Lightning Strikes Twice

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 Late Edition

 

Sergio Perkovic led eight different scorers while defenseman Matt Landis limited the nation’s top scorer to one goal in leading Notre Dame (12-2) to a 14-10 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal victory over Albany (16-3) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. While the game was delayed twice due to lightning, it was the Irish  who struck for the second time in eliminating sentimental  favorite Albany. Perkovic deposited four goals while Conor Doyle collected three. Landis turned in an All-American performance, with support from Garret Epple, Pat Healy and Eddy Glazener. The trio forced Tewaraaton finalist Lyle Thompson, into six turnovers. He scored once, assisting on four others.  ND  also won 18 of 28 draws inside the face off circle, with PJ Finely collecting 16 of 25.   Goalie Shane Doss made 10 saves, including several at key moments.

Matt Landis matched Lyle Thompson with each step, holding The Tewaraaton Award winner to one goal on 11 shots.

Matt Landis matched Lyle Thompson with each step, holding The Tewaraaton Award winner to one goal on 11 shots.

For the first time in program history, ND will appear in consecutive Championship Weekends.  They will face #4 seed Denver, who rallied from a 7-1 deficit, to defeat Ohio State 15-13 in the second game at Sports Authority Field. The game will be held at 1:00 EST at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. If you’re reading this and not in Philly already, you should be.  The forecast calls for sunshine, 70 degrees and the program’s first national title!

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Congratulations to seniors Logan Connolly, Will Corrigan, Conor Doyle, Conor Kelly, Connor McCollough, Jack Near, Nick Ossello, Kyle Runyon, Henry Williams and manager Anne Schneider, who collected their undergraduate degrees.  Jim Marlatt and Ryan Smith were bestowed their graduate diplomas. After a stirring mass, Father/coach Kevin Corrigan and Senior Associate Athletic Director for  Media and Broadcast Relations, John Heisler, presided over commencement.  The keynote speaker was Notre Dame graduate and NBA veteran Bill Hanzlik.

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Selected as the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 1980 NBA Draft, Hanzlik, played two  years with Seattle and 10 years with Denver. He enabled Denver to reach the NBA playoffs eight years, while leading ND to the Final Four. Hanzlik now directs the Gold Crown Foundation, a non-profit corporation, dedicated to improving the lives of Colorado’s children through athletics and education.  My thanks to Brian Connolly and Liza Near for the captivating pictures.

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The rematch of the epic 2014 NCAA Quarterfinals got underway under ominous clouds. Notre Dame entered the game as the tournament’s top seed, while Albany was unseeded. The first quarter resembled a street fight, with the two teams causing eight turnovers. Each scooped up eight ground balls.  Four minutes into the game, Lyle Thompson fed Connor Field, who found space short side past Irish Goalie Shane Doss for a 1-0 Albany led.  The Irish responded 90 seconds later, when senior captain Jim Marlatt found midfielder Sergio Perkovic, who’s high heat tied the game at 1-1. Thompson reclaimed the lead two minutes later, with Landis being called for a questionable holding call.  Conor Doyle tied it with 2:03 remaining  after Landis and Pat Healy teamed on a stout defense stand.  ND out shot Albany 13-8, but the quarter ended with the game tied 2-2.  Each goalie made three saves.

Sergio Perkovic got the Irish on the board with the first of four goals.

Sergio Perkovic got the Irish on the board with the first of four goals.

The second quarter began with the Irish on the offensive, firing four shots at Great Dane netminder Blaze Riorden in the first minute.  He stopped the first three, but not Jack Near’s and the Irish had their first lead, 3-2.  Albany tied it five minutes later, before Tewaraaton Award Finalist Matt Kavanagh launched a loose ball to the back of the net for  a 4-3 lead. Three minutes later, lightening was spotted and the game suspended. A second sighting reset the mandatory 30-minute clock, leading to an 82 minute delay with 5:44 remaining in the first half. The game was resumed two hours after its initial start, with Albany going on the offensive first, only to come up empty. That’s when senior Will Corrigan went high to the far post to score in his fourth consecutive game.   It was 5-3 Irish, with five different players scoring.  Defensively, Doss and Riorden both made key saves to keep the game close.  Fields would collect his second goal on a stealth feed from Thompson to close to 5-4.

Conor Doyle en route to his fifth hat trick in six games.

Conor Doyle en route to his fifth hat trick in six games.

 

Enter Conor Doyle, scoring two goals just a minute apart. The first came off a feed from Jack Near behind the net. The second with Doyle going to net, faked Riorden with a dip of the shoulder, posting high, short side for his 30th of the season with 1:22 remaining.   He wasn’t finished, setting up Sergio Perkovic’s second of the game and ND’s largest lead, 8-4. With 45 seconds remaining, Doss went down low to stop Thompson and the first half ended.  The Irish finished on a 3-0 run, scoring the last five of six.  They were out shooting an offensive machine, 32-17.  The shots were from possessions being provided by PJ Finley,  who won four consecutive faceoffs and went 7/9 in the quarter.  For Albany, the four goals scored represented their lowest output of the year.

I got this....PJ Finley won 16/25 faceoffs against Albany.

I got this….PJ Finley won 16 of 25 faceoffs against Albany.

Five minutes into the third quarter, Albany got one goal closer on a nifty, side arm shot by freshman Conor Fields.  It was Field’s third of the game, 63rd of the season.  He added another three minutes later and a highlight reel shot, behind the back,  three minutes after that as a part of four goal, third quarter Great Dane run.  Suddenly, it was 8-8.   Albany would finish a third quarter run with their fifth goal on eight shots with 2:25 remaining, taking a 9-8 lead. Sergio Perkovic ended a 17-minute Irish drought with his third goal of the game, shooting low to the far post. Sixteen seconds later, Jim Marlatt went to net and finished with his 10th goal of the year and ND was back on top, 10-9.

Mikey Wynne collects his 33rd goal of the year to put the Irish up 11-9.

Mikey Wynne collects his 33rd goal of the year to put the Irish up 11-9.

A Lyle Thompson turnover near midfield was then scooped up by freshman Mikey Wynne.  Dashing from the sideline to net, he went in solo on Riorden with an eye to a defense desperate to pursue. Poised beyond his years, he collected his first collegiate goal, extending ND’s lead to 11-9.  Nick Ossello would contribute two goals in between Perkovic’s fourth of the game to complete a 6-0 Irish run.  Lightening had struck for a second consecutive year. ND had ended a Cinderella run for Albany and the close of another magnificent career for a Thompson.  Depth had been served, as a balanced offense, smothering defense and domination at the X had this game secured. There would be no epic finish.  Shane Doss had been equal when challenged, and fresh legs from a deep roster enabled the clock to expire with a 14-10 victory.  The ticket to Philly had been punched.

Nick Ossello used a pick from Nick Koshansky en route to one of his two goals in front of a hometown crowd.

Nick Ossello used a pick from Nick Koshansky en route to one of his two goals in front of a hometown crowd.

Highlights of the game are in the link below.  On Thursday, The US Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) announced their 2015 All-America Team. Juniors Matt Kavanagh and Matt Landis and sophomore Sergio Perkovic were among the 15-player, first-team roster.  Senior Jack Near was named second team, with seniors Nick Ossello and Conor Doyle and sophomore Garrett Epple all garnering Honorable Mention.  For Kavanagh, it’s his third All-America honor, while Near collected his second.  For Coach Kevin Corrigan, he’s now had 40 different players collect 70 All-America citations in 27 seasons.  Congratulations players, coaches, parents and teammates. More to come.  Welcome to Philadelphia.  Saturday’s tailgate starts at 10:00 at Lincoln Financial Field, parking lot K.  We’re down to Four!

GO IRISH!!!

GO IRISH!!!

Irish Highlights

 

The Music Continues

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Top seeded Notre Dame used a six-goal run to erase a four-goal deficit and a four goal run late in the third quarter to hold off upset-minded Towson 12-10 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Arlotta Stadium. Eight different players scored for the Irish, led by senior Conor Doyle, who notched his fifth hat trick of the year.

Garrett Epple picked up a team high eight ground balls

Garrett Epple picked up a team high eight ground balls

Sophomore Garrett Epple led the defense,  picking up eight ground balls, while Nick Ossello and PJ Finley paired to win a season-best 19/26 faceoffs.  They were aided by freshman John Sexton, who collected six ground balls.  Towson, the 17th seed and Colonial Athletic Conference Champions, finished the season 12-6.   The Irish advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive time, where they will host Albany (16-2) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.  Albany defeated eighth-seeded Cornell on the road, 19-10 earlier in the day. A dance that began in February with 68 is down to eight.

Senior Conor Doyle led the Irish comeback with another hat trick.

Conor Doyle led the Irish comeback with another hat trick.

With exams concluded, South Bend was buzzing.  Students packed while lacrosse and baseball fans swarmed. Threatening clouds gave way to sunshine, with every tulip upright and the campus plush in Ireland green.  The Landis, Brosco, Glazener and Marlatt families coordinated the year’s final home tailgate at the Ivy Court.  Tai and Tortellini salads, Landis’ special-recipe cocktails and Borbi-provided chicken were consumed, with Vasko Perkovic supplying a generous variety of wine.  The Cornell/Albany debacle had just finished when John Near served as master of ceremonies, thanking Jane and Geoff Marlatt for their tireless hours of coordinating the year’s tailgates.  Rob Kelly was acknowledged for his outstanding photography. Sue Runyon thanked John and Liza Near for their passion and leadership of Parent Nation.

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Tailgates, travel, team meals, blogs, photographs, budgets – it all trickles through one set of parents. The Nears were graceful under pressure. The Lubowickis will have that “honor” next year, as Liza passed the lacrosse baton to Beth Lubo, who is welcoming your support.  Special thanks to Tim Brenneman, who provided guidance and influence on the blog.  What he began a few years ago is viewed by more than 200 visitors per week.

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Nick Ossello willed the opening faceoff to Irish possession and 43 seconds later Conor Doyle took Will Corrigan’s feed and went to the net, finishing high to give the Irish the fast start they sought. Doyle took a shot to the head after the fact, but played the rest of the game. The Irish would rattle a few more shots on subsequent possessions before Towson would tie it on a runner down the alley, low to the far post.  Showing patience, the Irish ran up an 8-2 shot advantage, but fell behind on a bounce shot with 1:46 remaining.  The first quarter ended with the ND trailing for the first time this year after one period, 2-1.  They outshot Towson 11-5. Defensively, Matt Landis, Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener and Jack Near were playing air-tight defense.  They caused three turnovers, clogged lanes and helped win 10 ground balls.

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Matt Landis led the team in caused turnovers.

 

After Matt Kavanagh got in tight on a nasty face dodge,  Towson goalie Tyler White went low to stop him for his third quality save. Minutes later,  Towson would score on a run from behind the net and after Nick Ossello was stopped low on a sharp angle shot, Towson would score again on a well-executed, no-look pass to the crease,  extending their lead to 4-1.  Kyle Runyon hit a post short side before Will Corrigan  scored for the third consecutive game.  Towson got one back, another bounce shot, extending the lead to 5-2, on four unassisted goals.  With 2:50 remaining in the half, Towson’s Tyler Kohnen went high, far post and suddenly, the leprechaun began looking to the heavens.  Holy intervention….. I’m not sure. But seven seconds later, Nick Ossello took the ensuing faceoff, charged the net and falling, went sidearm, shooting low to high and scoring to cut the Irish deficit to 6-3. A minute later, Ossello thundered to goal again, this time from the right alley, dipping a shoulder and shooting near post.  Senior leadership…..Doyle, Corrigan and Ossello had accounted for ND’s first four goals.  That changed when Doyle snuck a pass from behind the net between three defenders to sophomore Sergio Perkovic, who went low to the near post and the Irish were within one, 6-5.  The Pep Band played, the leprechaun swayed.

Sergio Perkovic unloads against Towson

Sergio Perkovic unloads against Towson

After getting one goal on 15 shots, the half ended with ND improving to five goals on 23 shots.  Towson had six goals from five different players on 16 shots. There was no evidence they had played three days earlier.  Conor Doyle began the second half they way he began the game,  scoring in the first eight seconds. The Towson, Maryland native launched  a side arm rocket on a feed from Ossello.  Once Trailing 6-2, ND was on a 4-0 run to level the scoring, 6-6.  Cue the pep band.   With four minutes played, a Towson defender got caught holding Doyle. Dropping his stick to release Doyle, he enabled Doyle to step forward and fire high to the far post to give ND their first lead since the opening minute.  For Doyle, a hat trick and his 27th goal of the year.  He wasn’t done. Forty seconds later, he went to the net, only to pushed into the crease, drawing a clear penalty.  The Towson bench didn’t agree with the call.  A man up, Doyle somehow saw and reached Eddy Lubowicki on the crease.  The junior, caught, faked and finished, extending ND’s lead to two, 8-6.

Eddy Lubowicki deposits a goal for the Irish

Eddy Lubowicki deposits a goal for the Irish

Towson would answer on a deep angle rocket that Doss had little time to reach.  Landis, Glazener, Epple, Bobby Collins, Connor McCullough, Nick Koshansky and Pat Healy shut Towson down, letting few shots through until the 4:00 minute mark.  A side-arm shot from the left alley sailed high, but under the crossbar, and we were tied, 8-8.  After Towson hit the inside of the post on a man up, Garrett Epple battled to a loose ball, giving the Irish possession. As they had all day, two seniors connected.  Ossello went to net, drawing three defensemen.  He turned and found Corrigan, who stepped into space and fired high to low to put the Irish back in front.  It got better…….PJ Finley scooped up a ground ball near midfield, looking to distribute.  There were no takers, so he cautiously continued down the alley, before making a sharp right to the net.  Nobody slid, so he continued to net on fumes, depositing  a shot to the back of the net….why not!  Out of gas, he had the Irish back up by two, 10-8 on his second goal of the year.

Nick Osello collected two goals, two assists, four ground balls and won 11 faceoffs.

Nick Ossello collected two goals, two assists, four ground balls and won 11 faceoffs. He returns home to Denver to face Albany.

Freshman Mikey Wynne appeared to have scored on a feed from Doyle, but his shot hit the crossbar and bounced down, but not over the line.  The defense would smother Towson’s final effort of the period, preventing the Tigers from getting off a shot.  After three periods, the Irish were out shooting Towson 37-26 and leading 10-8.  ND also lead in ground balls 35-17.

Will Corrigan went far post to score for the third consecutive game.

Will Corrigan went far post to score for the third consecutive game.

 

Jim Marlatt extended the ND run, scoring from the alley just 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.  Neatly switching hands to go far post, the captain gave the Irish an 11-8 advantage. The second middie line of Marlatt, Trevor Brosco and Ben Pridemore was fresh and creating chances.   But it was the crafty move  of sophomore Nick Koshansky that paid dividends.  Koshansky appeared to be heading off the field for an offensive substitution. His Towson defender followed, heading toward the sideline. Koshansky then made a legal U-turn,  back toward the crease. Wide open, he caught a pass, stepped in and fired high to low for his first collegiate goal and a 12-8 Irish lead.

Nick Koshansky scored his first collegiate goal.

Nick Koshansky scored his first collegiate goal.

Towson would get one back on a man-up opportunity with eight minutes remaining.  The Irish defense would handle the rest, with Brendan Collins and Jack Sheridan aggressive and relentless. Goalie Shane Doss made his best save of the game with 2:39 remaining, on a quick release shot off the crease. He made a second save down low with one minute remaining,  finishing with eight saves total.  Towson would score with 34 seconds remaining for a final score of 12-10.  ND outshot Towson 47-34, while winning ground balls 46-23. Credit Nick Ossello (11/13) and PJ Finley (8/13) for an outstanding result with faceoffs, with both scoring as well.

PJ Finley scored, scooped up 4 ground balls and won 8 faceoffs.

PJ Finley scored a goal, scooped up 4 ground balls and won 8 faceoffs.

Ben Pridemore eludes Towsons defense.

Ben Pridemore eludes Towson’s defense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plot thickens with a rematch of last year’s epic battle with Albany, scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 pm ET in Denver. Albany features last year’s Tewaraaton Award co-winner Lyle Thompson. He is a contender to win it again this as year, as is our own Matt Kavanagh.   Saturday’s winner advances to Philly and the Final Four at Lincoln Financial Field…….This weekend also represents senior graduation.  Congratulations to all of the players and their parents. Let’s keep the music playing – Go Irish!

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The Linc in Philly awaits The Final Four.

Irish highlights versus Towson

Finishing The Drill

 

Conor Doyle continued a torrid scoring streak, scoring three and assisting on a career-high five goals.

Conor Doyle continued a torrid scoring streak, scoring three and assisting on a career-high five goals.

 

 

Conor Doyle scored three goals and assisted on five others leading 11 different Notre Dame goal scorers to a 17-8 victory over 18th-ranked Army at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York. The eight points were a career high for Doyle, while linemate Matt Kavanagh registered four goals and one assist in front of a record crowd of 12,122.  Sophomore goalie Shane Doss posted 14 saves while Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year Matt Landis contained Army All-American John Glesener to three goals on 12 shots. The second-ranked Irish concluded the regular season 10-2.  Sunday evening, they received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the #1 seed, the program’s first.  It was a fine way to finish.

Matt  Kavanagh scored four goals against Army.

Matt Kavanagh scored four goals against Army.

Fans traveled by planes, helicopters, buses and automobiles to reach iconic West Point on a glorious, sun-drenched day.  The largest tailgate of the year set camp a walking bridge from Michie Stadium.  More than 25 former players and alums met in Manhattan and  traveled to Michie by bus. Special thanks to Kevin and Grace Doyle, who led the butcher caravan that transported more than 300 steaks, burgers and dogs.  John Near was deemed Officer In Charge. Ned Williams accurately predicted American Pharoah would win the Kentucky Derby.  Bracketologists plotted the road to Philly and The Final Four.

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Many thanks to the tireless efforts of Jane and Geoff Marlatt, the brains behind the coordination. Tailgate photos came from Liza Near, with game action supplied by Rob Kelly.  Rob’s photos, along with those from Megan Williams, can be accessed by The Photo/Video Link at the top of this page.

Putting the ACC  Tournament behind them, Notre Dame jumped out to a 1-0 advantage when senior Will Corrigan swept left to right and fired low to the far post.  It was Corrigan’s second goal in two games.  All Atlantic Coast Attackmen Matt Kavanagh and Conor Doyle teamed five minutes later, with Doyle passing to Kavanagh, who finished for a 2-0 Irish lead.

Senior Will Corrigan got the Irish on the board with his second goal in two games.

Senior Will Corrigan got the Irish on the board with his second goal in two games.

Two minutes later, freshman Brendan Collins collected his third goal of the year. Sergio Perkovic and Mikey Wynne would score 20 seconds apart just three minutes later and that quickly,  the Irish were out of the gate with a  5-0 lead. Perkovic’s goal was assisted by Corrigan while Wynne’s was set up by Doyle.  Conor Doyle became the sixth Irish player to score, on a smart feed from Jack Near.  Smothering defense, efficient offense,  ND led 6-0 after one quarter.  On the year, Notre Dame has outscored opponents 45-14 in the first period. For the defense,  it was the second consecutive game they pitched a shutout in the first period.  Army mustered five shots, with Doss making two saves.

Freshman Brendan Collins scored his third goal.

Freshman Brendan Collins scored his third goal.

Playing in his final collegiate game, Army All-American John Glesener got the Black Knights on the board in the second, showcasing his quick-release from the perimeter just under two minutes into the second.  A Sports Center moment would follow, with Kavanagh feeding senior Jim Marlatt. At a bad angle, Marlatt went behind the back to finish, extending the Irish lead to 7-1, while achieving his 100th career point. Credit PJ Finley with the faceoff win and a ground ball pickup to Eddy Lubowicki.  Glesener and Kavanagh exchanged shots as both offenses were finding space to shoot.  In an eight minute span, Doss would make five saves, Army goalie Sam Somers recorded three.

Jim Marlatt went behind the back to put the Irish up 7-1

Jim Marlatt went behind the back to extend the lead, 7-1.

One shot Somers didn’t save was on Nick Ossello with 4:41 remaining. Glesener would respond, going far post with his left hand to bring Army within 8-2.  Matt Landis was brilliant, moving laterally step for step. For the game, Glesener registered three goals on 12 shots, half of what he scored last year in South Bend. Enter ND’s Kyle Runyon, Ben Pridemore and Connor  McCollough, who provided fresh legs on both offense and defense.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis limited All-American John Glesener to three goals on 12 shots.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis limited All-American John Glesener to three goals on 12 shots.

PJ Finley would win the ensuing faceoff, with Eddy Lubowicki scooping a second ground ball.  With 0:56 remaining in the half, you knew the drill…..Timeout ND, who huddled, schemed and returned to the field.  Enter Mr. Clutch.  With :020 remaining, good ball movement would end with Kavanagh precision. Just as he had done against Michigan, Syracuse and others,  Matt Kavanagh scored to put an exclamation point on the first half.  The Irish led 9-2, fueled by the tenacious defense of  Landis, Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener, Jack Near, Brendan Collins, John Sexton, Pat Healy, Nick Koshansky and Bobby Collins.  While faceoffs,  ground balls and saves were even, offensive efficiency went to ND.  The Irish had scored nine goals on 19 shots (47%), while Army scored twice on 12 shots (17%).

Goalie Shane Doss recorded 14 saves.

Goalie Shane Doss recorded 14 saves.

 

PJ Finley won the second half faceoff and 41 seconds later, Doyle found Kavanagh, who finished for a 10-2 lead. Doyle would set up Trevor Brosco’s fourth goal of the year midway through the third, before another Sports Center moment. Doyle undressed the Army defense, coming from behind the net to score unassisted,  his 23rd goal, with 6:54 remaining.  After having his 31-game points streak snapped in the ACC Tourney, Doyle finished the day with eight points. He’s been equally dangerous up top or behind the net, registering 24 goals and 17 assists, while ranking nationally with his 44% shooting efficiency.  Finley, Ossello and freshman John Travisano finished winning 12/28 with faceoffs.

Junior Trevor Brosco returned and scored.

Junior Trevor Brosco returned and scored.

Army would respond with two goals before senior Jack Near would quiet any sense of a run with an unassisted goal with 1:48 remaining. The Irish were deploying more fresh troops, with #40 Henry Williams and Jack Sheridan along with a middie line of Pierre Byrne, Bobby Gray and Anthony Marini. The quarter ended with the Irish leading 13-5, but penalized , which carried into the fourth quarter.

Great to see #40 Henry Williams return to the lineup.

Great to see #40 Henry Williams return to the lineup.

Twelve seconds into the final quarter of Army’s season, they cashed in on the man advantage, closing to 13-6. But Kavanaugh would score his fourth of the day, followed by Doyle, for a 15-6 lead. Enter Conor Kelly in goal and Ryan Smith and Will Young to refresh the defense. Lubowicki, Runyon and Logan Connolly were running attack. Kyle Trolley joined Byrne and Gray at midfield.  With 8:15 remaining, it was Gray who went high, far post on a missile for his second goal of the year and a 16-7 Irish lead. Sergio Perkovic would finish the Irish scoring.

Senior attackman Logan Connolly pushes the ball upfield in the second half.

Senior Logan Connolly surveys Army.

Sophomore Anthony Marini played midfield.

Sophomore Anthony Marini played midfield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Irish scored 17 goals on 38 shots (45%) while Army tallied 8 goals on 34 shots (24%). Credit the defense, who limited quality opportunities. Doss recorded 14 saves, including a brilliant stop on the crease in the fourth. In all, an army of 34 ND players contributed.

Bobby Gray ripped his second goal of the year, high to the far post.

Bobby Gray ripped his second goal.

Pierre Byrne led the third middie line.

Pierre Byrne readies a pass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the top national seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament,  the Irish will host the winner of Wednesday’s play-in game between Southern Conference Champion High Point and Colonial Athletic Conference Champion Towson. The Irish have never played either. The game will be played at Arlotta Stadium at 5:00 on Saturday and will be broadcast on ESPNU. Tailgate plans are in process. Rooms at the Ivy Court were filling fast. The full NCAA Bracket can be accessed below. Thanks to all of you for making the trip, the day and the regular season a blast. A season that started inside in February is over. It’s now win or go home. See ya Friday. Go Irish.

http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/recaps/050215aaa.html

http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/lacrosse-men/d1

Go Irish!

Go Irish!

 

 

 

Mostly Sunny

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Fourth-seeded Duke reeled off seven consecutive goals spanning the second and third quarters and then held off a fourth quarter Notre Dame rally to win 13-8 in an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinal at PPL Park in Chester, PA. Trailing 10-1 with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter, top-seeded Notre Dame responded with a six goal run to pull within 12-8 with three minutes remaining.  But two point black saves in transition prevented the Irish from a return trip to Championship Sunday. Instead, Duke advanced to the final, where they lost to second-seeded Syracuse 15-14.  The Orange overcame a first quarter 6-1 deficit to win and secure an automatic qualifying bid to next month’s NCAA Tournament. For the Irish, it’s been mostly sunny thus far. Balanced offense and team defense, with faceoff talent, special teams and goaltending answering each challenge.

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Nick Ossello scored twice and led the Irish charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend began with the Philly folks  hosting a pregame tailgate before the Friday faceoff in the shadows of the Commodore Barry Bridge.  Special thanks to the Finley, Kelly, Marini, Sheridan and Marlatt families for their coordination. Specialty sandwiches from Sarcones in South Philly served as the boy’s post game meal amidst music, salads and legendary Jersey tomato pie.  On Saturday, Rob and Mary Kelly treated the boys to a filet dinner at their beautiful home.  Dan Runyon assisted at the grill. Basketball, wiffle ball and football followed. Cannolis were imported from Termini Brothers of South Philly.  Cheese Steaks from Tony Luke’s arrived on Sunday to round out the Philly fare.  A bitter taste left on Friday was replaced with authentic food and family Saturday and Sunday.

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As for Friday’s game, Notre Dame entered the tournament as the top seed and 3-0 at PPL Park. Coming of a dramatic comeback victory over North Carolina, Matt Kavanagh, Matt Landis and Sergio Perkovic were named among 25 Finalists for The Tewaraaton Trophy, college lacrosse’s top individual honor. That same trio along with senior Conor Doyle were named All Atlantic Coast Conference. The team retained it’s top national ranking.  A lot to say grace over.  Add some tired aches and joints….sprinkle in a desperate Duke in need of a quality win and you have the ingredients of an upset few saw coming.

Matt Kavanagh launched nine shots at Duke.

Matt Kavanagh launched nine shots at Duke.

Shot by Kavanagh….shot by Perkovic….Save Danny Fowler on a shot by Ossello, another shot by Kavanagh….. shot by Doyle…..seven minutes into Friday’s semifinal with Duke, Notre Dame had fired six shots.  Duke had yet to register one, turning the ball over four times.  Turnovers, failed clears, penalties.  The first quarter had it all, except goals.  ND outshot Duke 12-7, with Blue Devil goalie Danny Fowler forced to make five saves. Irish goalie Shane Doss made one save. Yet for the first time this season, the first quarter ended without either team scoring.

Matt Landis  contained Duke to five goals in the first half.

Matt Landis contained Duke to five goals in the first half.

A restless crowd became impatient and then quieted as Duke got on the board with 41 seconds elapsed into the second quarter.  After Shane Doss made his second save, Duke would score again, leading 2-0. Duke extended the lead to 3-0 before Nick Ossello scored for Notre Dame with 8:58 remaining in the half. Uncharacteristic of any game played this season and far different from the first game played a month ago in Durham.  The Duke sidelined encouraged our impatience while the Irish faithful pleaded for order. The Blue Devils would  score two more before the half, out shooting the ND 10-5 in the second quarter.  Duke led 5-1.

Shane Doss made five saves in the first half.

Shane Doss made five saves in the first half.

The third quarter began where the second ended, with Duke scoring five consecutive, even-strength goals.  With the score 7-1, Conor Kelly entered, determined to energize his mates.  He would, but not before Duke had expanded their lead to 10-1. The Irish trailed more in this game than they had all year. But they didn’t quit and when Mikey Wynne scored with just over one minute remaining in the third quarter, there was optimism…and history. We’d seen it before. The quarter ended, with ND trailing Duke 10-2.  It got worse before it got better. The Blue Devils would score the first two goals, grabbing their largest lead of the game at 12-2.  Four precious minutes had elapsed into the fourth when Sergio Perkovic scored his 21st of the season. Jack Near would follow a minute later, to make it 12-4.  Will Corrigan went low to the far post just over a minute later, with Nick Ossello scoring his second 45 seconds later.  It’s 12-6.   The goals were not coming easy, but they were coming. To gain possession, the Irish were using five different players at the faceoff X.  Duke had claimed 17/24, with the Irish finishing deficient in ground balls, 20-9 in the fourth quarter alone.  Perkovic and Kavanagh would bring the Irish closer at 12-8.  A contest was shaping, a Duke lead was diminishing. A rerun of Baltimore, 2014?  With 3:28 remaining, ND went on the man advantage.  A goal would cut the lead to three with three minutes remaining. They had scored three in 68 seconds a week earlier versus Carolina. But as he had early in the first quarter, Duke Goalie Danny Fowler made stops on Perkovic and Doyle, enabling Duke to burn more clock before scoring their 13th goal with 90 seconds remaining.  Desperate play in the final minute resulted in turnovers, ground balls and failed clears but no scoring and the first upset of conference tournament weekend was upon us.

Eddy Glazener collected two ground balls while causing two  turnovers.

Eddy Glazener collected two ground balls while causing two turnovers.

 

The regular season will end this Saturday at iconic West Point versus Army (10-6).  The Cadets are ranked 18th, coming off a loss to Colgate in the Patriot League Championship. It will be All American John Glesener’s final game. He scored six goals against us last year in an 18-17 shootout and was recently named one of the 25 Tewaraaton Award Finalists – for the third time.   The season’s largest tailgate is expected. Admission will require photo identification. Highlights from Friday’s game versus Duke can be accessed via the link below.

http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/recaps/042415aaa.html

 

 

 

 

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Round One Done

Notre Dame defeated North Carolina 15-14 at Arlotta Stadium.

Fans stormed the field upon seeing Matt Kavanagh’s goal with 0:07 erase a three-goal deficit.

 

 

 

Matt Kavanagh scored his fourth goal of the game with seven seconds remaining to  lead top- ranked Notre Dame to a 15-14 victory over second-ranked North Carolina at a sold-out Arlotta Stadium.  Kavanagh scored twice and  Sergio Perkovic once,  with all three goals assisted by Jim Marlatt, to erase a two goal deficit in the final 75 seconds of Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference season finale.   The win secured ND’s first regular season ACC crown and the top seed in this weekend’s ACC Tournament in Philadelphia.  This was a title bout, with more rounds to come.

Mr. Clutch delivers. Not pictured is Jim Marlatt who assisted on the final three goals.

Mr. Clutch delivers. Jim Marlatt assisted on the final three goals.

Parents and friends streamed into town on Friday evening, with an all-star cast gathering at The Linebacker.  John Near was cast for Dancing With The Stars. Saturday’s pre-game tailgate was hosted by the Glazener, Collins, Wynne, Marlatt and Sexton families.  The 72-degree day enabled an outdoor gathering at The Ivy Court, overflowing with tailgate specialties and friends.  It was wonderful to have the Scioscia, O’Connell and Eaton families join us. We captured some of last year’s roster in the photo below.  Vasko Perkovic’s passion for Grappa was unsurpassed.  A carnival atmosphere surrounded us, with the softball and baseball teams playing across the street and football’s Blue-Gold tilt on the nearby practice field. Liza Near snapped the photos. Rob Kelly captured the game action. The 4:00 hour prompted a brisk walk across the street to a capacity crowd and a national television audience via ESPNU.  Arlotta was electric.

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UNC tailvasko

Carolina blue was in full force, with the Tarheels traveling to South Bend to claim their first outright, regular-season ACC Crown since 1992.  Each team has won six games in the series, with the Irish claiming the past three. The ND Pep Band and the leprechaun were barely warmed up when Conor Doyle got the Irish on the board. Bringing the ball in bounds, he raced with urgency from behind the net, turned  and fired high for his 19th goal of the year and a 1-0 Irish lead.  PJ Finley would win the ensuing face off, with the offense ripping three good shots. But it was Carolina who scored at the 9:58 mark, tying the game, 1-1. Matt Kavanagh put the Irish back on top, delivering a low laser sidearm. Carolina counter punched with two consecutive goals. With three minutes remaining in the first, the home town Irish trailed, 3-2.  Enter sophomore Pat Healy, leading the Irish in transition, he rared back and launched a missile with a long pole, hitting high twine for his first collegiate goal. Parents beamed! We were tied at three.   The first quarter elapsed with ND leading in shots 10-8 and PJ Finley holding the edge in faceoffs, 4-3. Goalie Shane Doss posted one save, with Carolina’s Kieran Burke saving two.

Pat Healy celebrates his first collegiate goal, giving the Irish a 3-2 lead.

Pat Healy celebrates his first collegiate goal, tying the score at three. Note young Sergio in the background and his father in the photo above.

Sixteen seconds into the second, Kavanagh struck again on a nice feed from Brendan Collins. The leprechaun began launching shirts into the crowd, while the pep band jammed. John Sexton just missed expanding the lead, trying to replicate Healy’s long pole offense in transition. With 12:53 remaining in the second, Doyle would again come from behind the net, traverse the crease and score airborn, to push the lead to 5-3.  The crowd was still buzzing over the second of several Nick Ossello hits that pushed Carolina defenders back, when Doyle took flight.  Ossello’s physicality would play an integral role as the game progressed. But Carolina counter punched again, scoring three goals in seven minutes to reclaim the lead with 4:42 left in the half.

Nick Ossello creates space versus Carolina defense.

Nick Ossello creates space versus Carolina defense.

One of those goals came with a man advantage after Garrett Epple put a punishing open-field shoulder on a Carolina logo.  Doyle responded for ND, finishing a first half hat trick with his 21st goal of the season. Doyle’s now scored hat tricks in three consecutive and four of the past six games.  Back came Carolina, with Peyton Klawinski answering with his third goal of the half, putting UNC back up, 7-6 with 3:18 remaining. Muhammed Ali versus Joe Fraser,  the two teams punched and counter punched. With 2:52 remaining in the half, Doyle found Sergio Perkovic with space. Stepping into his shot, he launched high and hard. We were tied at 7-7.  With 60 tense minutes played,  ND had led by as many as two goals, UNC by one,  with the game being tied six times.  Credit Matt Landis, who had kept leading scorer Joey Sankey without a goal. Sankey became UNC’s all-time leading scorer the previous week.

Going to net, Conor Doyle registered his third consecutive hat trick.

Going to net, Conor Doyle registered his third consecutive hat trick.

 

UNC would strike first in the third quarter, taking an 8-7 lead with 90 seconds played. The Tarheels were shooting well. Enter freshman Mikey Wynne, who would score three consecutive goals in just over one minute, launching a crowd of 4,522 into an Irish jig.  The leprechaun’s arm tired, but the pep band played.  With ND leading 10-8, UNC’s attack struck back, with Jimmy Bitter and Luke Goldstock tying the game at 10. Bitter finished the day with three goals, while fellow attackman Goldstock posted four.  Wynne  responded again, collecting his fourth goal of the day and 30th of the year a minute and a half later.  This prize fight continued, with ND now leading 11-10.  Carolina sensed opportunity, playing with patience and poise. Luke Goldstock scored his third of the game, creating the game’s ninth tie with 2:35 remaining.  The quarter ended as it began, the game was tied. Each team scored four goals, with Wynne scoring all four for ND and attackman scoring seven of eight for both teams. It’s no coincidence the last three games between these two teams have been decided by a goal.

Goalie Shane Doss goes up high to preserve the win.

Goalie Shane Doss goes up high to preserve the win.

The fourth quarter began with Carolina winning the faceoff  and scoring in less than two minutes. They almost made it a two goal lead when Patrick Kelly hit the post.  On the other end, Kieran Burke was warming up and made a couple clutch saves on Doyle and Wynne.  Marlatt almost tied it at the six minute mark when he rang one off the post. With 5:38 remaining, Luke Goldstock would score his fourth of the day, 43rd of the year, putting Carolina up 13-11. Sergio Perkovic got Notre Dame closer with a high missile with  at 4:12. But Carolina won the ensuing faceoff and when Jimmy Bitter scored his third of the day, 34th of the year, the skies looked ominous. The Tarheels thought they had put the Irish away, along with the rap they couldn’t finish the big game. They led the #1 Irish, on the road,  14-12 with just 2:19 remaining….. Clearly, they hadn’t seen the Syracuse game a few weeks earlier, the Maryland and Syracuse games in last year’s ACC Tourney, the epic Albany game at Hofstra or the NCAA Championship game, where Irish teams came back against proven talent. An opportunistic door opened when Carolina was hit with an unsportsmanlike hit on Matt Kavanaugh.

Hit from the behind after the play, Matt Kavanagh meets goalie Kieran Burke

Hit from the behind after the play, Matt Kavanagh meets goalie Kieran Burke

Not surprisingly, it was  Kavanagh who got ND within one on a man advantage with 1:15 to play.  As the penalty was non releasable, the Irish retained the man advantage.  PJ Finley won the ensuing faceoff.  After some pretty, unselfish ball movement, Sergio Perkovic fired and scored and we were tied for the 10th time, 14-14 with 0:33 remaining.  Hollywood was on the phone with Disney.

PJ Finley battled.

PJ Finley battled, winning 15/31 and when it counted.

The Irish gained possession again,  PJ Finley battling and John Sexton picking up the ground ball.  Time out ND. Still a man up, the offense quarterbacked by Eddy Lubowicki, moved the ball around the perimeter, where Marlatt would quickly feed to Kavanagh, who caught and released with an ugent laser inside the near post.  Mayhem!!!  Just like the epic finishes of the past, ND somehow led 15-14 with 0:07 remaining on Kavanagh’s fourth goal of the game.  Three goals in 75 seconds, with Jim Marlatt getting the assists on each. Time expired with Carolina trying to capture a loose ball.  Chaos ensued, as kids emptied from the grassy berm, storming the field, engulfing the ND team.  Credit Carolina and the class shown while the  Irish celebrated.  Short memories. On to the next.

Matt Kavanagh was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week.

 

Mayhem follows an epic  battle in South Bend.

Mayhem follows an epic battle, with #1 ND defeating #2 UNC in South Bend.

Friday’s ACC Semifinal versus #4 Duke will begin at 5:30 at PPL Park outside Philadelphia. The Irish are 3-0 in that venue. #2 Carolina will play #3 Syracuse in the 8:00 game. The Championship game is Sunday at 1:00 with the winner securing the Automatic Qualifier to the NCAA Tournament, in May in Philly. Tailgate plans for Friday are being finalized.  Revisit the highlights via the links below…..and exhale.  Friday’s just a few days away.  Go Irish.

http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/recaps/041815aaa.html

http://www.watchnd.tv/#!/videos/ZkdXBtdDoC4V37FCDqQVSRy490NzK7eo

 

 

 

Winner Take All

For the second time in three weeks, Notre Dame will host a battle of top ranked teams when they welcome second-ranked North Carolina to Arlotta Stadium. ESPNU will broadcast Saturday’s 4:00 contest.  ND retained it’s place atop the national rankings with a 14-7 win at home against #15 Marquette.  Carolina moved up to number two after defeating #2 Syracuse in Chapel Hill, 17-15.  The Tar Heels had been ranked #4.  Two weeks ago, the Irish handed then-unbeaten and top-ranked Syracuse their first defeat, 13-12 in overtime at Arlotta.

Matt Landis and goalie Shane Doss lead a defense allowing eight goals per game.

Matt Landis and goalie Shane Doss lead a defense allowing eight goals per game.

Both teams enter Saturday’s match up undefeated in ACC competition, each winning three games. The winner will earn the top seed of The ACC Tournament, being held April 24-26 at PPL Park outside of Philadelphia. The top seed will face #4 seed Duke, who defeated Virginia on Sunday. The loser of Saturday’s ND/UNC game will earn the second seed and face Syracuse in the first game.   We all remember last year, when ND entered the tournament as the #4 seed. Late game heroics against Maryland put the Irish in the final versus Syracuse, where ND won a slugfest, 15-14. The game wasn’t over until Conor Kelly’s save on the doorstep in the final seconds.

Senior Conor Doyle was recently named ACC Offensive Player of the Week.

Senior Conor Doyle was recently named ACC Offensive Player of the Week.

This year’s Carolina team is averaging  16 goals per game, led by one of the nation’s best attack duo of Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey. Quick and tenacious, they’ll pose a unique challenge for  ND’s defense. Sankey became the Tar Heels all-time leading scorer last week against Syracuse. The Tar Heels will also bring their traditional depth of midfield talent, which can score and defend with anyone. Their defense continues to improve, led by goalie Kieran Burke, who was the difference versus Syracuse.

Tewaaraton Nominee Matt Kavanaugh makes others better.

Tewaaraton Nominee Matt Kavanaugh makes others better.

Mikey Wynne put five past UVA's Matt Barrett.

Mikey Wynne put five past UVA’s Matt Barrett.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Irish represent a balanced offense that reflects three attackmen averaging two goals per game, with midfield snipers, who can dodge and bang. Defensively, Notre Dame has held Syracuse, Denver and Virginia three goals or more below their scoring average while shutting out an Ohio State team that defeated Denver a week earlier.  The experts will position this Carolina’s offense versus ND’s defense, but the Irish are scoring more than 13 goals per game. There’s also ND’s Bruise Brothers, Nick Ossello and Sergio Perkovic,  physical  middies who bang, dodge and shoot with the best of them. Jack Near leads a stable of  defensive middies who allow less than eight goals per game, while enabling a lethal transition. Both teams are hovering just north of 50% on face-offs and have enjoyed success on man-up opportunities.  Carolina will travel well, so the Irish nation will be needed.    This will be the last regular season home game for seniors Nick Ossello, Will Corrigan, Kyle Runyon, Henry Williams, Jack Doyle, Ryan Smith, Logan Connolly and Connor McCollough, along with captains Jim Marlatt, Jack Near and Conor Doyle.

Our Senior Parents………….

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Far from done.  See ya Friday……..

 

Trailing on Tuesday

Top-ranked Notre Dame got four goals from senior Conor Doyle and hat tricks from two others en route a 14-7 win over #15 ranked Marquette on Tuesday in South Bend. Doyle’s career-best goals performance followed Saturday’s career best points effort versus Duke, where he registered four assists and three goals. He was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week.  Goalie Shane Doss made seven saves, climbing out of an early two goal deficit.  Doss was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week for his 17 save performance versus Duke.

Senior Conor Doyle scored three goals in the first quarter against Marquette.

The mid week contest posed a challenge for many to attend the  pregame bonding. A dedicated contingent gathered at Brothers to prepare for a chilly, weekday game at Arlotta Staudium.  Former Irish captain Nick Beattie,a three-year starter,  was invited to join the ESPN broadcast crew to provide color.

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Coming in from his wing position on the game’s opening faceoff, Marquette’s Liam Byrnes  scooped up a ground ball and raced with urgency to goal, firing and scoring with his long pole seven seconds into the game. On a rainy, chilly Tuesday, eyes were opened. Marquette 1, Notre Dame 0. The Irish have trailed their opponents for a total of 11 minutes all season.  The Golden Eagles won the ensuing faceoff, with ND goalie Shane Doss forced to make a save up high on a point blank save. A follow-up shot went wide.  Marquette was in South Bend  to win and improve their #15 ranking, the program’s best.  Turnovers and infractions over the next few minutes by both teams would give Marquette the ball, where junior Blaine Fleming would score at the 8:49 mark to put the visitors up 2-0.  Six minutes into the game, the Irish had registered one shot.

Irish Goalie Shane Doss made critical stops early versus Marquette.

Irish Goalie Shane Doss made critical stops early versus Marquette.

ND’s PJ Finley won the ensuing faceoff but a turnover on offense would lead to a transition opportunity, where Doss would be forced to deflect a shot wide to keep the score at  2-0.   A Marquette turnover gave ND the ball and senior Conor Doyle cashed in. Picking up where he left off from the Duke game, Doyle streaked from behind the net, turned his shoulder and fired high to put the Irish on the board, still trailing 2-1.  Finley would win the faceoff, with the ball ultimately handed back to Doyle coming through the box.  In a mirror play from the previous goal, Doyle dodged left and shot high, far corner to tie the game at two with 6:30 left. The eight minutes the Irish had played behind nearly equalled the time they’ve trailed all year.  They would trail no more.  Minutes later, a crease violation on Marquette was contested, leading to a penalty. The Irish defense began clamping down on the quickness of Marquette’s attack.  Taking the ball up high in the offensive zone, senior midfielder Nick Ossello created space and fired low to the far corner, giving Notre Dame their first lead 3-2 with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter. Ossello’s dodge left caught the defense by surprise, leading to his ninth goal of the year.  Marquette’s next possession was more than two minutes and included five shots, but few were on net. With 21 seconds remaining, the Irish transitioned to offense, where Sergio Perkovic found Doyle twelve yards up the slot. Doyle held the ball while being hacked, then released a shot quickly and scored high, short side with 0:01 remaining.  An early 0-2 start had been replaced with 4-2 lead, despite being outshot for the quarter 11-7. For Doyle, a hat trick – in the first quarter and the second game in a row where he scored three goals.  After nine games, he has 18 goals, 11 assists.

Sophomore PJ Finley gave the Irish the ball, winning 12 of 19 faceoffs.

8 Sophomore PJ Finley gave the Irish the ball, winning 12 of 19 faceoffs.

Thirty-five seconds into the second quarter, midfielder Sergio Perkovic would step into one of his patent high to high lasers with the Irish having a one-man  advantage. Another PJ Finley win on the ensuing face off would put Perkovic galloping to goal with little contention. One dodge brought him to net, where he went high to low, far side for his second goal in 13 seconds. The Irish fight song played as Marquette called time. A 2-0 Marquette lead was now a 6-2 deficit.  Another man up advantage would open the way for Jim Marlatt, who stepped into a pass from Perkovic and with time and room, went top shelf to finish a 7-0 Irish run. The Irish now led 7-2.

Senior Jim Marlatt scored twice against Marquette.

Senior Jim Marlatt scored twice against Marquette.

Tight defense had opened the door for the ND offense, where they were now outshooting Marquette 15-11. Doss would make a couple more saves off shots from the wings. The Warriors got one back when a rebound was shoveled in off a rebound, 7-3.

Finley won another faceoff, but a turnover forced Doss to make a point blank save.  Marquette scored again on an open shot from the wing, beating Doss to bring Marquette within three, 7-4.  Notre Dame would strike back, with Perkovic dodging, forcing a slide and hitting Ossello, who quickly released a shot far post, restoring a four goal lead.  A minute later, Senior attackman Kyle Runyon dodged right and heading to goal, found Jim Marlatt back door on the crease. Marlatt caught and finished from a tough angle, his second of the quarter, and the Irish led 9-4.  Credit Runyon on vision and execution.

Kyle Runyon drives to goal, setting up an Irish score.

 

Marquette got a goal back on a man-up advantage. Again, a side-arm shot from the wing.  Freshman John Travisano took the ensuing faceoff, which the Irish secured. The attack now included Eddy Lubowicki, Kyle Runyon and Doyle. Good ball movement led to a quality shot by junior Cole Riccardi with a minute remaining.  The half would end with the Irish defense denying Marquette and preserving a 9-5 lead. After losing the initial faceoff, Notre Dame had won 13 of the next 15 faceoffs.

Marquette began the second half in possession, looking to score quickly. Credit Nick Koshansky, Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener and Matt Landis for physical defense. After Shane Doss made a save down low on a wrap around,  the Irish tranisitoned down field, where Nick Ossello faked a shot, dodged and bounced a low shot far side two inches inside the far post.  Ossello’s 11th goal of the year extended the Irish lead 10-5. The middie line of Ben Pridemore, Jim Marlatt and Cole Riccardi just missed minutes later, with two Riccardi shots missing high and wide.  After a Marquette turnover, Sergio Perkovic put the ball in play, quickly transitioning to offense and Matt Kavanagh.  Unselfishly, Kav took one step, created space and fired to the crease, where Mikey Wynne would catch, fake and shoot for an 11-5 Irish lead with 9:01 remaining. Connor McCollough, Brendan Collins, John Sexton, Bobby Collins and Pat Healy were playing tight defense until Blaine Fleming scored cutting in on Doss, to close Marquette within 11-6.  Fleming, a high school teammate of  ND’s Anthony Marini, would score again three minutes later, his third of the game, to get Marquette within 11-7.  The third quarter would end with PJ Finley winning the faceoff and both teams making stops.   The Irish were outshooting Marquette (34-31), largely due to the success at the faceoff X, where Finley and Travisano had won 15 of 20 faceoffs.

Matt Landis and the ND  defense held Marquette to a pair of goals in the second half.

Matt Landis and the ND defense held Marquette to a pair of goals in the second half.

The fourth quarter began with Jack Near transitioning and setting up  Jim Marlatt on a fine offensive run that just missed.  With just over 10 minutes remaining, Eddy Lubowicki spotted Sergio Perkovic creaping into that wing slot he covets. Perkovic caught and fired high to low, finding the five hole of the Marquette goalie for 12-7 lead.  Perkovic’s hat trick was his second in two games. Mikey Wynne would add his second of the game and 23rd of the season, stretching the Irish lead to 13-7 after a nasty face dodge put him alone on goal.   The Irish continued to apply pressure, with the defense continuing to force Marquette into contested shots. Enter Jack Sheridan on defense, with Pierre Byrne and Bobby Gray entered the game at midfield. The fresh legs brought quickness against a tired Marquette team.  With 1:21 remaining, Doyle, Kavanagh, Lubowicki and Perkovic strung passes together, with Kavanagh precisely finding Doyle backside on the crease. Doyle would finish for his fourth goal and a 14-7 lead.  Cue the band, timeout Marquette.  Senior Logan Connolly joined an attack line of Lubowicki and Runyon, with Anthony Marini joining Gray and Byrne at midfield.  Connor Kelly was now in goal. Travisano picked the faceoff clean, with the fresh lineup passing almost uncontested.  Time would expire…………

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Notre Dame will rest in preparation for their final Atlantic Coast Conference Game, home on April 18th against #4 North Carolina.  Both teams are undefeated in league play, with the Tarheels scheduled to host Syracuse on Saturday.  North Carolina’s offense averages more than 15 goals a game. Their lone defeat was in the Pacific Shootout in Southern California versus Maryland. The Irish would clinch the ACC Tournament’s top seed and host the 8:00 game with a win.  Video highlights from the Marquette game are available below. Photos for the year on the photo link at the top of the page. My thanks to Liza Near for bearing the weather and Tuesday travel to provide the photos and color of a celebrated win.  Updates and plan for the UNC game to follow next week. Go Irish.

Notre Dame vs Marquette Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

Momentum and Milestones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notre Dame goalie Shane Doss recorded a personal-high 17 saves while four Irish scorers recorded hat tricks en route to 15-10 defeat of seventh ranked Duke in Durham. Seven different players scored for ND, who snapped Duke’s 21 game home winning streak while improving to 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, 7-1 overall.  The victory was the fifth in the last six regular season games versus Duke and the lacrosse program’s first as the nation’s top ranked team.

Conor Doyle had a milestone day with seven points.

The weekend began with planes, trucks and automobile’s navigating creative routes to Durham. Stories of cancelled flights and traffic snarls were exchanged Friday night at Venable Rotisserie Bistro in Carrboro. The evening ended with Liza Near securing  Durham’s last container of chocolate milk….for the team. Saturday’s pregame tailgate was the season’s warmest and largest.  The Connolly’s staked the location in the stadium parking lot with a spacious motor home, complete with barbecue smoker.  Their efforts, along with those from the Epple and Finley families resulted in a festive spread of crispy chicken, gourmet sandwiches,  sausage, salads and rich assortment of desserts. Special thanks to the Marlatts for coordinating while vacationing  and the McCollough’s for agreeing to “store” the leftovers.

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Saturday’s contest was Notre Dame’s fourth against a top 10 program. The Irish defeated top-ranked Syracuse and seventh-ranked Virginia, while losing at fourth-ranked Denver in overtime. Duke entered the game ranked seventh, coming off a 15-14 loss to second-ranked North Carolina. The Irish used a recipe from those previous games, jumping to an early lead.  Against Syracuse, ND  scored in the first 25 seconds. Against Virginia, ND scored first at the three minute mark. In the loss to Denver, the Pioneers scored first, 90 seconds in.  So when Matt Kavanagh scored 87 seconds into the game versus Duke,  high fives swirled among the Irish faithful on the sunny side of Koskinen Stadium. Kavanagh deposited a cross-crease pass from Conor Doyle, who drew the attention of the defense before threading a perfect pass – one of four assists for Doyle.

Matt Kavanagh got the Irish on the board early.

Matt Kavanagh got the Irish on the board early.

 

Goalie Shane Doss saw his first test with 11:15 remaining, standing tall on a high shot point blank. The Irish would transition via sophomore Bobby Collins, moving the ball to Conor Doyle, who came from behind the net, fired and scored, short side, top shelf for a 2-0 Irish lead.  Doyle came into the game with five goals in his last two contests.  Moments later, Tanner Scott got one back for Duke at the 9:27 mark, reducing ND’s lead to 2-1. The Irish got the ball back on the ensuing faceoff, thanks to PJ Finley’s tenacity.  With the defense watching Sergio Perkovic and Nick Ossello, someone forgot to cover two-time All American Kavanagh.  He took the ball from behind the net, faking high, depositing low for his second of the game and a 3-1 Irish lead with 8:22 remaining.  Seven minutes into the game, Notre Dame had three goals on four shots.   Enter Ben Pridemore, Cole Riccardi and Jim Marlatt.

 

Freshman John Sexton leads the transition after stripping Miles Jones.

Freshman John Sexton leads the transition after stripping Miles Jones.

With four minutes remaining, Doss made his third save up high, immediately spotting and hitting a streaking Jack Near, who fed Mikey Wynne on the door step. Duke goalie  Danny Fowler made the save, but the Blue Devils showed a vulnerability to transition.  Doyle restarted play from behind the next, stopping momentarily, before circling and launching airborne while depositing his second goal of the game.  While Duke was attacking from the midfield, the Irish were leading 4-1 with goals from their attack.  Doss would come up with another save with :037 remaining to preserve a 4-1 Irish lead.  While Duke outshot (13-8), won faceoffs (4/6) and ground balls (7-4), Notre Dame led 4-1. The Irish have outscored their opponents 32-9 in the first quarter this season.

Goalie Shane Doss and defenseman Matt Landis held Duke five goals under their scoring average.

Goalie Shane Doss and defenseman Matt Landis held Duke five goals under their scoring average.

Quarter two began with Duke scooping up a ground ball off the faceoff and sending Justin Guterding in on Shane Doss, where Doss stuffed him up high on a point black shot. It was Duke’s 14th shot. On Duke’s 15th shot, Jack Bruckner snuck in tight for Duke to close the gap to 4-2 ND. But PJ Finley and John Sexton helped secure the faceoff and less than a minute later, Doyle would thread a pass across the crease to a locomotive named Ossello. The senior midfielder wasted no time, catching and pitching high to the far corner for a 5-2 Irish lead.  Doyle had the defense on their heels, playing his best half of the year.  Freshman Mikey Wynne would score his 22nd goal of the season at the 7:34 mark. Wynne showed his ability to shrug a short stick, coming from behind the net and scoring short side. It was ND’s sixth goal on 10 shots.  Just 32 seconds later, Doyle would register a hat trick, shooting high to low  on a feed from Wynne. Duke’s defense had just seen Wynne burn them, so they collapsed on him, creating time and room for Doyle, who unleashed from in close for a 7-2 ND advantage. Duke would strike twice in the final two and half minutes,  seeking to retake the momentum into the lockerroom. Enter Eddy Lubowicki, coming into the game on a time out.  He caught a low pass from Kavanagh and quickly fired high to low in tight for an 8-4 lead with 0:04 remaining.  Time would expire with ND scoring eight goals on 20 shots, while Duke scored four goals on 26 shots.  Notre Dame’s Shane Doss made nine saves, while Duke’s Fowler stopped five. Duke entered the game averaging 14.9 goals per game.

Senior Connor McCollough kept Duke scorers on the perimeter.

Connor McCollough kept Duke scorers on the perimeter.

PJ Finley won a personal best 16 faceoffs against Duke.

PJ Finley won a personal best 16 faceoffs.

The third quarter began with Doss making a save, then quickly launching a pass to his long poles, starting with Eddy Glazener, who crisply moved the ball upfield.  Doyle took control up high, before spotting Mike Wynne down low.  Wynne wasted little time, burying his second goal of the game, 9-4 ND.  Miles Jones would answer for Duke, his 27th of the season, for his only goal of the game. Matt Landis, Garrett Epple, Patrick Healy, John Sexton and Eddy Glazener  were smothering the Duke attack.  Nick Koshansky, Bobby and Brendan Collins, Jack Near and Connor McCullough and  were pushing, prodding and sliding against the Duke’s highly-regarded midfield.  After Jim Marlatt buried a bullet stick side, Duke scored twice to close to within 10-7.  Enter sophomore Ben Pridemore, taking a pass up high from Conor Doyle, stuck a laser high to high, just under the far crossbar, to restore a four goal lead, 11-7. It was Doyle’s fourth assist, seventh point of the game.  The quarter would end with Duke totaling 36 shots, forcing Doss to make 13 saves, his personal best.

Nick Ossello was one of four to score three ver.

Nick Ossello scores one of his three goals.

Mikey Wynne tallied three goals and an assist.

Mikey Wynne tallied three goals and an assist.

Nick Ossello would get the Irish going in the fourth quarter, running down the right side, he continued around the net before turning and shooting low, far side to return the lead to five goals, 12-7.  Some pretty ball movement on man up just a minute later, would finish with Marlatt feeding Kavanagh. The crafty lefty dropped down to side arm delivery with a low line drive goal, pushing ND to their largest lead at 13-7.  It was Kav’s third joining Doyle with a hat trick. Others would follow.  After Duke scored to cut the lead to 13-8, Ossello finished his hat trick on a tough angle shot from the right side.  Duke would add two more goals late in the quarter, the second on a man up to get within 14-10 with 3:27 on a high shot under the crossbar.  With 1:58 remaining,  Duke’s goalie pressed out to help his defense and Mikey Wynne made him pay, scoring his third goal of the game, the fourth Irish player to do so. In all, seven different Irish scored.  Defensively, Doss had just registered his 17th save, a personal milestone.  And after using five different face-off specialists last week versus Syracuse, PJ Finley went solo this week, wining 16/29, with a team high of six ground balls – more personal bests.  See all of the highlights from Durham via the link below.

#1 Irish defeat #7 Duke Highlights

The Irish celebrated Easter while returning to South Bend and preparing for Tuesday’s matchup with Marquette is in South Bend. The 4:00 game will be streamed on ESPN3.  Marquette is having their best year, entering the game ranked #15. The link for that game is below. Many thanks to Liza Near and Rob Kelly for more quality photos.  View these and photos from all of the games via the link at the top of this page. Special thanks to Karl and Pat Stephan, for their generous Easter contribution.

Notre Dame versus Marquette link via espn3

Go Irish!

Go Irish!

 

 

 

 

A Golden Moment

Notre Dame’s Jack Near scored his second goal of the game with 2:54 remaining in the second overtime to deal top-ranked Syracuse their first defeat of the season, 13-12 in South Bend.  Matt Landis led an Irish defense that held the Orange four goals below their average, while nine different players scored for ND.  With the win, the Irish were rewarded with the number one national ranking and sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Jack Near comes from behind the net to score the game winner in double overtime.

ND’s Jack Near storms the net to score the game winner in double overtime

Hot breakfast sandwiches, tropical fruit and margarita’s greeted the Irish faithful assembled in the ACC Room at The Ivy Court. With a noon faceoff,  the parents’ pregame exercise began at 9:30 am. The bustle went idle when ESPN began broadcasting a rare, pregame lacrosse segment live from their Bristol studios. Parents and friends quieted to hear the experts predict the outcome of two of the nation’s premier programs. Many thanks to the Glazener, Collins, Goins and Brosco families for putting the event together. The Marlatt’s and Near’s ensure we’re never short of horseradish, limes, Tito’s and authentic Bloody Mix. Liza Near captured the pregame color. Rob Kelly’s game pix will be shared online.

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A crowd of 3,602 streamed into Arlotta Stadium, bundled, but electric. The Orange traveled well, but the hometown support did not disappoint. The boisterous bleachers overflowed, extending along the grassy berm six rows deep. ESPN’s well-advertised showdown portrayed the vaunted offense of Syracuse versus the shutdown defense of Notre Dame. The last time the two teams met, the Irish claimed an ACC Championship in Philadelphia.  Saturday’s duel was mid season’s  #1 vs #2  and a ticket to return to Philly for this year’s conference tournament.

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An epic battle, fought on a glorious day in the shadows of an icon.

Upon the completion of Maria Stingley’s stirring national anthem, the Irish landed the first punch, winning the first face off, contrary to the prediction of the experts.  Just 24 seconds into the game, midfielder Nick Ossello would pick up where he left off versus Ohio State, scooping up a ground ball, dodging right and shooting high to high for a 1-0 Irish lead. The Orange would land a body shot of their own a minute later and we were tied, 1-1.  Staying offensive, Ossello would collect another ground ball, with Conor Doyle threading a pass to freshman Mikey Wynne. Faking high, depositing low, the Irish reclaimed the lead on Wynne’s 20th of the season, 2-1.  A leprechaun began launching apparel.

Freshman Mikey Wynne put the Irish up 2-1 on a feed from Conor Doyle.

Freshman Mikey Wynne put the Irish up 2-1 on a feed from Conor Doyle.

Syracuse’ Dylan Donahue would tie the score with just under eight minutes remaining, and expectations of a shootout began circulating.  Four minutes of stops and turnovers would give way to Will Corrigan’s pump fake and release of a high to high shot that found the back of the net with two minutes remaining.   The tension tightened, #1 versus #2 was living up to the advanced billing.

Will Corrigan launches Notre Dame to a 3-2 lead.

Will Corrigan launches Notre Dame to a 3-2 lead.

Two minutes into the second quarter, midfielder Sergio Perkovic, emulating Ossello, bumped his defenseman into retreat, creating space to launch a missile top shelf for a 4-2 Irish lead. Five minutes later, Ossello would score his second of the game, capping a 3-0 run with 6:40 left.  Credit Perkovic and Matt Kavanagh, the team’s assist leader, with a tic-tac-toe sequence.  Kavanagh’s presence froze a defender, creating space for Ossello and a 5-2 Irish advantage. While Syracuse was finding some success at the faceoff X,  the Notre Dame defense had tightened. Matt Landis clamped down,  discouraging dodges and causing turnovers.  An offense that includes the nation’s top attack,  had gone more than 18 minutes without scoring. Credit Landis, Garrett Epple, Eddy Glazener, Patrick Healy, John Sexton, Brendan and Bobby Collins, Connor McCullough and Jack Near.  Goalie Shane Doss was forced to make a few stellar saves, looking equally impressive high and low. But quality shots were limited and Doss continued to enable clears and transitions.

On his toes, Matt Landis quieted the nation’s top attack.

 

The midfield line of Ben Pridemore, Pierre Byrne and Bobby Gray took the field after an ND timeout, showing good ball movement and quickness.  Eddy Lubowicki was now at attack.  A turnover would put Syracuse back on offense, where Kevin Rice would find a mismatch behind the net and score to get Cuse closer at 5-3.  It should have been 5-4 with 1:10 left, when Tim Barber stepped in front of Doss to finish on a well-run sequence.  But Doss stuffed him up high on perhaps his best save of the year.  The half ended with Notre Dame leading Syracuse 5-3 despite being out shot 17-13 and trailing in face offs 8-2 and  ground balls 19-9.

Irish Goalie Shane Doss comes up big late in the first half.

Goalie Shane Doss came up big late in the first half.

The third quarter began with modifications at the face off, with close defenseman Garrett Epple playing on the wing.  Nick Ossello would take the draw, but Epple would field the ground ball.  On the day,  Ossello, PJ Finley, John Travisano, John Sexton and Trevor Brosco would all take faceoffs versus Syracuse’ Ben Sherman, who entered the game winning 68% at the X.  It was Ossello who found Conor Doyle just 45 seconds into the quarter, patiently waiting, shooting and scoring to put the Irish back up by three at 6-3.  Freshman Mikey Wynne put the Irish up 7-3,  when vintage Matt Kavanagh drew a crowd, dodging and weaving around the net.  It was a shining example of why Kavanagh leads the team in assists with 17 in seven games.  No good deed goes unnoticed with Ossello feeding Kavanagh who fired from a sharp angle, 8-3.  The leprechaun’s arm was holding up well, with more apparel flying through the air. Cue the fight song. Two-way threat Jack Near would finish a 4-0 Irish run, going to net reminiscent of his junior days playing attack.

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Matt Kavanagh distributes while drawing a crowd.

With 8:06 remaining in the third, the home team had shut down a team averaging almost 16 goals, leading 9-3.  Syracuse got one back on a Doss save that popped high into the air before being batted in on the way down.  Two more Orange goals, one on a man up and one with the shot clock turned on suddenly reflected a 9-6 game.  The Orange faithful got loud, while memories from Denver and Virginia started to surface.  Sergio Perkovic calmed many with his second goal of the game, on a blistering high to low shot with 3:16 remaining. The third quarter appeared to be at end, when Dylan Donahue struck for his fourth goal of the game, with just :06 remaining. Syracuse would finish the quarter out shooting ND 15-11, while scoring five of the last six goals.  While the Arlotta scoreboard read 10-8 home team, the visitors had momentum.

Syracuse won the face off to open the fourth quarter, with both teams sensing the stakes. After an Irish turnover, the offense got the ball back and through the first five minutes of the quarter, reeled off six shots without scoring. Enter Dylan Donahue, who would score his fifth of the day, 28th  on the season, cutting the ND lead to one, 10-9.  The assist would come from Kevin Rice, who Matt Landis had neutralized long ago. The Irish responded less than a minute later when Conor Doyle found senior Jim Marlatt, who fired a low laser far side. A two-goal lead was restored, 11-9.  The crowd exhaled while the leprechaun found more shirts.  Syracuse would win the faceoff and after some irrelevant ball movement, Donahue struck again with 8:28 remaining to get Cuse close at 11-10.

Jim Marlatt unloads a low liner that gave the Irish some breathing room.

Jim Marlatt unloads a low liner to restore a two-goal lead.

Five minutes of banging,  scrums and strategic ball movement would lead to  a Syracuse timeout.  Scripted and prepared,  Syracuse executed with Tim Barber tying the score at 11 with 3:55 remaining.  For the first time since the 3:00 mark of the first quarter, the game was tied.  Two tense minutes gave way to Donahue’s seventh goal of the game and with just 1:06 remaining, Syracuse had their first lead, 12-11.  A timeout would prove memorable.  With Coach Corrigan providing instruction, a confident voice would suggest, “I got this!”  PJ Finley, one of five to faceoff against Ben Sherman, proclaimed his confidence, trotted to midfield, swirling arms, enticing the crowd.  Finley and friends had won three of six faceoffs in the fourth quarter after Sherman had won 14/20 through the first three.

Sophomore PJ Finley..."I got this!"............

Sophomore PJ Finley…”I got this!”…………

As the crowd stood, the referee backpedaled and whistled. Finley launched forward like a thoroughbred from the gate, picking the ball clean. Sprinting directly to the net, he launched a high to low shot past a frozen netminder for the first goal of his Notre Dame career. The Irish danced,  the crowd hugged, music blared and the visitors sunk.  With 0:59 remaining, it was 12-12, #1 vs #2, in front of live national audience, without a cloud in the sky.  More Disney, than Hollywood. The Irish would would get possession with 0:33 remaining, but a pass into the crease for Mikey Wynne would go astray……..so we went into overtime!   With both teams had fielding opportunities, neither would score.  The game almost ended with 0:10 remaining when Shane Doss stopped Donahue’s bid for an eighth goal.

picked, sprinted and scored with 0:59 remaining to force overtime.

In the second overtime a Syracuse shot went wide, giving the Irish the ball on a hustle play.  A successful clear led to a streaking Jack Near heading to goal before being directed behind net.  No sooner had Near stopped and the defense relaxed, he took off, wrapping around the crease and forcing a shot high over an outstretched defense.  His second goal of the game would clear the Irish bench and pave the way for a new number one atop the collegiate lacrosse world.  The undefeated Orange were no more, 13-12 Notre Dame.

Captain Jack Near strikes to end a double overtime thriller against undefeated Syracuse.

Captain Jack Near strikes to end a double overtime thriller against undefeated Syracuse.

Can’t believe it?  Watch the highlights again and again, via the link below.

Notre Dame upsets Syracuse Highlights

A home-made #1 sits atop Grace Hall on campus, recognizing a teams’ top ranking in the national polls.  Lacrosse continues in the ACC this Saturday, with the Irish traveling to Durham to reconnect with defending national champion Duke.  With the Blue Devils loss to North Carolina on Saturday, they’re 0-2 and needing at least one win to qualify for the ACC Tournament with two games remaining.  Until then, enjoy a golden moment.  Go Irish!

 

A History Lesson

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Not since President Reagan was re-elected, Apple rolled out the Macintosh and Michael Jackson recorded Thriller had a Notre Dame lacrosse team shutout its opponent. This past Saturday, Irish goalie Shane Doss stopped 11 shots while his teammates forced 22 turnovers en route to 9-0 victory over Ohio State in South Bend.  Sophomore Garrett Epple led an air-tight defense, causing four turnovers, while midfielder Nick Ossello paced the offense with a career-best three goals in Notre Dame’s second shutout in school history.

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Parents in South Bend gathered for a pregame hosted by the Sheridan, Finley, Borbi, Travisano and Near families at The Ivy Court.  John Borbi provided the chicken,  while John Travisano personally tested the chicken’s temperature, seasoning, crispiness and tenderness. Lori Travisano served rich, but smooth chocalatines.  Mary Ann Sheridan pulled it all together, with salads, sandwiches and desserts to feed a late afternoon gathering.  Liza Near captured it on film.

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In New York City, Bob Rogers recruited more than 60 alums and parents to TirNaNog to watch the #3 ranked Fighting Irish take on the #15 ranked Buckeyes.  The photos reflect what makes Notre Dame special.  Thanks to Bob for pulling this together. Few schools secure 110 pre-gamers in two cities for a non-football event.

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ND young alums

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The 40th lacrosse game between Ohio State and Notre Dame followed the women’s battle between the two schools, with Notre Dame prevailing 13-5. The ND men entered Saturday’s contest having won the previous 12 games against OSU, while owning a 30-9 series record.  The Buckeyes came into Saturday’s game after defeating #16 Towson on Tuesday in Baltimore, 7-6.  Saturday’s 4:00 start accommodated an ESPN broadcast with a near capacity crowd, sunny skies and new chrome domes worn by the Irish.

Nick Osello drove through OSU defenders to get the Irish an early lead.

Nick Ossello drove through OSU defenders to get the Irish an early lead.

Senior Nick Ossello returned to action, facing off and immediately banging bodies.  He would pick up a Buckeye turnover and drive through a defender, firing and scoring to put Notre Dame on the board two minutes into the game. Additional turnovers caused by Matt Landis, Eddy Glazener, John Sexton and Pat Healy would enable Notre Dame to stay offensive.  Posting a 5-1 shot advantage, the Irish increased their lead when junior Matt Kavanagh unleashed a low shot, through congestion, that skipped into the net with 5:55 remaining in the quarter. While OSU had some success with faceoffs,  the first period ended with the Irish forcing eight turnovers and out shooting the Buckeyes 11-1 en route to a modest 2-0 lead. Irish goalie Shane Doss did not register a save in the quarter, a feat the defense has achieved now twice this year.

Goalie Shane Doss deflects an OSU shot, with support from Nick Koshansky 38) and Matt Landis 43).

Goalie Shane Doss deflects an OSU shot while Nick Koshansky and Matt Landis provide support.

Forty five seconds into the second quarter, Doss made his first save, on a low shot he short hopped.  Senior Connor McCullough and sophomore Pat Healy entered the game, replenishing the Irish defense. Matt Landis frustrated OSU’s leading scorer Jessie King, who entered the contest with 21 goals. After Conor Doyle rang a shot off the post near the ten minute mark,  the Irish would come calling again with a man advantage via  Eddy Lubowicki.    Slick passing and unselfish ball movcment would create a cross-field seam.  With an assassin’s eye, Matt Kavanagh saw the seam and threaded a pass to Doyle alone on the Buckeye doorstep. Doyle caught, faked and finished and with 4:09 left in the first half, the Irish led 3-0.  Shots on goal favored ND 19-6. OSU would challenge Doss, particularly with 2:30 remaining on a guided missle targeting a high corner. But Doss stood tall, showing equal skill with an outlet pass to a streaking Eddy Glazener.  The half would end with both teams making stops, ground balls and saves almost even, but the Irish had the lead and control.

Senior Conor Doyle has scored five goals in the past two games.

Senior Conor Doyle has scored five goals in the past two games.

Nick Ossello removed any thought of a let down, opening the second half like an Express Train departing from the station. Picking up the ball from an OSU faceoff violation, the senior middie raced down the middle of the field, banging, spinning and shooting with a trail  of defenders behind him. Ossello’s second  goal of the game was vintage and gave ND a 4-0 lead. He wasn’t finished. A little more than a minute later, he  became the sixth different Irish player to register a hat trick this year, pushing the lead to 5-0. Kids on the berm and parents in the bleachers responded with 12:45 remaining in the quarter. A television timeout would follow. The window for an OSU comeback was closing.  Ossello would finish the day with three goals, 3/7 faceoffs won, while picking up three ground balls.   With 0:59 seconds remaining in the quarter, Conor Doyle would score his second of the game, following a rebound from a Jim Marlatt rocket, to give the Irish a 6-0 advantage. It was Doyle’s fifth goal in two games. Ohio State would post 10 shots in the quarter, forcing Doss to make three saves. Still no goals.  Focus slowly, but cautiously began shifting from the score to the clock.  Notre Dame’s only shutout came over Mount Union in 1984.  This was #15 Ohio State, defeaters of #3 Denver just a week ago.

Freshman John Sexton turned in another veteran performance.

Freshman John Sexton turned in another veteran performance.

Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Sergio Perkovic would score his 12th goal of the year, courtesy of a well-placed pass by Conor Doyle.  Two minutes later, junior midfielder Cole Riccardi unleashed his fifth goal of the year for an 8-0 Irish advantage.   Fresh legs began appearing with Jack Sheridan, Bobby Gray, Kyle Runyon, Pierre Byrne, Anthony Marini and Ben Pridemore in position.  The defense wasn’t finished, as the possibility of a shutout began to register with the visitors.  First, Garrett Epple collected his seventh ground ball.  Coupled with four caused turnovers and a pair of sound hits, the sophomore defenseman turned in an all-star performance.   With 7:03 remaining, freshman Brendan Collins thundered, dodged and shot low to high for his second goal of the season.  Another highlight for the defense….but there was one more.

Sophomore Garrett Epple turned forced four turnovers while picking up seven ground balls.

Sophomore Garrett Epple turned forced four turnovers while picking up seven ground balls.

With 4:25 remaining,  Conor Kelly would replace Doss in goal, with the Irish set to go one man down.  Kelly would make two sterling saves, including one immediately as he entered.  On the day, the Irish defense went five for five in killing Buckeye penalties, ended Jessie King’s 45 game scoring streak and registered the first shutout in 31 years, winning 9-0.   Unselfish offense and smothering defense translated into a historic result.  A recap of the highlights can be seen in the link below. Continued thanks to Rob Kelly, who contributes the photography each week.

Notre Dame shuts out Ohio State

Notre Dame will host #1 ranked and unbeaten Syracuse this coming Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU beginning at noon.  The Orange are 7-0, with a 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference record. They feature one of the top rated attack, along with outstanding faceoff talent.  Syracuse is coming of a 19-7 thrashing of Duke in the Carrier Dome.  The Irish enter the game ranked #2, with a 5-1 overall record and 1-0 in the ACC.     We’ll need fans from all generations at Arlotta.  See you Friday!

Go Irish!

Go Irish!