Not since President Reagan was re-elected, Apple rolled out the Macintosh and Michael Jackson recorded Thriller had a Notre Dame lacrosse team shutout its opponent. This past Saturday, Irish goalie Shane Doss stopped 11 shots while his teammates forced 22 turnovers en route to 9-0 victory over Ohio State in South Bend. Sophomore Garrett Epple led an air-tight defense, causing four turnovers, while midfielder Nick Ossello paced the offense with a career-best three goals in Notre Dame’s second shutout in school history.
Parents in South Bend gathered for a pregame hosted by the Sheridan, Finley, Borbi, Travisano and Near families at The Ivy Court. John Borbi provided the chicken, while John Travisano personally tested the chicken’s temperature, seasoning, crispiness and tenderness. Lori Travisano served rich, but smooth chocalatines. Mary Ann Sheridan pulled it all together, with salads, sandwiches and desserts to feed a late afternoon gathering. Liza Near captured it on film.
In New York City, Bob Rogers recruited more than 60 alums and parents to TirNaNog to watch the #3 ranked Fighting Irish take on the #15 ranked Buckeyes. The photos reflect what makes Notre Dame special. Thanks to Bob for pulling this together. Few schools secure 110 pre-gamers in two cities for a non-football event.
The 40th lacrosse game between Ohio State and Notre Dame followed the women’s battle between the two schools, with Notre Dame prevailing 13-5. The ND men entered Saturday’s contest having won the previous 12 games against OSU, while owning a 30-9 series record. The Buckeyes came into Saturday’s game after defeating #16 Towson on Tuesday in Baltimore, 7-6. Saturday’s 4:00 start accommodated an ESPN broadcast with a near capacity crowd, sunny skies and new chrome domes worn by the Irish.
Senior Nick Ossello returned to action, facing off and immediately banging bodies. He would pick up a Buckeye turnover and drive through a defender, firing and scoring to put Notre Dame on the board two minutes into the game. Additional turnovers caused by Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener, John Sexton and Pat Healy would enable Notre Dame to stay offensive. Posting a 5-1 shot advantage, the Irish increased their lead when junior Matt Kavanagh unleashed a low shot, through congestion, that skipped into the net with 5:55 remaining in the quarter. While OSU had some success with faceoffs, the first period ended with the Irish forcing eight turnovers and out shooting the Buckeyes 11-1 en route to a modest 2-0 lead. Irish goalie Shane Doss did not register a save in the quarter, a feat the defense has achieved now twice this year.
Forty five seconds into the second quarter, Doss made his first save, on a low shot he short hopped. Senior Connor McCullough and sophomore Pat Healy entered the game, replenishing the Irish defense. Matt Landis frustrated OSU’s leading scorer Jessie King, who entered the contest with 21 goals. After Conor Doyle rang a shot off the post near the ten minute mark, the Irish would come calling again with a man advantage via Eddy Lubowicki. Slick passing and unselfish ball movcment would create a cross-field seam. With an assassin’s eye, Matt Kavanagh saw the seam and threaded a pass to Doyle alone on the Buckeye doorstep. Doyle caught, faked and finished and with 4:09 left in the first half, the Irish led 3-0. Shots on goal favored ND 19-6. OSU would challenge Doss, particularly with 2:30 remaining on a guided missle targeting a high corner. But Doss stood tall, showing equal skill with an outlet pass to a streaking Eddy Glazener. The half would end with both teams making stops, ground balls and saves almost even, but the Irish had the lead and control.
Nick Ossello removed any thought of a let down, opening the second half like an Express Train departing from the station. Picking up the ball from an OSU faceoff violation, the senior middie raced down the middle of the field, banging, spinning and shooting with a trail of defenders behind him. Ossello’s second goal of the game was vintage and gave ND a 4-0 lead. He wasn’t finished. A little more than a minute later, he became the sixth different Irish player to register a hat trick this year, pushing the lead to 5-0. Kids on the berm and parents in the bleachers responded with 12:45 remaining in the quarter. A television timeout would follow. The window for an OSU comeback was closing. Ossello would finish the day with three goals, 3/7 faceoffs won, while picking up three ground balls. With 0:59 seconds remaining in the quarter, Conor Doyle would score his second of the game, following a rebound from a Jim Marlatt rocket, to give the Irish a 6-0 advantage. It was Doyle’s fifth goal in two games. Ohio State would post 10 shots in the quarter, forcing Doss to make three saves. Still no goals. Focus slowly, but cautiously began shifting from the score to the clock. Notre Dame’s only shutout came over Mount Union in 1984. This was #15 Ohio State, defeaters of #3 Denver just a week ago.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Sergio Perkovic would score his 12th goal of the year, courtesy of a well-placed pass by Conor Doyle. Two minutes later, junior midfielder Cole Riccardi unleashed his fifth goal of the year for an 8-0 Irish advantage. Fresh legs began appearing with Jack Sheridan, Bobby Gray, Kyle Runyon, Pierre Byrne, Anthony Marini and Ben Pridemore in position. The defense wasn’t finished, as the possibility of a shutout began to register with the visitors. First, Garrett Epple collected his seventh ground ball. Coupled with four caused turnovers and a pair of sound hits, the sophomore defenseman turned in an all-star performance. With 7:03 remaining, freshman Brendan Collins thundered, dodged and shot low to high for his second goal of the season. Another highlight for the defense….but there was one more.
With 4:25 remaining, Conor Kelly would replace Doss in goal, with the Irish set to go one man down. Kelly would make two sterling saves, including one immediately as he entered. On the day, the Irish defense went five for five in killing Buckeye penalties, ended Jessie King’s 45 game scoring streak and registered the first shutout in 31 years, winning 9-0. Unselfish offense and smothering defense translated into a historic result. A recap of the highlights can be seen in the link below. Continued thanks to Rob Kelly, who contributes the photography each week.
Notre Dame will host #1 ranked and unbeaten Syracuse this coming Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU beginning at noon. The Orange are 7-0, with a 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference record. They feature one of the top rated attack, along with outstanding faceoff talent. Syracuse is coming of a 19-7 thrashing of Duke in the Carrier Dome. The Irish enter the game ranked #2, with a 5-1 overall record and 1-0 in the ACC. We’ll need fans from all generations at Arlotta. See you Friday!