Weathering Wahoo


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.


Garrett Epple’s poise in overtime at both ends was rewarded.


Enabling teammates,  Ryder Garnsey is sixth nationally with 2.8 assists per game.







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.


Brendan Gleason ended a 19- minute Irish scoring drought.

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.


Hugh Crance collected four ground balls on a slick turf.

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?


Drew Schantz appears to wear a cape as he clears versus UVA.

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.


Pierre Byrne fought through close checking to tie the game 9-9.

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


Ryder Garnsey embraced the spotlight and made a play. He is ranked #11 nationally in points/game with 4.8.

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!


Expect A Sequel



Shane Doss posted 13 saves with help from Bobby Collins, Garrett Epple and Hugh Crance.

Sunday’s walk into a sold out Peter Barton Stadium had a different feel from Notre Dame’s last visit to Denver two years ago. The smell of brats and burgers on the grill was ever present as was a swirling wind and occasional sunshine.  But preseason-favorite Denver was coming off a rare home loss to Carolina while the Irish had smothered a Maryland team averaging 15 goals a game. So unexpectedly, it was the Irish who took the field ranked number one and Denver settling for the spoiler’s role. The last seven games against the Pioneers have been decided by nine goals, total.  The last three games and five of the last six required overtime. Preseason favorites, playing at home, coming off a loss, Denver needed a win. While the outcome of this game was familiar, the story line was much different. Neither team led by more than two, with Denver leading in the first half and Notre Dame ahead much of the second. Possessing the ball the final four minutes, Denver rallied. The sequel in May will have a better ending.


Ryder Garnsey distributed and dodged for a six point day.


John Sexton, Drew Schantz and Hugh Crance form an Irish Curtain in Denver.

For the record, Connor Cannizzaro scored with less than a second to play, leading fifth-ranked Denver (5-1) to an 11-10 comeback victory over top-ranked Notre Dame (3-1). Deja vu?  A year ago at Arlotta Stadium, Denver’s Tyler Pace tied the game 8-8 with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter. Saturday, Pace scored with 2:51 remaining to tie the game at 10-10.  It was the game’s seventh tie. We were a half second from a fourth consecutive overtime game before Cannizzaro’s heroics.  Each team got goals from at least six different scorers, using 24 players. For the Irish, Ryder Garnsey, Mikey Wynne and Drew Schantz each scored twice. Garnsey added four assists. Goalie Shane Doss posted 13 saves. There were six lead changes, highlight goals, acrobatic goal tending, yellow flags and a dramatic finish…as expected.

Liz and Dennis Leonard began the weekend, hosting parent nation at their beautiful, suburban Denver home on Saturday evening. Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a birthday cake for Julie Marini were plentiful. On the television, the ND  basketball team battled Duke in the ACC Championship. It was great to see the Carters, Olingers, Stinns and Crances from California, the Restics from Oregon and the Komatz from Denver. My thanks to the Leonards for a fun night and to Andrea Crance for capturing the fun in her photos. It was also great to see Bobby Arlotta.

Sunday’s Tailgate was led by the Finleys, Leonards, Komatz and Willetts. Breakfast wraps, fruit and spirits were abundant. Ski reports and game predictions were mixed with northeaster snow forecasts and travel advisories.  Terry Doss supplied the photos.

Spring Break made for a less raucous crowd than years past. The ND/DU game was the last of a six game home stand. The Irish took the field with  PJ Finley facing off against Trevor Baptiste. A member of Team USA, Baptiste won 19/24 on the day, while collecting 12 ground balls.  For the year, Baptiste, has  won 74% of his draws, collecting 57 ground balls in five games.


PJ Finley and John Sexton battle Trevor Baptiste.

Denver struck first.  Winning the opening face-off, 2016 Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Connor Cannizzaro scored short side from 10 feet out on an extra-man opportunity.  ND returned fire on their next possession when Ryder Garnsey patiently feathered a pass to a cutting Bryan Costabile. In traffic, the freshman finished and we were tied at 1-1 with three minutes played.

Bryan Costabile tied the game at 1.

The Pioneers scored the next two, the first on a sharp angle, the second via a nice back door cut on another man up opportunity to go up 3-1. With 6:27 left in the first quarter, Brendan Collins came into the game, collecting a pass and going to net. He got caught from behind, but fought off the check and fired high to score, bringing the Irish within one, 3-2. Ryder Garnsey would follow suit on an unassisted effort to tie the affair 3-3 with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter. For Garnsey, it was his 10th of the year. Enter Jack Kielty at defense.

Denver reclaimed the lead on a nasty low to high shot over Doss’ shoulder. The Pioneers extended the lead to two with 1:22 on a shot from 10 feet out, straight up the middle. The first quarter would end with the Irish out shot  (12-6), losing 6/9 face-offs and allowing two extra man goals. Yet, it was only 5-3.  Last year, we trailed 4-1 at home after scoring first.  The first road game against a strong rival, we were in good shape.


Brendan Collins scored his second of the year to pull ND within one.

The second quarter began with Denver claiming the face-off, but the Irish got two defensive stops. Doss made perhaps his finest save of the year, turning away a low to high bullet,  only to have the rebound come at him as he fell back.  He hung on to the second shot on his knees, before distributing the outlet pass. DU’s  Alex Ready  was equally magnificent, turning away Brian Willetts camped out on the crease.


Brian Willetts snapped his second goal of the year.

Mikey Wynne pulled ND closer with his ninth goal of the year on a no-look pass from Garnsey. It was ND’s first extra man advantage goal in three games on a unit that now included Willetts and Anthony Marini. Garnsey almost tied it when he broke in alone on Denver goalie Ready, who was equal. The Pioneers then extended their lead to 6-4 on a wrap around. But ND responded, with Brendan Gleason performing his own magic from behind the net, drawing a slide and feeding Brian Willetts, who buried a laser from 10 feet to pull ND back to 6-5. On the ensuing face-off, John Sexton picked up the ground ball and went directly to net. Drawing the defensive slide,  he hit Garnsey,  who threaded a pass to Drew Schantz, who scored.. To quote Irish alum Eamon McAnaney, “We Are Tied!”   With 2:22 remaining, the Irish had clawed back. Four times Denver had taken a lead, yet we were deadlocked at 6-6.  Last year, it was 7-2  and one-sided. The Irish were toe to toe on the road with the preseason favorite.

Drew Schantz scored twice, collected two ground balls and led the transition.

Bobby Gray’s laser appeared to ripple the net as we began the third quarter, but play continued. The Irish took their first lead at 7-6 on Mikey Wynne’s second of the game. Garnsey supplied the assist, his fourth. The Pioneers responded with a desperate behind the back shot, short side.  The quarter would end with Marini urgently dodging from the sideline and getting to net, but shooting wide to leave us deadlocked at 7-7.  A first half that included 12 goals, was followed by a third quarter that produced just two. Flash back to a year ago, the Irish trailed at home 7-2, but would own the fourth quarter.


Pat Healy was on his toes versus Cannizzaro.

The Irish struck first in the final stanza, with vintage Garnsey going to net. He faked a shot, took a step to net and snapped a low line drive between the goalie’s legs, 8-7.  DU won the ensuing face off and after a loose ball scrum, scored in transition 17 seconds later to tie at 8-8. Just 32 seconds later, Schantz bounced a shot in and the Irish began to look more like the veteran team, leading 9-8. Denver needed a win and played like it, scoring on an uncontested shot from eight feet with 12:43 left to play, 9-9. After a clutch Doss save down low, Sergio Perkovic found time and room with high to low heat on a man up goal and the Irish were back up 10-9. After three games without an extra man goal, ND now had three in one game. Denver goalie Ready may have saved the game, when he forced a Mikey Wynne shot wide from in tight with less than five minutes to play. Two successive Irish penalties afforded Denver a two-man advantage with 3:02 left. As he did in 2016, Denver’s Tyler Pace wasted little time, tying it at 10-10 w 2:51 left and still had 49 seconds left on a one-man advantage. The Irish kept Denver scoreless, despite patient and precise Pioneer ball rotation, looking for a mismatch. With under 10 seconds remaining, Cannizzaro dropped the ball behind the net. Garrett Epple gave chase.  A fourth consecutive


Garrett Epple held Denver four goals below their average.

overtime appeared certain. But Cannizzaro picked up the ball and extended around the net, falling and flicking a shot past Doss and into the net as time expired. A broken play led to a sudden, 11-10 defeat.


Sergio Perkovic put the Irish up 10-9.

The loss turns Grace Hall dark for now, with Denver claiming the top ranking in both the coaches’ and media polls.  Notre Dame is now ranked second in the media poll, third in the coaches’ poll.  You can watch highlights of this game via the link below. My thanks to Kathy Koshansky for flying cross country to provide these photos.
                      ND/Denver Highlights
The Irish open conference play this Saturday in Charlottesville at 6:00 pm on ESPNU.   The 12th-ranked Cavaliers (5-2) are averaging 16 goals per game.  We are planning a mighty tailgate with a favorable forecast and John Marchese-made sausage. Looking forward to seeing the Pfeifers and all of the Virginia/Maryland alums.  You need two conference wins to make the ACC Tournament. See ya Saturday in Charlottesville. Go Irish!Denver17Fans















































































































































































































































































































































































Pulling Rank


ACC Defensive Player of the Week Garrett Epple held Maryland’s Matt Rambo scoreless while forcing four turnovers.

Fourth-ranked Notre Dame held second-ranked Maryland to four goals, forcing 13 turnovers en route to a 5-4 victory at chilly Arlotta Stadium on Saturday. ACC Defensive Player of the Week and Maryland native Garrett Epple caused four Terrapin turnovers and collected six ground balls for the Irish. Midfielder Drew Schantz  and long stick middie John Sexton were everywhere, collecting three ground balls and limiting the Terps to 19 shots.


PJ Finley won 6/10 face-offs and played strong defense.

The Irish (3-0) got two goals including the game winner from sophomore Brendan Gleason and one each from Mikey Wynne, Bryan Costabile and Ryder Garnsey. Goalie Shane Doss posted six saves. With the win and North Carolina’s 13-9 defeat of top-ranked Denver, the Irish replaced Denver and Maryland atop the nation’s rankings in both polls.  Although it’s March, the #1 beacon will glow from Grace Hall.

Grace Hall Signage

Grace Hall beams when ND ascends.

The Doss, Garnsey, Travisano and Sexton families joined the Finleys in preparing a rousing pregame at The Ivy. The last time a top-ranked team visited South Bend was in 2015, when Jack Near went coast to coast in double overtime to defeat Syracuse.  Saturday, Near was back in town with former teammates Matt Landis, Cole Riccardi, Jim Marlatt, Connor McCollough, Conor Kelly, Eddie Lubowicki, Carl Walrath and Eddy Glazener.  They were welcomed, sharing spirits and fixings that included a gourmet display of smoked meats and cheeses supplied by Kristina Perkovic and legendary grappa by her husband Vasko. A 9:00 am tailgate accommodated a noon face-off.  Thank you Terry Doss for supplying the social shots below.  Special thanks to Bobby Arlotta, who supplied us with memorable action photography we hung on the Ivy walls, capturing recent ND lacrosse lore.  Bobby’s work is fantastic and can be seen online at Inside Lacrosse.

Maryland (4-1) last visited South Bend in April 2014, defeating the Irish 12-8.  The Irish returned the favor a week later in an epic ACC Tournament semifinal, 6-5.  It was Epple, who caused the turnover, picked up by Near who sprinted down field. He hit Matt Kavanagh in stride, who scored far post with less than 10 seconds remaining, sending the Irish to an ACC title game they would win.


Tireless Bobby Collins logged a lot of minutes.

ND defeated Maryland a month later in the NCAA Semifinals 11-6 and last year 9-4 in the Pacific Shootout in Costa Mesa, California.

Will Young led the team onto the field Saturday with bag pipes in hand, while Vasko and the Leprechaun danced in the bleachers. The Irish were coming off a 16-5 victory over Michigan, shutting out the Wolverines the final 28 minutes of the game.  Maryland defeated Yale 8-7 in a game delayed twice due to weather. The Terrapins entered South Bend ranked first in the media poll, second in the coaches’ poll. Notre Dame was fourth in both.


John Sexton collected three ground balls while causing two turnovers.

 A game-time temperature of 32 degrees,  a physical rivalry and two highly ranked, undefeated teams contributed to nine combined turnovers and  a scoreless first quarter.  While both teams entered the game averaging more than 15 goals per contest, the first quarter resembled a heavy weight fight with both teams anxious and unable to get in sync offensively.


Eric Restic (39), Shane Doss (41) and Garrett Epple  (52) force one of 13 turnovers on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium.

 The second quarter  opened up a bit,  with the Irish carrying play, hitting three posts within a minute, two on the same extra man opportunity. Maryland struck first, with Dylan Maltz scoring from in tight. The Terps led 1-0 despite being out shot 10-5. Six minutes later, sophomore Brendan Gleason made a sharp cut from the right sideline,  toward the middle of the field.  Finding a cavity of space, the lefty snapped a sidearm laser falling to the ground. A ripple of the net and we were tied at 1-1. A sun-drenched crowd on the berm erupted. The Irish needed 24 minutes to get on the board.  Looking to seize the momentum,  Mikey Wynne would scoop up a loose ball near midfield 60 seconds later to secure possession.

Mikey Wynne scored his eighth goal.

He tossed to line mate Garnsey and kept running. Garnsey returned a pass to a streaking Wynne, who caught and finished on the crease.  His eighth goal of the year gave ND their first lead with 4:59 remaining in the half.  Momentum swung to the Irish,  now out shooting Maryland 11-3 in the quarter, while collecting nine more ground balls (15-6). Maryland goalie Dan Morris was forced to make four saves in the quarter. He had 10 in the first half. Shane Doss had zero in the quarter, three for the half.  The first half ended at 2-1.
Quarter number three included opportunities for each team, as both pushed the tempo despite the brisk temperature. Maryland caught a break when the Irish were hit with two penalties on the same play.  Playing two-players short for 30 seconds, the defense kept Maryland at the perimeter without a quality shot.  Penalty time had expired when Maryland’s Colin Heacock got a wrap around goal four minutes into the quarter and we were tied at 2-2.  There was more to come.

Hugh Crance collected three ground balls and contributed mightily.

Before the visitor’s could finish celebrating, the Irish won the ensuing face-off and advanced the ball behind the Terrapin net. Garnsey would take possession on a sharp angle off the right crease. A quick step to the left and the waive of a stick, created a slither of seperation with his defender. Garnsey then stepped quickly right, launching sidearm, low to high while almost parallel to goal. John Marchese captured the shot below. A sniper with time and room would be challenged to make that shot. Garnsey scored and the Irish were back on top, 3-2.  A Sports Center moment for #50.


With barely a dip of the shoulder, Ryder Garnsey went low to high to put the Irish up 3-2 in the third.

The two teams battled for the next eight minutes, as the Terps picked up the pace, out shooting the Irish in the third quarter 7-5.  Doss made two fine  saves.  Freshmen Jack Kielty and Eric Restic continued to impress, each collecting a ground ball and unfazed by the magnitude of the moment.  Defensive middies Schantz, Bobby Collins and Nick Koshansky were tireless warriors. Freshman Jacob Kanak and Peter Gayhardt also contributed in their first Maryland melee.  At one point, face-off specialist PJ Finley was forced to play extended defense and answered the bell.

Sensing time was urgent, the Terps would tie the game with 2:28 remaining in the quarter on an even strength effort by middie Connor Kelly.  Despite carrying most of the game and out shooting Maryland 21-12, we were suddenly tied 3-3.  The visitors exhaled again, dodging the best defense they had seen all year.

The ensuing face-off brought about a face-off violation that went to Notre Dame. Freshman midfielder Bryan Costabile, another Maryland resident, picked up the loose ball and headed down field. Cutting toward the middle of the field, he went to net, shooting over hand and placing his shot top shelf, sending Irish Nation to their feet. Mayhem!  Tied for just 22 seconds, the Irish would close out the quarter leading 4-3.   Twice, the Terps had tied the game and twice the Irish countered with goals less than a minute later.  To salt the wound, Maryland got the ball with 1:40 remaining in the quarter looking to tie.  But ND’s defense never allowed a shot, banging, rotating and smothering Maryland’s vaunted shooters.


Eric Restic (39), Hugh Crance (30) and Jack Kielty (10) limited  Maryland to a season-low four goals.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter Brendan Gleason came from behind the net and again found space in the middle of the Terp defense.  He proceeded to the net, shooting up high, giving the Irish a needed two-goal cushion at 5-3.  The Irish had two opportunities to increase their lead, but their extra man efforts were less than productive.


Brendan Gleason came from behind the net, found a seam and shot top shelf for the game winner versus Maryland.

The two teams sparred through the fourth to bring us down to the game’s final minutes.  Neither appeared tired, yet Maryland only played 22 players with the Irish deploying 25. Both carry more than 50. When Doss went low to stop Maryland with 1:06 remaining, he hit Sexton with the outlet and the game appeared over. After an Irish timeout, Maryland pulled their goalie and forced a turnover.  They scored with just 18 seconds remaining.  The ensuing face-off went to the Terps.  Poised for a final effort,  Maryland’s final dash was cut short by Maryland resident Mikey Wynne, who’s trail check sent the ball and Terp aspirations to the ground.  ND closed out 5-4!   You can watch some of the game’s top plays on the link below. Please thank John Marchese, Ralph Sexton and Kathy Koshansky for their photography.


Kyle Borbi mixes it up with a crew of former players after the game.

With the win, the Irish improved to 3-0 and head west to take on preseason favorite Denver.  The Pioneers lost to Carolina at home last week, 13-9. The Irish seniors will be looking for their first win versus Coach Bill Tierney. ND is 14-7 versus Denver in a series that began in 1992. Our last three games and five of the past six have gone into overtime. Saturday’s Rocky Mountain forecast includes 70 degree sunshine and a focused Denver team. Sunday’s game is 3:00 ET and will be broadcast on Altitude TV. Looking forward to catching up with the Ossellos and visiting the Leonard and Komtatz families.  Go Irish!

Do Not Enter



Winter winning streaks visiting South Bend rarely exit intact. The most famous was UCLA’s 88-game winning streak, halted by the Irish basketball team in 1974.  In lacrosse, you only have to go back two years when undefeated Syracuse  visited Arlotta Stadium, ranked first nationally. The Orange were coming off wins over Cornell, Virginia, Hopkins and Duke.  It took double overtime, but Jack Near ended their streak on a brisk South Bend Saturday. Marquette brought their best team into South Bend, red hot last year three days after ND defeated Duke. A determined defense and Matt Kavanagh closed them out in overtime. Air Force followed, sporting a 15-game winning streak into the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Irish grounded the Air Force on a frigid May evening, terminating the Falcon’s best season. So when Michigan entered blustery Arlotta Stadium this past Sunday undefeated and part of a Big Ten Conference who’s cumulative record was 23-0, there was streak acknowledgement and anticipation…..until………….


Hugh Crance shut down Michgian’s offense.

Notre Dame received goals from 10 different players while shutting out Michigan for the final 28:50 of the game, handing the Wolverines (4-1) their first defeat of the season, 16-5.  Two minutes into the second half, the fourth-ranked Irish (2-0) went on a 9-0 run, shutting down a Michigan offense that was averaging 15 goals per game.  A 7-5 contest was suddenly 16-5. My count had 34 players seeing the field for the Irish.  The knock out punch came from freshman  defenseman Jack Kielty, who went sidearm with his long pole while getting hit, launching a guided missile to the back of the net for his first career goal.


John Sexton made a save in net, caused a turnover and collected four ground balls.

Kielty also collected a team-high four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Fellow frosh Brian Willetts and  Bryan Costabile also scored, their first and third goals, respectively.  On a day when Notre Dame out shot Michigan 54-21, they held the Wolverines to one goal in the final 30 minutes, ending another streak in wintry South Bend.


Timmy Phillips scored twice for the Irish.

The weekend began with parent nation descending upon South Bend in spurts on Saturday afternoon, with O’Rourkes,  Brothers and The Morris Inn serving as landing destinations. A late Saturday practice chased most families into restaurants later than normal. Lubo the Leprechaun greeted everyone Sunday morning in the ACC Room of The Inn at Ivy Court. Liz and Paul Finley kicked off our first home tailgate with an overflow crowd. Kristina and Vasko Perkovic delighted all with a delicious breakfast spread from their Detroit restaurant…”Beautiful!”

All classes were represented, but a special welcome went to the freshman parents, who were engaged and eager.  Another outstanding collection of photos was supplied by Kathy Koshansky, John Marchese and Terry Doss.  Access to these, past and future photos is available via the tab at the top of the page.  Thanks to all for making the first home tailgate a rousing success.

A few shout outs to present and past players. Last week, sophomore Ryder Garnsey was named NCAA Lacrosse Player of the Week, contributing six goals and two assists in the team’s season-opening win versus Georgetown in Frisco, Texas.  Sergio Perkovic was named Weaver-James-Corrigan ACC Postgraduate Scholarship, the only male lacrosse player in the ACC. Perkovic has a cumulative GPA of 3.67 while pursuing a finance degree in The Mendoza College of Business.  He has achieved Dean’s List on four occasions and is a three-time ACC All-Academic recipient. On the field, he is a two-time All-ACC selection (2015, 2016), has started every game (49) of his Irish career and was voted a 2017 captain.


Sergio Perkovic earned ACC post graduate honors.

On Monday, senior defenseman Garrett Epple was named Co-ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Week for his play against Michigan. Epple was relentless around the Irish net, causing a team high two turnovers. Only months removed from significant back injury, he led an Irish defense that allowed one goal in the second half versus Michigan.


Garrett Epple smothered Mighigan.




Lastly, former bag piper and defenseman Eddy Glazener will be lacing them up again as a member of the MLL Champion Denver Outlaws.  Glaze joins former teammates Matt Kavinagh and Nick Ossello. Congratulations Glaze,  I know your parents will travel.


Ann, Eddy and Chris Glazener

As for Sunday’s game, parent nation hustled from The Ivy across the street to Arlotta on a sunny, windy and brisk Sunday, either to extend or extinguish The Big Ten’s 2017 winning streak. Penn State, Rutgers , Ohio State and Maryland had already won. Johns Hopkins had battered defending champion Carolina, bringing The Big 10 to a perfect 23-0 record to open the season.  The only game yet to be decided for the Big 10 was Michigan versus ND.


Pat Healy (8) and PJ Finley (31) at the face-off X.

Despite winning the opening face-off, the Wolverines came out tight, turning the ball over on their first possession. They then spotted the Irish an early 1-0 lead when a defenseman inadvertently shot the ball into his own net while handing the ball to his goalie. Mikey Wynne was closest to the net and credited. He would score his second of the game two minutes later.  Ryder Garnsey would pick up where he left off from the last game, dodging a goalie and a crowd to put the Irish up 3-0 with seven minutes played. Michigan bounced back, scoring the next two less than two minutes apart.


Ryder Garnsey split Michigan’s defense to score. He had 2 goals, 2 assists.

After Hugh Crance and Pat Healy displayed some tenacious defense, Drew Schantz and Pierre Byrne would scored their first goals of the year, closing out the first quarter with the Irish leading 5-2.  Schantz scored in transition while Byrne streaked in from the wing and went far post.  Enter Anthony Marini and Brian Willetts at attack.

Michigan’s Brent Noseworthy scored his 12th goal of the year just 54 seconds into the second quarter. Brendan Gleason erased that, cutting to the net, he finished a feed from Brian Willetts.  Less than two minutes later, Willetts used the new turf to bounce his first collegiate goal into the net with the Irish leveraging a man advantage. Michigan responded with a goal in tight to close out the half and the Irish leading 7-4. While face-offs and ground balls were even, shots on goal (25-9) and turnovers (5-12) were clearly in ND’s favor.  Defense was leading to possessions and opportunities.


Brian Willetts scored his first goal on Sunday.

Michigan opened scoring in the second half on their first possession, cutting ND’s lead to 7-5. It would be their final tally.  Timmy Phillips’s first of the season was followed by Ryder Garnsey’s second of the day and Kielty’s sidewinder to extend ND’s lead to 10-5. Schantz assisted on the previous two scores for a three-point night.  At this point, shots were 36-15.  In between the goals, Hugh Crance, Pat Healy, Jack Kielty, Garrett Epple, John Sexton and Eric Restic were rotating and causing havoc around the net. While Doss made four saves in the quarter, Nick Koshansky, Bobby Collins, Schantz and Austin Gaiss were limiting Michigan offense to six shots. The Wolverines were averaging four goals per quarter.

A Pierre Byrne wrap around, where he elevated to score his second was followed by Bryan Costabile’s third of the season. Sergio Perkovic then launched high heat far post, extending the lead to 13-5. Brendan Gleason’s second came on a nice feed from Brendan Collins. That goal prompted a Doss departure, with Owen Molloy taking over goalie duties. Joining Molloy were Chris Carter, Patrick Hadley, Will Young, Kyle Hyland, Ben Pridemore, Jordan Walter, Keaton Komatz and Charlie Trense.  Kyle Hyland moved into the face-off X. Apologies for anyone that I missed.


Pierre Byrne was a step ahead all day.

Mikey Wynne completed his hat trick on a man advantage, with Garnsey collecting a second assist. Marini, Willetts and Tyler Ruhle were playing  attack when Timmy Phillips closed out the scoring on a nice move to the net, going far post for a 16-5 finish.  The Big Ten was now 23-1.  The Irish are 2-0, with another streak ended abruptly in South Bend.


Mikey Wynne scored another hat trick.

Second-ranked Maryland, another Big Ten member and last year’s national runner up, visits South Bend at high noon on Saturday. The media poll has them top-ranked with Denver, who we play next week. The Terps possess one of the nation’s most potent offenses, with three starters returning from last year’s team that lost to Carolina in the NCAA Championship. The Irish defeated the Terps 9-4 in a close battle in California. Maryland has reached the Final Four five of the past six years. They’re currently 4-0, coming off a one-goal defeat of Yale. We’ll need the home field advantage.  See ya Friday night. Go Irish!


Paul Finley and Lubo.




Ryding and Wynning

Left handed, right handed, upright, falling, assisted and unassisted, attack man Ryder Garnsey scored six goals and assisted on two others leading fourth-ranked Notre Dame to a season-opening 16-10 victory over Georgetown (0-2) in Frisco, Texas this past Saturday. Serving as a featured match of the Ninth Annual Patriot Cup, the game was one of five played  at Ford Center at The Star,  the Dallas Cowboy’s new, $1.1b headquarters and practice facility. Fellow attack man Mikey Wynne scored four times, while senior PJ Finley won 14/23 face-offs,  freshman Bryan Costabile was productive and long stick middie John Sexton was disruptive.  It’s the 15th consecutive season-opening win for Head Coach Kevin Corrigan, who’s now 26-3 in seasons debuts.

The players arrived on Thursday, with a walk through and tour of the 91-acre Cowboys’ facility and five Super Bowl trophies.  Friday’s agenda included a practice  at Frisco’s Memorial Stadium. Parent nation streamed in from all corners on Friday afternoon…The Crances, Stinns and Carters from California, the Garnseys and  Gleasons from New England, Perkovics from Detroit, Komatzs from Colorado and more than a dozen regulars from Long Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Marcia and Nick Beare served as our local hosts, including a spectacular dinner Saturday night at their home.


A spectacular February day outside……



Inside, a 12,000 seat arena and much more.





Friday night’s get together at The Ginger Man included darts and pool. Saturday’s pre-game tailgate included balmy 70-degree sunshine, breakfast sandwiches and Bloody Mary’s adjacent to The Star. Liz and Paul Finley were joined by Marcia and Nick Beare early, thank you.  The Dallas Chapter of the Notre Dame Alumni sponsored an outstanding barbecue following the game, with the team, coaches and staff joining us.  It was great to see John Near, Jerry and Maryann Sheridan.  An Irish shout out to former ND goalie and piper Colt Power (’12), who’s family and mother sat with the parents during the game. Power took over the bagpipes from Regis McDermott, then handed them to Ryan Mix in 2013.

Junior Will Young led Notre Dame onto the field Saturday as Notre Dame’s newest piper. Young takes over from two-year piper Eddy Glazener. The game was  the 16th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Georgetown, with the Irish holding an 8-7 edge in the series, having won the last five showdowns.


Piper Will Young

After playing defense the first three minutes of the game, Notre Dame scored in transition on crisp passing from a streaking Bryan Costabile, who dished to Brendan Gleason, who found Mikey Wynne on the doorstep, and he finished for a 1-0 Irish lead. Gleason, Wynne and Garnsey made up the attack, with Costabile, Sergio Perkovic and Pierre Byrne running the offensive midfield. Drew Shantz and Nick Koshansky were your defensive middies. John Sexton is a beast LSM. Goalie Shane Doss came into the game 27-10.   He recorded one save in the first half , seeing sporadic action.


Mikey Wynne had four goals on five shots.

Garnsey scored his first goal of the game unassisted. He came in from behind the net, faked a pass and dunked one while tip toeing on the crease.  Timmy Phillips and Brendan Collins were now at midfield.  It was Pierre Byrne who fed Costabile who launched low, far post for a 3-0 ND lead before goalie Shane Doss had recorded a save with 5:55 left in the first quarter.  Enter Bobby Gray at midfield. The Irish out shot the Hoyas 13-6, but the score remained 3-0 through one quarter.

Georgetown got on the board, scoring two minutes into the second quarter. They scored again in transition to climb within 3-2 on a low to high laser from Peter Conley. Two goals within 51 seconds. Doss appeared to be screened.  Conley had five of the Hoyas’ 10 goals and 13 of 29 their shots.


Bryan Costabile had two goals and five ground balls.

The first of several highlight moments would come on the ensuing Irish possession.  Ryder Garnsey caught a Wynne pass almost parallel to the goal, dipped his shoulder and launched a scorching ,sidearm shot low to high, rippling the back of the net for a 4-2 lead. He had a window of inches to shoot and found it. Meanwhile, Finley was winning 7/8 face-offs, giving the Irish the ball and a chance for more. The Hoyas scored next, closing to within 4-3 with 7:20 to play.


PJ Finley won 14/23 faceoffs, giving the Irish the ball and the defense a rest.

Sergio Perkovic answered, unassisted, as he found softness in the Hoya defense and fired overhand to push the lead back to two goals with 6:30 remaining in the half.  With four minutes remaining,  Hoya goalie Nick Marrocco had already recorded 11 saves, while Doss had just one. Highlight reel shot number two came when Garnsey approached from behind the net, rolling toward his natural left hand, he stopped, switch hands and shooting as a rightie, sent a low, guided missile two inches inside the near post.  A first half hat trick with more to come. Georgetown would score the next two, including a man-up tally with 29 seconds in the half to close within 6-5 at intermission.   The Irish launched 24 first half shots, forcing the Hoya goalie to make 12 saves, while allowing six. The Hoyas took 14 shots, with Doss allowing five and recording one save.   Eight of the Hoya’s 14 shots missed the net. They’d improve in the second half.


Hugh Crance caused a turnover and collected a ground ball in the opener.


Shane Doss made five saves in the second half to collect the win.





Garnsey’s fourth goal of the game set the Irish in motion.  Mikey Wynne then scored twice within 18 seconds, the second on a Matt Kavanagh-like pass from Garnsey.  He moved and  looked left, drawing the defense to move with him and then feathered a pass to the right, where Wynne  resides, on the crease.  Wynne finished for his third goal of the game and a 9-5 Irish advantage with 9:47 remaining in the third. With a midfield of Bobby Gray, Brendan Collins and Timmy Phillips, Garnsey found a cutting Collins who caught and shot in stride for a 10-5 lead. Perkovic took a pass from Pierre Byrne, moving to his left, shot far post to put ND up 11-5.  Garnsey’s fifth goal and a charge to the net by Brendan Gleason would cap a 7-0 third-quarter run covering just over 10 minutes to put ND up 13-5 with 4:53 remaining.  Georgetown got one back with one minute remaining, but when the quarter ended, the Irish were up 13-6 and looking for more.


John Sexton caused three turnovers and collected four ground balls.



Captain Nick Koshansky returned to action causing turnovers.










John Travisano won a face-off to begin the fourth.  That’s when freshman Brian Willetts picked up a loose ball and fed Mikey Wynne for a quick dunk to claim goal number four.  The Irish now led 14-6.  Georgetown would then score four straight, two in 29 seconds and the Irish lead was reduced again, 14-10.  Bryan Costabile would score his second on high heat  after taking a pass from Willetts.   Garnsey would then go to net for his sixth goal and a final score of 14-6.  A game of runs, individual efforts and a show of depth from ND.

Highlights from the game can be seen via the link below.  My thanks to all of the parents who contributed to the tailgate, Julie Marini for coordination of team and parent nation. Special thanks to Kathy Koshansky for delivering stellar game photography. Terry Doss, Paul Finley and Steve Collins contributed the social shots.

Notre Dame vs Georgetown Highlights

The Irish retained their fourth ranking and will host Michigan this Sunday at 2:00 pm at Arlotta Stadium.  Tailgate details have been distributed. The Wolverines are already 4-0, averaging 15 goals a game as members of the Big 10 Conference. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.  Mandy Merritt contributed the photo below.  See ya Saturday on Eddy Street, Sunday at Arlotta. Go Irish!


Go Irish!









Since the Notre Dame preseason trip to Sarasota one month ago, Bellarmine, Air Force and Detroit lacrosse  teams have visited The Loftus Sports Center with similar story lines. An Irish win, kick started by sound defense and an offensive run in the first half.  With preseason concluded,  rankings released, All-American and All-Conference honors bestowed, leadership development completed, captains selected and a new bagpiper warming,  the curtain on the 2017 season goes up Saturday!


The Dallas Cowboys’ new home.



The Patriot Cup returns to North Texas for its ninth annual tournament, hosted for the fist time at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. It’s spectacular! There’s a link below to preview this $1b, 91-acre home to the Dallas Cowboys.  Fourth-ranked Notre Dame will battle Georgetown, one of five games scheduled for the day.  The other college game will feature Stanford versus Duke in a women’s contest showcasing  two of the nations’s best. The Irish face off at 2:00 ET, with the game broadcast live on ESPNU.

Notre Dame  defeated Georgetown 12-7 in the season opener a year ago in Kennesaw, Georgia.  The Irish entered that game as the nation’s top ranked team, while Georgetown was ranked #13. Notre Dame raced to a 4-0 start, with Sergio Perkovic scoring twice.


PJ Finley won 16/21 at the X last year versus the Hoyas in Atlanta.

GTSergio gets mugged

Sergio Perkovic was mugged and still scored four goals in last year’s opener.

Despite the 4-0 lead, Shane Doss had to make six saves in the first quarter.  The Hoyas got as close as 7-4 in the third, before Ryder Garnsey and Hugh Crance would  score their first collegiate goals.  Matt Kavanagh would collect four assists, while PJ Finley won 16/21 face-offs and Shane Doss finished with 14 saves.  Perkovic would lead all scorers with four goals, with Mikey Wynne tallying three.  John Sexton collected four ground balls and caused three turnovers.


Eddy Glazener and the Irish D held the Hoyas to seven goals in the 2016 opener.

Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game with all-star talent despite the graduation of Matt Kavanagh and Matt Landis, two of the program’s most decorated players. The Irish feature three preseason first team All Americans. Midfielder Sergio Perkovic, defenseman Garrett Epple and goalie Shane Doss were recognized by Inside Lacrosse and by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Perkovic is receiving  early Tewaaraton Trophy consideration as the nation’s top player. Ryder Garnsey and John Sexton received third team All-American honors. Attackman Mikey Wynne received All-American Honorable Mention as well as All ACC honors. Notre Dame finished second with 21 points from the five  ACC coaches to North Carolina’s 23 points. Syracuse  (16), Duke (9) and Virginia (6) round out the preseason team voting .   In case you missed it, #7 Duke lost it’s season opener at home to #19 Air Force, 10-9.  It’s the second consecutive year the Blue Devils lost to the Falcons. The #5th ranked Loyola Greyhounds also lost, falling to the Virginia Cavaliers 16-15 in Baltimore.      bell-irish-helmet

Head Coach Kevin Corrigan begins his 29th season with the Irish, second among active coaches in tenure only to Delaware’s Bob Shillinglaw, who announced last month this will be his final season. Corrigan has won 69% of his games, while finishing as national runner-up twice and earning a spot in the quarterfinal seven consecutive times.  He’s joined by the best defensive coach in the nation, Gerry Byrne.  Entering his 11th season in his second stint with the Irish, Byrne  has won 76% of his games, with ND qualifying for the NCAA Tournament all 10 seasons. Matt Karweck, a 2006 graduate, begins his fourth year as the offensive assistant. He has coached the Irish to two ACC Championships en route to a 35-14 record. The Irish will be led by senior captains Sergio Perkovic, Nick Koshansky, Anthony Marini and Shane Doss.  Leading the team onto the field before each game will be bagpiper Will Young.  The junior defenseman carries forward the tradition begun by alum Sean Meehan in 1996 and mastered by defenseman Eddy Glazener the past two years.


ND’s original piper, Sean Meehan.

Saturday’s trip to The Star is the first of five road trips that will include March visits to Denver and Charlottesville.  Denver defeated Air Force to open their season and now hold the nation’s top ranking in both polls. Our last trip to Peter Barton Stadium ended the same way last year’s game ended in Arlotta, a Denver win in overtime. The game is already sold out.  The trip to Charlottesville, a foodie favorite, will be played at beautiful Klockner Stadium under the lights against a Virginia team who upset #5 Loyola to open the season. We’re looking forward to seeing the Pfeifers and Milikens.  We’ll visit Durham in April to enjoy barbecue and play #7 Duke.  We’ll end the regular season at spectacular West Point, home to the US Military Academy.  Our tailgate adjacent to Michie Stadium two seasons ago was legendary courtesy of the Doyle family and friends.  Preparation for the sequel is already in progress, thanks Bob Rogers.

Arlotta Stadium in South Bend has hosted many of the program’s most epic games.  This year’s schedule promises more of the same, with Notre Dame set to host Michigan, #2 Maryland, #17 Ohio State, #5 Syracuse, #18 Marquette and #3 North Carolina.  The Carolina game is already sold out.  We shut out Ohio State during their last visit and beat Marquette in overtime. But few will forget the epic battles against Syracuse and Carolina, where overflow Arlotta crowds and national television audiences saw ND defeat both in overtime. Jack Near went coast to coast against the Orange while Matt Kavanagh went low far post in a chippy battle versus Carolina.  Mayhem followed each, as did a trip to The Final Four.

An Irish shout out to former ND assistant, now head coach at Monmouth University,  Brian Fisher.  His Hawks upset #16 Villanova 12-10 this past Saturday to begin the program’s fourth season.  Coach Fish recruited some of the Irish seniors before heading to Monmouth.  The team and program have progressed in each of his three years. Congrats!


Brian Fisher

Friday night happy hour and Saturday pre and post game tailgates will bookend the most important game of the year, Georgetown. The Beare, Finley and Marini families, with support from the ND Alumni Club, have planned quite a weekend.  In person or on ESPNU,  clear your schedule, as ours begins this Saturday at 2:00.  Go Irish!

Take a tour of The Dallas Cowboys $1b home





An Early Rise

Five different Notre Dame players scored in Sunday’s first quarter, staking the Irish a 6-2 lead they would ride to a 15-6 victory over Detroit in South Bend. Goalie Shane Doss surrendered just two goals while defensemen Pat Healy, Hugh Crance and freshman Jack Kielty stifled the Titan attack. Few ground balls escaped long stick middie John Sexton, who also scored. In all, 13 ND players scored, with Owen Molloy closing the door in goal in the second half. Notre Dame finished the preseason 3-1 with opening day in Dallas on February 18 versus Georgetown.


Sergio Perkovic scored twice from center ice  between periods Saturday at an ND hockey game, rewarding a young fan with an unexpected prize.

Gina and Brian Collins led parent nation, while taking notes and snapping pictures for this blog.  Many thanks for their efforts at this 8:45 am Super Bowl Sunday affair.


Brian Collins captured the action on the sideline.

As he’s done throughout the spring, midfielder Brendan Gleason set the Irish in motion after PJ Finley won the opening draw.  Mikey Wynne drew the assist just 47 seconds into the first quarter. Three minutes later, Detroit would tie the game and then take their only lead. Following a smothering ND ride, the Irish forced a turnover. John Sexton would claim the ground ball, streak to net and fire a sidewinder low to high for his second goal of the preseason, deadlocking the score, 2-2 with seven minutes played.  Kyle Hyland joined the face-off rotation, winning a draw that Sergio Perkovic would ultimately launch to the back of the net to reclaim the lead, 3-2.  Ryder Garnsey returned to action,  setting up Pierre Byrne, who’s goal made it 4-2.  Perkovic then returned the favor, setting up a Garnsey score on a man advantage. Wynne would then set up a Garnsey goal to make it 6-2, which is how the quarter ended.


Nick Koshansky continues to return to form.

The second quarter wasn’t as crisp as the first, with the only goal coming from Mikey Wynne on a precise pass from freshman attackman Brian Willetts.  Finley, John Travisano and Hyland all won faceoffs.  Nick Koshansky, Bobby Collins, Carlson Miliken, Drew Shantz and Bryan Costabile played shutdown defense at midfield. Ben Pridemore returned to action at offensive midfield, with Timmy Philips, Austin Gaiss, Bobby Gray and Brendan Collins joining him. The Irish led 7-2 at the intermission.


Mikey Wynne scored in the second quarter.

The second half began with Owen Molloy forced to make a few saves just 20 seconds in. It was a prelude of things to come, as Detroit  scored the first two goals, cutting ND’s lead to 7-4 with nine minutes to play.   Austin Gaiss took a pass from Brendan Collins and scored from a tough angle to get one of those goals back.  Bobby Gray would set up Collins, who finished smartly, for a 9-4 lead.  Byrne then fed Perkovic for a brief 10-4 lead. Detroit would close with one of their own to get within 10-5 after three quarters.  LSM Charlie Trense and defenseman Chris Carter joined the game to begin the fourth.


Owen Molloy made several saves early in the third quarter.

After Finley won a draw, Anthony Marini took a clever pass from Garnsey as he cut to the net, falling and finishing on the back hand to extend the lead to 11-5. Molloy followed with two stellar saves. Freshman Eric Restic, who led several transitions, made an exceptional stop, pushing a Titan out of bounds to gain possession. Enter Drew Schantz, who took possession, galloped, shot and scored to make it 12-5.

Enter Nick Stinn.  After another John Travisano face-off win, a Molloy save keyed the transition where Marini fed Willetts, who finished, extending ND’s lead to 13-5. With 4:30 remaining in the fourth, Detroit got one back. A Hyland face-off win would lead to a Tyler Ruhle goal.  Bobby Gray would score with 39 seconds remaining to close out an unofficial 15-6 Notre Dame victory.  Citi would not confirm Brian Collins’ math.


Drew Schantz scored in the fourth.



A fifth quarter featured freshman John Zullo in goal, with Alex Hurdle, Chris Carter, Will Young, Nick Stinn, Auden Menke, Keaton Komatz, Tyler Ruhle and Peter Gayhardt on the field. Restic setup a Costabile score, with Pridemore assisting on Willett’s second goal. Enter Jordan Walter and Stephen Chase.  Costabile then fed Walter for one score, while Gayhardt ripped another. Enter Jacob Kanak, Kyle Borbi and Michael Farnish.  Mitchell Olinger finished at close defense as the quarter and preseason concluded  with a 4-2 result.

The Irish will spend the next  two weeks preparing for what promises to be a spectacular season opener versus Georgetown in the ninth annual Patriot Cup. A link with details including tickets, is below, with more to come…For now, many thanks to the Collins and all of the parents who attended this past weekend. Special thanks to Liz and Paul Finley, Julie Marini and Marcia and Nick Beare, who are planning an eventful weekend in Dallas for ND Nation.  ND/Georgetown Patriot Cup Information

Go Irish!





Drew Schantz and the ND Defense grounded Air Force.


Sergio Perkovic snapped a 2-2 tie in the second quarter, igniting a 6-1 Notre Dame run in leading the Irish to a 10-4 preseason victory versus Air Force in South Bend. For Perkovic, it was his second first-half hat trick in as many games. Hugh Crance, Pat Healy, John Sexton and Garrett Epple,  grounded an Air Force attack that was returning three starters. With the help of Drew Schantz, Carlson Miliken, Nick Koshansky and Bobby Collins, the Falcons were limited to one goal in the second half, making light work for goalies Shane Doss and Owen Molloy in the Loftus Sports Center. After surrendering 10 goals in the first half against Team USA, ND’s defense is allowing six goals per game.


Sergio Perkovic moved well, scored three.

Saturday’s contest kicked off The 7th Annual NDLaxTV Coaches Clinic powered by Under Armour.  More than 280 youth, high school and travel/club coaches from 26 states gathered in South Bend for two-days of classroom and film instruction. The agenda included presentations on fundamentals, game strategy, nutrition and conditioning. Total attendance for the clinic and scrimmage once again exceeded 1000.


Kevin Corrigan leads the 7th Annual NDLaxTV Clinic powered by Under Armour



Irish freshman Kyle Hyland and Coach Couch








A wintry mix of snow squalls and cold temperatures greeted parents journeying to South Bend. Some drove, others flew, with Chris Molloy’s single engine landing perhaps the most eventful trip. Gina and Brian Collins hosted the season’s first tailgate at The Inn at Ivy Courts.  A generous spread of breakfast sandwiches, pastries and Bloody Mary’s in the ACC Room fostered freshman introductions and upper class parent reunions.


A team effort got us cleaned up and to the Loftus Center.  It was great to see two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Matt Landis in town. Matt accompanied Under Armour, who documented much of the weekend’s activities.  Andrew Gleason was also on hand to watch  his cousin, sophomore Brendan Gleason. Many thanks to Kathy Koshansky and Terry Doss for their photography contributions.af17parents2af17parents4


Air Force sports a preseason ranking of #18 and is the favorite to defend the Southern Conference crown they won last year. The Falcons are coming off a 15-3 season, the best in program history. You’ll recall they entered South Bend last May with a 15-game unbeaten streak, qualifying for their first ever NCAA Tournament. The Irish snapped that streak, defeating the Falcons 15-7 at Arlotta Stadium. On February 6, Air Force will open their 2017 slate in Durham, North Carolina against #7 Duke.  Air Force defeated Duke last year 10-9 in overtime. It won’t get any easier for Air Force, as they travel to Denver take on the #3 ranked Pioneers on February 11.

Senior Shane Doss got the start in goal, with Pat Healy, Garrett Epple and Hugh Crance at close defense. John Sexton was your long stick middie.  PJ Finley took the face off, with a midfield line that would ultimately feature Perkovic, junior Pierre Byrne and Tommy McNamara.  It was Byrne who put the Irish on the board, streaking in from the wing after a few loose ball scrambles.  Disruptive all day, it was Sexton who caused the initial scrum.


PJ Finley battles at the face-off X.

Gleason would add to the lead, coming in from the box, he circled deep behind the net and continued wide before heading to goal to finish for a 2-0 lead with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter.  Junior John Travisano won his first draw as Nick Koshansky, Eric Restic and Bobby Collins saw their first action.  Restic forced a turnover, which he’s done each game thus far. With the Irish in possession, a middie line of Brendan Collins, Bobby Gray and Austin Gaiss assembled. They moved the ball upfield to join an attack that now featured Gleason, senior Anthony Marini and freshman Brian Willetts.   Air Force got on the board with 2:53 left in the first after a turnover. The quarter closed with ND leading 2-1.


Brendan Gleason scored twice.

Kyle Hyland took the face off to begin the second quarter.  Air Force would strike first, tying the game at 2-2.  Both teams moved the ball offensively around the perimeter, with the scoring coming from the midfield.  With six minutes played into the second quarter, Sergio Perkovic found space moving to his left, with the help of a pick by  McNamara. Perkovic shot and scored far post, high to low. The sequence followed another caused turnover by Sexton and physical defense by middie Carlson Miliken.  The hustle play of the day came from Crance, who scooped up Sexton’s forced ground ball and took a crunching shot to the mid section to preserve possession. He slid across the track, coming to rest at our feet.  A few minutes later, freshman Peter Gayhardt saw his first action of the season at attack, joining the man advantage unit on a brief Irish possession.


Kyle Hyland scoops up a face-off win.

Perkovic’s second of the day was high heat, clanging off the cross bar to extend Notre Dame’s lead to 4-2. He turned heads. Gleason followed for his second shortly after another successful clear by Drew Schantz.  He’s got an extra gear. Enter Jack Kielty at close defense.   With momentum on the side of the Irish, ND got caught in a substitution and Air Force capitalized in transition to make it 5-3.  Perkovic answered with his third of the half from deep down Angela Boulevard to put the Irish up 6-3 to end the first half. Time of possession was clearly with Notre Dame. Finley and friends were winning their share of the face offs and subsequent ground balls.


Peter Gayhardt scored his first preseason goal.

The second half began the same as the first, with Pierre Byrne scoring to extend ND’s lead to 7-3.  Anthony Marini continued the Irish run, picking up a loose ball in front and burying it before being buried and drawing a penalty.  On the ensuing man advantage, Brian Willetts scored on a low shot to the far post.  A 6-1 Irish run now had them leading 9-3. The last three goals came in a four-minute span. Enter Timmy Phillips at midfield.

Air Force got a goal back in transition after an Irish turnover, for the Falcon’s first and only goal of the second half. The third quarter ended with Crance  dismantling an Air Force attack and the Irish leading 9-4.  My statistician, Terry Doss, confirmed two Air Force shots, one goal and zero saves for son Shane in nets in the third.  Tyler Ruhle was now playing attack. Shane Doss would give way to Owen Molloy in goal for the fourth quarter.


Bryan Costabile hits reverse. He scored and played strong defense.

Brendan Collins fed Brian Willetts for his second goal and a 10-4 Irish lead. Carlson Miliken and Bryan Costabile continued the defensive charge.   The fourth quarter would end with ND ahead 10-4, winning the second half 4-1.  The Irish defense held Air Force to single digit shots in the final 30 minutes.

In a fifth quarter, Will Young was joined at close defense by Chris Carter and Charlie Trense. Charlie Leonard handled face off duties, with Gayhardt, Ruhle and Stephen Chase at attack. Your midfield included Nick Stinn, Costabile and Auden Menke. Keaton Komatz would also play midfield, while Kyle Borbi joined the attack. Charlie Leonard won a face off, leading to a goal scored by Chase, his first in an Irish uniform.  After Air Force scored on a pass into the crease, Komatz scored on a bullet off a nice pass from Chase for a 2-1 ND lead. Enter Patrick Headley and Alex Hurdle on defense.  Bryan Costabile scored to make it 3-1. Fellow freshman Gayhardt then got his first goal on a great pass from Jordan Walter. Goalie Molloy saw little action but was stealth when challenged. The fifth quarter ended with the Irish ahead 4-1.  My count had 41 players seeing action.


Will Young collected two ground balls.

Notre Dame will now focus efforts on Detroit Mercy for their fourth and final preseason contest. The game will begin on Super Bowl Sunday at 8:45 am in the Loftus Sports Center. Brian and Gina Collins will lead parent nation. The Irish defeated Detroit last year 14-5 during the regular season, coming back from an early deficit. The Titans return their leading scorer, experience on defense and a goalie who’s trained with Team Canada and earned preseason All-America honorable mention from Inside Lacrosse Magazine. The Titans open their season on February 11 at Ohio State and then host Michigan just four days later.

Welcome to February! By  the time Notre Dame faces off on Sunday, #1 UNC, #5 Loyola and #7 Duke will have already played their first regular season game. It’s go time….Go Irish!









Pass Or Fail



Brendan Gleason scored three goals as part of an 8-0 first quarter Notre Dame run on Sunday, leading the Irish  to a 15-7 preseason victory over Bellarmine at The Loftus Center. Sergio Perkovic also finished with three first half goals, while goalie Shane Doss and the Irish defense limited the Knights to  three first half goals.   PJ Finley had success at the faceoff X, as did mates John Travisano and Kyle Hyland.   Nick Koshansky made his return, bringing more depth to a talented stable of defensive middies.  Returning from Sarasota, this was a gauge of focus and discipline. How would a young team respond at home after playing some of the world’s best? #Avoiding A Slow Start….they passed.


Shane Doss and Garrett Epple led a stingy Irish defense.

Members of The Southern Conference, Bellarmine finished  6-9 overall last year, 4-3 in conference play.  They lost to #12 Air Force 10-8  in the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament to end their season. You’ll recall ND defeated the Knights in an 11-6 February contest last year.  Senior Eddy Lubowicki collected a career-best four goals, while Shane Doss posted eight saves.  The Irish raced at to an 8-3 halftime lead.


Eddy Lubowicki scored four last year vs Bellarmine.


After surrendering the game’s first goal this past Sunday,  the Irish responded. Finley won the ensuing faceoff, streaking toward net, he drew the defensive slide and fed Gleason, who smartly finished.  Gleason would give the Irish a 2-1 lead moments later, coming  from behind the net to score. A parade of middies led by Brendan Collins, Sergio Perkovic and Bobby Gray then scored in succession, staking the Irish to a  sudden 5-1 advantage.


Brendan Gleason unleashed a laser from Eddy Street.

Collins was fed nicely by freshman attack Brian Willetts.  Perkovic and Gray launched missiles. Anthony Marini continued the scoring with a wrap around from behind to make it 6-1. Punctuating the scoring run, Gleason provided a Sports Center Moment, when he raced in from the sideline box and ripped a sidearm howitzer in stride that rang off the crossbar and in for his third goal of the quarter. It was audacious and should have counted for three. Teammates and fans howled!   The Irish were up 7-1 with only nine minutes and two of the team’s offensive threats yet to hit the field.


Sergio Pervokic was shadowed and still scored three in the first half.

Perkovic would score two more in the second quarter, along with Timmy Phillips and the half would end with Notre Dame leading 11-3. Without statistics to verify, the first half was all about possessions. Where the Irish turned the ball over in the first half versus Team USA, on Sunday, they won faceoffs, shared the ball, got first and second chances and scored. They then won faceoffs and/or ground balls – John Sexton, Hugh Crance, Pat Healy and Carlson Miliken dominated ground balls, enabling the offense to start the cycle over.

In the second half, Owen Molloy replaced Doss. He made several saves in tight. Bryan Costabile, Bobby Collins and Austin Gaiss owned midfield. Drew Schantz excelled in transition.

Goals in the third quarter came from Marini and Pierre Byrne on a nice feed from Mikey Wynne. Willetts and Tyler Ruhle would finish the quarter at attack. Will Young joined at close defense, along with Chris Carter.  The quarter ended with the Irish up 14-5.

                       Above…Anthony Marini (#4), Pierre Byrne (#33) and Brian Willetts (#18) each scored for the Irish.

The fourth quarter featured freshman Brian Willetts’ first goal on a nice feed from Perkovic, giving the Irish an unofficial 15-5 lead.  Charlie Trense played well at LSM and Eric Restic continued to compete at close defense. Bellarmine would score two late to conclude four quarters and by my count, a 15-7 Irish win.  Freshman goalie John Zullo took over in a fifth quarter that included Stephen Chase and Peter Gayhardt at attack, Alex Hurdle on defense and Auden Menke at midfield. Apologies for those players that I missed. The game provided players and coaches a different venue, opponent and set of circumstances in preparation for February’s 18th season opener.  My thanks to John Marchese who’s efforts to travel and produce great photography are what make this blog special.  And a shout out to the nice people at the Cafe at the Overlook.  They shut down this past Sunday after two years of great food and service. My egg/sausage sandwich was among the last served. It was comical and delicious. They’ll be back.  We’re on to the next, Saturday at noon versus #18 Air Force.

Above…Bryan Costabile (#26), Austin Gaiss (#1), Owen Molloy (#54) and Jordan Walter (#15) contributed Sunday.

The Falcon’s finished 2016  with a 15-3 record, the program’s best year.  They defeated Duke en route to winning 15 consecutive games before arriving in South Bend. Their only losses were to ND, Navy and Denver.  They’ll bring three starters back on attack, a sharp-shooting midfielder and a defender who earned Southern Conference Freshman of the Year.

A note of interest for 2017…… The ACC Tournament will be held at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium. The top four seeds following the regular season will compete for the title, but it will not afford the winner an Automatic Qualifier (AQ) to the NCAA Tournament…. Despite teams ranked #1, #4, #5, #7 and #16 in the Coaches Poll, the ACC only has five teams in its conference. To earn an AQ, a conference must have at least six members. Maryland departed the ACC three years ago. The University of Pennsylvania will likely play the ACC team that doesn’t qualify for the ACC Tournament. Expect at least four ACC teams to qualify based on record, rank and strength of schedule.bellphoto

At the conclusion of Saturday’s scrimmage with #18 Air Force, Coaches Kevin Corrigan, Gerry Byrne and Matt Karwick will kick off Notre Dame’s National Coaching Clinic. The clinic attracts coaches from around the country to discuss fundamentals, tactics and strategy. Registration is noon on Saturday at The Loftus Sports Center.

See you Saturday in South Bend!  Go Irish!





And We’re Off……



A  7-6 second half effort against Team USA on Saturday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida wasn’t enough as Notre Dame fell short in their preseason opener, 16-11. The game was the culmination of a five-day season kickoff under sunny skies and 75-degree temperatures.  Conditioning and game preparation were combined with leadership development and team bonding.


Frosh Kyle Hyland won 4/9 faceoffs.


Ryder Garnsey collected 2 goals, 3 assists.

The team arrived in Sarasota on Wednesday.  Entering his 29th season as head coach, Kevin Corrigan brought with him three preseason, first team All-Americans in midfielder Sergio Perkovic, defenseman Garrett Epple and goalie Shane Doss. The trio were recognized by Inside Lacrosse Magazine as part of a Notre Dame squad that begins the season ranked #4. Perkovic will no doubt get early season Tewaaraton Trophy support as the nation’s top player.  The three seniors are part of a class that’s finished #2, #3 and #5 in final rankings. They were joined on the preseason Inside Lacrosse All America list by junior John Sexton, sophomore Ryder Garnsey and junior Mikey Wynne.  The magazine projected the Irish to battle North Carolina and Syracuse for the Atlantic Coast Conference Crown.  This year’s ACC Tournament will be hosted by Duke in Durham.usavitalehouse2

Following Wednesday’s conditioning and practice, the players were hosted by ESPN’s Dick Vitale in his spacious home.  The legendary basketball commentator provided dinner and inspring words. He referenced hosting the team the following night live during the ND/Miami basketball game. Thursday night’s dinner host was ND alum and Mendoza Business School Professor Dan Connors.  You’ll recall Connors hosted the Steak & Hot Dog Dinner at his Michigan home this past fall. Tony and Terri Miliken hosted the team and parents on Friday night at their beautiful Siesta Key residence. We’re excited to welcome the Milikens to the Irish family.

Practice and leadership development discussions facilitated by David Lynn on Friday and Saturday led to Sunday’s match up against Team USA.  Coached by Duke’s John Danowski, Team USA is a roster of college All-American and pro talent including former Notre Dame Tewaaraton finalist Matt Kavanagh. Denver’s Trevor Baptiste also played, giving PJ Finley, John Travisano and freshman Kyle Hyland an early test at the faceoff X. Baptiste won 67% of his draws last year.
The Irish began the game with Owen Molloy in goal, Garrett Epple, Pat Healy  and Hugh Crance at close defense and  John Sexton at long stick middie.   Drew Schanz, Bobby Collins, and Virginia senior transfer Carlson Miliken rotated at defensive middie, with Austin Gaiss and Team USA U-19 member Bryan Costabile providing depth.   Nick Koshansky’s return solidifies what Inside Lacrosse considers, the nation’s best defensive midfield unit. They were tested early, as midfielder Joe Walters got Team USA on the board first before Sergio Perkovic tied it on a tough angle shot.

Freshman midfielder Tommy McNamara


Bobby Collins tracks down Matt Danowski


Anthony Marini clangs a post.

Perkovic’s midfield line included sophomore Brendan Gleason and freshman Tommy McNamara. All three can dodge, with sniper shooting talent. Tewaaraton Trophy winner Rob Pannell executed his patented question mark roll to his left, firing high past goalie Molloy to put Team USA up 2-1. Unforced turnovers revealed off-season Irish rust. Mikey Wynne would score the first of his three goals on a neat pass from Ryder Garnsey. Meanwhile, questions about the defense were being answered, as Epple, Crance and Healy were physical. Team USA scored twice more to end the first quarter leading 5-2.
Pierre Byrne, Timmy Phillips and Ben Pridemore were fleet and energized as a second midfield line. Pannell would get his second to make it 6-2 before sophomore Drew Schantz would get one back with a transition goal to get within 6-3. Patrick Hadley would see some quality time at Long Stick Middie, while Bobby Gray, Brendan Collins and Nick Stin showed our depth at offensive midfield. The half would end with Garnsey scoring to pull the Irish to within 10-4.  Unforced errors led to 13 turnovers, preventing the Irish from possessions and putting the defense on their heels. While the offense scored only four goals, they took but 10 shots. The second half began with the same attack,  Wynne, Garnsey and senior Anthony Marini. Freshman Brian Willetts joined on man advantage opportunities. With turnovers cut in half, the Irish converted possessions into goals, with Wynne, Schantz, Pierre Byrne and Garnsey  scoring in succession to cut Team USA’s lead to 13-8 after three quarters.

Mikey Wynne collected 3 goals.

Sergio’s second of the game brought the Irish within 13-9 before Mike Channenchuk would end the run. Mikey Wynne would score his third of the game, while the defense continued to tighten. Sophomore Will Young and freshman Jack Kielty competed to provide needed depth. The face off trio, led by senior Finley also improved.  John Travisano won 5/8 while freshman Kyle Hyland won 4/9. Another freshman, Eric Restic, saw extensive time at long stick middie, which is how we end.  With the game’s outcome certain, senior All American Shane Doss made a brilliant save up high. An urgent outlet pass went to long stick middie Sexton, who caught the ball at midfield and needed little encouragement. Heading straight to the net, he reared back and fired to ripple the twine, giving his parents and the crowd a highlight to go home. You can review most of the highlights, thanks to Inside Lacrosse Magazine and the link below.

Owen Molloy got the start in goal, while Jack Kielty collected two ground balls.


Hugh Crance led the team with four ground balls.

Special thanks to Liz and Paul Finley for their tailgate coordination. Julie Marini kept Irish nation in step with the team. It’s always great to see legacy Irish… Jane, Geoff and Jim Marlatt along with Mary Kavanagh were at the game. Not surprisingly,  both families have more players in the pipeline.  John and Bobby Arlotta were also on hand.  Lastly,  my thanks to John Marchese and  Terry Doss for their outstanding photography.  Shot, sorted and posted by Tuesday while traveling is challenging.

Eamon McAnaney

An Irish shout out to four-year Notre Dame letterman and ESPN broadcaster Eamon McAnaneny, who recently accepted a full-time role with SportsNet New York. A standout defenseman and captain at Notre Dame, McAnaney will be forced to relinquish his ESPN duties. He’s truly one of the best ambassadors in college lacrosse.  Lax Film Room produced a montage of McAnaneny classics, which include several Notre Dame contests.  You can relive those moments by clicking on the link below. Eamon’s promised to make a few tailgate appearances.

The Irish welcome Bellarmine this Sunday for the second of four preseason contests.  The #18 Air Force Academy and Detroit on Super Bowl Sunday round out the preseason. Notre Dame’s season opener versus Georgetown is part of the Patriot Cup at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. A full day of lacrosse festivities is planned, with the Irish/Hoya tilt broadcast live on ESPNU. The Star is a 91-acre facility that serves as home to the Dallas Cowboys.  The regular season schedule can be found at the top of this page.  patriotcup_215x128

A link for those interested in Notre Dame’s Holy Half Marathon on Saturday, April 1 is below. There is a limitation of 1500 runners.  Laurie Travisano is registered and expects several of you to join her.  You’ll recall, six of us showed last year, only to have the race cancelled at the start due to a snow squall. The sun came out an hour later. We’re expecting Ed Lubowicki and Rob Kelly to return.   Holy Half Marathon Registration

A memorable season has begun. See you in South Bend this weekend. Go Irish!