Friday Night Lights

 

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Third-seeded Duke scored 40 seconds into overtime, capping a four-goal comeback to eliminate second-seeded Notre Dame 10-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals Friday night in northern Atlanta. Leading at halftime 3-1 and after three quarters 8-6,  the Irish were outscored 3-1 in the fourth quarter to square the game at 9-9. With a championship date with Syracuse at stake, the Irish and Blue Devils battled the final 7:37 of the fourth quarter without a goal.  The Irish will finish their regular season at home versus Army next Sunday.

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The weekend began with Irish Nation descending upon Kennesaw State University, 45 minutes north of Atlanta, late Friday afternoon. Arriving before Atlanta rush hour was a victory.  Tailgates were sectioned off in the parking lot of Fifth Third Bank Stadium for fans from Syracuse, Carolina, Duke and Notre Dame.

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Happy Anniversary!

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Few tailgate with scope of the Irish. The Notre Dame Club of Atlanta made sure, with a corner location, southern cooking and plenty of spirits. Fans of Rockne, Rudy, hoops and lacrosse all attended, well-garbed in Irish attire.  Game temperature for the 8:30 faceoff was a humid 75 degrees. A crowd of 3100 understood the stakes were high, the lights were bright.

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The Irish began the season at this venue, defeating Georgetown 12-7.  We’ve experienced Hollywood Hills, three overtimes in Arlotta, a comeback in Columbus, Dinosaur Barbecue in Syracuse, snow at The Holy Half and brisket in Carolina since then.  ESPNU had ND lacrosse alum Eamon McAnaney and friends on hand to broadcast the game to the nation. ND was looking to rebound from the Carolina setback and position for The NCAA Tournament.

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Friday night drama would begin as it would end, with Irish goalie Shane Doss standing tall. Doss entered the contest ranked among the top five goalies in save percentages nationally. His early stop on Player of-the-Year Candidate Myles Jones down low would set the tone. A second save on a short hop and a third save up high confirmed Doss was dialed in. Early transition efforts by the Irish were covered by Duke, with the game evolving into a slowed down, half-field chess match.  A rarity, ND had the shot clock turned on in the first quarter, encouraging them to shoot in the next 30 seconds. Sergio Perkovic obliged, unleashing a bullet that was stopped down low, but the rebound popped up for grabs at the crease.  As Duke defenders watched, Mikey Wynne seized, faking and shooting to give the Irish an opportune 1-0 lead with four minutes played.

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Mikey Wynne scored twice on five shots.

Subsequent turnovers slowed the offense, while Doss registered five saves in the quarter.  Eddy Glazener, Matt Landis, Garrett Epple, Jack Sheridan, Bobby Collins, John Sexton and Hugh Crance hustled to limit Duke to seven shots.  Drew Schantz and  Austin Gaiss led the transition, with the Irish 5/5 in clears. The second quarter reflected more of the same, with both teams intent on competing in a half-field game of execution.

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Shane Doss made five saves in the first quarter, 11 total.

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Sergio Perkovic scored three goals.

With 9:29 remaining, Coach Corrigan inserted a new attack unit of Eddy Lubowicki, Anthony Marini and Carl Walrath. Fresh legs prevailed. Marini’s dodge attracted two defenders. He found Perkovic, who moved to his left, sliding into the seam and firing high to low, just inside the near post to put the Irish up 2-1. Six minutes later, team assist leader Matt Kavanagh would go to the net, drawing Duke’s attention. Somehow, he saw Ryder Garnsey and threaded a pass through the crease. The freshman caught, then walked a tight rope on the crease, launching himself horizontal before shooting to put the Irish up 3-1. The half ended with Duke earning all six faceoff wins, yet Doss was not forced to make a second quarter save. Shots, ground balls and turnovers were even. Credit the character of this team. After surrendering eight fourth quarter goals in the Carolina game a week ago, the Irish bounced back to limit an equally talented Duke offense to one goal in the first half. They average 14 per game.

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Ryder Garnsey played perhaps his best game, with three clutch goals on six shots and a ground ball pickup.

The first half chess match that included four goals would intensify in the third quarter. Each team scored five times. ND struck first on an unassisted classic by Perkovic. Catching up top, he rolled to his left to beat one defender, then spun right to shake two more.  He headed left to the net and shot short side high before the Duke goalie could set,  putting ND up 4-1 barely a minute into the third.  Duke would counter a minute later, drawing within 4-2 before Perkovic would strike again 47 seconds later. He bounced a bullet far side for his third of the game.  It took 29 minutes for the game’s first three goals.  It took three minutes for three goals in the second half.   Mikey Wynne gave ND their first four-goal lead, going high far side while the Irish were a man up. Credit Matt Kavanagh with another pin point pass.  Momentum and the game’s largest lead was diffused when Duke struck twice in the next three minutes to pull within 6-4.  Parent nation exhaled when Trevor Brosco found space in the Duke defense to thread a pass to Matt Kavanagh heading to the crease.  Kav caught, swirled and fired falling away. Ryder Garnsey then muscled a side arm shot from a tough angle to restore the four-goal lead, 8-4 with 4:01 left.

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Cole Riccardi dodges Duke in the second quarter.

Duke got one back a minute later and a second with 0:11 seconds remaining on a shot Doss probably didn’t see. Possessions were becoming precious, with each team scoring five times. Duke gaining possessions by   winning 7/11 faceoffs, while the Irish earned the ball by forcing six turnovers. The teams returned to methodical six on six  in the fourth quarter, realizing the stakes at hand. Duke would strike first, just a minute into the fourth, bringing the Blue Devils within one at 8-7.  A costly penalty opened the door. Ryder Garnsey’s third goal of the game pushed the lead back to two with 13 minutes remaining. With two defenders draped on him, Garnsey somehow got his hands free to flick a winner far post.  A big-time play by the freshman. The tension now exceeded the humidity. A second man up goal by Duke cut the lead to one, 9-8.   With Duke on a roll with faceoffs, they secured possession again.  This time, All American Myles Jones scored, muscling a bounce shot far post to tie the score at 9-9.  The game’s active points leader,  it was Jones’ first point of the day, but not his last. Both teams had opportunities in the final 7:37,  but neither scored. Exceptional plays came from Timmy Phillips, Garrett Epple,  Shane Doss and Bobby Collins.

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Bobby Collins played smothering defense.

After Doss took a point blank shot  on the face mask with 42 seconds remaining, Collins was tasked with shutting down Jones. He obliged, with Schantz hustling to secure an Irish possession.  With time expiring, Matt Kavanagh’s desperation shot was blocked and into overtime we went for the fourth time this year.  An illegal procedure violation after the face off, gave Duke the ball.  Jones took a pass up top, moving to his right, attracted Irish eyes and a quick slide.  Leading scorer Justin Guterding moved into the open space and Jones fed him with a short pass.  A spin and a leap, were followed by quick shot that ended the game just 40 seconds into sudden death. With a 10-9 win, Duke (10-6) advanced to Championship Sunday to play a Syracuse (9-4) team they defeated at home in March, 16-15.  In a soggy Sunday title game, a Syracuse team the Irish defeated in the Carrier Dome by 10 goals a month ago, defeated Duke 14-8 to claim the 2016 ACC Championship. The Orange scored five straight after three hours of lightening and downpours. Notre Dame (9-3) will now host Army (10-6) this Sunday in the senior’s final regular season game. Army lost Sunday to Loyola (12-3) in the Patriot League Championship. Sunday’s game at Arlotta Stadium begins at noon.  Go Irish!

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Trevor Brosco and Sergio Perkovic.

All of the highlights from Friday’s game can be seen via the link below.

ND vs Duke in ACC Semifinals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fatal Fourth

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Sophomore John Travisano battled at the faceoff X.

 

North Carolina scored eight fourth quarter goals to spur a 17-15 comeback victory over top-ranked Notre Dame Saturday in Chapel Hill.  After outscoring the #16 Tar Heels 6-1 in the third, the Irish saw a 14-9 lead erased in the final 10 minutes. The fatal fourth quarter saw Carolina  out shoot ND 18-6 en route to outscoring the Irish 8-1, including the last seven. Irish goalie Shane Doss recorded six saves in the quarter and 12 for the game.  The loss dropped Notre Dame and Carolina into a tie in  the Atlantic Coast Conference, each with a 3-1 record.  Carolina earned the top seed with Saturday’s victory serving as the tie-breaker. As the second seed, Notre Dame (9-2) will face third-seeded Duke (9-6) Friday at 8:30 pm at Kennesaw State University.  Top-seeded Carolina (8-5) will host fourth-seeded Syracuse (8-4)  in the first semifinal at 6:30 pm.

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Cole Riccardi set up one goal.

Irish Nation descended upon Chapel Hill on Friday, with flights and drives hampered with downpours.  My thanks to Steve and Carin Collins, who organized and funded an intimate southern dinner at The Carolina Inn.  Saturday’s pre-game tailgate began at 9:00 am under blue skies and glorious sunshine.

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Special thanks to Norma and Bob Landis, Meighan and Fred Garnsey, Nancy and Dave Phillips and Erin and Bobby Helfferich for a spread that included delicious biscuit sandwiches and morning spirits.  The walk to Kenan Stadium, confirmed spring’s arrival, with dogwoods and azaleas in full bloom and temperatures on the natural turf  exceeding 75 degrees. Thank Rob Kelly for his brilliant photography.  Always great to see the Pfeifers, who visited the tailgate, along with our recently minted alums who made the trip.  A special shout out to Rob Gilmartin, who’s battling health challenges and winning.  Please keep him in your prayers.

The last time these teams played in Carolina was 2014, when Notre Dame erased a 5-1 deficit to win 8-7 at Fetzer Field.

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UNCKellyThe Irish went on to win the ACC Tournament, advancing to the national championship in Baltimore against Duke. Last year in South Bend, the Irish scored three goals in the final 1:15 of the fourth quarter to claim an epic 15-14 victory. That game featured 10 ties and six lead changes, with neither team leading by more than two goals. ND entered Saturday’s contest second in the nation in goals against, holding opponents to 6.6 goals per contest. Conversely, Carolina brought one of the nation’s top offenses, scoring more than 13 goals per game.  They last lost at Kenan Stadium in 2009. As was the case at Syracuse, Carolina used the weekend versus Notre Dame to welcome lacrosse alumni and celebrate championships at halftime.

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PJ Finley won 11 faceoffs and 3 ground balls.

Seventeen seconds into the contest, Carolina struck first to the delight of the hometown crowd.  However, the Irish responded just 70 seconds later, with senior captain Matt Kavanagh moving left, ripped the back of the net, top shelf.  PJ Finley scooped the ensuing faceoff, eluded two defenders and then deposited his shot low, far post just 11 seconds later to stake the Irish their first lead. Two minutes later,  Sergio Perkovic would follow with an overhand rocket that put the Irish up 3-1.  As would be the case all day, Carolina returned fire, scoring the next two goals, forging a 3-3 tie. Freshman Ryder Garnsey responded with his 15th of the year with 2:44 remaining.

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Trevor Brosco dodged well and scored once.

With the clock under ten seconds, Cole Riccardi went to net, dodged and forced a Carolina defender to slide. He neatly dished to linemate Kyle Trolley, who stepped in and fired, rippling twine with 0:05 remaining.  It got better. On the subsequent faceoff, Drew Schantz scooped up a John Travisano faceoff and deftly fired from his own side of midfield. Catching Carolina’s goalie off guard, the ball skipped in as the horn sounded. A midfield referee briefing confirmed, like basketball, as long as the shot is released prior to the clock expiring, it counts.  ND received one point, not three and the first period ended with the Irish up 6-3.  A good quarter scripted, as the Irish outshot Carolina 15-8, winning six of nine faceoffs and collecting 11 of 18 ground balls. The bye week appeared to agree with the Irish. The defense of Eddy Glazener, Matt Landis and Garrett Epple were winning the individual battles. John Sexton, Bobby Collins, Drew Schantz, Hugh Crance, Jack Sheridan and Austin Gaiss contributed to the defensive cause on a hot Carolina day.

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Ryder Garnsey had two goals, two assists.

The Tar Heels came out in the second, scoring twice in the first four minutes to close within 6-5.  To date, the second quarter’s not been an Irish strength. Mikey Wynne’s 26th goal of the year returned the lead to two, temporarily. Carolina would strike for two more a minute apart and with 3:37 remaining in the half, we were tied at 7-7.  Sergio would score his second of the half while Carolina’s Steve Pontrello would net a hat trick to end the first half tied at 8.  The Irish had won the first quarter, while Carolina seized the second, outscoring the Irish 5-2. Two of those goals came with the Irish short handed.

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Matt Landis collected three ground balls and caused two turnovers.

The Irish asserted themselves in the third, scoring 90 seconds in courtesy of Trevor Brosco. Mikey Wynne’s second was countered by Steve Pontrello’s fourth to keep the teams a goal apart, 10-9 with more than seven minutes remaining.  But with each Carolina counter, the Irish would strike again. Carolina quietly changed goalies.  With 5:34 left in the third, Sergio would score his third, followed by Ryder Garnsey, and Mikey Wynne.  With 48 seconds left in the third, freshman Timmy Phillips would get his first collegiate goal and suddenly, the noise in the stands wasn’t from the alumni who had gathered to celebrate  Carolina championships.

Notre Dame finished a four goal run to take a 14-9 lead into the fourth quarter. The nation’s second best defense had a five-goal lead with a quarter to play and a conference tournament top seed ready to be claimed. Carolina’s post season was in jeopardy. As the clock wound down toward the 10-minute mark, Carolina became the first team in 11 games to score double digits on the Irish.

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Shane Doss faced 18 shots in the fourth.

But Sergio’s fourth goal just 39 seconds later with a man advantage sought to smother Carolina hope. With nine minutes remaining, Carolina would bounce one in and then score again a minute later, to close within three, 15-12. The Irish appeared to collect themselves, chewing four minutes off the clock.  Four minutes remained when two consecutive offensive efforts ended with Irish lasers clanging off posts. Three more Carolina goals tied at 15-15 with 2:56 to play.

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John Sexton covered a lot of ground on Saturday.

Suddenly, loose balls and faceoffs were finding the home team in an endless game of make it/take it. Parent Nation stood, summoning a rally as we always do. However, on the ensuing faceoff, Carolina’s Stephen Kelley took all of six seconds to untie the game, with a faceoff-dash to goal and score.  For the first time since PJ Finley had done the same to Carolina in the game’s first two minutes, ND trailed.  And unlike Virginia, Ohio State, Duke and Marquette endings, a victorious rally wouldn’t happen. Carolina sealed the game with a final goal, ending a tragic fourth quarter and 17-15 Irish loss. Watch the highlights via the link.

ND vs Carolina Highlights

Learn and move on. The Duke Blue Devils await Friday evening’s rematch in The ACC Tournament Semifinals. Championship Sunday will crown a winner, who automatically qualifies for the 18-team NCAA Tournament. We begin Friday with a barbecue tailgate at 4:00.  You’ll need to beat Atlanta’s rush hour. Come and be heard. Go Irish!

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April Showers

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Mikey Wynne evaded Duke to score his 25th goal.

 

Notre Dame got two fourth quarter goals from Sergio Perkovic while limiting Duke to two scores in the second half en route to an 8-6 victory Sunday in South Bend. Duke entered the game averaging 14.5 goals per game, second best nationally. They scored one goal in the final 26 minutes. Irish goalie Shane Doss posted 11 saves, while the nation’s third-best defense held Tewaaraton finalist and the game’s top active scorer, Myles Jones, to one assist.  With the win, the Irish move to 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, 8-1 overall.

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Austin Gaiss and friends held Myles Jones without a goal.

The weekend got off to a precarious start, with 1500 runners descending upon South Bend to conquer Saturday’s  Holy Half Marathon. A late Friday evening snow squall, forgetting it’s April, produced near white-out conditions. Lacrosse nation had six entries  in The Holy Half, including Lis Corrigan, Laurie Travisano, Terry Doss,  Ed Lubowicki and Ben Marini. Rob Kelly was a late scratch, opting to witness Villanova’s victory parade. Sold out six weeks ago, The Holy Half was slated to begin its 12th year at 9:00 am.  Instead, it was cancelled at 9:04 when another unwelcome snow shower evolved into a treacherous squall, covering the 13.1 mile course with two inches of fresh powder. Many of the disappointed road warriors took to the course anyway and were greeted by sunshine by 11:00 am. Having arrived in South Bend at 2:00 am, I saw the cancellation as Divine Intervention. Saturday’s slate of  lacrosse games and The Master’s moved front and center.

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The Holy Half will return in 2017.

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Spring showers cancelled The Holy Half.

Saturday’s festivities continued into the evening, with Meighan and Fred Garnsey welcoming Parent Nation to their new South Bend abode.  Fair to say, it’s been christened. Subsequently, the 9:00 am tailgate on Sunday began in earnest at 10:10.  Many thanks to Norma and Bob Landis, Laurie and Jack Travisano, Beth and Ed Lubowicki and Julie Marini. Southern Biscuits and Gravy mixed well with Bloody Mary’s.  Special thanks to Julie for transporting a large coffee brewer via American Airlines. TSA officials were warned. Great to see Judy and Jim Beattie in the house.  Get well wishes to John Marchese.  Lastly, on a cold, rainy day, many thanks to Kathy Koshansky, who braved the elements to provide us these great photos.

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A sold out Arlotta Stadium had the feel of a heavyweight fight. Notre Dame entered the contest coming off a complete win in Syracuse. They were rewarded with the nation’s top ranking. Duke entered the bout ranked #13 and looking to be the spoiler.  They played the role successfully last year, knocking the favored Irish out of the ACC Tournament in Philadelphia. The Blue Devils needed a quality win on Sunday to ensure themselves an At Large bid for the NCAA Tournament.  Where else to pull the upset than Arlotta, where battles with Denver and Syracuse had been decided in overtime?

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Sunday’s effort lowered Shane Doss’s goals against average to a nation-leading 6.3 goals allowed per game.

With an ESPNU audience looking on, temperatures hovered in the low 30’s, accompanied by gray skies and swirling winds. Two of the decade’s top programs squared off, with Duke leading the team series 10-6 and drawing first blood two minutes into the contest on precision passing and a back door cut, leading to an open net.  Nine minutes into the contest, ND responded,  with Sergio Perkovic moving left, shot left, launching an overhand shot to the far post as he fell to the ground. Duke would answer four minutes later, sporting a 2-1 lead when freshman Brendan Gleason scored from his midfield slot just 21 seconds before halftime. Gleason, paired with middies Pierre Byrne and Ben Pridemore, came in from the right alley and squeezed one far post for his second of the year. The quarter ended with the  game tied at 2-2.  Turnovers were limiting Irish possessions while enabling a Duke offense that scored 16 against Syracuse and North Carolina.

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Freshman Drew Schantz led a defensive effort that limited Duke to two second half goals.

Duke broke the tie just 90 seconds into the second quarter.  They took their largest lead of the day with under three minutes remaining, 4-2.  Notre Dame finally responded 13 minutes into the second quarter on an unassisted  goal by Mikey Wynne.  The sophomore went to the net, Duke defenders harassing him, got leverage low and somehow tucked it home. The half would end with the Irish trailing 4-3.  Props to John Sexton, Bobby Collins, Austin Gaiss, Drew Schantz and Hugh Crance on defending Duke’s  middie talent, considered the best nationally.  Myles Jones, recently selected first overall in the MLL Draft, was forced into 6 turnovers by a physical, relentless defense. He registered 11 points last week including six goals. The entire Duke midfield was limited two goals and two assists.

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John Sexton held Tewaaraton nominee Miles Jones without a goal, earning him ACC Defensive Player of the Week.

Four minutes into the third quarter, Duke expanded their lead, with precision passes and picks, 5-3.  That’s when  Ryder Garnsey struck, ending a 10-minute offensive drought.  He scored again four minutes later to tie the game at 5-5 with just 1:35 remaining in the third. Both goals were unassisted and timely. A play was needed and Garnsey delivered, twice. The Arlotta faithful, damp and cold, exhaled. Duke had challenged, the Irish had answered. Rain threatened, but held off. The third quarter ended. After 45 minutes of play, we were tied at 5.  The Blue Devils were in the game, but the Irish had been here before.

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Freshman Ryder Garnsey’s two third quarter goals ignited another comeback at Arlotta.

Duke All-American Deemer Class seized the lead, collecting his 36th goal of the year on another crisp backdoor cut. But The Irish wasted little time countering. Just nine seconds later, Sergio Perkovic returned fire for the Irish, tying the game at 6-6.  It was magical.  PJ Finley lost the faceoff, but pursued and battled, denying Duke the ground ball. In swooped Garrett Epple, who neatly flicked the ball to Perkovic.  He went right to the net,  finishing with an overhand shot down low and Duke’s lead was suddenly gone. Arlotta erupted, as fans sensed the challenger on the ropes. Less than three minutes later, Perkovic struck again. Following a stellar stop by Landis, Glazener and Epple, Perkovic found a seam in the defense,  walking right down the gut without a defensive slide. The junior All-American bounced a shot into the twine to give ND their first lead of the game with 4:55 remaining.  Arlotta drama!

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Sergio Perkovic was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week for his hat trick on Sunday.

Duke would challenge twice more, highlighted by a save up high by goalie Shane Doss, who made timely stops and crisp outlet passes all day.  The Irish seized control of possession with the Blue Devils desperate for a steal. Kyle Trolley made them pay, stepping around between three defenders before finishing into an open net to seal another precious conference win.  The offense scored when needed, with the defense allowing only two second half goals against the nation’s fourth best offense.   It’s a championship recipe.

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The future of Irish Nation

On Wednesday, #17 Marquette visited South Bend in a  matinee broadcast live on ESPN3/WatchESPN. The Golden Eagles entered the contest 8-1 overall, 3-1 in the Big East. Their defense was ranked first nationally, allowing a stingy 6.3 goals per game. Notre Dame was second, allowing 6.5 goals per game.  The Irish had won all three games between the two schools.

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Pierre Byrne drives on Marquette.

For the third time in four games at Arlotta this year, the game required overtime.  Wednesday’s edition featured four goals from Matt Kavanagh, including the game winner as Notre Dame held off Marquette 8-7. The Irish led 5-2 at halftime, only to see Marquette score three goals in less than four minutes in the third quarter to tie the game at 5. Kavanagh and  long stick middie John Sexton restored the lead to 7-5 in the fourth, before the Golden Eagles scored consecutive fourth quarter goals to forge  a 7-7 deadlock through regulation.  Both teams created opportunities in the final minute that fell short.

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Matt Kavanagh scored 30 seconds into overtime to push ND to 9-1.

The Irish fared well at the faceoff X,  winning 13 of 18 faceoffs. Sophomore John Travisano won a personal best six of seven.  PJ Finley won 7 of 11. Goalie Shane Doss recorded 9 saves including one on the crease up high in the game’s final seconds. In addition to Kav’s four, goals were scored by Cole Riccardi, John Sexton, Ryder Garnsey and Sergio Perkovic.  Games played at Arlotta versus Denver, Virginia, Duke and Marquette have been settled by a total of five goals.  Next up is North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Saturday, April 23. The game will decide the top seed for the ACC Tournament in Atlanta at month’s end.  More to come.  Go Irish!

Watch ND versus Duke Highlights Here             Watch ND versus Marquette Highlights Here

 

 

 

 

 

Turn The Page

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More than 200 Syracuse lacrosse alums returned to campus to celebrate 100 years of Orange Lacrosse.  A weekend of nostalgia received an unexpected boost from Final Four appearances by the Syracuse men’s and women’s teams.  The centerpiece of the lacrosse festivities was a clash with second-ranked Notre Dame.  Coming off a disappointing conference loss to Duke, Syracuse returned home riding a 13-game home winning streak, winning 19 of their previous 20 home games and 88% all time. But home cooking and a Centennial Celebration wasn’t enough.  Notre Dame turned the page, writing a new chapter, exploding for a season-high 17 goals en route to a 17-7 win. A historic day indeed, as the Irish handed the Orange their worst home defeat in 29 years, winning in the Dome for the first time.  For their efforts, ND reclaimed the nation’s top ranking.  Illuminate Grace Hall.

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Grace Hall signage reflects the new ranking.

An overflow parent nation gathered at Faegan’s Pub,  just blocks from The Carrier Dome, for a pregame warmup.  Two concurrent parties evolved, with  an orange curtain separating an overflow Irish lacrosse contingent and an early Syracuse basketball crowd.  Many thanks to Norm and Bob Landis, Tammy and Terry Schantz, Trish and Jim Brosco and Liz and Paul Finley for their coordination and traffic management. Great to have Barbara and Bob Rogers join us from the lax class of 2012.  Special thanks to John Marchese who’s dash to Syracuse enabled the brilliant photos.

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Matt Kavanagh collected nine points and led ND to their most complete game.

Captain Matt Kavanagh led the way, collecting nine points on three goals and six assists. Fellow attackmen Ryder Garnsey and Mikey Wynne followed his lead. Garnsey had a personal-best five goals on seven shots, while Wynne finished with four goals on five shots.

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Ryder Garnsey collected five goals on seven shots.

The first series served as a preview, with the Irish defense causing a turnover, winning a loose ball and creating a transition  that opened the field and enabled Ryder Garnsey to score just 78 seconds into the contest. The suds had barely settled on the Dome foam when his low burner came to rest.  Kyle Trolley followed, with a fake and move to the net just 90 seconds later to put the Irish up 2-0.  Wearing retro uniforms to commemorate the weekend, Syracuse rewarded the 9,076 faithful with their first goal six minutes into the contest. Less than a minute later, Bobby Gray would respond with a laser inside the far post with Mikey Wynne to follow and the Irish were up 4-1 just eight minutes into the game.  A jubilant crowd was quiet. Syracuse and Mikey Wynne exchanged goals to end the first quarter with ND leading 5-2.  Wynne was fed beautifully from Drew Schantz in transition. Stocked with offensive weapons, you knew the Orange offensive would bounce back.  History backed that up.

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Shane Doss and the Irish defense limited the nation’s #4 offense to half their season average.

Last year’s orange hero, Dylan Donahue, pulled Syracuse within two, scoring 13 seconds into the second quarter.  Donahue scored seven last year in an epic double-overtime, Irish victory in South Bend.  Saturday, he registered one goal on five shots. Credit Matt Landis, Jack Sheridan and Eddy Glazener, along with a midfield crew of Bobby Collins, John Sexton, Drew Schantz and Hugh Crance securing the perimeter.  Cuse entered the weekend averaging almost 14 goals a game, the nation’s fourth most potent offense.

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Matt Landis held All-American Dylan Donahue to a man-up goal.

Matt Kavanagh scored the first of three, restoring a three-goal lead. After Cuse responded a minute later, Kav struck twice more, finishing up high on both shots just 25 seconds apart.  Perhaps Kav’s two missiles up high left an impression on Syracuse goalie Warren Hill.  With just 12 seconds remaining in the half, Kyle Trolley delivered another Sports Center moment as called out by the ESPN crew.  Trolley came from behind the net, backhanding a low shot, skipping off the turf and through an unsuspecting Hill’s legs to bring fans from both sides to their feet.  A flashy finish to a robust half and a 9-4 lead.  ND limited Syracuse to 7 of 12 clears and caused nine turnovers. With more possessions came more shots. ND was opportunistic,  scoring nine goals on just 18 shots (50%). Our season average is 30%.

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Kyle Trolley scored  twice including a backhand  shot that brought ’em to their feet.

Jordan Evans began the third quarter, giving the crowd life, scoring twice to cut the Notre Dame lead to 9-6 with under 10 minutes left. But two goals in two minutes from Ryder Garnsey, followed by midfielder Austin Gaiss’ first collegiate goal and the Irish had their biggest lead of the game, 12-6.  Gaiss led the transition and finished, far post. Jordan Evans would finish his third quarter hat trick with under five minutes remaining. Evans wears Syracuse’s fabled #22, worn previously by Gary Gait, Casey Powell, Mike Powell and Ryan Powell.  But ND answered with goals from Sergio Perkovic and Mikey Wynne to extend the lead, 14-7.

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Freshman Austin Gaiss initiated and finished the transition with his first collegiate goal.

The Irish countered each spark or mini run.  A third quarter that began with the Irish up by four ended with them leading by seven. Two fourth quarter Ryder Garnsey goals brought his total for the day to five with an assist. Sophomore Mikey Wynne finished the scoring with his fourth of the day.  He has 24 on the season. He never stops working.  And then there’s Mr. Kavanagh. Three goals, six assists, two ground balls and a caused turnover. He simply makes others around him better. He leads the team in points and assists and trails only faceoff specialist PJ Finley and loose ball magnet John Sexton in ground balls.

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Mikey Wynne drew a crowd, opening the field for others.  He had four goals as well.

Notre Dame moved to 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with Duke traveling to South Bend on Sunday for a 12:00 ESPNU broadcast.  Arlotta Stadium has already staged overtime thrillers with Denver and Virginia.  Duke defeated Syracuse and enters the game 7-5 on the season, 1-1 in the ACC. An Irish win secures a slot in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta at month’s end, as only the top four teams vie for the conference championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.  A delicious tailgate is planned.  Come hungry, come all. Go Irish!

You can watch highlights of the game via the link below.

ND vs Syracuse Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

Buckeyes

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Second-ranked Notre Dame used a four-goal run in the third period, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead and then held off Ohio State  to win 9-8 in Columbus. The Irish received goals from four different players in a seven-minute span while shutting out the Buckeye offense.  Notre Dame then relied on its top-ranked defense to close out the game.  Mikey Wynne finished with three goals while goalie Shane Doss recorded six saves.  A crowd of more than 3100 filled the lower horseshoe of Ohio Stadium.

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Shane Doss made timely saves, including the final minute.

Brilliant spring weather accompanied ND ambassadors Judy and Jim Beattie in welcoming the Irish to Columbus. Their son, Nick Beattie, captained the Irish in 2012. In addition to a post-film snack Friday evening, Judy and Jim facilitated and funded pre and post-game festivities on Saturday. First to arrive and last to leave,  first class beginning to end. Friday-evening’s crew gathered to witness an improbable comeback by the Irish basketball team.

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Jim and Judy Beattie were exceptional hosts.

Advancing to the Elite Eight in Philadelphia, the basketball team won across the parking lot from where the lacrosse team hopes to play for a national championship in May, Lincoln Financial Field.  Saturday’s lacrosse pre-game at The Varsity in Columbus brought us to a Buckeye tradition, just down the street from The Horseshoe, built in 1922.  It was great to see the Ollinger’s attend from California. The Trolleys and the Marlotts were there as well.  Many thanks to Patricia and Karl Stephan, who ensured the team enjoyed a sweet Easter. Another round of gratitude to John Marchese, Kathy Koshansky and Rob Kelly for the photos.  More than 250 can be viewed on the Shutterfly site that’s linked to the photo tab on our Parent Home Page.

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A trap game if there ever was one, Notre Dame entered the contest 5-1, while Ohio State was 5-4. With ND scheduled to play #7 Syracuse and #11 Duke in the two weeks following this game, human nature might have the Irish looking beyond the Buckeyes.  However, Ohio State has not lost sight of the 9-0 whitewash they experienced last year in South Bend.  So entering this game, you figured they’d play with an edge, and they did.

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Bobby Collins kept OSU on the perimeter.

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Jack Sheridan collected two ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Mikey Wynne staked the Irish to  1-0 lead, three minutes into the game on an assist from Brendan Collins. Ohio State tied it three minutes later and took the lead one minute after that.  Their first goal came with the man advantage, their second with 7:39 remaining in the first period.  Captain Matt Kavanagh tied it at the 5:00 mark, refusing to be denied a route to the net.  Just 90 seconds later, Ohio State opted to keep the game close, reclaiming the lead 3-2 on 10 shots to end the first quarter.  The Irish had two goals on just four shots, as the Buckeyes possessed the ball most of the quarter.

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Matt Kavanagh was relentless, getting hands free to score in tight space. Just another day, two goals, two assists, two ground balls.

As we saw in the Virginia game the week prior, the second quarter was low-scoring with both teams rippling the twine once. Mikey Wynne’s second goal of the game, 19th on the season, tied the game at 3-3.  Brendan Collins got the assist. However, with 1:59 remaining in the half, the Buckeyes struck back, taking a 4-3 lead into the locker room.

Mikey Wynne, Kyle Trolley, Brendan Collins and Matt Kavanagh would each score in a seven-minute span, turning a one goal deficit at halftime into a three-goal, third quarter lead.  Credit Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener, Jack Sheridan, Nick Koshansky, John Sexton, Drew Schantz, Bobby Collins and Hugh Crance, shutting the Buckeye offense down in the second and for much of the third, while igniting the transition game.  Wynne was fed on a clever skip pass from Trevor Brosco, notching his 20th of the year and climbing into the nation’s Top 10 in goals scored per game (2.9).

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Kyle Trolley was electric, collecting one goal and two ground balls and  causing two turnovers.

Kyle Trolley stirred the crowd, neatly face dodging a Buckeye defender only to see a second slide  in his path. A second face dodge was followed with a hitch and a quick- release shot just inside the far post.  His Sports Center moment put the Irish on top for the first time since the game’s first goal.  Brendan Collins and Matt Kavanagh would add to the fury, putting ND out front 7-4 with less than four minutes remaining.  The Irish defense provoked six Buckeye turnovers to ND’s one. Doss, Schantz, Sexton and Hugh Crance were also driving the transition game, opening the field and showcasing the team’s athleticism.  Suddenly, the home team were on their heels.  Ohio State

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Freshman Drew Schantz led the Irish in transition.

regrouped, launching 12 shots in the fourth quarter, aided by five fourth quarter ND turnovers.   The Buckeyes closed to 7-5 before Ryder Garnsey returned the lead to three, 8-5, with 8:26 remaining.  OSU responded, only to have Eddy Lubowicki reply from the crease 90 seconds later to restore a three-goal lead, 9-6.   Two Buckeye goals one minute apart, brought  Ohio State within one, 9-8, with  2:27 still remaining.  But the Irish defense is ranked #1 nationally for a reason, shutting OSU down the rest of the way. Doss was forced to make one late save up high in the game’s final minute.   No overtime, just the third consecutive one-goal game, and a win.

In other team-related news,  more than 70 players, friends and alums gathered last Saturday at O’Lunney’s Pub in New York to watch the ND-Virginia lacrosse game and raise funds for Rob Gilmartin, who’s battling health challenges.  Rob’s son, Will, played lacrosse, graduating in 2015. Parent attendees included Phil Dobson (2012), Mark and Betsy Keppeler (2012), Bob and Alicia Ashenberg (2012), Tim and Debbie Brenneman (2011 and 2014), Phil and Donna Pfeifer (2012), Gene and Jane Foley (2013), Tom O’Hara (2013) and Michelle Tripucka (2011).  Special thanks to Regis McDermott and Bob Rogers for coordinating the effort, along with some related activities.  We’re pulling for you Rob.  Show your Irish and keep battling!

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Prior to Saturday’s Ohio State contest, the Irish privately bestowed senior midfielder Adam Goins with the #40 jersey, which honors former Notre Dame captain Mike Sennett. A three-time monogram winner, Sennett played attack and was known as a selfless player and teammate.  A native of Detroit and graduate of Brother Rice High School (Sergio Perkovic), Sennett  evangelized lacrosse in Missouri, settling in St. Louis after receiving his degree from Notre Dame in  1991.

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Three-time monogram winner, Mike Sennett

In his honor, members of the DeSmet High School community established The Mike Sennett Count On Me Foundation, providing scholarship, mentoring and lacrosse instruction to economically disadvantaged youth in the St. Louis metro area.  His #40 hangs in the Notre Dame player’s lounge at Arlotta Stadium as a reminder of the team’s values. Adam Goins has continued to contribute to the team’s success despite having to retire from injuries. His contributions extend beyond the field.  Congratulations Adam! 

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Adam Goins

Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game in Syracuse tied with Duke atop the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 1-0 league record.  The Irish are seeking their first win inside The Carrier Dome. Syracuse has one loss this season, while Virginia has two.  North Carolina will open their ACC schedule playing  at Duke on Friday.  The top four teams in the league will compete in the ACC Tournament in a month in Kennesaw, Georgia.   Go Irish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Day

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Six days removed from a heart-breaking loss to defending champion Denver, Notre Dame returned to Arlotta Stadium and overtime to defeat unranked Virginia, 8-7. Midfielder Sergio Perkovic scored with 23 seconds remaining in regulation to send the second-ranked Irish into overtime.  Perkovic’s third goal of the game, 29 seconds into overtime, gave the Irish a valuable Atlantic Coast Conference victory.  ND goalie Shane Doss kept the Irish within reach, recording 14 timely saves.  For their efforts, Doss and Perkovic were named ACC Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively.VASergio!!

An overflow crowd gathered in The Ivy Court’s ACC Room to prepare Parent Nation for the season’s first ACC contest. Among them were alums Jim Marlatt, Jack Near, Marty Collins and John Soscia.  Also in the house were John and Liza Near, last year’s leaders of parent nation and seasoned tailgaters. Alums Henry Williams and Ryan Smith also attended the game.  Another sensational spread was complimented by an assortment of spirits, minus the Grappa. Thank you to Bob and Norma Landis, Meighan and Fred Garnsey, Tammy and  Terry Schantz, Brian and Gina Collins and Dave and Nancy Phillips for coordinating Saturday’s late afternoon feast.  The walk to Arlotta was needed exercise.  The Holy Half Marathon is next month. Special thanks to Liza Near and Kathy Koshansky for capturing the color in these photos.  More than 300 can be viewed via the link at the top of the page.  Rob Kelly provides the password, if you’ve not logged in.
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ND Nation in South Bend saluted the Irish gathering in Manhattan

Simultaneously, Regis McDermott and Bob Rogers were hosting a Game Watch at O’Lunney’s Pub in Manhattan.  That gathering brought parents, friends and alums together while raising funds for a stricken ND parent, who made a surprising appearance. More to come on that front.
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The offense has created opportunity with relentless defense. Ed Lubowicki, Mikey Wynne and Matt Kavanagh collected 10 ground balls against Virginia.

Virginia entered the game leading the school series 5-4.  Notre Dame had won the previous three, including last year’s 11-9 tilt in Charlottesville. Saturday’s game marked the first time both teams weren’t ranked, with the Cavaliers entering the matchup 3-4.  The Irish got on the board first, when senior captain Matt Kavanagh picked up a loose ball out of a scrum and snapped a sidewinder in the game’s eighth minute.  At the other end, goalie Shane Doss was tested twice down low, keeping the Cavaliers scoreless on four saves.  Surrounding Doss were Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener and Jack Sheridan, along with middies Nick Koshansky, Bobby Collins, Hugh Crance, Drew Schantz and John Sexton.  That crew entered the contest ranked as the second stingiest defense nationally, allowing just six goals per game.

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Matt Landis and Jack Sheridan held UVA to two first half goals.

They’re ranked third in caused- turnovers, provoking nine per game.  Behind the defense, Doss is saving 61% of what’s hurled at him, which is fifth best among 70 teams. The first quarter would end with the Irish leading 1-0.
 Five minutes into the second quarter, the Irish extended their lead to 2-0 when midfielder Ben Pridemore stepped  in and fired low to the far post. Fellow midfielder Pierre Byrne collected the assist. Three minutes later, Virginia would end a 22-minute drought, getting an unassisted goal with just 7:40 remaining in the half.  Going back to halftime of the Denver game the week prior, my math has the Irish defense surrendering three goals in the past 54 minutes. With 1:13 remaining, the Cavaliers found life when they tied the game, 2-2.  While ND drove the tempo, nine turnovers kept Virginia close.   Fortunately, Irish goalie Doss recorded  nine saves.  UVA’s Barrett had five.

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Nick Koshansky has been a physical force all year.

Virginia came out of halftime with time remaining on a man-advantage.  They capitalized, scoring neatly on a short side shot to take their first lead,  3-2. The Wahoos took the ensuing face off directly toward Angela Boulevard, scoring just 13 seconds later.  Just like that, ND trailed 4-2, surrendering four consecutive goals.  Out came the 10-man ride, where everyone near the ball is stalked. On cue, a turnover, scooped up by Matt Kavanagh, who found Mikey Wynne going to the net.  Wynne muscled a shot while mugged by defenders and the deficit was cut to one, 4-3. Drew Schantz provided the assist, his collegiate first.  Four minutes later, Ryder Garnsey found Sergio Perkovic up the gut.  Perkovic delivered liquid smoke, shooting top shelf and we were tied at 4.  An awkward Irish line change opened the door for the Virginia offense and the Cavalier offense struck, taking a 5-4 lead.   The Irish responded, with 1:26 remaining in the third. Eddy Lubowicki found Matt Kavanagh, who tied the game, 5-5. The third quarter ended after Shane Doss made a spectacular kick-save on a shot ticketed to the low far post.  Both teams had 5 goals on 24 shots. The 10-man ride was causing Virginia fits, clearing the ball just 10 of 16 times through three quarters.
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Mikey Wynne entered the game leading the ACC in goals per game and shooting efficiency.

Five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers appeared to catch the Irish changing personnel, scoring in tight to take a 6-5 lead.  You expect this from Virginia, long-time ACC and national power.  After all, they lost to a good Syracuse team 14-13 just a few weeks back.  And at 3-4, they were fighting for their post-season lives. The clock had wound its way down to 2:27 when Eddy Lubowicki went low, bouncing a shot through the five hole, an area this goalie’s been susceptible since high school.  We were now tied at 6-6.  Virginia got the ball back after the faceoff, winning 14 of 18 on the day.  A Shane Doss save from in tight produced a rebound that Virginia would inadvertently kick in to take a 7-6 lead with 1:24 remaining in the fourth. Third-ranked Syracuse had already lost. A second loss at Arlotta – in six days…?  C’mon!  New in town?  The ensuing faceoff became a collective ground ball hunt, with the Irish securing possession with 1:04 to play.
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Eddy Lubowicki tied it at 6-6.

Methodical ball movement, with a sense of urgency created enough space for Sergio Perkovic’s quick release and second goal of the game with 0:23 remaining.  We were tied at 7-7.  A mad chase ensued on the faceoff, with Virginia negotiating a timeout without possession.  But this defense locked in and the final 16 seconds elapsed without a shot.  For the second time in six days, we went into overtime. Virginia had shown the personality of their tough-guy coach.  Dom Starsia’s teams have won four national championships and 267 games.
Overtime played out in Arlotta as scripted….Finley battles, Sexton scoops, runs and distributes, the offense carousels, with the opposing defense scrambling to secure their assignments. The ball continues to rotate, suddenly, with the slightest of dodge, Sergio Perkovic reaches back and fires……You saw nothing. You only heard the clang of a post and a delayed reaction from Irish garbed in white, who raised sticks in celebration.  Perkovic’s laser had found net just off the post. The faithful on the berm stormed the field on one side, the Irish team came from the other.  Another day at Arlotta.  Despite a Cavalier effort, the Irish prevailed, 8-7.   You can watch the highlights
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Matt Kavanagh collected a team high six ground balls. He has 10 in the last two games.

on the link below.
Saturday’s game versus Ohio State could be classified as a trap game. The Buckeyes are 5-4 and the Irish have conference games with Syracuse and Duke following.  Don’t be fooled. OSU will play with an edge on this Easter Saturday.  Looking forward to the game and  Jim and Judy Beattie, our gracious hosts. See ya in Columbus.  Go Irish.

60 Minutes

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ND’s Mikey Wynne has been a warrior, scoring 13 goals in the last three games.

You knew walking into Arlotta….four of the last five contests between Denver and Notre Dame had been decided in overtime. You knew the last six games have been decided by eight goals, total.  You recall both games last year were  11-10 battles decided in overtime, including May’s NCAA national semifinals.  So when Sunday’s matchup between #1 Notre Dame and #2 Denver at Arlotta Stadium began, this game would be decided late….or would it?

Down 7-2 after three periods, Notre Dame scored six fourth quarter goals, four in a 43 second span to take an 8-7 lead. Arlotta rocked in front of a national television audience. Denver recovered to force overtime, then defeated the Irish 9-8 and assumed the nation’s top ranking.  For the Irish, a promising start, a furious finish, a frustrating middle. A curious mix for 60 minutes.

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Syracuse, Carolina and now Denver brought #1 vs #2 drama to Arlotta.

 

Parent nation gathered in The ACC Room at the Ivy Court for a rare  Sunday afternoon event. A feast was served by Mary and Kevin Kavanagh, Carrie and Geoff Langdon, Nancy and Dave Phillips, Gina and Brian Collins , Andrea and Frank Crance and Bob and Norma Landis. Gloomy outside, the fireplace roared inside, with confidence high. Grappa gave way to a smooth, brown spirit. Vasko Perkovic stirred up the room. Great to see such a mix of under and upper classmen parents.  The Glazeners and Crances made the trip from California, as the freshmen parents were the most abundant.

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Shoutout to ND alum Eamon McAnaney (’91) who shared his perspective Saturday evening.  Eamon’s a great ambassador for Notre Dame and the sport of lacrosse. He joined Paul Carcaterra and Quint Kesnick in the booth for ESPN.

 

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So, for the third time in less than a year, the #1 ranked lacrosse team played #2 at Arlotta Stadium. Notre Dame entered contests ranked as the nation’s top team versus North Carolina last April and Sunday versus Denver. Last March, they hosted #1 Syracuse as the nations #2 team. Sunday was also the 21st meeting between Notre Dame and Denver, with the Irish holding a 14-6 advantage. Denver’s won the past three, but the Irish were 6-1 versus the Pioneers at home.  Newport Beach and Philly have been less hospitable.

PJ Finley got us off to a fast start.  Forcing a violation, he faked a field departure before heading to the net unattended.  As you would expect, Matt Kavanagh found him with a pass and Finley deposited quickly to put ND up 1-0 just 34 seconds into the game.  Irish goalie Shane Doss preserved the lead with two critical saves down low, including one from Tewaaraton-nominee Connor Cannizzaro….a promising start.   The teams exchanged turnovers before Denver would tie the game seven minutes later, with a man advantage.

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PJ Finley scored twice and collected 3 ground balls.

A minute later, Zack Miller would get the first of three on the day to put Denver ahead, 2-1. The Pioneers added man-advantage and even-strength goals to close out the first period, 4-1.  While the Irish won 5/6 faceoffs and drove possessions, the Pioneers scored four goals on seven shots (57%), while ND scored once on six shots (17%).

The Pioneers picked up where they left off in the second, scoring the first two goals to extend their lead to 6-1 with 10 minutes played.  Denver had scored six consecutive, while the Irish had gone 26 minutes without a goal. You can point to eight first half Irish turnovers, but the Pioneers registered seven. Credit Matt Landis, Ed Glazener and Jack Sheridan, along with Nick Koshansky, Hugh Crance, Drew Schantz, Bobby Collins and John Sexton.  They forced a methodical offense to reset often.  Trevor Brosco got one back for the Irish, popping open, catching and shooting to the back of the net with just under three minutes remaining.  Matt Kavanagh earned the assist.  Denver responded just 90 seconds later, their third goal on five shots in the second quarter.  Historically, one of the game’s most efficient offenses, Denver had seven goals on 12 shots ( 58%). ND entered the game surrendering a 22% shooting percentage.

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Trevor Brosco scored just before halftime

Perhaps the irony of the game was the third quarter. For the first time this year, maybe in many years, there were no goals scored by either team. The Irish were averaging scoring two goals per game in the third, while surrendering just one goal. In this game, it was all Denver, registering 10 shots to ND’s three. They won the ground ball war 11-2. Turnovers were even, but with Denver methodically chewing clock, each turnover was punitive. Goalie Shane Doss was forced to make four critical saves, while Denver’s freshman goalie was only challenged once.  So we moved to the fourth quarter with the Irish trailing  by five goals, 7-2. The Arlotta crowd had yet to give up, witnessing fourth quarter magic last year against Syracuse and Carolina.  We also knew the Irish were down

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Tewaaraton nominees Matt Landis and Connor Cannizzaro.

10-6 to Denver in the national semifinal last May with 4:23 remaining.  That game went into overtime. Sunday, Mikey Wynne got ’em started, just four minutes into the fourth, going to the net unassisted. Five minutes later, he struck again, pulling the Irish within three, 7-4.  The crowd roared, the legion on the berm danced….Less than a minute later, Brendan Collins brought them all back to their feet, scoring with help from Sergio Perkovic.  The Irish were within two, 7-5. Relative to last year’s national semifinal game, you knew,  we’re in good shape! Long stick middie John Sexton scooped up his 15th ground ball in five games, racing toward Angela Boulevard. He reared back and fired with a long stick to ripple the twine and bring ND within one, 7-6.  Denver had no answer, as the long-awaited transition game had generated four consecutive goals with under five minutes remaining. Brian Collins high-fived everyone in proximity of his seat. Employing a 10-man ride, ND had the fans in a frenzy.  Mikey Wynne’s steal and race to the net seemed impossible.  But when he reared back and fired to the far post, there were no calming the home-town crowd.  Where Denver had been winning the previous 48 minutes, we were suddenly square, 7-7. Ironically, it was face off specialist Finley who put the Irish on top, taking another feed from Matt Kavanagh and finishing with 4:34 remaining.  Now there was Bedlam!  A game that began with Finley scoring in the first 34 seconds would include a drought of nearly 44 minutes. Then, six goals within a span of 43 seconds…. mayhem!  Denver would tie the game two minutes later, with both teams afforded opportunities to score in the final minute. For the fifth time in six years, we had overtime.  Denver’s Zack Miller would score his third goal of the game two minutes into overtime, removing the Irish from the unbeaten and darkening the #1  that’s been lit atop Grace Hall for the past three weeks.  A dramatic ending to 60 minutes of roller coaster madness.  A rare loss at Arlotta.

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ND’s Kyle Trolley sparked the Irish midfield.

With wins over North Carolina and now Notre Dame,  Denver is now the nation’s top ranked team. The have only two ranked opponents remaining on their schedule, Villanova (#7) and Penn State (#20). Notre Dame, with a win already over Maryland (#6), still faces Syracuse (#3), North Carolina (#17) and Duke (#11). ND will take on Virginia this Saturday, who’s currently not ranked, but has been and will be. A reminder of the Game Watch Party in New York that Bob Rogers is coordinating.  A blog earlier in the week includes all of the details.  We’re nearing the regular season mid point. But just getting started.  Thank John Marchese for the hours of photography posted here.  I’ll see ya Saturday. Highlights from the game can be seen on the link below.

Notre Dame vs Denver Highlights

 

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Final Four Lep

ND Family, 

There will be a Notre Dame Lacrosse Game Watch on Saturday, March 19th in NYC when ND takes on UVA. This is a special event as it will also serve as a fundraiser / spirit boost for one of our own. The father of a lacrosse alum from the Class of 2015 recently received a very tough diagnosis.  The family has asked us not to use a name, as they would prefer to make this event more of a celebration of ND Lacrosse. In addition to raising their spirits, we’d like to raise money to assist them as they navigate the journey ahead.  Please see the details below. 

Game Watch: Fighting Irish vs. UVA

When: Saturday, March 19th

Time:  5:30pm – 8:30pm (game time is 6:00pm)

Where:   O’Lunney’s Pub. 145 West 45th Street, between Broadway and 6th                    Avenue

Price: $75 includes a donation to the family, an open bar for three hours, & appetizers (children are free)

**Payment can be made at the door with cash or check. It can also be paid ahead of time via check made out to Regis McDermott [mailed to 29-12 Newtown Avenue, Apt. C4, Astoria, NY 11102].    Any additional donation is welcome.  

We will have our own private bar located upstairs. All TV’s and speakers will be playing the game.

Come out to support one of our own and watch Coach Corrigan and the guys take down the Hoos!    Go Irish! 

THERE ARE STILL A FEW GOLF DATES AVAILABLE BUT COULD ALWAYS HAVE MORE.  THREESOME JOINS THE HOST FOR A FUN DAY ON THE LINKS! 

*Please feel free to reach out to Bob Rogers with any questions.  Cell 757-818-5435

Sent by the Class of 2009 All American – Regis McDermott and Coach Kevin Corrigan

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A Tough Wynne

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ND’s Mikey Wynne (24) muscled Maryland in scoring four goals.

Top-ranked Notre Dame used a physical team defense and four goals from sophomore Mikey Wynne in outlasting Maryland in Saturday’s Third Annual Pacific Coast Shootout in Newport Beach, California. Tied 4-4, with 5:22 remaining, the Irish delivered the knockout punch, scoring five unanswered goals, including two empty net, before  a sellout crowd of 6,970.  Wynne has scored a gaudy 10 goals in the past two games, while goalie Shane Doss has surrendered just six. The win lifts the Irish to 4-0, with a home game Sunday versus #2 Denver in South Bend, broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

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Matt Landis turned away Maryland, earning ACC Defensive Player of the Week.

Spectacular beaches, whales, mojitos and kayaks greeted the Irish contingent landing in southern California. Concluding family trips in La Jolla, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles,  parent nation  funnelled to posh Newport Beach by Thursday. Upscale shops, rooftop bars, ocean views and cliff-side homes were spectacular.  Lawn bowling and beach-side cafe’s overlooking the Pacific were special. Macadamia, coconut pancakes with Huevos Rancheros added four pounds.

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Thursday night’s dinner at The Blue Water Grill was followed by Friday’s Happy Hour/Dinner at Muldoon’s.  Special thanks to Andrea and Frank Crance for facilitating and funding. Saturday’s pregame tailgate at Super A’s had an overflow crowd enjoying spicy Mexican fare, Coronas, Modellos and mysterious Mexican shots.  There was no Grappa. Special thanks to Ann and Chris Glazener, Jack and Laurie Travisano,, Tammy and Terry Schantz and Jill and Brad Stinn.

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The pre-game atmosphere at Lebard Stadium reflected a calm before the storm. Maryland and Notre Dame were well represented in traveling and local backers. As was the case in Atlanta, young kids with sticks and autograph material were abundant. No surprise, the game’s organization and operation were crisp, with ticket collecting, vendors and game management perfect. Congratulations to GW Mix and bride Mary for producing a first-class event.  Son Ryan, an Irish monogram winner, along with lax alumni Jim Marlatt, Duncan Swezey, Nick Beattie, Max Pfeifer and Adam Felicetti were on hand to support the Irish.  Suzie and Dan Runyon also made the trip and look wonderful.  Kyle Runyon is in Australia, where he played lacrosse for Chadstone. He’s become Crocodile Dundee.

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Maryland entered the game, boasting one of the nation’s top faceoff teams, winning 78%. Despite winning the opening draw, their offense was stifled, with Nick Koshansky, John Sexton, Garrett Epple, Matt Landis and Eddy Glazener banging, jamming Terrapin thrusts. Freshman Ryder Garnsey got the Irish on the board, scoring on a wrap-around with the game not yet five minutes old. Both teams forced turnovers, with the Irish looking to play fast in transition and the Terps calculated and methodical. Despite three brief man advantages for the Irish, it was Maryland who scored next, tying the game at 1-1 with 4:51 left to play.  The Irish would finish the first, outshooting the Terps 11-7, but the game was deadlocked  1-1.  Doss was yet to register a save while Maryland’s goalie made four.

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Ryder Garnsey puts the Irish on the board.

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Shane Doss made the saves needed, including two late, to preserve victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland would take it’s first and only lead of the contest with eight minutes elapsed in the second quarter, 2-1.  But Matt Kavanagh notched his third goal of the season with a crisp pass from midfielder Trevor Brosco to square the score at two. Both teams allowed perimeter play, with congestion and contention in the middle. Passes received, routes run, shots taken all precipitated a shoulder check or stick slash to the body.  As a result, the half ended with the game tied at two.

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Matt Kavanagh tied the game at 2.

While the Irish outshot the Terps 18-14 and forced Maryland to more saves (5-2), both teams went into the locker room optimistic.

Notre Dame erased any doubt about their intent, when Mikey Wynne willed his way to the net 45 seconds into the half, giving the Irish the lead.  The Irish continued to set the tempo, outshooting Maryland 10-6. More impressively, ND won 3/4 faceoffs, as PJ Finley, John Sexton and a posse of ground ball mavens were tenacious.  That determination paid dividends, as Trevor Brosco scored unassisted to put ND up 4-2 with five minutes left in the third. Credit to Maryland, they didn’t fold, showing why they too are among the nation’s top defensive teams.  An ND infraction and quick restart by the referee enabled Maryland to waltz in on goalie Doss alone with 2:54 remaining to cut the score to 4-3 and give Maryland life. The Irish bench erupted with spirited protest.  The game headed into the fourth quarter, with the Irish leading and provoking, looking to re-establish a two goal lead. But it was Maryland who scored five minutes in, tying the game at 4-4. Challenged for the first time this season, Notre Dame responded, first with shots, then a Mikey Wynne put back with three Terps in pursuit, returning ND back on top 5-4 with 5:22 left.  Wynne wasn’t done.  A preseason All-American, he scored three minutes later to put the Irish up 6-4 with  barely three minutes remaining.

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An Irish gauntlett of Garrett Epple,  Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener and Timmy Phillips protect goalie Shane Doss.  Denver’s next.

The Terps would be forced to come out of their shell and play aggressively. Using the goalie to pursue possession, Maryland left the goal crease open.  Ryder Garnsey, Sergio Perkovic and Wynne found this to their liking, scoring consecutive goals in 36 seconds to seal a 9-4 win. With the game tied at 4, Notre Dame stayed the aggressor, outshooting, outscoring and outclearing Maryland.  Empty net goals aside, the team finished and justified their top ranking.  The talent is deep, the composure is noticeable.  It will be tested on Sunday.  My thanks to John Marchese and Kathy Koshansky for their photographs and hours of preparation.

You can watch the game’s highlights on the link below.  The ND/Denver battle will air on ESPNU at 5:30 EDT.  ND holds a 14-6 advantage over Denver in the series, including a 5-3 record in the last eight games.  Denver won both games last year in overtime.  The Chapel and Arlotta are a must on Sunday.  Go Irish!

Watch ND-Maryland Highlights Here

The Irish were coming off a 14-5 victory over Detroit that included a six-goal effort by sophomore Mikey Wynne.  Sergio Perkovic registered four goals, while  goalie Shane Doss allowed just two in three periods.  The game was played in the Loftus Center following a fresh coat of snow.  The Irish have now  24 of their last 26 games played in February.

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An amazing tailgate at the Ivy featured barbecue, cole slaw, corn bread, gourmet sandwiches, sweets and beverages. Coordinated by Norma and Bob Landis, a team of  Triscia and Jim Brosco, Kristina and Vasko Perkovic and Mary Ann and Jerry Sheridan put together a southern feast.  The sunny, but brisk walk to The Loftus Center was needed.

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In the Detroit contest, the Irish played from behind for the first time, surrendering the game’s first goal on the game’s first shot.  Detroit deployed a methodical, clock-consuming offense. It wasn’t until 5:27 into the first quarter when Mikey Wynne responded, scoring not once but  three times.  Assists came from Ryder Garnsey and Ben Pridemore.  Wynne loves Loftus, scoring five goals last year in the opener versus Georgetown.

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Freshman Drew Schantz scored his first collegiate goal early in the second to continue a 7-0 Irish run.  Matt Kavanagh and Sergio Perkovic (twice) also scored. Kav’s return energized the offense. Detroit got one goal back after being held scoreless for a 27 minutes.  Perkovic would complete his hat trick, scoring his eighth goal of the year to give ND a 7-2 halftime lead.  PJ Finley provided the assist after winning                                                                                                                 a faceoff. The Irish outshot                                                                                                                              Detroit 22-9 in the first half.

The third quarter included a four-goal Irish run, with goals by Perkovic and Wynne before freshman Brendan Gleason scored his first collegiate goal unassisted at the 3:09 mark. The attackman moved right to left, shooting high to the far  post to put ND up 11-2.  Mikey Wynne would add his fifth goal off an assist from Kavanagh.

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Nick Koshansky enabled the transition.

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Drew Schantz has shown poise under fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fourth quarter began with Anthony Marini scoring his first of the season, unassisted for a 13-2 lead with more than 12 minutes remaining.  Marini would shoot short-side from in tight.   Wynne would later collect his personal-best sixth goal on just his seventh shot. In between Marini and Wynne,  Sophomore goalie Owen Molloy was registering four saves as the Irish substituted freely.  A season high 39 players saw action, with the Irish closing out the game with a 14-5 victory.

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Owen Molloy recorded four saves.

Beyond Wynne’s amazing six goals and Perkovic’s four, was an 18-18 Irish effort in clears, Finley/Travisano combining for 15/22 faceoff wins,  23 turnovers forced by the Irish and a Doss/defensive effort that surrendered just two goals through three quarters.  Chris Carter, Tyler Ruhl, Will Young, Brooks Tyrell, Tom Stephan, Nick Stinn and Patrick Headley each logged valuable minutes, with John Travisano leading the team with four ground balls.   My thanks to John Marchese for braving the elements to capture 114  photographs.  You can also view some of the highlights on the link below.

Watch ND-Detroit Highlights Here

With Detroit and Maryland in the books, the focus of a young season will turn to a Denver versus Notre Dame matchup rich in drama.  #1 versus #2, two of the nation’s most passionate and successful coaches, a rematch of last year’s national semifinal, five of the game’s most dynamic players and  of course, epic battles – with both games last year settled in overtime.   It’s March, not May, but a battle for the sport’s premier ranking is at stake – and we’ve not even begun conference play! See ya Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Fever

Notre Dame used four goals by Eddy Lubowicki and timely goaltending from Shane Doss to defeat stubborn Bellarmine 11-6 in South Bend on Wednesday.  Six different goal scorers staked the Irish to an 8-3 halftime lead. A wintry storm moved the game indoors to The Loftus Center.  With the victory, the top-ranked Irish moved to 2-0 and host Detroit on Saturday.  Originally scheduled for Arlotta Stadium, the game has been moved into Loftus.

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Arlotta Stadium  after Wednesday’s storm.

One of two midweek games on the schedule, Wednesday’s contest combined with high winds and a persistent snow reduced parent nation to two Jersey guys and Baers from Dallas.  It was great to meet Nick and Marcia Baer, spend time with Liz Corrigan, Dr. Tracy Byrne, Ellie Molloy and John Marchese. That was parent nation. The Ivy was quiet, so the pregame consisted of a brew at The Linebacker.  A stark contrast to Saturday’s balmy barbecue in Atlanta.

ND entered the game with 4-0 record versus Bellarmine.  They last played in 2009, with the Irish winning 14-6.  In that game, senior attackman Duncan Swezy, from Ambler, PA, scored four goals, a career high. The game was played on a Wednesday in South Bend, with the Irish ranked third.  Fast forward seven years, senior attackman Eddy Lubowicki, from Somerset, NJ, scored a career high four goals in Wednesday’s game, as the #1 ranked Irish defeated Bellarmine 11-6.  Deja vu all over again.

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Eddy Lubowicki had a career-best four goals.

ND entered the contest 22-3 in the last 25 games played in February. The Irish came out flying, with an up-tempo offense that collected PJ Finley’s  face off and went right to work.   The Irish swarmed, unleashing 27 shots in the first half.  In contrast,  the Knights didn’t register a shot in the first 10 minutes, forcing Doss’ first save with 5:01 remaining.

An attack of Eddy Lubowicki, Ryder Garnsey and Mikey Wynne enabled the Irish to take the first 12 shots. The offense then spread the field wide,  creating space that Lubowicki leveraged, attacking from behind the net to wrap one home and give the Irish a 1-0 lead. Your midfield line of Sergio Perkovic, Brendan Collins and Trevor Brosco was garnering attention, with good ball movement.  After peppering Bellarmine with a half dozen shots in the game’s first 10 minutes, that line gave way to Pierre Byrne, Ben Pridemore  and Kyle Trolley.  It was the left-handed Pridemore, moving to his left, who put the Irish up 2-0, with a well-placed shot inside the far post for his first goal of the year.  That middie line gave way to Cole Riccardi, Bobby Gray and Timmy Phillips.  Taking a page from Pridemore, lefty Gray went left, firing a bullet high to low and a 3-0 Notre Dame lead with 8:23 remaining in the first quarter.

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Nick Koshansky has excelled at both ends.

The defense of Matt Landis, Garrett Epple and Ed Glazener eagerly watched.  Defensive middie Nick Koshanksy and Long stick middie Hugh Crance were active. Defensive middie Bobby Collins  made his first appearance shortly thereafter, forcing a turnover to give the Irish the ball back as freshman Austin Gaiss  entered the field. The Knights registered their first shot with 5:01 remaining and Doss was forced to make his first save 30 seconds later.  Enter Anthony Marini at attack.    Some methodical ball movement ultimately led to the Knights’ first goal, a side arm shot with 2:31 left.  Brendan Collins returned the favor to put the Irish up 4-1 at the end of one quarter.

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Eddy Glazener is in midseason form.

As with the Georgetown game, Bellarmine scored first in the second quarter, closing the gap to 4-2. Ryder Garnsey would answer on a fast-break goal, sprung by a quick pass from Timmy Phillips off a ground ball.  Eddy Lubowicki’s second goal, in tight and falling to the ground, put Notre Dame up 6-2.  Lubo completed a hat trick with his third goal with 7:34 left in the half.  Credit Kyle Trolley with a clever, unselfish assist.  All three of Lubo’s goals were low shots, yet most of the 27 first half shots Notre Dame fired were up high. As it appeared the Irish might break the game open, Bellarmine methodically moved the ball and scored to keep the Knights within four at 7-3.  Enter Jack Sheridan, whose defense enabled the Irish to kill a tripping penalty.  Freshman Drew Schantz was also active at midfield. With 4:01 left, Sergio unleashed high heat just under the crossbar for an 8-3 lead the Irish would take to the locker room.

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Timmy Phillips had two assists, collected two ground balls and caused one turnover.

The second half reflected a contrast of agendas.  The Irish were looking for the knockout punch, while wearing down their opponent with depth. In all, 26 players would hit the field for ND.  The Knights were patient and methodical, prompting two stall warnings and one violation.  Notre Dame advanced their agenda, with Ryder Garnsey scoring to extend the lead to 9-3. The Knights countered with a man advantage, keeping pace at 9-4.  Irish turnovers kept the score close and with 3:47 remaining in the quarter, another ND turnover led to an open net goal, bringing Bellarmine within 9-5. The Knights outscored ND 2-1 for the quarter,  outshooting us 7-3.  A stark contrast to the first half, where the Irish registered 27 shots to Bellarmine’s 7.

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Freshman Hugh Crance  has already had an impact on the Irish faceoffs and transition.

The fourth quarter was more of the same, with Doss making a timely save down low. While Bellarmine began winning possession time, Glazener, Landis and Epple kept them at bay.  John Sexton, Koshansky and Crance were physical and fast, forcing the Knights to keep the ball on the perimeter and churn a lot of clock.  Brendan Collins would score  with 3:46 left and put the Irish up comfortably at 10-5.   With time expiring, Bellarmine began pressing on defense, resulting in  a trip on Anthony Marini in the corner.  Eddy Lubowicki scored his fourth goal of the game on the subsequent man advantage, extending the lead to 11-5.   Before game’s end, Doss would make two stellar saves down low and up high in quick succession.  With 10 seconds remaining, Bellarmine cashed in on a  midfield turnover, scoring and ending the game 11-6.  Check the win column, no apparent injuries, we move on to the next.

Watch Wednesday’s highlights using this link:  ND Lacrosse Highlights vs Bellarmine

Saturday’s forecast calls for sunshine and 45 degree temperatures. We’ll be indoors, knowing California and spring are within sight. Grace Hall stays lit.  See ya Saturday.

Grace Hall Signage

The win keeps Grace Hall lit…..