April 21, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The No. 4 Notre Dame men's lacrosse team captured a 10-7 victory over No. 11 Villanova on Saturday night at Villanova Stadium. The Irish fell behind 4-0 in the first quarter before outscoring the Wildcats 10-3 in the remainder of the contest.
The victory was the ninth straight for Notre Dame (10-1, 5-0) and it clinched the top seed in the BIG EAST Championship for the Fighting Irish. The league tournament will be held May 3 and 5 at Villanova. Villanova is the No. 2 seed followed by Syracuse and St. John's as the third and fourth seeds, respectively.
Notre Dame senior attackman Sean Rogers had a game-high four points on three goals and one assist, while sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt registered three assists for the Irish. Notre Dame used eight different goal scorers in the win.
The Notre Dame defense held Villanova (8-5, 4-1) without a goal in the second and third quarters. The scoreless streak eventually reached 39:13 in total length. Junior goalie John Kemp made 10 saves for the Irish.
After the Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead with just under five minutes left in the first quarter, the Irish responded with eight straight tallies.
Notre Dame's surge began with 4:18 left in the opening quarter as freshman attackman Conor Doyle found the back of the net. Villanova led 4-1 after the first quarter. The game's lone goal in the second quarter came from Rogers, who scored off a pass from Steve Murphy, at the 8:57 mark of the period. Murphy, a junior midfielder, had two assists on the evening.
Villanova led 4-2 at halftime. Notre Dame is 4-0 this season with trailing at the intermission.
"I think we played about as poorly as we've played all year in the first quarter," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "I'm proud that our guys settled down and played so well after that. I thought we played better in the second quarter, but not great. We obviously played very well in the second half. We felt like we were getting things offensively when we settled down and had good possessions. We maybe didn't have enough patience early on but we gutted it out."
The Fighting Irish knotted the game (4-4) by the 13:47 mark of the third quarter after senior midfielder Max Pfeifer and Rogers tallied goals less than a minute apart. Rogers then gave the Irish their first lead of the game, which they would hold onto for the remainder of the contest, with 9:56 left in the third quarter. A goal from freshman midfielder Will Corrigan put the Irish on top 6-4 by the end of the third quarter.
Notre Dame's seventh straight goal came from junior midfielder Pat Cotter less than a minute into the final period. His classmate Ryan Foley put the Irish up by four (8-4) with 11:07 left in regulation.
C.J. Small snapped the scoreless drought for Villanova with 10:42 left, yet the Irish responded 26 seconds later on a goal from junior Tyler Kimball to regain their four-goal advantage.
Goals from Chris Piccirilli and Max Hart got the Wildcats back to within two (9-7) with 9:18 remaining in the contest. After neither team scored for nearly eight minutes, Irish sophomore Westy Hopkins produced the game's final tally at the 1:21 mark of the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame outshot Villanova 32-26, while the Irish also held a 12-9 advantage in faceoffs. Freshman Nick Ossello won nine of his 14 faceoff attempts for the Irish.
Both teams were 0-for-1 in extra-man opportunities. Villanova goalie Dan Gutierrez made seven saves in the loss.
This was the second straight game that Notre Dame overcame a four-goal deficit. Last Sunday, the Irish trailed Georgetown 5-1 at halftime before winning 9-7. The Fighting Irish have outscored their opponents 31-7 in the second half of the last four games.
The Irish are 5-1 this season versus ranked opponents.
The Fighting Irish will wrap up the regular season next Saturday when they play host to No. 14 Syracuse. Faceoff is slated for 5 p.m. (ET) at Arlotta Stadium. The game will be broadcast by ESPNU.
April 21, 2012
#4 Notre Dame (10-1, 5-0) 1 1 4 4 - 10
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Villanova Scoring (goals-assists):
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