What Fun

UNC17Wynne!

Mikey Wynne deposits one of his five goals  on a spectacular day.

There was no mistaking the elephant in the room.  Large and wearing Carolina blue, this one sat in front of the door to the 2017 post season.  For Notre Dame to pass through the playoff bracket , it would have to move past the elephant warming up at Arlotta Stadium. A win would propel to the conference tournament with confidence and close the book on a disappointing end to a stellar 2016.

UNC17Costabile

Freshman Bryan Costabile scored the game winner with 2:44 remaining.

Bryan Costabile’s  high howitzer  on a sharp angle with 2:44 to play in the fourth quarter, gave a green and white clad Notre Dame a 14-13 win against the stubborn Carolina elephant in front of a record 5000 fans  at sun-drenched Arlotta Stadium. Mikey Wynne was spectacular, with five goals while Sergio Perkovic contributed three goals and two assists. There were five ties and three lead changes.  John Travisano and PJ Finley combined to win 19/30 faceoffs, while Shane Doss posted seven timely saves.  Garrett Epple collected seven ground balls and John Sexton  scooped up five.  With the win, the Irish (7-3) moved to 2-2 in the ACC, locking down the third seed in this weekend’s ACC Tournament.  The elephant who knocked the Irish out of the NCAA Tournament last year, didn’t go quietly.

Senior weekend began with lefty John Borbi launching straight and far into a howling wind at  The Warren Golf Course on Friday.  He welcomed the pressure. A collection of 20 characters dressed as parents navigated the Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore-designed course, situated on the Notre Dame campus.  It was cold, competitive and colorful.  Bobby Helferich won the longest drive and closest to the pin.  Rob Simpson ignored the cold and played in shorts. Contention of scores,  handicaps and Guinness-aided drives clouded crowning a team winner.  Todd Healy arrived six holes late from Germany, posted a few birdies and blew out birthday candles.  Vasko Perkovic is being sought for falsifying Healy’s card.  Paul Finley and Jack Travisano agreed to move the winner’s winnings to The Linebacker Inn for Friday night’s Senior Farewell.

We had a great turnout at the Linebacker on Friday night.  Dancing to music from yesteryear, parents now howled instead of the wind.  Cinderella had long gone to bed before the final Irish exit left us to a group of seven.  On behalf of the senior class, thank you.  Jack and Laurie Travisano were gracious hosts and caretakers.  As Abba brought high fives from young karaoke talent, Jack requested a shift of venues, preferring to end the evening across the street at Mulligans.  The request shed new light on his golf score. Rob Walter and Carl Epple will investigate.

 

A few hours later, Saturday’s tailgate kicked off at the Ivy Court with an overflow gathering.  The Perkovics, Collins and Marins imported family from Michigan and New Jersey.  It was a scene from Goodfellas. The room never looked better thanks to Tammy Schantz.  Wall to wall blue and gold.  There were large Sergio heads being waved while the Bloody’s and Guinness flowed. A brief speech thanked this multi-class family for their growing support, with a pledge to prolong the season.  The walk to Arlotta Stadium was extended due to Blue and Gold football and softball traffic.  The real chaos was at Will-Call.

Arlotta’s capacity would be stretched as the sun burned through overcast skies and warmed to 57 degrees.  The berm filled to five deep, end to end.  Kathy Koshansky, John Marchese and Bobbie Arlotta had little room to navigate the sidelines, but produced great field photography.  Thanks to Kathy and John, whose works can be seen via the photo tab at the top.  Great to meet John’s father, Italian born, who’s first lacrosse game was “Verrry, verrry goood.”  Bobbie’s work can be seen at Inside Lacrosse.com.

An Irish win would almost eliminate defending national champion Carolina. In a similar position last year, Carolina rallied for an epic win, using the comeback victory over ND as the catalyst to win their first national championship in more than 20 years.

UNC17Travisano

John Travisano had a career day, winning 10/14 from the X.

Carolina won the opening possession, scoring first on a short side shot that seemed to surprise 48 seconds into the game.  Up to the challenge, ND struck back when Mikey Wynne collected a loose ball after taking a jolt and flicked a backhand shot home for a 1-1 score with four minutes played. Enter Jack Kielty, John Travisano and Bobby Collins. A career moment took place with 8:20 in the first.  Moving left and to toward the net, Bobby Gray reached back and uncorked a high to high rocket. Perfectly placed where the crossbar and post come together, Gray’s shot ripped through the net before a national television audience – a backyard dream of every pee wee laxer. A 2-1 Irish lead with six and a half minutes played.  Bryan Costabile went to the net, switching hands and finishing to extend the ND lead 3-1 on six shots.

UNC17Gray

Bobby Gray ripped the shot of the year,  far post and through the twine. 

On the ensuing face off, UNC went to net and got one back unassisted, closing to 3-2. Enter Brendan Collins, and Ben Pridemore at midfield, Eric Restic at defensive middie. With 11 seconds remaining in the quarter, Sergio Perkovic stepped toward net, drawing defensive attention.  Enter Mikey Wynne, always moving without the ball. Sergio found him in stride and Wynne put the ball behind the goalie to end the quarter at 4-2.  The Irish out shot the Tarheels 12-6, while gaining an edge in ground balls,  10-3. Finley and Travisano won 5/7 at the faceoff X versus a respected competitor.

Carolina struck twice in the first four minutes of the second quarter, squaring the game at 4-4. The Irish responded with goals from Perkovic (20), Brendan Gleason (12) and Wynne (21)  in barely four minutes. The Leprechaun tired  from tossing t-shirts, as the Irish led by three, 7-4. Timmy Phillips and Jack Kielty contributed mightily on the defensive end. Perkovic went to net before bouncing one in. Gleason found a seam and got to the net before finishing. Ryder Garnsey found Wynne with a slick back door pass as Wynne cut to the net with a man advantage. Wynne finished with 5:29 left in the half.  The defenses would tighten for the final five minutes before Carolina would score with 3.4 seconds remaining to stay close, but trail at halftime, 7-5.  While Travisano and Finley would lay claim 4/6 face offs,  Carolina scored five goals on 13 shots.

 

UNC17Game3

Brendan Gleason found a seam to extend ND’s lead 6-4.

 

 

Carolina’s Chris Cloutier scored his second consecutive goal less than 90 seconds into the third quarter to close within one. But just 31 seconds later, Brendan Gleason came from behind the net and shot low, far post to restore a two goal lead. Two minutes later, Carolina would strike twice within 31 seconds to produce the game’s third tie, 8-8.   That’s where Doss stepped in and made a big save, gaining a valuable stop, with Timmy Phillips contributing at defensive middie.  Enter big Nick Koshansky, teamed with poles Garrett Epple, Hugh Crance and Pat Healy. Two Mikey Wynne goals restored the two goal lead while stellar defense got stops and turnovers. Enter Anthony Marini at attack. Carolina’s Cloutier scored with 24 seconds remaining, ending a seven minute drought.  The blue elephant was back within one, 10-9 to end the third quarter.  Credit the Irish defense, limiting Carolina’s offense to a goal in the final 11 minutes. Doss had three critical saves.

UNC17Game5

Garrett Epple collected a game-high seven ground balls in his regular season home finale.

A three-goal run to start the fourth quarter gave Carolina their first lead, 12-10, with four minutes played.  As in the Marquette game, a defensive stand was needed and delivered.  With 10 minutes remaining,  Brendan Collins caught a pass 12 feet from the crease. He surveyed and reared, but no slide came. So he took another step and launched high heat, top shelf, to the back of the net.  Two minutes later, Collins found Perkovic who bounced a shot in to tie the game at 12-12.   Ninety seconds later, Perkovic struck again, returning the Irish to the top 13-12. Both goals were the result of man advantage situations. Long stick middie John Sexton was everywhere, taking two shots, collecting five ground balls and causing three turnovers. But the elephant wasn’t going easy.  Where Sexton wasn’t, defensive midfielder Bobby Collins was.  Tireless, Collins kept the Tarheels on the perimeter. Despite Irish pressure, UNC tied it with 5:56 remaining.   With possession, the Irish burned the clock down to 2:44 before Bryan Costabile, from a difficult angle, launched an overhand shot far post with velocity.  Veteran execution in a large moment for the freshman, putting ND back on top with 14-13.

Chaos ensued on the subsequent face off, with Carolina securing the ball, only to have it stolen.  Possession changed and changed again. The game would end with Sexton running  out the clock.  Elephant removed, time to move on. Highlights of the game can be seen here.

UNC17Game7

Brendan Collins brought the Irish back within one goal late in the fourth with high heat.

ND/UNC Game Highlights

The seniors would celebrate with parents that evening at Tippecanoe Restaurant in South Bend. Lisa, Bill and Kathy Koshansky put the evening together, complete with an audio and visual slide show of seniors, diapers to Arlotta.  A weekend that began on a windy golf course ended on a historic estate, celebrating four years of memories with more to come.

ND now heads to Durham for a Friday night ACC semifinal game versus Duke at 8:30 pm.  ESPNU will broadcast. This will be the third consecutive year we faced Duke in the tournament, losing in Philadelphia and Atlanta. The NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI ), which factors in wins and losses with strength of schedule,  has ND ranked second and Duke 9th. Syracuse is ranked first and defending champion Carolina is ranked 11th despite their 6-7 record.  I suspect an Irish win on Friday would secure a first round home game in the NCAA Tournament – and enable another colorful round of golf in much warmer weather on Saturday.  We’ll need all of you in Durham, with dry temperatures forecast in the mid 80’s. Go Irish.

Tuesday’s Matinee

Marq17Sergio

Sergio Perkovic scored  a personal- best six goals including the game winner.

Saturday’s conference loss to Duke left Notre Dame with a rare two-game losing string and the team’s first real must-win contest in a matinee game versus unranked Marquette. Clearly a trap game, with conference foe Carolina looming next Saturday, Marquette entered Arlotta with an 0-5 record against Notre Dame, but with a history of taking the game to the wire.  History was repeated on Tuesday, with unwelcome drama at Arlotta Stadium.

Marq17Doss

Shane Doss made 12 saves.

Sergio Perkovic scored a personal-best sixth goal of the game with 25 seconds remaining to lead 10th ranked Notre (6-3) Dame to an 11-10 victory over Marquette (6-4) in South Bend. Sprinting to an 8-2 second quarter lead, the Irish allowed the Golden Eagles to claw back, adding another chapter to Arlotta Stadium drama.  Mikey Wynne scored twice, while Ryder Garnsey collected six ground balls, PJ Finley five and Hugh Crance four. Goalie Shane Doss posted 12 saves.  Marquette (6-4) won 18/25 face-offs.  The Golden Eagles used the possessions to rally, but a defensive snuff by Pat Healy in the final seconds sealed the deal.

Marq17Healy

Guarding goal, Pat Healy snuffed a last second shot to preserve Tuesday’s win.

Coming off consecutive losses to Syracuse and Duke, Notre Dame came out energized, scoring first when Brendan Gleason came from behind the net and fired high to net to give the Irish a 1-0 lead with two minutes played.  Gleason’s 11th of the season drew an assist from Pierre Byrne. Enter John Travisano. Marquette got even three minutes later to tie matters at 1-1.  A precise pass from Brendan Collins to Mikey Wynne just 49 seconds later led to Wynne’s 17th goal of the season and a 2-1 Irish lead they would never relinquish. A five goal run included two goals by Wynne, two by Sergio Perkovic and Bobby Gray’s fourth of the year, staking the Irish to a 6-1 lead with 2:53 remaining in the first quarter. Wynne finished on a smart pass from Brendan Collins. Gray went to net, capping off a strong day for the line of Timmy Phillips, Collins and Gray.  Six goals on nine shots represented  the start you’d expect from a home team looking to bounce back.  Your captains led, with Perkovic scoring six, Doss posted 12 saves, Nick Koshansky played his best game and Anthony Marini scored his first.  Marquette closed out the first quarter, scoring on a well-executed extra man advantage goal to cut ND’s lead to 6-2. The Golden Eagles went 2/5 with the extra man advantage.  The Irish collected 5/6 penalties on the day.

Marq17Wynne

Mikey Wynne scored twice in the first quarter.

Sergio Perkovic moved left, spun right and fired high to low with a bounce in the first minute of the second period.  On the ensuing face-off, PJ Finley scooped up one of his five ground balls and went to net.  He drew a slide and deftly fed Perkovic, who caught, spun and fired for his second goal in 11 seconds, his fourth in a contest 16 minutes old for an 8-2 lead. Parent nation had high-fives all around, with all four classes represented at Tuesday’s matinee.  Enter Brian Willetts. With 14 minutes remaining, the Irish wouldn’t score again.  Instead, Marquette would go on a 3-0 run to end the half that included an extra-man advantage goal and an unassisted goal with 22 seconds left in the half.  The 8-5 half-time lead felt more like being behind 6-4 at Duke then ahead versus Marquette.   Bobby Collins, Nick Koshansky and Eric Restic played well in the half, slowing Marquette’s transition and forcing extra passes.

Marq17Kash

Nick Koshansky was welcomed back.

Less than two minutes into the third quarter, Sergio struck again, scoring unassisted to extend the lead to 9-5.  Marquette answered less than three minutes later to stay close at 9-6.   Doss continued to look strong, posting saves up high and down low. Enter Jack Kielty. Eight minutes elapsed without either team scoring before Brendan Collins threaded a pass to Anthony Marini on the crease.  Marini, caught, faked and finished for his first goal of the season (yeah!) and a four goal lead was restored, 10-6.  For Collins, he continues to heat up, with two assists on the day.  Marquette’s Joseph Dunn would score his third of a career-high four on the day with 43 seconds remaining in the third to pull Marquette back within three, 10-7 going into the fourth quarter.  The Irish were being out shot 30-17.

Marq17Marini2

Anthony Marini deposits his first goal of the year.

Forty-five seconds into the final quarter, Dunn struck again and an 8-2 Irish lead was now 10-8. Marquette would score twice more including Dunn’s fourth, part of a 4-0 Golden Eagle run that knotted the score at 10-10 with 7:56 remaining.  After scoring eight goals in the first half, the Irish had scored two in the second half, as part of a 17-minute drought. An 8-2 Irish run was offset by an 8-3 Marquette run.

Marq17Doss2

Shane Doss used his equipment to preserve a late lead on Tuesday.

Enter Chris Carter. A defensive stop gave ND the ball with 59 seconds.  Two weeks earlier similar drama – a defensive stop with one minute remaining gave the Irish possession at Arlotta, needing a goal to tie Syracuse. That effort fell short. Tuesday, Brendan Collins got the ball off a set play following an ND timeout and just missed with 14 seconds remaining. Senior captain Sergio Perkovic made a play, running around a great pick by Brendan Collins, Perkovic took the ball passed three Marquette defenders to net, and finished, putting ND back on top, 11-10 at 0:25.

Marq17Crance

Hugh Crance had 4 ground balls.

Marquette would win possession on the ensuing face-off, slowly moving to net . I believe they were without timeouts. With Marquette lining up for a game-tying shot, Pat Healy stuffed the Golden Eagle shooter, causing a turnover the Irish collected and ran out the clock. Overtime avoided, ND moved to 6-3 with Easter break affording the team needed time off.  Highlights can be seen in this link.  ND/Marquette Highlights

Terry Doss and Kathy Koshansky made the mid week trip to South Bend to provide great photography, thank you.   It was great to see the Gaiss and Farnishs.  Dinner at South Bend-favorite Corndance never tasted better.

Marq17moms

Tuesday’s moms were all smiles.

Next up is Carolina (6-6), who lost Saturday to Syracuse in overtime. The third and fourth seeds in the ACC Tournament are at stake. Both ND and Carolina enter the game 2-2 in conference play.  Last year’s results aside, this game enhances ND’s chances of hosting a first round NCAA Tournament game. For Carolina, a seventh loss could cost them a tournament invitation – exactly where they were a year ago before going on a title run.  For now, enjoy Easter and give thanks for a great group of parents.  Then, be ready for Senior Week and Carolina. Best of luck to those teeing off on Friday.  Hit em straight, count them all.  Go Irish!


Marq17Gaiss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Out Duked

Late Edition

Duke17Garnsey

Ryder Garnsey wraps around a Duke defender to cut Duke’s lead 10-7.

 

Tenth-ranked Duke used a four-goal run in the first and a 4-1 run in the third en route to an 11-8 ACC victory over fourth-ranked Notre Dame this past Saturday in Durham. The Blue Devils got timely stops when needed. A second consecutive ACC loss for the Irish drops them to 1-2.  Despite scoring first, Notre Dame (5-3) trailed Duke (9-3) throughout. Sergio Perkovic, Mikey Wynne and Ryder Garnsey each scored twice. Garrett Epple and John Travisano collected five ground balls. The Irish deployed senior Shane Doss and junior Owen Molloy in goal on a spectacular spring day in front of 3,257 at Koskinen Stadium.

Duke17Molloy2

Junior Owen Molloy saw action in his second game and was tested early by Duke. He responded.

The day began with a 10:00 am pre-game tailgate.  A shaded parking lot adjacent to the stadium made for a private, intimate affair. A variety of quiche and breakfast sandwiches were washed down with Guinness, Bloody Mary’s and Irish coffee. Temperatures reached 55 degrees. Paul Finley supplied the music and sound system.  Terry Doss captured the moments in photos. East coast storms set some air travelers back, while others arrived early and managed a round of golf on Friday.  John Borbi earned his stripes, dodging flight cancellations and arriving in time for the tailgate.  Cheers! The post game affair included local barbecue, featuring Carolina’s  vinegar-based sauce. Chicken with tangy, ketchup/molasses barbecue, beans and mac and cheese went fast.  The sweet trays featured home-made cookies, with large chunks of chocolate and white macadamia nuts. It was great to see alum Adam Goins in the house.  Southern life has been good to him.  The Milikens and the Pfeifers also made the trip.  Always great to have the Corrigan family join us.

 

Duke and Notre Dame have quite a history, with the Blue Devils leading the series 11-7. Last year, the Irish defeated Duke at home 8-6, leading most of the game. Duke came back in the ACC Semifinals, forcing overtime and then winning 10-9 in Kennesaw, Georgia. This senior ND class lost to Duke their freshman year in the national championship game, 11-9.  Duke beat the Irish 15-7 earlier that year.  Saturday’s game would likely earn a second seed in the ACC Tournament and a quality win for the NCAA Tournament resume.   Duke17LizFinley

As was the case versus Syracuse, ND earned the initial possession and went to net early, with Sergio Perkovic drawing a crowd and feeding Mike Wynne on the crease. Wynne caught and deftly shot backhand past unsuspecting Duke goalie Danny Fowler and a 1-0 Irish lead a minute into the game. Clever that Wynne, flanked by Garnsey and Brendan Gleason at attack.

Duke’s early possessions generated three high shots that Irish goalie Shane Doss deflected wide. The Blue Devils got on the board on a high-rising, 12 footer that Doss didn’t appear to see to tie the game at 1-1 with 8:40 left in the first quarter. John Travisano would win the ensuing face-off, with Eric Restic now in the game at defensive middie.  The ND defense appeared to knock down a pass, with a scrum in front of Doss ensuing. Duke’s Jack Bruckner found the ball and flicked in his second goal to give Duke a lead they would never relinquish.  Enter Anthony Marini at attack.  Your midfield was Perkovic, Bryan Costibile and Pierre Byrne.

Duke17Kielty

Freshman Jack Kielty in stride, collected ground balls for ND.

Duke scored two more goals for four in a span of 3:46 before Sergio Perkovic ended the run with his 12th goal of the year and the 100th of his Notre Dame career. Congratulations Sergio, Kristina and Vasko. Sergio became just the seventh player in Notre Dame lore to collect 100 goals.  He ended the day at 101, with at least five games remaining.  Ryder Garnsey scored a minute later, with Duke returning fire as the first quarter would end with Duke leading 5-3.  The Blue Devils out-shot the Irish 11-6,  with PJ Finley and John Travisano winning 5/9 face-offs. Travisano and Garrett Epple would go on to collect a team-high five ground balls, while John Sexton and Ryder Garnsey each gathered three.  With Finley and Pat Healy each collecting two, that’s 20/23 ground balls among six players.  Comparatively, Duke had 11 players collect 25 ground balls.

Duke17Travisanogb

John Travisano went 6/11 with five ground balls against Duke’s Kyle Rowe, a leader in the ACC.

The second period began with junior Owen Molloy in goal for the Irish, seeing his first extended minutes of the season.  He steered several high shots wide, making his first save at the 9:24 mark.  He got help from his defense, with Garrett Epple causing a turnover and an early ND stop.  Epple, Pat Healy, Hugh Crance and Jack Kielty tightened the defense, keeping most of the shots at the perimeter. Duke matched the effort with a scoreless first five minutes. With 8:29 remaining in the half, Garnsey fed Wynne and the Irish were within one, 5-4.  Duke would answer just 90 seconds later on a short-side, bounce shot and a 6-4 lead.  Enter Brian Willetts at attack.

Duke17Healy

Pat Healy collected two ground balls for ND

The Irish were afforded a man-advantage opportunity and then a second, but were unable to sustain possession.  They went 0-4 on the day despite a few good looks.  A John Sexton caused turnover gave the Irish possession with 1:40 remaining in the half, but Sergio Perkovic’s high heat clanged off the cross bar.  Duke had more than a minute to extend their lead, but the Irish defense, which included Bobby Collins and Drew Schantz, was physical and never surrendered a shot. The second middie line of Brendan Collins, Bobby Gray and Timmy Phillips also had success.  The half ended with Duke leading 6-4 and holding a substantial advantage in possession. They went 3/3 in second quarter face-offs, leading to an 8-4 advantage in ground balls.  Still, anybody’s game.

Duke17Epplegb

Garrett Epple collected five ground balls and caused turnovers for the Irish.

Duke got on the board 90 seconds into the third quarter, with Justin Guterding finding time and room for his 31st goal. He set up another two minutes later to give Duke an 8-4 lead and Notre Dame their largest deficit of the year. John Travisano gained the ensuing face-off, with an anxious John Sexton possessing and racing to net. With his wand waving in the air, he launched sidearm for his third goal of the season with 11:33 still left in the third quarter.  But Duke would score the next two, halting momentum and extending the Blue Devil lead to 10-5 to end the third quarter.  Finley and Travisano held the edge in face-offs, winning 4/6.  However, Duke out-shot the Irish 12-8, with Duke’s Fowler making five saves including a critical one on Sergio Perkovic on a man-up opportunity.  With roughly four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Shane Doss was reinserted in goal for Notre Dame. Credit Owen Molloy, who played critical minutes with seconds to prepare and responded.

Duke17Sexton

Wizard John Sexton scored, collected three ground balls and was disruptive.

Perkovic began the fourth, scoring in the first 40 seconds to close the deficit to four, 10-6. Despite unloading 13 shots in the quarter, the Irish were unable to score until Ryder Garnsey fought for an unassisted tally with 3:42 remaining for a 10-7 contest.  An untimely Irish penalty was enough for Jack Bruckner to post his fourth goal with 1:27 left and Duke riding an 11-7 lead.  Brendan Gleason would round out the scoring with his ninth goal with just 0:03 left on the clock.  The Irish out-shot Duke 13-5, outscoring the Blue Devils 3-1 in the final quarter, but still fell 11-8.  As was the case versus Syracuse, long possessions by Duke limited Irish possessions. Duke was warned twice and penalized once for stalls. Add 10 timely saves by goalie Fowler and ND fell to a record of 5-3.

My thanks to Kathy Koshansky’s photography talent.  Bobbie Arlotta shot for Inside Lacrosse.

North Carolina’s 15-12 defeat of Virginia eliminated the Cavaliers from The ACC Tournament later this month in Durham. It also intensifies the ND/Carolina showdown on April 22.  A win puts the Irish at 2-2 and likely against Duke in a semifinal game. A loss to the Tarheels will make Carolina the third seed, with fourth- seeded ND likely to play top-seeded and top ranked Syracuse.

Duke17Byrne

Pierre Byrne reverses his field in Durham. He had an assist.

The Media Poll has ND rated 10th, with Syracuse now ranked first. The Coaches’ Poll has ND ranked seventh.  Tuesday’s opponent, Marquette, remains unranked, but is always competitive.  We’ve got a crew traveling for a midweek matinee.  See ya in South Bend.

Go Irish!

Duke17Piper4!

A win against Carolina could provide a rematch with Duke in Durham in an ACC semifinal.

One Goal

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Hugh Crance in pursuit for the Irish, who have seen one goal determine four of the last five games. Syracuse has played seven one-goal contests.

Unable to score in the final 6:49 of Saturday’s ACC showdown, top-ranked Notre Dame suffered their second one-goal loss of the season, 11-10 to third-ranked Syracuse in sunny South Bend.  Brendan Gleason scored twice for ND, leading nine different scorers.  His rush to the net in the final seconds was thwarted as the Irish (5-2) evened their record in the Atlantic Coast Conference to 1-1.  The game featured five ties, six lead changes and four Syracuse stall warnings.  The methodical Orange (7-1) won their fifth consecutive one-goal game while staking a 3-0 record in ACC play.  PJ Finley collected four ground balls and Pat Healy three, while Shane Doss posted 11 saves.

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Brendan Gleason scored twice Saturday. contributing a goal in each game thus far.

Saturday’s sun-drenching brought blue skies and 53 degree temperatures to Arlotta Stadium. The season’s largest crowd of 3,405 was supported by the Notre Dame band and an energetic leprechaun. The berm was four deep, stretching the length of the field. Among them was Kathy Koshansky, who flew in from Long Island to snap 300-plus photos. Our Bobbie Arlotta shot for Inside Lacrosse Magazine.  Former ND players in town included Andrew Gleason, Liam O’Connor, Jim Marlatt, Matty Collins, Eddy Glazener and Phil and Donna Pfeifer.

Vasko Perkovic added spice and grappa to Saturday’s 9:00 am tailgate. Another well-attended event at The Ivy Court, included tales of Newark flight delays, Notre Dame women’s basketball and pending ACC lax tournament projections. Breakfast sandwiches and fruit were washed down with Bloody Mary’s, Guinness and bourbon. Terry Doss pulled together group photos, while Lubo the Leprechaun greeted all. Congrats to those who completed The Holy Half.  The weather cooperated. Thanks to the Finley, Collins, Doss and Kielty families for organizing.  Our extended family grows weekly.

 

Saturday’s contest was the 13th between the Orange and Irish, with the ND claiming the last three. Defeating Cuse 17-7 last year during their celebration of 100 years of Syracuse Lacrosse was ND’s first win in the Carrier Dome.  The Orange entered Arlotta with one-goal victories over Siena, Albany, Virginia, St. John’s, Johns Hopkins and Duke. Their loan loss was a one-goal battle at home with Army.  Notre Dame, coming off their most complete win versus fourth ranked Ohio State, had one-goal contests with Denver (10-11), Maryland (5-4) and Virginia (11-10).  ESPNU cameras went live at noon!

Fireworks began early, with Orange goalie Evan Molloy denying Mikey Wynne on the crease right off the opening face-off. ND goalie Shane Doss matched the effort on a Syracuse shot from close range. Doss was twice more before Brendan Gleason got the Irish on the board,  attacking from behind the net for a 1-0 lead with eight minutes played. Syracuse evened it after being down a man. It was a goal scored in transition, where the Irish struggled versus Ohio State. Striking off the ensuing face off just nine seconds later, the Orange took their first lead 2-1.  ND responded on a ground ball collected by freshman Jack Kielty, who flicked to Hugh Crance, who fed Drew Schantz to tie at 2-2. Unselfish execution characterizes this team.

SU17Schantz

Drew Schantz scored his fourth goal to tie the game at two. Hugh Crance got the assist.

SU went to the net for a 3-2 lead, with shots now tied 8-8. Gleason went to net and scored his second of the day, while being yanked to the ground to tie the game at 3-3, where we the score would remain to end the first quarter. Both teams executed at both ends.  Another one-goal drama.

SU17Kielty

Freshman Jack Kielty is  playing veteran minutes.

The Irish struck first in the second with long stick middie John Sexton scoring for the second consecutive game, right off the face-off while being contested. However, Syracuse leveraged an extra man advantage, with a back door cutter fed on the crease for a lay up and a 4-4 tie.  Shots were now 11-11.  The Irish were winning the face-off battle 6-4, while losing the ground ball war 12-7. A minute later, Syracuse struck again on a dodge and shot top shelf by their captain to reclaim the lead, 5-4.  With the lead, the Orange slowed to methodical possessions, burning time off the clock while forcing ND to chase. The Irish offense could only watch. Ultimately, the home crowd weighed in and the referees reacted with a stall warning. Patience paid dividends as SU extended the lead to 6-4 before ND’s Bobby Gray got one back with 7:33 remaining in the half. Credit Brendan Collins, who spotted Gray and fed him on a nice cut heading to the net.

SU17Sexton

John Sexton scored his third goal while collecting two ground balls.

Cuse responded a minute later, staking a 7-5 lead and controlling the second quarter tempo. The Orange out-shot ND 14-4, with Doss forced to make four saves while his counterpart from Syracuse went without a save.  PJ Finley and John Travisano drew even (7/14) with Ben Sherman from Syracuse at the faceoff X, who entered the game ranked 10th nationally. Cuse retained their edge in ground balls, which provided possessions, preventing Sergio Perkovic and Ryder Garnsey from registering a shot on goal in the half.  ND’s defense blocked two shots in the final 2:40 of the half to limit the deficit to a couple of goals, 7-5.

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PJ Finley enabled a third quarter run, winning 4/6 at the face-off X.

The second half began with opportunity, as Syracuse was penalized with a one-minute unreleasable penalty.  ND’s execution fell short with Cuse gaining possession. A subsequent man-up for too many men fell short, opening the door for a Syracuse goal in transition with two and one-half minutes played in the third.  SU now led 8-5. Bryan Costabile got that one back, scoring on a nice feed from Sergio Perkovic. A minute later, Cuse responded, extending the lead back to three with (9-6) with 7:42 remaining. Ominous, concerning? This is Arlotta and back came the Irish. Timmy Phillips, Ryder Garnsey and Sergio Perkovic scored in a span of 2:15 to tie the contest at 9-9 with 3:38 still left in the third quarter.  Arlotta rocked!

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Timmy Phillips scored his third goal of the season as part of a third quarter run.

Timmy Phillips scored on a nifty behind the back shot that was perfectly placed.  Perkovic then ran through a check before shooting high to high and Garnsey came from behind the net, dragging his stick and then shooting low. The quarter would end with both teams threatening, but neither scoring.  ND out-shot Syracuse 12-7 in the third. PJ Finley heated up, winning 4/6 face-offs, enabling Irish possessions, which they converted.

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Ryder Garnsey registered a goal and an assist in the third quarter.

Syracuse’ Nick Mariano scored just 80 seconds into the fourth quarter, with Bobby Collins draped on him to go up 10-9. Five minutes later, he struck again for his fourth goal of the game, giving  the Orange a two-goal lead with 8:42 remaining. More than the scoring, Syracuse possessed, methodically burning time off the clock. On the day, they were called for four stall warnings, severely limiting Irish possessions.  With 6:49 remaining, Brendan Collins would deposit a pass from Sergio Perkovic top shelf, far post to bring the Irish back within one goal. Time appeared plentiful until the Orange returned to their methodical offense that churned two minutes of clock per possession.  Their fourth stall warning would

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Brendan Collins was elusive, posting a goal and an assist.

lead to a violation with just over a minute remaining in the game – a full 60 seconds. We needed one goal.  Two timeouts later, Notre Dame forced SU’s Molloy to redirect a Gleason shot with 14 seconds remaining. A subsequent dash to the net by Gleason was cut short without a shot, and  Syracuse closed out the win, 11-10.   As was the case in the second quarter, neither team scored in the final six minutes of the fourth.   Highlights can be seen via the link.   ND vs Syracuse Highlights

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Garrett Epple collected two ground balls while causing turnovers.

A 12-8 comeback win in Chapel Hill by Duke (8-3) over North Carolina (5-5) positions Saturday’s Duke/ND game for second place in the ACC regular season standings. Syracuse (3-0) will likely win the regular season title, with both the Irish and Blue Devils currently 1-1 in ACC play.  North Carolina (0-1) and Virginia (0-2) are still seeking their first conference win.    The Blue Devils trailed Carolina 6-1 before going on an 11-2 run.  Face-off specialist Kyle Rowe was dominant, winning 17/24.  Notre Dame split with Duke last year, winning the regular season battle in South Bend (8-6) before losing 10-9 in overtime in the ACC semifinal in Atlanta.  Notre Dame travels to Durham ranked fourth in the media poll, while retaining the top ranking in the RPI polls, which reflects ND’s top rated schedule. The Blue Devils are ranked 10th.  The game will be ND’s sixth consecutive contest against a Top 10 team. It’s possible the two teams meet again in Durham on 4/28 in an ACC Tournament semifinal that would feature the second and third seeds of the conference.  For now, it’s all about Saturday at noon versus Duke, with barbecue to follow.  It’s Master’s Week, but we’ll see you in Durham. A win positions us to host a first round NCAA Tournament game. Go Irish!

DukeACC

 

Army Lacrosse Ticket Sales

VALeprechaun

Update

Parents/Notre Dame Lacrosse Nation,

Notre Dame will visit the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York on Saturday, May 6  to battle Army at 1:30 in historic Michie Stadium.  Advance ticket sales are still available via the link below.  We are working to extend the deadline beyond April 6. Until then, please encourage folks to purchase their tickets and attend the senior’s final regular season game.

Click for ND vs Army Ticket Sales

When you click on the link, you’ll see a screen with the information below.  Please use the username and password that Army Athletics has provided in bold.  Purchasing now enables those ticket holders to sit  in Section 31 together.  Currently, there are 150 tickets set aside, with more available should they be needed.  Tickets are $8 each.  Should you have unique needs, please call the Army Athletics Tickets Office or use the link provided below.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to the
Group Ticket Window

Sign-In ID:
Password:
Login and Password are case sensitive
 Group Log-on Username: NOTRE DAME
Password: ALUMNI
Group Ticket Window is for group members to log on and order tickets specially set aside for their group. The money collection and ticket delivery is handled by the Group Ticket Window, alleviating the need for any one person to collect all of the money and handle tickets for a group outing.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Should you require additional information, please call the Army Athletics Ticket Office or utilize the link below.  Thank you and Go Irish!

Army Athletics

Half Way Home

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A tenacious defense has dealt three Big Ten teams their first defeat.

Midfielder Sergio Perkovic posted his second hat trick in two weeks, leading eight different goal scorers as second-ranked Notre Dame defeated fourth-ranked Ohio State 12-7 Saturday in South Bend.  It was the third Irish victory in five weeks over an undefeated Big Ten opponent at Arlotta Stadium. Perhaps the team’s most complete effort, the Irish never trailed, converting on three man-advantage opportunities and scoring nine even strength goals against a Buckeye defense ranked third in goals allowed. Goalie Shane Doss posted nine saves, while long stick midfielder John Sexton contributed a goal, an assist, five ground balls and two caused turnovers.

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Sergio Perkovic posted his second hat trick in as many weeks for ND.

Half way through the nation’s most difficult schedule, Notre Dame (5-1) returned atop the rankings for the second time in four weeks.  For their respective efforts, Perkovic and Sexton earned ACC Player of the Week honors.

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John Sexton was offensive in transition, scoring once, assisting on another.

 

 

 

Saturday’s festivities began with a pre-game tailgate inside the ACC Room at the Ivy Inn. The Marini, Collins and Kanak families cooked up fried chicken, bruschetta and hot sandwich wraps. Soft and chewy sweets and an assortment of spirits were plentiful while Lisa Koshansky captured pre-game parent head shots with Irish color. The Maryland drubbing of Carolina played in the background. Lubo the Leprechaun greeted all.  Thanks to Lisa Koshansky, Terry Doss and Andrea Crance for their social photos.

Early rain showers subsided, with the temperature climbing to 57 degrees. Ohio State was coming off a 16-7 defeat of top-ranked Denver in Columbus. Notre Dame used overtime to defeat 12th ranked Virginia 11-10 in soggy Charlottesville.  The Buckeyes entered Saturday’s game scoring 12 goals per game while surrendering  a paltry 6.75.  The Irish had already defeated unbeaten Michigan and Maryland teams at Arlotta Stadium averaging 12 goals per game. Neither scored more than five in suffering their first defeat.  OSU’s defense and goalie were expected to be the difference on Saturday.

Continuing where he left off last week, ACC Offensive Player of the Week Sergio Perkovic got the Irish on the board first after Ohio State turned the ball over for the first of 19 on the day. Perkovic moved left, shooting right, far post for a 1-0 lead with just over three minutes played.  After two caused turnovers by an Irish defense led by Garrett Epple, Pat Healy, Hugh Crance and John Sexton, Ohio State tied the game with precision shooting with eight minutes played.  It would be the game’s only tie. Enter Jack Kielty and defensive middie Nick Koshansky.

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Drew Schantz old-school, two-way middie.

Kielty’s hustle on a ground ball along ND’s sideline secured an Irish possession. That’s where Drew Schantz led a transition into OSU territory, feeding Ryder Garnsey, who casually shot low to the back of the net to restore an Irish lead they would never surrender. Garnsey was playing along side Mikey Wynne and Brendan Gleason at attack. A minute later, Garnsey struck again, posting another Sports Center moment, squeezing a laser shot over the shoulder of an OSU goalie  who entered the game with the sixth best goals against average nationally.  The angle of the shot and quickness of release were wicked. With 22 seconds remaining in the quarter, Brendan Collins moving to his left, shot top shelf to the right, giving the home team a 4-1 lead to end the first quarter.

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Brendan Collins put the Irish up 4-1.

Mates Timmy Phillips and Bobby Gray celebrated. A lead, an appearance by the sun and balmy temperatures were heavenly.  The leprechaun danced.  PJ Finely returned to X to take the ensuing face-off.

Terry Doss supplied word of top ranked Rutgers’ loss at Delaware as the second quarter began.  The Buckeyes would convert good fortune into goal when Pierre Byrne clanked a shot off the post that would bounce back to midfield.  OSU would finish their second of five goals  in transition, closing to 4-2 just 90 seconds in.  Notre Dame responded when Bryan Costabile scored his seventh goal of the season, with the Irish playing with a man advantage. Garnsey collected the assist, his 13th on the year, to restore a three goal lead. Enter Brian Willetts at attack, while Bobby Collins and Eric Restic shuttled in and out at defensive midfield.  Bobby Gray would launch a low laser from 12 feet and the Irish had their biggest lead of the game, 6-2 with 8:15 remaining in the half.    Jerry Byrne’s defense was smothering the Buckeyes in six on six play, limiting OSU to four second quarter shots. Enter Anthony Marini at attack.

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Bobby Gray slings his second goal of the year.

A loose ball in the slot got away from ND, leading to a needed OSU goal, trimming the Irish lead to 6-3. After a Mikey Wynne goal was disallowed, Sergio Perkovic scored his second of the game with 2:34 remaining and the Irish playing with a man advantage. Coming into the game, the man advantage unit had struggled, converting only 28%. Precise passing and patient shooting resulted in a 3/4 (75%) afternoon.  With 14 seconds remaining in the half, the Buckeyes collected a loose ball and converted in transition to cut the lead to 7-4. Securing the ensuing face-off,  OSU was barely contested, scoring from 15 feet at the buzzer. Two goals in 14 seconds after surrendering three the entire first half dulled the Arlotta atmosphere for halftime.  The Irish led 7-5,  winning only 5/13 face offs but regaining possessions by forcing nine turnovers.  A Buckeye goalie allowing six goals per contest had surrendered seven in the first half.

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Bryan Costabile has scored in each game.

As they have through the season’s first five games, ND came out strong in the second half. After tenacious defense by Epple, Crance and Healy,  Bryan Costabile scored his second goal with a man advantage to return the lead back to three, 8-5 with four minutes played in the third. Credit Sergio Perkovic with vision and an unselfish assist.  Playing offensively all game, defensive middie John Sexton caught a pass on the crease from Ryder Garnsey and finished for his second goal of the season and a 9-5 Irish lead.  Two earlier opportunities for Sexton in transition had been thwarted. He made certain this time.  After Doss continued to frustrate Buckeye shooters, OSU got one back to close within 9-6 as the third quarter ended. The quarter symbolized the game, with the Irish expanding their lead, only to see the Buckeyes reduce the deficit, but get no further. Epple finished with three caused turnovers while Crance collected three ground balls. John Travisano went 5/10 on face-offs with two ground balls.

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Shane Doss posted nine saves, five in the first quarter.

Going into the fourth quarter, OSU was still within striking distance. A save by Doss up high was followed by a Buckeye goal down low and suddenly, it was 9-7.  Doubling down on the transition defense, ND took a step to closing the game out when Sergio Perkovic went to net with certainty, getting his hands free and shoveling backhand as he fell to the ground. His third goal of the game, combined with an assist, two ground balls and stellar defensive play made for a Tewaaraton Trophy day.

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John Travisano went 5/10 at the face-off X with 2 ground balls.

A collective sigh was expelled from the announced crowd of 2,608.  Another defensive stop put Sexton charging toward Angela Avenue again. Sexton connected with Brendan Gleason on the crease, who finished for an 11-7 advantage.  Doss would make another difficult save with two minutes remaining, as OSU pressed to force a turnover. Instead,  Bobby Collins lobbed a long pass to Mikey Wynne on the crease. Wynne caught and finished to seal the win 12-7.  Collins contributing to the offense was an appropriate ending. He’s been a work horse on defense, weekly battling the opposition’s best offensive midfield talent.  His  efforts don’t show in the box score or blog highlights but are among the reasons Notre Dame’s defense has held Michigan, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio State 40% below their scoring average.

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Bobby Collins has been a workhorse for a thinning stable of defensive middies.

Highlights of the game can be seen via the link below. My thanks to Kathy Koshansky, who captured the game photos.

ND versus Ohio State Highlights

Saturday’s post game celebration was held at O’Brien’s inside The Compton Family Ice Arena. Overlooking center ice, this spacious dining room is among the hardest tickets to capture on campus.  Just hours later, the Irish hockey team advanced to the Frozen Four with in a  3-2 overtime win over second-seeded and fourth ranked University of Massachusetts at Lowell.   Sunday’s breakfast involved a stop at The Yellow Cat Cafe, a newbie on the foodie circuit , just two miles from campus on Colfax Avenue. The service was friendly and attentive, with the Greek Omelette and grits a house specialty.  The sausage and gravy biscuits were rich and generous. We were in by 9:00, out by 9:40.  The place was packed as we left. Ask for Stacey, she’ll take good care of you.

Despite ND’s top ranking,  popular sentiment is to leave Grace Hall’s #1 sign dark.   Tradition prevailed, so as you approach campus Friday evening for Saturday’s showdown with fourth-ranked Syracuse, enjoy the view.  Syracuse has enjoyed a thrilling season, defeating Albany, Virginia, St. John’s, Johns Hopkins and Duke all by a single goal en route to a 6-1 record. ESPNU will broadcast from Arlotta Stadium on Saturday at noon.  The last time the Orange visited Arlotta was two years ago.  Jack Near went coast to coast in double overtime to send top ranked Syracuse home with their first defeat, 13-12. Cuse leads the overall series 8-4, but the Irish have won the last three, including last year’s 17-7 effort in the Dome. A win against the Orange ensures an invitation to the ACC Tournament.   See ya Saturday.  Go Irish.

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Weathering Wahoo

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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!

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Expect A Sequel

 

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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.

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Ryder Garnsey distributed and dodged for a six point day.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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

Denver17EppleCannizar

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.

Denver17Sergio

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

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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.

MD17Finley

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.

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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.

MD17Sexton

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.

MD17Defense

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.
MD17Wynne

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.
MD17Crance

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.

MD17Garnsey1

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.

MD17Defense2

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.

MD17Gleason2

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.

MD17Borbialumni

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!
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Do Not Enter

mich17kielty

 

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………….

mich17crancetitle

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.

mich17sexton

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.

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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.

mich17sergio

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.

mich17epple

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.

armyglazes

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.

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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.

mich17garnsey6

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.

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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.

mich17byrne

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.

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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!

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Paul Finley and Lubo.