Second-ranked Notre Dame took a page from last week’s Denver setback, coming back to defeat 12th ranked Virginia 11-10 in overtime in Charlottesville on Saturday. The game was delayed 72 minutes in the first quarter by inclement weather. Leading most of the first half, the Irish (4-1) had to rally to defeat the Cavaliers (5-3) late. The week prior, it was ND who trailed in the first half, led in the second half only to see Denver come back at the buzzer to win. Goalie Shane Doss was spectacular, tying a personal best with 14 saves, while scooping seven ground balls. Mikey Wynne and Sergio Perkovic each collected three goals, with seven different players scoring. Garrett Epple and Ryder Garnsey teamed in overtime on the dramatic game winner. With the win, the Irish move to 1-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The game preceded the year’s finest tailgate adjacent to historic Klockner Stadium. The Phillips, Garnseys, Schantz, Bloomers and Finleys organized a feast fit for a king. The Bloomers supplied the unbelievable chocolate bars and chocolate chip cookies. The Marcheses supplied the home-made pork and chicken sausage. John brought the grill, scenting the air with sausage, sauteed onions, broccoli rabe and roasted long hots. Cacia’s Bakery, a South Philly staple, provided the rolls. Mangia, it was delicious! My thanks to John, wife Roasalee and son Chris who served 100 tailgaters pre game and then a sequel plus 55 players post game. The sausage line ended at 11:04 pm. It was equally wonderful to see Phil and Donna Pfeifer, Geoff and Jim Marlatt, George and Jean Cotter, Grace and Kevin Doyle and John and Bobbie Arlotta. Thanks to those who graciously cleaned up twice. Social photos courtesy of Terry Doss and Kathy Koshansky.
Saturday’s contest was the 11th all-time with UVA. The Irish now lead the series 6-5, winning the last five. Last year’s game at Arlotta Stadium also went in overtime before Sergio Perkovic ended it. Notre Dame entered Saturday’s contest allowing a stingy 7.5 goals per game, tops in the ACC and 10th nationally. Virginia was scoring 16 goals per game, tops in the ACC, second best nationally. Something had to give. Notre Dame struck first, with Ryder Garnsey hitting Sergio Perkovic cutting to the net. Beautiful execution and the Irish led 1-0. Mikey Wynne made it 2-0 on a generous pass from Brendan Gleason in transition. Virginia would get one back less than a minute later to cut the deficit 2-1. UVA owned possession as a result of six ND turnovers, generating an early 11-4 advantage in shots. Doss registered five saves, keeping the Irish in the game.
With 3:17 remaining rain intensified and lightening approached. Play was called and the field was cleared. Families returned to their cars and an arena, while others took shelter in the stadium. A 6:00 pm start was restarted at 7:30pm, with the rain still intense. Two minutes into play resuming, Virginia tied it on the first of five goals by freshman Michael Kraus. As they’ve done all year, Notre Dame responded within a minute, as Mikey Wynne bounced a shot past a charging Virginia goalie. The quarter ended with the Irish leading 3-2, despite more turnovers (seven) than shots (five). At the other end, Doss blocked five.
Virginia struck less than two minutes into the second quarter to tie the game 3-3. The monsoon continued, with players repeatedly losing traction. Then came an Irish storm, producing consecutive goals by ND’s Bryan Costabile, Perkovic, Bobby Gray and Wynne, staking the Irish a 7-3 lead with 6:58 remaining. Four goals in a 2:55 span. Seven goals total on 10 shots (70%). For the year, the Irish are shooting at 30%. Kraus got his third of the game, 20th of the year a minute later to stop the ND run. The half would end with ND leading 7-4, thank Doss. With the Irish being out shot 25-14, he registered nine saves to UVA’s two. High and low, in tight and from 10 feet, Doss challenged shooters and several times ventured out to chase down ground balls. He finished with seven ground balls, tops on either team.
Three minutes into the second half, Virginia went on a 4-0 run of their own, taking their first lead 8-7 with 5:34 remaining. UVA’s Kraus started and completed the run with his fifth goal of the game. Five turnovers afforded the Cavaliers opportunities, a 13-6 advantage in ground balls provided second chances. The Wahoos won 4/7 face-offs in the quarter, 15/24 for the game. With the rain letting up, Brendan Gleason took a pass from Drew Schantz and launched sidearm, ending a 19 minute scoring drought with his sixth goal. We were tied at 8-8 with 2:38 remaining. Virginia responded shortly thereafter and the quarter ended with the Cavaliers leading 9-8. A Denver sequel?
The rain stopped for the fourth quarter as did the scoring for the first eight minutes. Both goalies were stellar, with Doss doing splits and UVA’s Griffin Thompson using masks and legs to keep the game close. A duel within the duel? Absolutely, the two goalies coached summer teams together in Jersey this past summer. With 8:20 remaining, Garnsey threaded a high pass to Pierre Bryne, who fought through tight defense and delivered the biggest goal of his career, top shelf. It was Garnsey’s third assist and tied the game at 9-9. UVA responded, scoring two minutes later. There was more. Sergio Perkovic would score his third, spinning to his left, launching heat high to the far post and we were tied at 10. In the final 4:47, both teams had their chances. Again, the Cavaliers won the ground ball battle 12-6 in the quarter, but acrobatic goal tending and smothering defense brought us to overtime – our third consecutive one-goal affair.
UVA secured possession but were stopped, only to thwart the Irish in turn. A second Cavalier effort was also cut short with Epple collecting a loose ball. As he approached midfield, Pierre Bryne elected to stay back on defense, allowing the two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Week to proceed into the offensive zone. Without hesitation, Epple proceeded to net while a curious defense watched and slid late. Like a wide receiver going to help his scrambling quarterback, Ryder Garnsey ran toward Epple. The burly defenseman sidearmed a pass to Garnsey, who caught while getting mugged. Garnsey sidearmed a low to high shot while falling that rippled the net and defeated Virginia. Mayhem followed, as Garnsey got up and sailor-dived into the turf and was smothered under a celebratory pile. The Irish had weathered a Wahoo storm, escaping with an 11-10 victory. Hard work for a conference win. See highlights via the link…ND/UVA Highlights
Fans and family greeted the coaches and players outside the stadium. A parade back to the tailgate included photo and autograph stops, reunions with old friends and smiles from Coaches Corrigan and Byrne. John Marchese and Kathy Koshansky braved the elements and UVA security to produce the game photos.
A trip to Charlottesville should always include local breakfast joints. My favorite is Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, where you can build your own plate. A mile off campus, you’re greeted by friends, order off the chalkboard and served within 12 minutes. The Chicken, waffles, eggs and hash browns with a side of biscuits and gravy was delicious. Seats 15 people max. On top of last night’s sausage, I’m cooked.
Notre Dame retained its #2 ranking in both the media and coaches polls. The media ranked Rutgers #1 via wins over Army (7-1) and Princeton (5-2). The coaches ranked Penn State #1 via wins over Villanova (3-4) and Penn (3-3). Rutgers and Penn State are both undefeated and in the Big 10, but neither has a Top 10 win or played a conference game. Another Big Ten team is Ohio State, who heads to South Bend this weekend 9-0 and ranked fourth. The Buckeyes dismantled Denver (5-2) last week in Columbus 16-7. They also have defeated Towson (4-2) and Marquette (3-2). Their team defense is ranked #3 nationally, surrendering 6.6 goals per game. Goalie Tom Carey is ranked sixth with a 61% save percentage while face off specialist Jake Withers is ranked eighth nationally, winning 64% of his draws. The game will be played at Arlotta Stadium at 2:00. We’re expecting a full house. See ya Saturday. Go Irish!