Battling The Blaze

Eddy Glazener led a physical defensive effort.

A smothering defense, timely goaltending and seven different scorers led Notre Dame to a 10-10 tie with The Atlanta Blaze of the Major Lacrosse League Sunday in South Bend. Irish goalies Shane Doss and Owen Molloy contained a Blaze that included ND alum Conor Doyle and several             former All-Americans in the Loftus Center.

Owen Molloy was stellar in the second half.

 

 

 

While nine division one contests kicked off the 2016 regular season the day prior,  Notre Dame hosted The Blaze in an early Super Bowl Sunday showdown. Ed Lubowicki, Chris Molloy, Kristina Perkovic, Meighan Garnsey and Tammy Schantz were among the dedicated parents who made the pilgrimage to South Bend. The Blaze brought 18 players to prepare for an inaugural season of 14 games that begin in April.  They are led by Hall of Fame Coach John Tucker and legendary player, now promoter, Liam Banks. Their roster includes Kevin Rice (Syracuse), Adam Ghitelman (Virginia), Josh Dionne (Duke), Jake Bailey (UNC), Ryan Tucker (Virginia), Jeremy Noble (Denver), Randy Staats (Syracuse)…you get the picture. A collection of All-Americans, leveraging today’s game as a means of securing playing time. It wasn’t an exhibition.

All Americans Kevin Rice and Matt Landis competed all day

Twitter feeds, parent texts, Instagram and sideline spectators served as my local eyes. Shane Doss drew the start in goal for ND versus an attack line that included Notre Dame alum Conor Doyle, along with Syracuse All-American Kevin Rice.  The duo were part of a December trade with Rochester, where Rice scored 96 goals en route to a league championship appearance. Doyle was a 30 goal scorer last season, while leading ND to it’s second consecutive final four appearance.

Eddy Glazener stayed in stride with ND Alum Conor Doyle.

 

Bobby Gray scored in both scrimmages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Matt Kavanagh staked the Irish to a 1-0 lead on an an assist from freshman Ryder Garnsey.  As you’d expect, it was Doyle who lit the Blaze, tying the game at 1-1.  Notre Dame responded,  when Brendan Collins ripped a left-handed shot on the run to put the Irish back on top. Atlanta drew even as the first quarter ended in a 2-2 tie.  Defensively, Eddy Glazener and Jack Sheridan were aggressive and physical.  Matt Landis returned to the lineup, showing no signs of rust. He and Rice brought out the best of each other.   Thomas Stephan and Alex Hurdle also saw action and provided needed depth. As was the case in the Air Force and Navy scrimmages, scores from the previous quarter were erased.

Bobby Gray opened the scoring in the second, with the Irish on the man advantage.  It was Gray’s second goal in as many games, for a 1-0 advantage.  Crisp, methodical ball movement on another man advantage led to a Mikey Wynne goal and a 2-0 ND lead. Eddy Lubowicki recorded an assist.  For Wynne, who missed the Air Force game, it was his first of the preseason.   Atlanta responded, scoring with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter, cutting the ND lead to 2-1. Sergio Perkovic restored the two goal advantage with a patented rip.  Atlanta retalliated, notching their second of the quarter as time expired.  Notre Dame would win the second quarter 3-2 and the half, 5-4.

A team effort on faceoffs, led by PJ Finley and long stick middies John Sexton and Hugh Crance, enabled a battle over each draw.  The Irish began the third as they did the first. Matt Kavanagh struck first, giving the Irish a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Owen Molloy was now in goal and forced to make brilliant back to back saves, followed by a stick side save up high.   That lead would melt, with the Blaze scoring three consecutive goals, staking a 3-1 advantage. That’s when Sexton and freshman middie Drew Shantz scored their first goals of the season, getting the Irish square, 3-3.  Atlanta punched a fourth goal, before Perkovic would counter, splitting two defenders as the third quarter ended in a 4-4 deadlock.  For the game, ND led 9-8.  A stable of midfield talent contributed, with Ben Pridemore, Cole Riccardi, Trevor Brosco, Timmy Phillips, Kyle Trolley, Pierre Byrne and Brooks Tyrell splitting time. Defensively, midfield was equally stout, with Nick Koshansky, Bobby Collins, Schantz and Austin Gaiss rotating .  John Travisano spelled Finely at the faceoff X and fared well.

Drew Schantz played strong defense and scored his first goal.

The fourth quarter began with the Irish exploiting the man advantage.  Mikey Wynne’s second goal was the result of Eddy Lubowicki’s second assist, 1-0 Irish. ND Coach Kevin Corrigan had the lineup fluid in the fourth, with an extensive flow of players moving in and out.  Patrick Headley saw time at LSM, Grad student Carl Walrath returned and saw action at attack, as did Tyler Ruhle  and Brendan Gleason.  Chris Carter and Will Young battled at close defense. Molloy was forced to make several stellar saves to preserve the lead.  But with just over three minutes to play, Atlanta tied it, 1-1.  With 0:21, The Blaze would score again to secure a 2-1 fourth quarter victory and a 10-10 tie after four quarters and the conclusion of preseason.

Now the fun begins. Preseason top ranking in both the conference and the nation. Division One’s most difficult schedule. Arguably, one of the program’s most talented teams, playing in The South, by the beach, in the Dome and near the Dome. Reunited with old friends and the introduction of new.  Follow the advice of a parent who had six division one athletes, the late Bob Kemp… “Enjoy the experience. It will fly by and you’ll not want to regret a thing.”  More to Come.  Go Irish!

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Clinics

ND Coach Gerry Byrne

ND Coach Gerry Byrne

 

A weekend of instruction and goodwill kicked off Notre Dame’s 2106 men’s lacrosse season.  More than 300 coaches gathered in South Bend for ND’s two-day National Coaching Clinic.  In between sessions, Notre Dame scrimmaged Air Force in preparation for the season-opener, less than three weeks away.IMG_0657

Doors to the ACC Room opened up at 10:00 am on Saturday for our first tailgate. Thanks to Norma and Bob Landis  for coordinating and the families who supplied the fuel. Healthy sandwiches, Bloody Mary’s and fruit were popular.  Ed Lubowicki welcomed the freshman parents. He cited alumni Bob Rogers, who greeted Beth and Ed Lubowicki as freshmen parents, three years ago.   Meighan and Fred Garnsey, Tammy and Terry Schantz,  Kim and Matt Gleason and John and son Chris Marchese were freshmen families who made the trip this weekend.  My thanks to John Marchese, who supplied us with the photographs. These pics and others can be found on the Photo Link at the top of the page. Special thanks to Meighan and Fred Garnsey , who fed many following the game with a delicious meatball and chicken platter at The Ivy Court.  Grazie.

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Inside the balmy Loftus Center, new faces joined veterans for the game’s first face off. Veterans Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener and Jack Sheridan started at close defense. Junior Nick Koshansky, freshmen Drew Schantz and Hugh Crance supported PJ Finley at faceoff. Combinations of Sergio Perkovic, Ben Pridemore. Brendan Collins and Timmy Phillips were at midfield. Seniors Matt Kavanagh and Eddy Lubowicki teamed with freshman Ryder Garnsey at attack. Sophomore Owen Malloy got the start in goal.  From here, the turnstiles cranked, with a consistent stream of change at all positions.

Air Force got on the board first, scoring from the wing to bring the visitors to their feet. Hugh Crance caused a turnover leading to an Irish dash up field. Congratulations to Hugh, who was recently named a member of the US U-19 team.  A Ryder Garnsey pass to Eddy Lubowicki got the Irish on the board. Lubo deposited quickly to tie the game 1-1, six minutes into the first period. Trevor Brosco and Thomas Stephan got their initial runs in before senior middie Bobby Gray blazed down the left side, shooting his patented laser-high-to-low, far post for a 2-1 ND lead.

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The Air Force greets Timmy Phillips

Ryder Garnsey then scored his first goal. coming from behind the net, with a defender draped on his back. His quick release put the Irish up 3-1 with 3:41 left in the first.  Goalie Owen Malloy made two saves late, including one off his face   mask. Lubo scored his second of the game with 26 seconds left.  The period ended with ND up 4- 1.

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Bobby Gray crossed up the defense

We wiped the slate clean to begin the second and each quarter 0-0.  Shane Doss would relieve Malloy in goal. Doss first task was to hold off the Falcons on a man up advantage. He began with a save down low.  However, Air Force would score consecutive goals for a 2-0 second quarter lead. Continued possessions and an Irish turnover would lead to a third Air Force goal as time expired.  A 3-0 second quarter essentially tied the game at 4 for those trying to keep score after two.

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Shane Doss battled an air force.

Sophomore John Travisano took the faceoff to begin the third.  Jack Sheridan continued his fine play, while Garrett Epple was physical in causing two turnovers.  Three juniors would open the scoring in the third. Matt Kavanaugh spotted junior Anthony Marini with a precision pass on the crease.  Marini fired low to give the Irish a 1-0 third quarter lead. Doss recorded another save with 8:15 remaining before Sergio Perkovic faked and then launched a high-to-low missile into the back of the net for a 2-0 Irish lead. Another junior, Ben Pridemore, got into the act, taking a pass from sophomore Brendan Collins to make it 3-0.  Kavanagh crashed the junior scoring party, scoring after Bobby Gray displayed relentless defense in causing an Air Force turnover.  The Irish ride was effective all day.  It was now 4-0 as grad student Conor Kelly relieved Doss between the pipes. A few defensive lapses enabled two Air Force goals, the second with 38 seconds remaining in the period.  Kelly closed the door with the quarter ending and ND leading 4-2.   For the game, the Irish led 8-6.

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Matt Kavanagh was active in his return.

The fourth quarter began with defense, when an Irish ride led to an Eddy Lubowicki interception of a clearing pass.  Lubo quickly and unselfishly, fed Garnsey on the crease. The freshman scored his second for a 1-0 lead. Sergio Perkovic followed with his second goal to extend the lead to 2-0 as Brooks Tyrell entered the game.  Cole Riccardi proceeded to ring a shot off the cross bar, while freshman Nick Stinn asserted himself at close defense.  Alex Hurdle would soon join the defense as Air Force got on the board to make it a 2-1 game with 6:51 remaining. The Falcons won the ensuing faceoff and would tie the score less than a minute later, 2-2.  Pat Hadley and Bobby Collins both came up with solid defensive efforts to preserve the tie, while senior Kyle Trolley showed his quickness at midfield.

Jack Sheridan

Jack Sheridan anchored a solid defense

Jordan Walter entered the game moments before Kavanagh would finish the scoring with precision shooting to put the Irish up 3-2.  The quarter ended with Brendan Collins winning a loose ball while on the seat of his pants, pursued by two Falcons. Collins maintained possession while swimming his way back to his feet and beginning a transition up field.  After four quarters, ND led Air Force 11-8.

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Brendan Collins led the Irish transition

Freshman goalie Michael Marchese entered the game to begin the fifth quarter. Tyler Ruhle and Brendan Gleason joined Marini at attack. It was Marini who opened the scoring, scrapping to score his second off a scrum. The Irish then connected on their first man advantage goal when Garnsey scored his third off a crisp skip pass from Kavanagh for a 2-0 lead.  Chris Carter and Will Young were now on defense. The Falcons got a man advantage goal of their own before scoring a second goal on a delayed penalty to tie the score at 2.   The Irish responded with Freshman Brendan Gleason coming from behind the net for his first goal and a 3-2 lead as Jack Beare entered the game. Sophomore Tyler Ruhl would close out the scoring for ND with his first, 4-2.  AF would respond, with the quarter ending at 4-3. My math had ND winning the five quarters 15-11.

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Eddy Glazener patrols the crease.

On Super Bowl Sunday, the Irish will face the Atlanta Blaze of the National Lacrosse League in the Loftus Center.  The Blaze features ND alum Conor Doyle.  The Irish open the regular season on February 20 in Kennesaw, Georgia against #18 Georgetown.

Lots of folks got their first meaningful minutes.  This team’s deep.  We’ll need it all. See ya Sunday.

Looking Forward

ND Christmas Ball

A ball fell to the ground late last night.  Only I was present to see it and fortunately, it didn’t shatter. When a Christmas tree cut in November begins dropping its ornaments in December, it’s time to retire the tree and the calendar year. Ugggh…winter is here.  But the January that I have forever dread has become a welcome beacon. It spurs activity and optimism, rekindling relationships dormant since the spring.  Come New Year’s Day, “spring” lacrosse is 30 days from faceoff.  Thank goodness for Loftus lax.  It’s time to look forward.

Since we gathered on the beautiful campus of Georgetown Prep for the First Annual Bob Kemp Classic in October, our boys have completed beep tests, exams and employment interviews.  Our seniors secured employment with Deloitte, Citi, Jefferies and Credit Suisse to name a few.  Several of the juniors have enjoyed similar success, with internships committed at Microsoft, Jefferies, Credit Suisse, KPMG and Bank of America.  A great debt of gratitude is owed to Irish lacrosse alums, who blaze employment trails and then shepherd the undergrads. Coaches Corrigan and Byrne are also active and influential.  The Notre Dame Network really hums.

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ND Alums have opened doors for current and former players.

Inside Lacrosse Magazine reminds me of December crocus. When the annual yearbook surfaces, you get your first real glance of the upcoming spring. Everyone’s undefeated and unscored upon.  There’s a five-team tie atop the ACC standings. This year’s edition is a bit unique.  Prognosticators have made the Irish the favorite to wear the sport’s most competitive conference crown. In fact, our boys were voted as the favorite to win the national championship on Memorial Day.  That means a return trip to Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, where the 2015 season suffered a sudden death. We won our first ACC Championship in Philly in 2014. Why not win our first national championship in 2016?  With 21 players hailing from Pennsylvania and neighboring New Jersey and Maryland, you could argue The Linc is a home game.  Sergio Perkovic appears to like the place.  We’ll change out the cheese steaks to John’s from Tony Luke’s.  We’ll need to get Jonathan Rodak hot samples.

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Lincoln Financial Field in Philly

Speaking of Sergio, he and Matt Kavanagh garnered the attention of Tewaaraton followers.  Both players were recognized by Inside Lacrosse as candidates for Player of the Year. That’s the first time the men’s team had two players honored and reflects this team’s depth.  Kavanagh was a finalist last year. NCAA 2015 Defensive Player-of-the-Year Matt Landis joined Sergio and Kav, as 2016 first team preseason All-Americans. ND was the only team with first team honors at attack, middie and defense. Junior Garrett Epple earned second team honors, with sophomores Mikey Wynne  and Brendan Collins garnering Honorable Mention.   The yearbook also rated the Attack and Defensive/Goalie units #2 nationally, with the midfield rated as #6. That depth will be tested. The Irish play seven of the top nine teams on a schedule rated the nation’s most difficult. The tentative schedule is posted at the top of the blog.

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Tewaaraton Nominee Sergio Perkovic

Two-timeTewaaraton Nominee Matt Kavanagh

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Preseason All American Garrett Epple

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis

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Sophomore standout Mikey Wynne

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Versatile Midfielder Brendan Collins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road trips to Columbus, Syracuse and Chapel Hill will rekindle fond memories.  We’ll visit Kennesaw, Georgia for the first time to play Georgetown (preseason #18) in February before returning for The ACC Tournament on April 29. Kennesaw is 30 minutes northwest of Atlanta and 85 minutes west of Athens, home of the Dawgs. Newport Beach offers balmy March weather, shopping, dining and bocci on the Pacific.   Playing former ACC rival Maryland (#4) in the Third Annual Pacific Shootout, under the lights will enable a tailgate to remember.  GW Mix, father of Irish alum Ryan Mix, is the event’s executive director. The game has sold out each of the first two years.

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We will be in Newport Beach in March.

Our last trip to Chapel Hill included a memorable stack of pancakes and grits prior to an epic comeback victory against the #2 Heels. UNC is preseason #5 for 2016. This trip is a foodie delight, with Mama Dips and The Top of The Hill must visits. Actually, very little on Franklin Street will disappoint. Our last trip to Columbus included a seven goal performance by Kav after the game was delayed by a white-out snowstorm. We have local Irish ambassadors in the Beattie family, so warm hospitality will thaw the worst of conditions. The vast Carrier Dome at Syracuse is one of the more unique lacrosse venues. For our east coast parents, it’s also one of the closest.  The post game visit to Dinosaur Barbecue will put you on the road full and content.

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Kennesaw, Georgia will host the season opener versus Georgetown and the ACC Tournament in April.

The home schedule begins with a scrimmage against Air Force on January 30.  Last year, that was played inside The Loftus Center, where the temperature is always 60 degrees. Bellarmine and Detroit are scheduled for February.  Time and weather will dictate whether we’re in Loftus or Arlotta Stadium.  Defending national champion Denver (#2) and Virginia (#7) will visit in March, with Syracuse (#8), Duke (#3) and Marquette (#16) scheduled to visit Arlotta in April.

Notre Dame defeated North Carolina 15-14 at Arlotta Stadium.

Epic victories over Cuse and Carolina at Arlotta Stadium were memorable in 2015.

Pregame tailgates at The Ivy will have us prepared. Keep your eyes on the man with the Grappa. The regular season ends with our annual clash versus Army in South Bend the first week in May.

Ed Lubowicki and Rob Kelly are encouraging participants of all ages to join them for the Holy Half Marathon, to be held on Saturday, April 9th. That’s the day prior to the Duke game in South Bend. Register via the link below.  This year’s proceeds will benefit Reins of Life, St. Vincent de Paul and Hannah’s House.  Holy Half Marathon.

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Four months until The Holy Half!

Lubo’s completed a handful of marathons, while Rob has completed the New York and Chicago races in the past two years.  The Holy Half began in 2004 and has grown to include more than 1400 runners covering the 13.1 mile course.

Tonight we’ll turn the calendar forward to 2016.  It’s been a memorable year, with much to be grateful.  Looking forward, let’s make the year in front of us even better. Have a Blessed New Year!  Go Irish!

 

 

 

 

 

A Classic is Born, A Legacy Lives

 

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A weekend celebrating the life of Notre Dame lacrosse parent Bob Kemp concluded Sunday with the Irish unofficially defeating Navy 15-9 at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland.  Spectacular sunshine and vintage fall foliage served as the backdrop for the inaugural, two-day Bob Kemp Lacrosse Classic. The event aims to capture Bob’s legacy, honoring those with a notable commitment to faith, family and athletics. Proceeds from tickets, a silent auction and sponsors covered the cost of a scholarship at Washington Jesuit Academy in Bob’s name. The academy, founded in 2001, serves students from low-income communities in grades 5-8 in the Washington, D.C., area.  All WJS students attend on full scholarship.   Bob Kemp

Bob and Cheryl Kemp have seven children, all of whom played high school sports. Rob was a baseball player, while sisters, Julie, Erin and Liz were accomplished swimmers. The three youngest boys were lacrosse players, all goalies. All three attended Georgetown Prep en route to earning collegiate All-American honors. Two of those goalies, Joey and John, attended Notre Dame. CJ played at Fairfield.  Bob played football for Lou Holtz at William & Mary.

The Notre Dame lacrosse team arrived in the nation’s capital on Saturday, visiting The Newseum, which displays the history of news through the eyes of the media.  A brief networking event with local alumni followed.  In the afternoon, the boys joined a sold out crowd at The Terrace at 101 Constitution Avenue, where a Penthouse layout provided a spacious venue  for players, parents and alums.

Networking at the Capitol.

Networking at the Capitol.

The Terrace also provided a spectacular view of the nation’s capitol and the surrounding streets, overflowing from the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.

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A view from The Terrace and the Bob Kemp Classic.

The crowds extended from the steps of the Capitol Building a dozen blocks down Constitution Avenue.  The open-air Terrace also included large screen televisions displaying the Notre Dame football game against Navy in South Bend.  The 14th-ranked Irish pulled away in the second half, winning 41-24. Representatives of The Academy,  the Kemp family and Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan thanked everyone for their attendance, prayers and generous contributions.

A peaceful, fall Sunday morning at the majestic Georgetown Preparatory School was greeted by a speaker and leprechaun and stream of tailgaters.  Fall lacrosse and another spectacular, sun-drenched day brought an overflow crowd to see Notre Dame battle Navy. Many thanks to Beth and Ed Lubowicki for the generator-charged Leprechaun and Paul and Liz Finley for the legendary speaker that supplied the music.  Those two families along with Bob and Norma Landis organized a successful tailgate.  Georgetown Prep dad Steve Collins architected tent city.  We had generous supplies of Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, breakfast  sandwiches, fruit and healthy snacks.  I may have seen a few beers.

Paul Finley and The Leprechaun.

Paul Finley and The Leprechaun.

The game began at noon, with the announcer confirming the teams had agreed not to post a score.  We managed to capture PJ Finely taking the opening faceoff for the Irish, with an attack that featured Mikey Wynne, Eddy Lubowicki and freshman Ryder Garnsey.  The defense was quite familiar – seniors Matt Landis and Eddy Glazener, along with Junior Garrett Epple.  Midfielders included Sergio Perkovic, Cole Riccardi and Brendan Collins.  John Sexton was your long-stick middie with sophomore Owen Molloy starting between the pipes.  The lineups were fluid from there, especially at middie where Trevor Brosco, Nick Koshansky and Bobby Collins played stifling defense.

Goalie Owen Malloy set the transition in motion in his first start.

Goalie Owen Malloy set the transition in motion in his first start.

Navy scored two goals on their first two possessions.  We were four minutes into the contest when Brendan Collins put the Irish on the board on a nice feed from sophomore Mikey Wynne.  Senior Kyle Trolley then scored, beating his man with a wicked face dodge, to tie the game at two. Junior Ben Pridemore and sophomore Patrick Hadley hit the field for the first time.    Goalie Molloy looked poised, making a couple of nifty saves, with quick, crisp outlet passes.  Molloy played attack  his junior year in high school. Senior Jack Sheridan, junior Pat Healey and sophomore Will Young added depth to the defense.

Collins, with help from Ryder Garnsey and Eddy Lubowicki, got his second goal of the game to give their Irish their first lead, 3-2.  Senior Bobby Gray then put his patented shot on display, streaking down the left side, shooting high to low, far post to put the Irish up 4-2.  With each goal, the Washington, DC-based Notre Dame Alumni Band played the fight song. With an overflow crowd, it had the feel of Arlotta.  Navy would answer with a goal to close the first quarter and the Irish leading 4-3.  A supportive Matt Kavanagh was on hand and eager to return.

Brendan Collins, playing at his alma mater, put the Irish on the board.

Brendan Collins, playing at his alma mater, put the Irish on the board.

Nick Koshansky led a very athletic midfield for the Irish.

Nick Koshansky led a very athletic midfield for the Irish.

The second quarter began with freshman Garnsey going side arm to put the Irish up 5-3. Freshman midfielder Drew Schantz looked good in transition.  Cole Ricardi scored on a nice pass from Gray to put the Irish up 6-3.  Cue the band as a middie line of Pierre Byrne, freshman Brooks Tyrrell and Kyle Trolley entered. Byrne’s first step with the ball is electric. Enter freshman midfielder Nick Stinn with 7:36 left in the half.  Your attack now included Wynne, Garnsey and junior Anthony Marini.

Bobby Gray had two goals and an assist.

Bobby Gray had two goals and an assist.

After Navy closed to 6-4, Garnsey scored his second goal on a low shot through traffic the Navy netminder didn’t appear to see to extend the Irish lead, 7-4.  Junior Shane Doss relieved Molloy in goal, as graduate student Carl Walrath stepped in at attack. The half ended with the Irish leading 7-4.  The second half began with a Navy long pole firing a blistering shot to close 7-5.  Bobby Gray responded with his second goal, with junior All-American Sergio Perkovic scoring as well to put ND up 9-5.  The midfielders in particular looked fleet.  With 4:32 left in the third quarter, graduate student Connor Kelley tookover in goal.  CK made two saves early, one high off the helmet, a second down low, before Navy would score to close again, 9-6.

Brendan Collins got that back with his third goal on the day, giving the Irish a 10-6 lead. Ryder Garnsey picked up the assist from behind the net. Freshman Timmy Phillips scored his first goal. The Irish ended the quarter with one more tally, bringing the score to12-6.

The tradition continues...Landis, Glazener and Epple were smothering.

The tradition continues…Landis, Glazener and Epple were smothering.

Junior Anthony Marini scored twice in the fourth.

Junior Anthony Marini scored twice in the fourth.

LSM Hugh Crance was on the field to start the fourth quarter as Navy snuck one far side, 12-7. Junior attack Liam Kennedy was on the field  when Anthony Marini took a clever pass from Trevor Brosco and went far post for his first goal, 13-7. Enter freshman midfielder Brendan Gleason, who fed Marini open in the slot for his second goal, 14-7. Give the band credit, they kept the tunes coming. CK made two more saves before Navy scored.  Kyle Trolley answered with his second goal, 15-8 ND.  Sophomore John Travisano was now handling faceoffs.  Navy scored last to end the game at 15-9.

A fifth quarter began with freshman Michael Marchese in goal. Cheese made two saves early en route to pitching a shutout. Ben Pridemore and Brooks Tyrrell scored for the Irish.  Chris Carter added depth on defense, while Tyler Ruhle showed hustle at attack.  My apologies for players that I missed.   My vision and voice to text would not have scored well on the beep test.

An overflow youth clinic, led by local and Major Lacrosse League All Stars, followed the game’s conclusion.  Instruction came from some of the game’s best in one of the nation’s most vibrant lacrosse markets. The Irish will conclude fall lacrosse this weekend with the traditional Steak And Hotdog Showdown at Arlotta Stadium.

Senior Matt Kavanagh was kept busy all weekend.

Senior Matt Kavanagh was kept busy all weekend.

 

Special Thanks to the Bob Kemp Classic Committee for all of the efforts put forth.  Neil Alt, Steve Collins, Kevin Corrigan, Quinn Cullen, Kevin Giblin, Marty Irving, Ted Moon, Jack Railey, Chris Rimorin and The Kemp Family launched the inaugural event to honor a legacy.  Bob Kemp’s spirit will follow this team and community eternally.

Use this link for additional information on The Bob Kemp Classic.

http://bobkemplacrosseclassic.com/

My personal thanks to Kathy Koshansky for her generous supply of photos. See you Saturday. Go Irish!

 

 

 

 

Get In The Game

Parents, friends and alums,

We’re kicking off the 2015 season, with a special event in Washington, D.C.. Please find a way to attend and celebrate the legacy of a special man along with an institution he supported.  Head Coach Kevin Corrigan has supplied all of the details.  This is an event we can all get behind.  Welcome to 2015.  Go Irish!

Dear Notre Dame lacrosse alumnus,
The Notre Dame Lacrosse team would like to invite you to a special event in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 10, 2015. We hope you can come together with us to raise awareness for Washington Jesuit Academy, to celebrate the life and legacy of Bob Kemp (father of former ND lacrosse All American’s Joey and John Kemp), and to spend an afternoon with our current team watching the Notre Dame vs. Navy football game at a truly iconic DC setting: The Rooftop Terrace  of 101 Constitution Avenue, NW. 
As an alumnus of our program you know our commitment to Character, Culture and Community as it relates to the experience of our student-athletes. Our weekend in DC will reflect the goals of all three areas and allow you to participate as you meet with our current players, reunite with Notre Dame alumni, and meet people from throughout the Washington DC area who support Washington Jesuit Academy.  
Our goal Saturday is to bring the Washington, DC lacrosse community together with alumni and friends of Notre Dame and Georgetown Prep in support of a great cause. Please take a minute to learn more about the Washington Jesuit Academy and the important work they do there. You will quickly appreciate why this school, and their mission, was so important to Bob, and it continues to be for us. All proceeds from the weekend will go to the Bob Kemp Scholarship Fund at Washington Jesuit Academy.      http://www.wjacademy.org
We have rented the Rooftop Terrace at 101 Constitution Avenue, NW from 3:00-7:00 pm so we can tailgate, and you can meet the team and other lacrosse luminaries.  We will have tents and TV’s set up to watch the football game in comfort and style. This event is also a great opportunity to network with ND friends, supporters and alumni, while enjoying one of the best views in Washington, DC.    http://101constitutionroofterrace.com
The culmination of the weekend will be the next morning, Sunday, October 11, when Notre Dame will play Navy in a lacrosse game at Georgetown Prep School in North Bethesda, MD.  This will be the first opportunity to see the 2016 version of the Irish lacrosse team competing against an always strong Navy team. The game begins at 12 noon. For directions go to:       http://www.gprep.org
I hope you can join us. Please go to our website for details of the events of the weekend and to sign up.   http://www.bobkemplacrosseclassic.com
Please note, we are looking for some alumni from different professional fields to spend some time with our current team early in the event…from approx. 2:30-3:30 Saturday. We have found these connections to be invaluable to our players, especially the juniors and seniors who are actively looking for jobs and internships. Please contact me directly if you would be interested at:     corrigan.1@nd.edu
Thank you,
Coach Corrigan

 

Sudden Death

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 Latest Edition

The University of Denver’s Wesley Berg scored with 2:03 remaining in overtime, ending Notre Dame’s season 11-10 in the 2015 NCAA Lacrosse Semifinal at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. Down 10-6, with 4:23 remaining, the Irish forced overtime with four consecutive goals, including three by sophomore All American, Sergio Perkovic.  Senior Nick Ossello tied the game with 0:09 remaining.  This was the fourth battle in the last five between the two schools to be  decided in overtime.  A season of snow, Loftus, Ivy, Linebacker, tailgates, road trips and friendships ended suddenly, but was  unforgettable nonetheless.

Senior Nick Ossello scored with 0:09 left to send the game into overtime.

Senior Nick Ossello scored with 0:09 left to send the game into overtime.

The weekend began with the boys landing in Philadelphia on Thursday. Tours, walk throughs and appearances kept them busy through Friday,  including a stop at the National Constitution Center.  Thursday was highlighted by the announcement of junior Matt Landis being named United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Defensive Player of the Year.   The junior from Pelham, NY had already been selected  first team All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.  Congratulations Matt, Bob and Norma, along with defensive coach Gerry Byrne.

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Shut down defender Matt Landis was named National Defensive Player of the Year.

 

A brilliant but brisk Saturday included the season’s finest tailgate at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philly families – Finley, Sheridan, Kelly, Goins, Marini and Borbi schemed through the week. With Jane Marlatt providing guidance, it all came together.  Special thanks to Paul Finley, who provided “The Speaker,” security and access to the Xfinity Sports Bar Complex across the street.   Julie Marini coordinated the cheese steak sequel appearance from Tony Lukes.  Ed Lubowicki supplied the generator-enabled Leprechaun.

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The rematch between the fourth-seeded Pioneers and top-seeded Irish was 20th game between the schools. Denver defeated ND 11-10 in overtime on an equally beautiful March day in Denver. This time, it was the Pioneers who staked an early 2-0 lead, only to have ND tie it on goals by seniors Jim Marlatt and Conor Doyle. Marlatt’s rip was assisted by Ben Pridemore, while Matt Kavanagh provided a no-look pass to Doyle, who finished in tight.  The quarter ended with the Irish denying the Pioneers a shot in the final 90 seconds and the game tied at 2-2.  Ground balls were even at 10, turnovers even at 2.  Twice goalie Shane Doss smothered  loose balls  in the crease to keep the Irish from a 3-0 deficit.

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Senior Jim Marlatt got the Irish on the board with his 11th goal.

The second quarter began with Denver in possession. A few Irish turnovers forced goalie Shane Doss to make several saves.  Patient and precise, Denver drained the clock, twice triggering the shot clock.   That’s when Zack Miller came down the gut to put Denver up 3-2 on a fine individual effort.  Back came the Irish, with Ossello winning the ensuing faceoff.  It was Ossello who would tie the score less than a minute later.  Going to his left, he shot near side. Denver would respond on Connor Cannizzarro’s 56th goal of the season to go back up, 4-3 with 6:51 left in the half.  Will Corrigan almost tied hit, when his shot hit the post with a little more than three minutes remaining.  Doss made a couple saves to keep it a one goal game, but  Denver maintained possession.

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Conor Doyle scored his 31st goal of the season to tie the game at 2.

With less than a minute remaining, Denver called its second timeout in the previous three minutes.  A set play was squashed by the defense, with the half ending. Denver led 4-3,  with an 18-14 shot advantage, fueled by a 7-2 faceoff advantage. Denver’s advantage in possession was offset by another stout defensive effort, including seven saves by Doss. Denver’s Ryan LaPlante recorded four saves, all in the first quarter. None in the second.

Senior Will Corrigan scored in his fifth consecutive game.

Senior Will Corrigan scored in each of his final five games.

The third quarter began with Ossello taking another faceoff from Trevor Baptiste, courtesy of a ground ball pick up by Conor Doyle.  Mikey Wynne, Will Corrigan, Conor Doyle and Nick Ossello all fired shots at Denver’s  LaPlante.  It was Corrigan who found the back of the net just two minutes into the half to tie matters at four. Credit Matt Kavanagh with forcing a turnover. It was the fifth consecutive game with a goal for Corrigan, his eighth of the year. The Irish got the possessions and shots in the next two sequences, but it was a sidearm shot from Denver’s Wesley Berg  with a little more than seven minutes remaining that put Denver back up 5-4. The Irish were out shooting Denver 25-21 with a 24-19 edge in ground balls.  

Senior Henry Williams brought depth to the defense.

Senior Henry Williams brought depth to the defense.

The offense continued their attack, forcing LaPlante to make six saves on 12 shots in the quarter.  On that sixth save, Denver counter attacked,  scoring in transition with 0:01 remaining.  A two goal swing and a 6-4 Denver lead after three.

Senior Jack Near collected three ground balls while leading the Irish in transition.

Senior Jack Near collected three ground balls while leading the Irish in transition.

The Irish would come out swinging in the fourth, with Ossello battling Batptiste and freshman John Sexton scooping one of  his team-high six ground balls on the day.   Two shots by Perkovic were diverted and Denver countered. Doss would then be forced to stop Cannizzarro after two Miller shots went wide. Two more Miller shots were blocked, but the second was collected and deposited into the net by Denver and the Pioneers had their biggest lead of the day, 7-4 with less than 10 minutes in regulation.

John Sexton led the Irish with six ground balls and steady defense.

John Sexton led the Irish with six ground balls and steady defense.

Irish Goalie Shane Doss records one of 11 saves.

Goalie Shane Doss records one of 11 saves.

Ninety seconds later, Sergio Perkovic got the Irish closer on a feed from Eddy Lubowicki.  Denver responded with two goals in two minutes and suddenly the Irish were down 9-5 with 5:29 left.  Perkovic struck again, only to see Berg score his second of the day to preserve the four goal lead, 10-6 with barely four minutes remaining.  A sense of desperation would engulf Lincoln Financial Field, with Perkovic responding a minute later…and again 37 seconds later and again one minute later.  The four goal deficit had been cut to one, with The Linc loud, in an Irish frenzy. A five goal performance by Perkovic, four of which came in a span of less than three minutes,  had brought the Irish to the brink of tying the game. Ossello and PJ Finley had won a few faceoffs, while Sexton continued to gorge on ground balls. An ND timeout with 0:22 remaining, brought the crowd to its feet.  With 0:09 remaining, it was Nick Ossello heading down the gut of the Denver defense, fired low stick side to tie the game at 10!  Bedlam in Philly!  On to Overtime!   Denver would win the faceoff, but a clever Sexton would cause his third turnover and the Irish had the ball. Just as quickly, Denver stole the ball back, transitioning, clearing and calling timeout with 2:29 remaining in the overtime.  A sequence of passes led to a quick release shot by Wes Berg. The Tewaraaton Award finalist went  high inside the far post and the Notre Dame quest for a championship saw sudden death, 11-10.  The Irish would finish the season 12-3, with two of those losses in overtime to eventual champion Denver.  With Denver’s win over Maryland in the title game, the Irish have now lost to the eventual champion eight out of the last 10 appearances, including the past four.  A season that began in February with 69 teams, had been narrowed to four in May.   Much to be proud. A heart-felt thank you to every player, coach, trainer and assistant.  Special thanks to Jonathan Rodak, who enables the parents to participate front row. To Bobbie Arlotta, Rob Kelly, Megan Williams, Liza Near and Brian Connolly for their photo contributions. Thank you Tim Brenneman for blog consultation, Jane and Geoff Marlatt for tailgate coordination and John and Liza Near for their leadership of parent nation.   A final salute and thanks to the senior parents is forthcoming.  Enjoy your summer. Fall lacrosse is around the corner.

Highlights can be accessed via the link below.

 http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/recaps/052315aaa.html

Lightning Strikes Twice

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 Late Edition

 

Sergio Perkovic led eight different scorers while defenseman Matt Landis limited the nation’s top scorer to one goal in leading Notre Dame (12-2) to a 14-10 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal victory over Albany (16-3) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. While the game was delayed twice due to lightning, it was the Irish  who struck for the second time in eliminating sentimental  favorite Albany. Perkovic deposited four goals while Conor Doyle collected three. Landis turned in an All-American performance, with support from Garret Epple, Pat Healy and Eddy Glazener. The trio forced Tewaraaton finalist Lyle Thompson, into six turnovers. He scored once, assisting on four others.  ND  also won 18 of 28 draws inside the face off circle, with PJ Finely collecting 16 of 25.   Goalie Shane Doss made 10 saves, including several at key moments.

Matt Landis matched Lyle Thompson with each step, holding The Tewaraaton Award winner to one goal on 11 shots.

Matt Landis matched Lyle Thompson with each step, holding The Tewaraaton Award winner to one goal on 11 shots.

For the first time in program history, ND will appear in consecutive Championship Weekends.  They will face #4 seed Denver, who rallied from a 7-1 deficit, to defeat Ohio State 15-13 in the second game at Sports Authority Field. The game will be held at 1:00 EST at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. If you’re reading this and not in Philly already, you should be.  The forecast calls for sunshine, 70 degrees and the program’s first national title!

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Congratulations to seniors Logan Connolly, Will Corrigan, Conor Doyle, Conor Kelly, Connor McCollough, Jack Near, Nick Ossello, Kyle Runyon, Henry Williams and manager Anne Schneider, who collected their undergraduate degrees.  Jim Marlatt and Ryan Smith were bestowed their graduate diplomas. After a stirring mass, Father/coach Kevin Corrigan and Senior Associate Athletic Director for  Media and Broadcast Relations, John Heisler, presided over commencement.  The keynote speaker was Notre Dame graduate and NBA veteran Bill Hanzlik.

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Selected as the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 1980 NBA Draft, Hanzlik, played two  years with Seattle and 10 years with Denver. He enabled Denver to reach the NBA playoffs eight years, while leading ND to the Final Four. Hanzlik now directs the Gold Crown Foundation, a non-profit corporation, dedicated to improving the lives of Colorado’s children through athletics and education.  My thanks to Brian Connolly and Liza Near for the captivating pictures.

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The rematch of the epic 2014 NCAA Quarterfinals got underway under ominous clouds. Notre Dame entered the game as the tournament’s top seed, while Albany was unseeded. The first quarter resembled a street fight, with the two teams causing eight turnovers. Each scooped up eight ground balls.  Four minutes into the game, Lyle Thompson fed Connor Field, who found space short side past Irish Goalie Shane Doss for a 1-0 Albany led.  The Irish responded 90 seconds later, when senior captain Jim Marlatt found midfielder Sergio Perkovic, who’s high heat tied the game at 1-1. Thompson reclaimed the lead two minutes later, with Landis being called for a questionable holding call.  Conor Doyle tied it with 2:03 remaining  after Landis and Pat Healy teamed on a stout defense stand.  ND out shot Albany 13-8, but the quarter ended with the game tied 2-2.  Each goalie made three saves.

Sergio Perkovic got the Irish on the board with the first of four goals.

Sergio Perkovic got the Irish on the board with the first of four goals.

The second quarter began with the Irish on the offensive, firing four shots at Great Dane netminder Blaze Riorden in the first minute.  He stopped the first three, but not Jack Near’s and the Irish had their first lead, 3-2.  Albany tied it five minutes later, before Tewaraaton Award Finalist Matt Kavanagh launched a loose ball to the back of the net for  a 4-3 lead. Three minutes later, lightening was spotted and the game suspended. A second sighting reset the mandatory 30-minute clock, leading to an 82 minute delay with 5:44 remaining in the first half. The game was resumed two hours after its initial start, with Albany going on the offensive first, only to come up empty. That’s when senior Will Corrigan went high to the far post to score in his fourth consecutive game.   It was 5-3 Irish, with five different players scoring.  Defensively, Doss and Riorden both made key saves to keep the game close.  Fields would collect his second goal on a stealth feed from Thompson to close to 5-4.

Conor Doyle en route to his fifth hat trick in six games.

Conor Doyle en route to his fifth hat trick in six games.

 

Enter Conor Doyle, scoring two goals just a minute apart. The first came off a feed from Jack Near behind the net. The second with Doyle going to net, faked Riorden with a dip of the shoulder, posting high, short side for his 30th of the season with 1:22 remaining.   He wasn’t finished, setting up Sergio Perkovic’s second of the game and ND’s largest lead, 8-4. With 45 seconds remaining, Doss went down low to stop Thompson and the first half ended.  The Irish finished on a 3-0 run, scoring the last five of six.  They were out shooting an offensive machine, 32-17.  The shots were from possessions being provided by PJ Finley,  who won four consecutive faceoffs and went 7/9 in the quarter.  For Albany, the four goals scored represented their lowest output of the year.

I got this....PJ Finley won 16/25 faceoffs against Albany.

I got this….PJ Finley won 16 of 25 faceoffs against Albany.

Five minutes into the third quarter, Albany got one goal closer on a nifty, side arm shot by freshman Conor Fields.  It was Field’s third of the game, 63rd of the season.  He added another three minutes later and a highlight reel shot, behind the back,  three minutes after that as a part of four goal, third quarter Great Dane run.  Suddenly, it was 8-8.   Albany would finish a third quarter run with their fifth goal on eight shots with 2:25 remaining, taking a 9-8 lead. Sergio Perkovic ended a 17-minute Irish drought with his third goal of the game, shooting low to the far post. Sixteen seconds later, Jim Marlatt went to net and finished with his 10th goal of the year and ND was back on top, 10-9.

Mikey Wynne collects his 33rd goal of the year to put the Irish up 11-9.

Mikey Wynne collects his 33rd goal of the year to put the Irish up 11-9.

A Lyle Thompson turnover near midfield was then scooped up by freshman Mikey Wynne.  Dashing from the sideline to net, he went in solo on Riorden with an eye to a defense desperate to pursue. Poised beyond his years, he collected his first collegiate goal, extending ND’s lead to 11-9.  Nick Ossello would contribute two goals in between Perkovic’s fourth of the game to complete a 6-0 Irish run.  Lightening had struck for a second consecutive year. ND had ended a Cinderella run for Albany and the close of another magnificent career for a Thompson.  Depth had been served, as a balanced offense, smothering defense and domination at the X had this game secured. There would be no epic finish.  Shane Doss had been equal when challenged, and fresh legs from a deep roster enabled the clock to expire with a 14-10 victory.  The ticket to Philly had been punched.

Nick Ossello used a pick from Nick Koshansky en route to one of his two goals in front of a hometown crowd.

Nick Ossello used a pick from Nick Koshansky en route to one of his two goals in front of a hometown crowd.

Highlights of the game are in the link below.  On Thursday, The US Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) announced their 2015 All-America Team. Juniors Matt Kavanagh and Matt Landis and sophomore Sergio Perkovic were among the 15-player, first-team roster.  Senior Jack Near was named second team, with seniors Nick Ossello and Conor Doyle and sophomore Garrett Epple all garnering Honorable Mention.  For Kavanagh, it’s his third All-America honor, while Near collected his second.  For Coach Kevin Corrigan, he’s now had 40 different players collect 70 All-America citations in 27 seasons.  Congratulations players, coaches, parents and teammates. More to come.  Welcome to Philadelphia.  Saturday’s tailgate starts at 10:00 at Lincoln Financial Field, parking lot K.  We’re down to Four!

GO IRISH!!!

GO IRISH!!!

Irish Highlights

 

The Music Continues

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Top seeded Notre Dame used a six-goal run to erase a four-goal deficit and a four goal run late in the third quarter to hold off upset-minded Towson 12-10 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Arlotta Stadium. Eight different players scored for the Irish, led by senior Conor Doyle, who notched his fifth hat trick of the year.

Garrett Epple picked up a team high eight ground balls

Garrett Epple picked up a team high eight ground balls

Sophomore Garrett Epple led the defense,  picking up eight ground balls, while Nick Ossello and PJ Finley paired to win a season-best 19/26 faceoffs.  They were aided by freshman John Sexton, who collected six ground balls.  Towson, the 17th seed and Colonial Athletic Conference Champions, finished the season 12-6.   The Irish advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive time, where they will host Albany (16-2) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.  Albany defeated eighth-seeded Cornell on the road, 19-10 earlier in the day. A dance that began in February with 68 is down to eight.

Senior Conor Doyle led the Irish comeback with another hat trick.

Conor Doyle led the Irish comeback with another hat trick.

With exams concluded, South Bend was buzzing.  Students packed while lacrosse and baseball fans swarmed. Threatening clouds gave way to sunshine, with every tulip upright and the campus plush in Ireland green.  The Landis, Brosco, Glazener and Marlatt families coordinated the year’s final home tailgate at the Ivy Court.  Tai and Tortellini salads, Landis’ special-recipe cocktails and Borbi-provided chicken were consumed, with Vasko Perkovic supplying a generous variety of wine.  The Cornell/Albany debacle had just finished when John Near served as master of ceremonies, thanking Jane and Geoff Marlatt for their tireless hours of coordinating the year’s tailgates.  Rob Kelly was acknowledged for his outstanding photography. Sue Runyon thanked John and Liza Near for their passion and leadership of Parent Nation.

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Tailgates, travel, team meals, blogs, photographs, budgets – it all trickles through one set of parents. The Nears were graceful under pressure. The Lubowickis will have that “honor” next year, as Liza passed the lacrosse baton to Beth Lubo, who is welcoming your support.  Special thanks to Tim Brenneman, who provided guidance and influence on the blog.  What he began a few years ago is viewed by more than 200 visitors per week.

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Nick Ossello willed the opening faceoff to Irish possession and 43 seconds later Conor Doyle took Will Corrigan’s feed and went to the net, finishing high to give the Irish the fast start they sought. Doyle took a shot to the head after the fact, but played the rest of the game. The Irish would rattle a few more shots on subsequent possessions before Towson would tie it on a runner down the alley, low to the far post.  Showing patience, the Irish ran up an 8-2 shot advantage, but fell behind on a bounce shot with 1:46 remaining.  The first quarter ended with the ND trailing for the first time this year after one period, 2-1.  They outshot Towson 11-5. Defensively, Matt Landis, Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener and Jack Near were playing air-tight defense.  They caused three turnovers, clogged lanes and helped win 10 ground balls.

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Matt Landis led the team in caused turnovers.

 

After Matt Kavanagh got in tight on a nasty face dodge,  Towson goalie Tyler White went low to stop him for his third quality save. Minutes later,  Towson would score on a run from behind the net and after Nick Ossello was stopped low on a sharp angle shot, Towson would score again on a well-executed, no-look pass to the crease,  extending their lead to 4-1.  Kyle Runyon hit a post short side before Will Corrigan  scored for the third consecutive game.  Towson got one back, another bounce shot, extending the lead to 5-2, on four unassisted goals.  With 2:50 remaining in the half, Towson’s Tyler Kohnen went high, far post and suddenly, the leprechaun began looking to the heavens.  Holy intervention….. I’m not sure. But seven seconds later, Nick Ossello took the ensuing faceoff, charged the net and falling, went sidearm, shooting low to high and scoring to cut the Irish deficit to 6-3. A minute later, Ossello thundered to goal again, this time from the right alley, dipping a shoulder and shooting near post.  Senior leadership…..Doyle, Corrigan and Ossello had accounted for ND’s first four goals.  That changed when Doyle snuck a pass from behind the net between three defenders to sophomore Sergio Perkovic, who went low to the near post and the Irish were within one, 6-5.  The Pep Band played, the leprechaun swayed.

Sergio Perkovic unloads against Towson

Sergio Perkovic unloads against Towson

After getting one goal on 15 shots, the half ended with ND improving to five goals on 23 shots.  Towson had six goals from five different players on 16 shots. There was no evidence they had played three days earlier.  Conor Doyle began the second half they way he began the game,  scoring in the first eight seconds. The Towson, Maryland native launched  a side arm rocket on a feed from Ossello.  Once Trailing 6-2, ND was on a 4-0 run to level the scoring, 6-6.  Cue the pep band.   With four minutes played, a Towson defender got caught holding Doyle. Dropping his stick to release Doyle, he enabled Doyle to step forward and fire high to the far post to give ND their first lead since the opening minute.  For Doyle, a hat trick and his 27th goal of the year.  He wasn’t done. Forty seconds later, he went to the net, only to pushed into the crease, drawing a clear penalty.  The Towson bench didn’t agree with the call.  A man up, Doyle somehow saw and reached Eddy Lubowicki on the crease.  The junior, caught, faked and finished, extending ND’s lead to two, 8-6.

Eddy Lubowicki deposits a goal for the Irish

Eddy Lubowicki deposits a goal for the Irish

Towson would answer on a deep angle rocket that Doss had little time to reach.  Landis, Glazener, Epple, Bobby Collins, Connor McCullough, Nick Koshansky and Pat Healy shut Towson down, letting few shots through until the 4:00 minute mark.  A side-arm shot from the left alley sailed high, but under the crossbar, and we were tied, 8-8.  After Towson hit the inside of the post on a man up, Garrett Epple battled to a loose ball, giving the Irish possession. As they had all day, two seniors connected.  Ossello went to net, drawing three defensemen.  He turned and found Corrigan, who stepped into space and fired high to low to put the Irish back in front.  It got better…….PJ Finley scooped up a ground ball near midfield, looking to distribute.  There were no takers, so he cautiously continued down the alley, before making a sharp right to the net.  Nobody slid, so he continued to net on fumes, depositing  a shot to the back of the net….why not!  Out of gas, he had the Irish back up by two, 10-8 on his second goal of the year.

Nick Osello collected two goals, two assists, four ground balls and won 11 faceoffs.

Nick Ossello collected two goals, two assists, four ground balls and won 11 faceoffs. He returns home to Denver to face Albany.

Freshman Mikey Wynne appeared to have scored on a feed from Doyle, but his shot hit the crossbar and bounced down, but not over the line.  The defense would smother Towson’s final effort of the period, preventing the Tigers from getting off a shot.  After three periods, the Irish were out shooting Towson 37-26 and leading 10-8.  ND also lead in ground balls 35-17.

Will Corrigan went far post to score for the third consecutive game.

Will Corrigan went far post to score for the third consecutive game.

 

Jim Marlatt extended the ND run, scoring from the alley just 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.  Neatly switching hands to go far post, the captain gave the Irish an 11-8 advantage. The second middie line of Marlatt, Trevor Brosco and Ben Pridemore was fresh and creating chances.   But it was the crafty move  of sophomore Nick Koshansky that paid dividends.  Koshansky appeared to be heading off the field for an offensive substitution. His Towson defender followed, heading toward the sideline. Koshansky then made a legal U-turn,  back toward the crease. Wide open, he caught a pass, stepped in and fired high to low for his first collegiate goal and a 12-8 Irish lead.

Nick Koshansky scored his first collegiate goal.

Nick Koshansky scored his first collegiate goal.

Towson would get one back on a man-up opportunity with eight minutes remaining.  The Irish defense would handle the rest, with Brendan Collins and Jack Sheridan aggressive and relentless. Goalie Shane Doss made his best save of the game with 2:39 remaining, on a quick release shot off the crease. He made a second save down low with one minute remaining,  finishing with eight saves total.  Towson would score with 34 seconds remaining for a final score of 12-10.  ND outshot Towson 47-34, while winning ground balls 46-23. Credit Nick Ossello (11/13) and PJ Finley (8/13) for an outstanding result with faceoffs, with both scoring as well.

PJ Finley scored, scooped up 4 ground balls and won 8 faceoffs.

PJ Finley scored a goal, scooped up 4 ground balls and won 8 faceoffs.

Ben Pridemore eludes Towsons defense.

Ben Pridemore eludes Towson’s defense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plot thickens with a rematch of last year’s epic battle with Albany, scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 pm ET in Denver. Albany features last year’s Tewaraaton Award co-winner Lyle Thompson. He is a contender to win it again this as year, as is our own Matt Kavanagh.   Saturday’s winner advances to Philly and the Final Four at Lincoln Financial Field…….This weekend also represents senior graduation.  Congratulations to all of the players and their parents. Let’s keep the music playing – Go Irish!

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The Linc in Philly awaits The Final Four.

Irish highlights versus Towson

Finishing The Drill

 

Conor Doyle continued a torrid scoring streak, scoring three and assisting on a career-high five goals.

Conor Doyle continued a torrid scoring streak, scoring three and assisting on a career-high five goals.

 

 

Conor Doyle scored three goals and assisted on five others leading 11 different Notre Dame goal scorers to a 17-8 victory over 18th-ranked Army at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York. The eight points were a career high for Doyle, while linemate Matt Kavanagh registered four goals and one assist in front of a record crowd of 12,122.  Sophomore goalie Shane Doss posted 14 saves while Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year Matt Landis contained Army All-American John Glesener to three goals on 12 shots. The second-ranked Irish concluded the regular season 10-2.  Sunday evening, they received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the #1 seed, the program’s first.  It was a fine way to finish.

Matt  Kavanagh scored four goals against Army.

Matt Kavanagh scored four goals against Army.

Fans traveled by planes, helicopters, buses and automobiles to reach iconic West Point on a glorious, sun-drenched day.  The largest tailgate of the year set camp a walking bridge from Michie Stadium.  More than 25 former players and alums met in Manhattan and  traveled to Michie by bus. Special thanks to Kevin and Grace Doyle, who led the butcher caravan that transported more than 300 steaks, burgers and dogs.  John Near was deemed Officer In Charge. Ned Williams accurately predicted American Pharoah would win the Kentucky Derby.  Bracketologists plotted the road to Philly and The Final Four.

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Many thanks to the tireless efforts of Jane and Geoff Marlatt, the brains behind the coordination. Tailgate photos came from Liza Near, with game action supplied by Rob Kelly.  Rob’s photos, along with those from Megan Williams, can be accessed by The Photo/Video Link at the top of this page.

Putting the ACC  Tournament behind them, Notre Dame jumped out to a 1-0 advantage when senior Will Corrigan swept left to right and fired low to the far post.  It was Corrigan’s second goal in two games.  All Atlantic Coast Attackmen Matt Kavanagh and Conor Doyle teamed five minutes later, with Doyle passing to Kavanagh, who finished for a 2-0 Irish lead.

Senior Will Corrigan got the Irish on the board with his second goal in two games.

Senior Will Corrigan got the Irish on the board with his second goal in two games.

Two minutes later, freshman Brendan Collins collected his third goal of the year. Sergio Perkovic and Mikey Wynne would score 20 seconds apart just three minutes later and that quickly,  the Irish were out of the gate with a  5-0 lead. Perkovic’s goal was assisted by Corrigan while Wynne’s was set up by Doyle.  Conor Doyle became the sixth Irish player to score, on a smart feed from Jack Near.  Smothering defense, efficient offense,  ND led 6-0 after one quarter.  On the year, Notre Dame has outscored opponents 45-14 in the first period. For the defense,  it was the second consecutive game they pitched a shutout in the first period.  Army mustered five shots, with Doss making two saves.

Freshman Brendan Collins scored his third goal.

Freshman Brendan Collins scored his third goal.

Playing in his final collegiate game, Army All-American John Glesener got the Black Knights on the board in the second, showcasing his quick-release from the perimeter just under two minutes into the second.  A Sports Center moment would follow, with Kavanagh feeding senior Jim Marlatt. At a bad angle, Marlatt went behind the back to finish, extending the Irish lead to 7-1, while achieving his 100th career point. Credit PJ Finley with the faceoff win and a ground ball pickup to Eddy Lubowicki.  Glesener and Kavanagh exchanged shots as both offenses were finding space to shoot.  In an eight minute span, Doss would make five saves, Army goalie Sam Somers recorded three.

Jim Marlatt went behind the back to put the Irish up 7-1

Jim Marlatt went behind the back to extend the lead, 7-1.

One shot Somers didn’t save was on Nick Ossello with 4:41 remaining. Glesener would respond, going far post with his left hand to bring Army within 8-2.  Matt Landis was brilliant, moving laterally step for step. For the game, Glesener registered three goals on 12 shots, half of what he scored last year in South Bend. Enter ND’s Kyle Runyon, Ben Pridemore and Connor  McCollough, who provided fresh legs on both offense and defense.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis limited All-American John Glesener to three goals on 12 shots.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis limited All-American John Glesener to three goals on 12 shots.

PJ Finley would win the ensuing faceoff, with Eddy Lubowicki scooping a second ground ball.  With 0:56 remaining in the half, you knew the drill…..Timeout ND, who huddled, schemed and returned to the field.  Enter Mr. Clutch.  With :020 remaining, good ball movement would end with Kavanagh precision. Just as he had done against Michigan, Syracuse and others,  Matt Kavanagh scored to put an exclamation point on the first half.  The Irish led 9-2, fueled by the tenacious defense of  Landis, Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener, Jack Near, Brendan Collins, John Sexton, Pat Healy, Nick Koshansky and Bobby Collins.  While faceoffs,  ground balls and saves were even, offensive efficiency went to ND.  The Irish had scored nine goals on 19 shots (47%), while Army scored twice on 12 shots (17%).

Goalie Shane Doss recorded 14 saves.

Goalie Shane Doss recorded 14 saves.

 

PJ Finley won the second half faceoff and 41 seconds later, Doyle found Kavanagh, who finished for a 10-2 lead. Doyle would set up Trevor Brosco’s fourth goal of the year midway through the third, before another Sports Center moment. Doyle undressed the Army defense, coming from behind the net to score unassisted,  his 23rd goal, with 6:54 remaining.  After having his 31-game points streak snapped in the ACC Tourney, Doyle finished the day with eight points. He’s been equally dangerous up top or behind the net, registering 24 goals and 17 assists, while ranking nationally with his 44% shooting efficiency.  Finley, Ossello and freshman John Travisano finished winning 12/28 with faceoffs.

Junior Trevor Brosco returned and scored.

Junior Trevor Brosco returned and scored.

Army would respond with two goals before senior Jack Near would quiet any sense of a run with an unassisted goal with 1:48 remaining. The Irish were deploying more fresh troops, with #40 Henry Williams and Jack Sheridan along with a middie line of Pierre Byrne, Bobby Gray and Anthony Marini. The quarter ended with the Irish leading 13-5, but penalized , which carried into the fourth quarter.

Great to see #40 Henry Williams return to the lineup.

Great to see #40 Henry Williams return to the lineup.

Twelve seconds into the final quarter of Army’s season, they cashed in on the man advantage, closing to 13-6. But Kavanaugh would score his fourth of the day, followed by Doyle, for a 15-6 lead. Enter Conor Kelly in goal and Ryan Smith and Will Young to refresh the defense. Lubowicki, Runyon and Logan Connolly were running attack. Kyle Trolley joined Byrne and Gray at midfield.  With 8:15 remaining, it was Gray who went high, far post on a missile for his second goal of the year and a 16-7 Irish lead. Sergio Perkovic would finish the Irish scoring.

Senior attackman Logan Connolly pushes the ball upfield in the second half.

Senior Logan Connolly surveys Army.

Sophomore Anthony Marini played midfield.

Sophomore Anthony Marini played midfield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Irish scored 17 goals on 38 shots (45%) while Army tallied 8 goals on 34 shots (24%). Credit the defense, who limited quality opportunities. Doss recorded 14 saves, including a brilliant stop on the crease in the fourth. In all, an army of 34 ND players contributed.

Bobby Gray ripped his second goal of the year, high to the far post.

Bobby Gray ripped his second goal.

Pierre Byrne led the third middie line.

Pierre Byrne readies a pass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the top national seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament,  the Irish will host the winner of Wednesday’s play-in game between Southern Conference Champion High Point and Colonial Athletic Conference Champion Towson. The Irish have never played either. The game will be played at Arlotta Stadium at 5:00 on Saturday and will be broadcast on ESPNU. Tailgate plans are in process. Rooms at the Ivy Court were filling fast. The full NCAA Bracket can be accessed below. Thanks to all of you for making the trip, the day and the regular season a blast. A season that started inside in February is over. It’s now win or go home. See ya Friday. Go Irish.

http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/recaps/050215aaa.html

http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/lacrosse-men/d1

Go Irish!

Go Irish!

 

 

 

Mostly Sunny

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Fourth-seeded Duke reeled off seven consecutive goals spanning the second and third quarters and then held off a fourth quarter Notre Dame rally to win 13-8 in an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinal at PPL Park in Chester, PA. Trailing 10-1 with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter, top-seeded Notre Dame responded with a six goal run to pull within 12-8 with three minutes remaining.  But two point black saves in transition prevented the Irish from a return trip to Championship Sunday. Instead, Duke advanced to the final, where they lost to second-seeded Syracuse 15-14.  The Orange overcame a first quarter 6-1 deficit to win and secure an automatic qualifying bid to next month’s NCAA Tournament. For the Irish, it’s been mostly sunny thus far. Balanced offense and team defense, with faceoff talent, special teams and goaltending answering each challenge.

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Nick Ossello scored twice and led the Irish charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend began with the Philly folks  hosting a pregame tailgate before the Friday faceoff in the shadows of the Commodore Barry Bridge.  Special thanks to the Finley, Kelly, Marini, Sheridan and Marlatt families for their coordination. Specialty sandwiches from Sarcones in South Philly served as the boy’s post game meal amidst music, salads and legendary Jersey tomato pie.  On Saturday, Rob and Mary Kelly treated the boys to a filet dinner at their beautiful home.  Dan Runyon assisted at the grill. Basketball, wiffle ball and football followed. Cannolis were imported from Termini Brothers of South Philly.  Cheese Steaks from Tony Luke’s arrived on Sunday to round out the Philly fare.  A bitter taste left on Friday was replaced with authentic food and family Saturday and Sunday.

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As for Friday’s game, Notre Dame entered the tournament as the top seed and 3-0 at PPL Park. Coming of a dramatic comeback victory over North Carolina, Matt Kavanagh, Matt Landis and Sergio Perkovic were named among 25 Finalists for The Tewaraaton Trophy, college lacrosse’s top individual honor. That same trio along with senior Conor Doyle were named All Atlantic Coast Conference. The team retained it’s top national ranking.  A lot to say grace over.  Add some tired aches and joints….sprinkle in a desperate Duke in need of a quality win and you have the ingredients of an upset few saw coming.

Matt Kavanagh launched nine shots at Duke.

Matt Kavanagh launched nine shots at Duke.

Shot by Kavanagh….shot by Perkovic….Save Danny Fowler on a shot by Ossello, another shot by Kavanagh….. shot by Doyle…..seven minutes into Friday’s semifinal with Duke, Notre Dame had fired six shots.  Duke had yet to register one, turning the ball over four times.  Turnovers, failed clears, penalties.  The first quarter had it all, except goals.  ND outshot Duke 12-7, with Blue Devil goalie Danny Fowler forced to make five saves. Irish goalie Shane Doss made one save. Yet for the first time this season, the first quarter ended without either team scoring.

Matt Landis  contained Duke to five goals in the first half.

Matt Landis contained Duke to five goals in the first half.

A restless crowd became impatient and then quieted as Duke got on the board with 41 seconds elapsed into the second quarter.  After Shane Doss made his second save, Duke would score again, leading 2-0. Duke extended the lead to 3-0 before Nick Ossello scored for Notre Dame with 8:58 remaining in the half. Uncharacteristic of any game played this season and far different from the first game played a month ago in Durham.  The Duke sidelined encouraged our impatience while the Irish faithful pleaded for order. The Blue Devils would  score two more before the half, out shooting the ND 10-5 in the second quarter.  Duke led 5-1.

Shane Doss made five saves in the first half.

Shane Doss made five saves in the first half.

The third quarter began where the second ended, with Duke scoring five consecutive, even-strength goals.  With the score 7-1, Conor Kelly entered, determined to energize his mates.  He would, but not before Duke had expanded their lead to 10-1. The Irish trailed more in this game than they had all year. But they didn’t quit and when Mikey Wynne scored with just over one minute remaining in the third quarter, there was optimism…and history. We’d seen it before. The quarter ended, with ND trailing Duke 10-2.  It got worse before it got better. The Blue Devils would score the first two goals, grabbing their largest lead of the game at 12-2.  Four precious minutes had elapsed into the fourth when Sergio Perkovic scored his 21st of the season. Jack Near would follow a minute later, to make it 12-4.  Will Corrigan went low to the far post just over a minute later, with Nick Ossello scoring his second 45 seconds later.  It’s 12-6.   The goals were not coming easy, but they were coming. To gain possession, the Irish were using five different players at the faceoff X.  Duke had claimed 17/24, with the Irish finishing deficient in ground balls, 20-9 in the fourth quarter alone.  Perkovic and Kavanagh would bring the Irish closer at 12-8.  A contest was shaping, a Duke lead was diminishing. A rerun of Baltimore, 2014?  With 3:28 remaining, ND went on the man advantage.  A goal would cut the lead to three with three minutes remaining. They had scored three in 68 seconds a week earlier versus Carolina. But as he had early in the first quarter, Duke Goalie Danny Fowler made stops on Perkovic and Doyle, enabling Duke to burn more clock before scoring their 13th goal with 90 seconds remaining.  Desperate play in the final minute resulted in turnovers, ground balls and failed clears but no scoring and the first upset of conference tournament weekend was upon us.

Eddy Glazener collected two ground balls while causing two  turnovers.

Eddy Glazener collected two ground balls while causing two turnovers.

 

The regular season will end this Saturday at iconic West Point versus Army (10-6).  The Cadets are ranked 18th, coming off a loss to Colgate in the Patriot League Championship. It will be All American John Glesener’s final game. He scored six goals against us last year in an 18-17 shootout and was recently named one of the 25 Tewaraaton Award Finalists – for the third time.   The season’s largest tailgate is expected. Admission will require photo identification. Highlights from Friday’s game versus Duke can be accessed via the link below.

http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/recaps/042415aaa.html