday Night Lights

 

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Third-seeded Duke scored 40 seconds into overtime, capping a four-goal comeback to eliminate second-seeded Notre Dame 10-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals Friday night in northern Atlanta. Leading at halftime 3-1 and after three quarters 8-6,  the Irish were outscored 3-1 in the fourth quarter to square the game at 9-9. With a championship date with Syracuse at stake, the Irish and Blue Devils battled the final 7:37 of the fourth quarter without a goal.  The Irish will finish their regular season at home versus Army next Sunday.

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The weekend began with Irish Nation descending upon Kennesaw State University, 45 minutes north of Atlanta, late Friday afternoon. Arriving before Atlanta rush hour was a victory.  Tailgates were sectioned off in the parking lot of Fifth Third Bank Stadium for fans from Syracuse, Carolina, Duke and Notre Dame.

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Happy Anniversary!

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Few tailgate with scope of the Irish. The Notre Dame Club of Atlanta made sure, with a corner location, southern cooking and plenty of spirits. Fans of Rockne, Rudy, hoops and lacrosse all attended, well-garbed in Irish attire.  Game temperature for the 8:30 faceoff was a humid 75 degrees. A crowd of 3100 understood the stakes were high, the lights were bright.

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The Irish began the season at this venue, defeating Georgetown 12-7.  We’ve experienced Hollywood Hills, three overtimes in Arlotta, a comeback in Columbus, Dinosaur Barbecue in Syracuse, snow at The Holy Half and brisket in Carolina since then.  ESPNU had ND lacrosse alum Eamon McAnaney and friends on hand to broadcast the game to the nation. ND was looking to rebound from the Carolina setback and position for The NCAA Tournament.

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Friday night drama would begin as it would end, with Irish goalie Shane Doss standing tall. Doss entered the contest ranked among the top five goalies in save percentages nationally. His early stop on Player of-the-Year Candidate Myles Jones down low would set the tone. A second save on a short hop and a third save up high confirmed Doss was dialed in. Early transition efforts by the Irish were covered by Duke, with the game evolving into a slowed down, half-field chess match.  A rarity, ND had the shot clock turned on in the first quarter, encouraging them to shoot in the next 30 seconds. Sergio Perkovic obliged, unleashing a bullet that was stopped down low, but the rebound popped up for grabs at the crease.  As Duke defenders watched, Mikey Wynne seized, faking and shooting to give the Irish an opportune 1-0 lead with four minutes played.

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Mikey Wynne scored twice on five shots.

Subsequent turnovers slowed the offense, while Doss registered five saves in the quarter.  Eddy Glazener, Matt Landis, Garrett Epple, Jack Sheridan, Bobby Collins, John Sexton and Hugh Crance hustled to limit Duke to seven shots.  Drew Schantz and  Austin Gaiss led the transition, with the Irish 5/5 in clears. The second quarter reflected more of the same, with both teams intent on competing in a half-field game of execution.

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Shane Doss made five saves in the first quarter, 11 total.

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Sergio Perkovic scored three goals.

With 9:29 remaining, Coach Corrigan inserted a new attack unit of Eddy Lubowicki, Anthony Marini and Carl Walrath. Fresh legs prevailed. Marini’s dodge attracted two defenders. He found Perkovic, who moved to his left, sliding into the seam and firing high to low, just inside the near post to put the Irish up 2-1. Six minutes later, team assist leader Matt Kavanagh would go to the net, drawing Duke’s attention. Somehow, he saw Ryder Garnsey and threaded a pass through the crease. The freshman caught, then walked a tight rope on the crease, launching himself horizontal before shooting to put the Irish up 3-1. The half ended with Duke earning all six faceoff wins, yet Doss was not forced to make a second quarter save. Shots, ground balls and turnovers were even. Credit the character of this team. After surrendering eight fourth quarter goals in the Carolina game a week ago, the Irish bounced back to limit an equally talented Duke offense to one goal in the first half. They average 14 per game.

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Ryder Garnsey played perhaps his best game, with three clutch goals on six shots and a ground ball pickup.

The first half chess match that included four goals would intensify in the third quarter. Each team scored five times. ND struck first on an unassisted classic by Perkovic. Catching up top, he rolled to his left to beat one defender, then spun right to shake two more.  He headed left to the net and shot short side high before the Duke goalie could set,  putting ND up 4-1 barely a minute into the third.  Duke would counter a minute later, drawing within 4-2 before Perkovic would strike again 47 seconds later. He bounced a bullet far side for his third of the game.  It took 29 minutes for the game’s first three goals.  It took three minutes for three goals in the second half.   Mikey Wynne gave ND their first four-goal lead, going high far side while the Irish were a man up. Credit Matt Kavanagh with another pin point pass.  Momentum and the game’s largest lead was diffused when Duke struck twice in the next three minutes to pull within 6-4.  Parent nation exhaled when Trevor Brosco found space in the Duke defense to thread a pass to Matt Kavanagh heading to the crease.  Kav caught, swirled and fired falling away. Ryder Garnsey then muscled a side arm shot from a tough angle to restore the four-goal lead, 8-4 with 4:01 left.

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Cole Riccardi dodges Duke in the second quarter.

Duke got one back a minute later and a second with 0:11 seconds remaining on a shot Doss probably didn’t see. Possessions were becoming precious, with each team scoring five times. Duke gaining possessions by   winning 7/11 faceoffs, while the Irish earned the ball by forcing six turnovers. The teams returned to methodical six on six  in the fourth quarter, realizing the stakes at hand. Duke would strike first, just a minute into the fourth, bringing the Blue Devils within one at 8-7.  A costly penalty opened the door. Ryder Garnsey’s third goal of the game pushed the lead back to two with 13 minutes remaining. With two defenders draped on him, Garnsey somehow got his hands free to flick a winner far post.  A big-time play by the freshman. The tension now exceeded the humidity. A second man up goal by Duke cut the lead to one, 9-8.   With Duke on a roll with faceoffs, they secured possession again.  This time, All American Myles Jones scored, muscling a bounce shot far post to tie the score at 9-9.  The game’s active points leader,  it was Jones’ first point of the day, but not his last. Both teams had opportunities in the final 7:37,  but neither scored. Exceptional plays came from Timmy Phillips, Garrett Epple,  Shane Doss and Bobby Collins.

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Bobby Collins played smothering defense.

After Doss took a point blank shot  on the face mask with 42 seconds remaining, Collins was tasked with shutting down Jones. He obliged, with Schantz hustling to secure an Irish possession.  With time expiring, Matt Kavanagh’s desperation shot was blocked and into overtime we went for the fourth time this year.  An illegal procedure violation after the face off, gave Duke the ball.  Jones took a pass up top, moving to his right, attracted Irish eyes and a quick slide.  Leading scorer Justin Guterding moved into the open space and Jones fed him with a short pass.  A spin and a leap, were followed by quick shot that ended the game just 40 seconds into sudden death. With a 10-9 win, Duke (10-6) advanced to Championship Sunday to play a Syracuse (9-4) team they defeated at home in March, 16-15.  In a soggy Sunday title game, a Syracuse team the Irish defeated in the Carrier Dome by 10 goals a month ago, defeated Duke 14-8 to claim the 2016 ACC Championship. The Orange scored five straight after three hours of lightening and downpours. Notre Dame (9-3) will now host Army (10-6) this Sunday in the senior’s final regular season game. Army lost Sunday to Loyola (12-3) in the Patriot League Championship. Sunday’s game at Arlotta Stadium begins at noon.  Go Irish!

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Trevor Brosco and Sergio Perkovic.

All of the highlights from Friday’s game can be seen via the link below.

ND vs Duke in ACC Semifinals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fatal Fourth

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Sophomore John Travisano battled at the faceoff X.

 

North Carolina scored eight fourth quarter goals to spur a 17-15 comeback victory over top-ranked Notre Dame Saturday in Chapel Hill.  After outscoring the #16 Tar Heels 6-1 in the third, the Irish saw a 14-9 lead erased in the final 10 minutes. The fatal fourth quarter saw Carolina  out shoot ND 18-6 en route to outscoring the Irish 8-1, including the last seven. Irish goalie Shane Doss recorded six saves in the quarter and 12 for the game.  The loss dropped Notre Dame and Carolina into a tie in  the Atlantic Coast Conference, each with a 3-1 record.  Carolina earned the top seed with Saturday’s victory serving as the tie-breaker. As the second seed, Notre Dame (9-2) will face third-seeded Duke (9-6) Friday at 8:30 pm at Kennesaw State University.  Top-seeded Carolina (8-5) will host fourth-seeded Syracuse (8-4)  in the first semifinal at 6:30 pm.

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Cole Riccardi set up one goal.

Irish Nation descended upon Chapel Hill on Friday, with flights and drives hampered with downpours.  My thanks to Steve and Carin Collins, who organized and funded an intimate southern dinner at The Carolina Inn.  Saturday’s pre-game tailgate began at 9:00 am under blue skies and glorious sunshine.

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Special thanks to Norma and Bob Landis, Meighan and Fred Garnsey, Nancy and Dave Phillips and Erin and Bobby Helfferich for a spread that included delicious biscuit sandwiches and morning spirits.  The walk to Kenan Stadium, confirmed spring’s arrival, with dogwoods and azaleas in full bloom and temperatures on the natural turf  exceeding 75 degrees. Thank Rob Kelly for his brilliant photography.  Always great to see the Pfeifers, who visited the tailgate, along with our recently minted alums who made the trip.  A special shout out to Rob Gilmartin, who’s battling health challenges and winning.  Please keep him in your prayers.

The last time these teams played in Carolina was 2014, when Notre Dame erased a 5-1 deficit to win 8-7 at Fetzer Field.

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UNCKellyThe Irish went on to win the ACC Tournament, advancing to the national championship in Baltimore against Duke. Last year in South Bend, the Irish scored three goals in the final 1:15 of the fourth quarter to claim an epic 15-14 victory. That game featured 10 ties and six lead changes, with neither team leading by more than two goals. ND entered Saturday’s contest second in the nation in goals against, holding opponents to 6.6 goals per contest. Conversely, Carolina brought one of the nation’s top offenses, scoring more than 13 goals per game.  They last lost at Kenan Stadium in 2009. As was the case at Syracuse, Carolina used the weekend versus Notre Dame to welcome lacrosse alumni and celebrate championships at halftime.

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PJ Finley won 11 faceoffs and 3 ground balls.

Seventeen seconds into the contest, Carolina struck first to the delight of the hometown crowd.  However, the Irish responded just 70 seconds later, with senior captain Matt Kavanagh moving left, ripped the back of the net, top shelf.  PJ Finley scooped the ensuing faceoff, eluded two defenders and then deposited his shot low, far post just 11 seconds later to stake the Irish their first lead. Two minutes later,  Sergio Perkovic would follow with an overhand rocket that put the Irish up 3-1.  As would be the case all day, Carolina returned fire, scoring the next two goals, forging a 3-3 tie. Freshman Ryder Garnsey responded with his 15th of the year with 2:44 remaining.

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Trevor Brosco dodged well and scored once.

With the clock under ten seconds, Cole Riccardi went to net, dodged and forced a Carolina defender to slide. He neatly dished to linemate Kyle Trolley, who stepped in and fired, rippling twine with 0:05 remaining.  It got better. On the subsequent faceoff, Drew Schantz scooped up a John Travisano faceoff and deftly fired from his own side of midfield. Catching Carolina’s goalie off guard, the ball skipped in as the horn sounded. A midfield referee briefing confirmed, like basketball, as long as the shot is released prior to the clock expiring, it counts.  ND received one point, not three and the first period ended with the Irish up 6-3.  A good quarter scripted, as the Irish outshot Carolina 15-8, winning six of nine faceoffs and collecting 11 of 18 ground balls. The bye week appeared to agree with the Irish. The defense of Eddy Glazener, Matt Landis and Garrett Epple were winning the individual battles. John Sexton, Bobby Collins, Drew Schantz, Hugh Crance, Jack Sheridan and Austin Gaiss contributed to the defensive cause on a hot Carolina day.

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Ryder Garnsey had two goals, two assists.

The Tar Heels came out in the second, scoring twice in the first four minutes to close within 6-5.  To date, the second quarter’s not been an Irish strength. Mikey Wynne’s 26th goal of the year returned the lead to two, temporarily. Carolina would strike for two more a minute apart and with 3:37 remaining in the half, we were tied at 7-7.  Sergio would score his second of the half while Carolina’s Steve Pontrello would net a hat trick to end the first half tied at 8.  The Irish had won the first quarter, while Carolina seized the second, outscoring the Irish 5-2. Two of those goals came with the Irish short handed.

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Matt Landis collected three ground balls and caused two turnovers.

The Irish asserted themselves in the third, scoring 90 seconds in courtesy of Trevor Brosco. Mikey Wynne’s second was countered by Steve Pontrello’s fourth to keep the teams a goal apart, 10-9 with more than seven minutes remaining.  But with each Carolina counter, the Irish would strike again. Carolina quietly changed goalies.  With 5:34 left in the third, Sergio would score his third, followed by Ryder Garnsey, and Mikey Wynne.  With 48 seconds left in the third, freshman Timmy Phillips would get his first collegiate goal and suddenly, the noise in the stands wasn’t from the alumni who had gathered to celebrate  Carolina championships.

Notre Dame finished a four goal run to take a 14-9 lead into the fourth quarter. The nation’s second best defense had a five-goal lead with a quarter to play and a conference tournament top seed ready to be claimed. Carolina’s post season was in jeopardy. As the clock wound down toward the 10-minute mark, Carolina became the first team in 11 games to score double digits on the Irish.

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Shane Doss faced 18 shots in the fourth.

But Sergio’s fourth goal just 39 seconds later with a man advantage sought to smother Carolina hope. With nine minutes remaining, Carolina would bounce one in and then score again a minute later, to close within three, 15-12. The Irish appeared to collect themselves, chewing four minutes off the clock.  Four minutes remained when two consecutive offensive efforts ended with Irish lasers clanging off posts. Three more Carolina goals tied at 15-15 with 2:56 to play.

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John Sexton covered a lot of ground on Saturday.

Suddenly, loose balls and faceoffs were finding the home team in an endless game of make it/take it. Parent Nation stood, summoning a rally as we always do. However, on the ensuing faceoff, Carolina’s Stephen Kelley took all of six seconds to untie the game, with a faceoff-dash to goal and score.  For the first time since PJ Finley had done the same to Carolina in the game’s first two minutes, ND trailed.  And unlike Virginia, Ohio State, Duke and Marquette endings, a victorious rally wouldn’t happen. Carolina sealed the game with a final goal, ending a tragic fourth quarter and 17-15 Irish loss. Watch the highlights via the link.

ND vs Carolina Highlights

Learn and move on. The Duke Blue Devils await Friday evening’s rematch in The ACC Tournament Semifinals. Championship Sunday will crown a winner, who automatically qualifies for the 18-team NCAA Tournament. We begin Friday with a barbecue tailgate at 4:00.  You’ll need to beat Atlanta’s rush hour. Come and be heard. Go Irish!

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April Showers

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Mikey Wynne evaded Duke to score his 25th goal.

 

Notre Dame got two fourth quarter goals from Sergio Perkovic while limiting Duke to two scores in the second half en route to an 8-6 victory Sunday in South Bend. Duke entered the game averaging 14.5 goals per game, second best nationally. They scored one goal in the final 26 minutes. Irish goalie Shane Doss posted 11 saves, while the nation’s third-best defense held Tewaaraton finalist and the game’s top active scorer, Myles Jones, to one assist.  With the win, the Irish move to 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, 8-1 overall.

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Austin Gaiss and friends held Myles Jones without a goal.

The weekend got off to a precarious start, with 1500 runners descending upon South Bend to conquer Saturday’s  Holy Half Marathon. A late Friday evening snow squall, forgetting it’s April, produced near white-out conditions. Lacrosse nation had six entries  in The Holy Half, including Lis Corrigan, Laurie Travisano, Terry Doss,  Ed Lubowicki and Ben Marini. Rob Kelly was a late scratch, opting to witness Villanova’s victory parade. Sold out six weeks ago, The Holy Half was slated to begin its 12th year at 9:00 am.  Instead, it was cancelled at 9:04 when another unwelcome snow shower evolved into a treacherous squall, covering the 13.1 mile course with two inches of fresh powder. Many of the disappointed road warriors took to the course anyway and were greeted by sunshine by 11:00 am. Having arrived in South Bend at 2:00 am, I saw the cancellation as Divine Intervention. Saturday’s slate of  lacrosse games and The Master’s moved front and center.

Holy Half Marathon

The Holy Half will return in 2017.

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Spring showers cancelled The Holy Half.

Saturday’s festivities continued into the evening, with Meighan and Fred Garnsey welcoming Parent Nation to their new South Bend abode.  Fair to say, it’s been christened. Subsequently, the 9:00 am tailgate on Sunday began in earnest at 10:10.  Many thanks to Norma and Bob Landis, Laurie and Jack Travisano, Beth and Ed Lubowicki and Julie Marini. Southern Biscuits and Gravy mixed well with Bloody Mary’s.  Special thanks to Julie for transporting a large coffee brewer via American Airlines. TSA officials were warned. Great to see Judy and Jim Beattie in the house.  Get well wishes to John Marchese.  Lastly, on a cold, rainy day, many thanks to Kathy Koshansky, who braved the elements to provide us these great photos.

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A sold out Arlotta Stadium had the feel of a heavyweight fight. Notre Dame entered the contest coming off a complete win in Syracuse. They were rewarded with the nation’s top ranking. Duke entered the bout ranked #13 and looking to be the spoiler.  They played the role successfully last year, knocking the favored Irish out of the ACC Tournament in Philadelphia. The Blue Devils needed a quality win on Sunday to ensure themselves an At Large bid for the NCAA Tournament.  Where else to pull the upset than Arlotta, where battles with Denver and Syracuse had been decided in overtime?

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Sunday’s effort lowered Shane Doss’s goals against average to a nation-leading 6.3 goals allowed per game.

With an ESPNU audience looking on, temperatures hovered in the low 30’s, accompanied by gray skies and swirling winds. Two of the decade’s top programs squared off, with Duke leading the team series 10-6 and drawing first blood two minutes into the contest on precision passing and a back door cut, leading to an open net.  Nine minutes into the contest, ND responded,  with Sergio Perkovic moving left, shot left, launching an overhand shot to the far post as he fell to the ground. Duke would answer four minutes later, sporting a 2-1 lead when freshman Brendan Gleason scored from his midfield slot just 21 seconds before halftime. Gleason, paired with middies Pierre Byrne and Ben Pridemore, came in from the right alley and squeezed one far post for his second of the year. The quarter ended with the  game tied at 2-2.  Turnovers were limiting Irish possessions while enabling a Duke offense that scored 16 against Syracuse and North Carolina.

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Freshman Drew Schantz led a defensive effort that limited Duke to two second half goals.

Duke broke the tie just 90 seconds into the second quarter.  They took their largest lead of the day with under three minutes remaining, 4-2.  Notre Dame finally responded 13 minutes into the second quarter on an unassisted  goal by Mikey Wynne.  The sophomore went to the net, Duke defenders harassing him, got leverage low and somehow tucked it home. The half would end with the Irish trailing 4-3.  Props to John Sexton, Bobby Collins, Austin Gaiss, Drew Schantz and Hugh Crance on defending Duke’s  middie talent, considered the best nationally.  Myles Jones, recently selected first overall in the MLL Draft, was forced into 6 turnovers by a physical, relentless defense. He registered 11 points last week including six goals. The entire Duke midfield was limited two goals and two assists.

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John Sexton held Tewaaraton nominee Miles Jones without a goal, earning him ACC Defensive Player of the Week.

Four minutes into the third quarter, Duke expanded their lead, with precision passes and picks, 5-3.  That’s when  Ryder Garnsey struck, ending a 10-minute offensive drought.  He scored again four minutes later to tie the game at 5-5 with just 1:35 remaining in the third. Both goals were unassisted and timely. A play was needed and Garnsey delivered, twice. The Arlotta faithful, damp and cold, exhaled. Duke had challenged, the Irish had answered. Rain threatened, but held off. The third quarter ended. After 45 minutes of play, we were tied at 5.  The Blue Devils were in the game, but the Irish had been here before.

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Freshman Ryder Garnsey’s two third quarter goals ignited another comeback at Arlotta.

Duke All-American Deemer Class seized the lead, collecting his 36th goal of the year on another crisp backdoor cut. But The Irish wasted little time countering. Just nine seconds later, Sergio Perkovic returned fire for the Irish, tying the game at 6-6.  It was magical.  PJ Finley lost the faceoff, but pursued and battled, denying Duke the ground ball. In swooped Garrett Epple, who neatly flicked the ball to Perkovic.  He went right to the net,  finishing with an overhand shot down low and Duke’s lead was suddenly gone. Arlotta erupted, as fans sensed the challenger on the ropes. Less than three minutes later, Perkovic struck again. Following a stellar stop by Landis, Glazener and Epple, Perkovic found a seam in the defense,  walking right down the gut without a defensive slide. The junior All-American bounced a shot into the twine to give ND their first lead of the game with 4:55 remaining.  Arlotta drama!

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Sergio Perkovic was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week for his hat trick on Sunday.

Duke would challenge twice more, highlighted by a save up high by goalie Shane Doss, who made timely stops and crisp outlet passes all day.  The Irish seized control of possession with the Blue Devils desperate for a steal. Kyle Trolley made them pay, stepping around between three defenders before finishing into an open net to seal another precious conference win.  The offense scored when needed, with the defense allowing only two second half goals against the nation’s fourth best offense.   It’s a championship recipe.

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The future of Irish Nation

On Wednesday, #17 Marquette visited South Bend in a  matinee broadcast live on ESPN3/WatchESPN. The Golden Eagles entered the contest 8-1 overall, 3-1 in the Big East. Their defense was ranked first nationally, allowing a stingy 6.3 goals per game. Notre Dame was second, allowing 6.5 goals per game.  The Irish had won all three games between the two schools.

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Pierre Byrne drives on Marquette.

For the third time in four games at Arlotta this year, the game required overtime.  Wednesday’s edition featured four goals from Matt Kavanagh, including the game winner as Notre Dame held off Marquette 8-7. The Irish led 5-2 at halftime, only to see Marquette score three goals in less than four minutes in the third quarter to tie the game at 5. Kavanagh and  long stick middie John Sexton restored the lead to 7-5 in the fourth, before the Golden Eagles scored consecutive fourth quarter goals to forge  a 7-7 deadlock through regulation.  Both teams created opportunities in the final minute that fell short.

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Matt Kavanagh scored 30 seconds into overtime to push ND to 9-1.

The Irish fared well at the faceoff X,  winning 13 of 18 faceoffs. Sophomore John Travisano won a personal best six of seven.  PJ Finley won 7 of 11. Goalie Shane Doss recorded 9 saves including one on the crease up high in the game’s final seconds. In addition to Kav’s four, goals were scored by Cole Riccardi, John Sexton, Ryder Garnsey and Sergio Perkovic.  Games played at Arlotta versus Denver, Virginia, Duke and Marquette have been settled by a total of five goals.  Next up is North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Saturday, April 23. The game will decide the top seed for the ACC Tournament in Atlanta at month’s end.  More to come.  Go Irish!

Watch ND versus Duke Highlights Here             Watch ND versus Marquette Highlights Here

 

 

 

 

 

Turn The Page

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More than 200 Syracuse lacrosse alums returned to campus to celebrate 100 years of Orange Lacrosse.  A weekend of nostalgia received an unexpected boost from Final Four appearances by the Syracuse men’s and women’s teams.  The centerpiece of the lacrosse festivities was a clash with second-ranked Notre Dame.  Coming off a disappointing conference loss to Duke, Syracuse returned home riding a 13-game home winning streak, winning 19 of their previous 20 home games and 88% all time. But home cooking and a Centennial Celebration wasn’t enough.  Notre Dame turned the page, writing a new chapter, exploding for a season-high 17 goals en route to a 17-7 win. A historic day indeed, as the Irish handed the Orange their worst home defeat in 29 years, winning in the Dome for the first time.  For their efforts, ND reclaimed the nation’s top ranking.  Illuminate Grace Hall.

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Grace Hall signage reflects the new ranking.

An overflow parent nation gathered at Faegan’s Pub,  just blocks from The Carrier Dome, for a pregame warmup.  Two concurrent parties evolved, with  an orange curtain separating an overflow Irish lacrosse contingent and an early Syracuse basketball crowd.  Many thanks to Norm and Bob Landis, Tammy and Terry Schantz, Trish and Jim Brosco and Liz and Paul Finley for their coordination and traffic management. Great to have Barbara and Bob Rogers join us from the lax class of 2012.  Special thanks to John Marchese who’s dash to Syracuse enabled the brilliant photos.

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Matt Kavanagh collected nine points and led ND to their most complete game.

Captain Matt Kavanagh led the way, collecting nine points on three goals and six assists. Fellow attackmen Ryder Garnsey and Mikey Wynne followed his lead. Garnsey had a personal-best five goals on seven shots, while Wynne finished with four goals on five shots.

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Ryder Garnsey collected five goals on seven shots.

The first series served as a preview, with the Irish defense causing a turnover, winning a loose ball and creating a transition  that opened the field and enabled Ryder Garnsey to score just 78 seconds into the contest. The suds had barely settled on the Dome foam when his low burner came to rest.  Kyle Trolley followed, with a fake and move to the net just 90 seconds later to put the Irish up 2-0.  Wearing retro uniforms to commemorate the weekend, Syracuse rewarded the 9,076 faithful with their first goal six minutes into the contest. Less than a minute later, Bobby Gray would respond with a laser inside the far post with Mikey Wynne to follow and the Irish were up 4-1 just eight minutes into the game.  A jubilant crowd was quiet. Syracuse and Mikey Wynne exchanged goals to end the first quarter with ND leading 5-2.  Wynne was fed beautifully from Drew Schantz in transition. Stocked with offensive weapons, you knew the Orange offensive would bounce back.  History backed that up.

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Shane Doss and the Irish defense limited the nation’s #4 offense to half their season average.

Last year’s orange hero, Dylan Donahue, pulled Syracuse within two, scoring 13 seconds into the second quarter.  Donahue scored seven last year in an epic double-overtime, Irish victory in South Bend.  Saturday, he registered one goal on five shots. Credit Matt Landis, Jack Sheridan and Eddy Glazener, along with a midfield crew of Bobby Collins, John Sexton, Drew Schantz and Hugh Crance securing the perimeter.  Cuse entered the weekend averaging almost 14 goals a game, the nation’s fourth most potent offense.

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Matt Landis held All-American Dylan Donahue to a man-up goal.

Matt Kavanagh scored the first of three, restoring a three-goal lead. After Cuse responded a minute later, Kav struck twice more, finishing up high on both shots just 25 seconds apart.  Perhaps Kav’s two missiles up high left an impression on Syracuse goalie Warren Hill.  With just 12 seconds remaining in the half, Kyle Trolley delivered another Sports Center moment as called out by the ESPN crew.  Trolley came from behind the net, backhanding a low shot, skipping off the turf and through an unsuspecting Hill’s legs to bring fans from both sides to their feet.  A flashy finish to a robust half and a 9-4 lead.  ND limited Syracuse to 7 of 12 clears and caused nine turnovers. With more possessions came more shots. ND was opportunistic,  scoring nine goals on just 18 shots (50%). Our season average is 30%.

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Kyle Trolley scored  twice including a backhand  shot that brought ’em to their feet.

Jordan Evans began the third quarter, giving the crowd life, scoring twice to cut the Notre Dame lead to 9-6 with under 10 minutes left. But two goals in two minutes from Ryder Garnsey, followed by midfielder Austin Gaiss’ first collegiate goal and the Irish had their biggest lead of the game, 12-6.  Gaiss led the transition and finished, far post. Jordan Evans would finish his third quarter hat trick with under five minutes remaining. Evans wears Syracuse’s fabled #22, worn previously by Gary Gait, Casey Powell, Mike Powell and Ryan Powell.  But ND answered with goals from Sergio Perkovic and Mikey Wynne to extend the lead, 14-7.

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Freshman Austin Gaiss initiated and finished the transition with his first collegiate goal.

The Irish countered each spark or mini run.  A third quarter that began with the Irish up by four ended with them leading by seven. Two fourth quarter Ryder Garnsey goals brought his total for the day to five with an assist. Sophomore Mikey Wynne finished the scoring with his fourth of the day.  He has 24 on the season. He never stops working.  And then there’s Mr. Kavanagh. Three goals, six assists, two ground balls and a caused turnover. He simply makes others around him better. He leads the team in points and assists and trails only faceoff specialist PJ Finley and loose ball magnet John Sexton in ground balls.

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Mikey Wynne drew a crowd, opening the field for others.  He had four goals as well.

Notre Dame moved to 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with Duke traveling to South Bend on Sunday for a 12:00 ESPNU broadcast.  Arlotta Stadium has already staged overtime thrillers with Denver and Virginia.  Duke defeated Syracuse and enters the game 7-5 on the season, 1-1 in the ACC. An Irish win secures a slot in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta at month’s end, as only the top four teams vie for the conference championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.  A delicious tailgate is planned.  Come hungry, come all. Go Irish!

You can watch highlights of the game via the link below.

ND vs Syracuse Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

Buckeyes

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Second-ranked Notre Dame used a four-goal run in the third period, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead and then held off Ohio State  to win 9-8 in Columbus. The Irish received goals from four different players in a seven-minute span while shutting out the Buckeye offense.  Notre Dame then relied on its top-ranked defense to close out the game.  Mikey Wynne finished with three goals while goalie Shane Doss recorded six saves.  A crowd of more than 3100 filled the lower horseshoe of Ohio Stadium.

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Shane Doss made timely saves, including the final minute.

Brilliant spring weather accompanied ND ambassadors Judy and Jim Beattie in welcoming the Irish to Columbus. Their son, Nick Beattie, captained the Irish in 2012. In addition to a post-film snack Friday evening, Judy and Jim facilitated and funded pre and post-game festivities on Saturday. First to arrive and last to leave,  first class beginning to end. Friday-evening’s crew gathered to witness an improbable comeback by the Irish basketball team.

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Jim and Judy Beattie were exceptional hosts.

Advancing to the Elite Eight in Philadelphia, the basketball team won across the parking lot from where the lacrosse team hopes to play for a national championship in May, Lincoln Financial Field.  Saturday’s lacrosse pre-game at The Varsity in Columbus brought us to a Buckeye tradition, just down the street from The Horseshoe, built in 1922.  It was great to see the Ollinger’s attend from California. The Trolleys and the Marlotts were there as well.  Many thanks to Patricia and Karl Stephan, who ensured the team enjoyed a sweet Easter. Another round of gratitude to John Marchese, Kathy Koshansky and Rob Kelly for the photos.  More than 250 can be viewed on the Shutterfly site that’s linked to the photo tab on our Parent Home Page.

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A trap game if there ever was one, Notre Dame entered the contest 5-1, while Ohio State was 5-4. With ND scheduled to play #7 Syracuse and #11 Duke in the two weeks following this game, human nature might have the Irish looking beyond the Buckeyes.  However, Ohio State has not lost sight of the 9-0 whitewash they experienced last year in South Bend.  So entering this game, you figured they’d play with an edge, and they did.

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Bobby Collins kept OSU on the perimeter.

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Jack Sheridan collected two ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Mikey Wynne staked the Irish to  1-0 lead, three minutes into the game on an assist from Brendan Collins. Ohio State tied it three minutes later and took the lead one minute after that.  Their first goal came with the man advantage, their second with 7:39 remaining in the first period.  Captain Matt Kavanagh tied it at the 5:00 mark, refusing to be denied a route to the net.  Just 90 seconds later, Ohio State opted to keep the game close, reclaiming the lead 3-2 on 10 shots to end the first quarter.  The Irish had two goals on just four shots, as the Buckeyes possessed the ball most of the quarter.

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Matt Kavanagh was relentless, getting hands free to score in tight space. Just another day, two goals, two assists, two ground balls.

As we saw in the Virginia game the week prior, the second quarter was low-scoring with both teams rippling the twine once. Mikey Wynne’s second goal of the game, 19th on the season, tied the game at 3-3.  Brendan Collins got the assist. However, with 1:59 remaining in the half, the Buckeyes struck back, taking a 4-3 lead into the locker room.

Mikey Wynne, Kyle Trolley, Brendan Collins and Matt Kavanagh would each score in a seven-minute span, turning a one goal deficit at halftime into a three-goal, third quarter lead.  Credit Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener, Jack Sheridan, Nick Koshansky, John Sexton, Drew Schantz, Bobby Collins and Hugh Crance, shutting the Buckeye offense down in the second and for much of the third, while igniting the transition game.  Wynne was fed on a clever skip pass from Trevor Brosco, notching his 20th of the year and climbing into the nation’s Top 10 in goals scored per game (2.9).

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Kyle Trolley was electric, collecting one goal and two ground balls and  causing two turnovers.

Kyle Trolley stirred the crowd, neatly face dodging a Buckeye defender only to see a second slide  in his path. A second face dodge was followed with a hitch and a quick- release shot just inside the far post.  His Sports Center moment put the Irish on top for the first time since the game’s first goal.  Brendan Collins and Matt Kavanagh would add to the fury, putting ND out front 7-4 with less than four minutes remaining.  The Irish defense provoked six Buckeye turnovers to ND’s one. Doss, Schantz, Sexton and Hugh Crance were also driving the transition game, opening the field and showcasing the team’s athleticism.  Suddenly, the home team were on their heels.  Ohio State

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Freshman Drew Schantz led the Irish in transition.

regrouped, launching 12 shots in the fourth quarter, aided by five fourth quarter ND turnovers.   The Buckeyes closed to 7-5 before Ryder Garnsey returned the lead to three, 8-5, with 8:26 remaining.  OSU responded, only to have Eddy Lubowicki reply from the crease 90 seconds later to restore a three-goal lead, 9-6.   Two Buckeye goals one minute apart, brought  Ohio State within one, 9-8, with  2:27 still remaining.  But the Irish defense is ranked #1 nationally for a reason, shutting OSU down the rest of the way. Doss was forced to make one late save up high in the game’s final minute.   No overtime, just the third consecutive one-goal game, and a win.

In other team-related news,  more than 70 players, friends and alums gathered last Saturday at O’Lunney’s Pub in New York to watch the ND-Virginia lacrosse game and raise funds for Rob Gilmartin, who’s battling health challenges.  Rob’s son, Will, played lacrosse, graduating in 2015. Parent attendees included Phil Dobson (2012), Mark and Betsy Keppeler (2012), Bob and Alicia Ashenberg (2012), Tim and Debbie Brenneman (2011 and 2014), Phil and Donna Pfeifer (2012), Gene and Jane Foley (2013), Tom O’Hara (2013) and Michelle Tripucka (2011).  Special thanks to Regis McDermott and Bob Rogers for coordinating the effort, along with some related activities.  We’re pulling for you Rob.  Show your Irish and keep battling!

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Prior to Saturday’s Ohio State contest, the Irish privately bestowed senior midfielder Adam Goins with the #40 jersey, which honors former Notre Dame captain Mike Sennett. A three-time monogram winner, Sennett played attack and was known as a selfless player and teammate.  A native of Detroit and graduate of Brother Rice High School (Sergio Perkovic), Sennett  evangelized lacrosse in Missouri, settling in St. Louis after receiving his degree from Notre Dame in  1991.

Mike Sennett

Mike Sennett

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Three-time monogram winner, Mike Sennett

In his honor, members of the DeSmet High School community established The Mike Sennett Count On Me Foundation, providing scholarship, mentoring and lacrosse instruction to economically disadvantaged youth in the St. Louis metro area.  His #40 hangs in the Notre Dame player’s lounge at Arlotta Stadium as a reminder of the team’s values. Adam Goins has continued to contribute to the team’s success despite having to retire from injuries. His contributions extend beyond the field.  Congratulations Adam! 

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Adam Goins

Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game in Syracuse tied with Duke atop the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 1-0 league record.  The Irish are seeking their first win inside The Carrier Dome. Syracuse has one loss this season, while Virginia has two.  North Carolina will open their ACC schedule playing  at Duke on Friday.  The top four teams in the league will compete in the ACC Tournament in a month in Kennesaw, Georgia.   Go Irish!