May 16, 2010
PRINCETON, N.J. - A career-high five goals from junior midfielder David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) along with a stingy defense led the way as Notre Dame defeated sixth-seeded Princeton 8-5 in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Class of 1952 Stadium.
Notre Dame senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) made 14 saves for Notre Dame in the victory. The Fighting Irish defense allowed just one second-half goal en route to the program's sixth victory in NCAA Tournament play. The five goals were the fewest allowed by Notre Dame in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Fighting Irish (8-6) will be making their fifth NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearance. The other trips came in 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2008.
"I thought the game went a lot the way we thought it would in all honesty," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "You always feel like a really smart coach when you have guys like these two (Scott Rodgers and David Earl) who make plays like they did today. They make you look smart a lot of times."
Princeton (11-5) cracked the scoring column first on a goal from Rob Engelke with 7:46 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame evened the contest with 3:35 remaining in the opening quarter as Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's) found the back of the net. The game was tied 1-1 after the first quarter.
The Fighting Irish grabbed a 2-1 lead with 8:41 left in the second quarter on Earl's first goal of the day. Earl struck again 47 seconds later to give Notre Dame a two-goal (3-1) advantage.
The Tigers put a halt to Notre Dame's 3-0 run as Jack McBride scored with 3:11 remaining in the first half. Princeton tied things up (3-3) 42 seconds later on a Paul Barnes tally. An Engelke goal gave Princeton a 4-3 lead with 1:17 left in the opening half. The Tigers led 4-3 at halftime.
Notre Dame evened the game once again on a goal from junior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving (McLean, Va./The Hotchkiss School) with 13:42 left in the third quarter. Krebs assisted on the play. Irving also had a game-high four caused turnovers.
Princeton regained the lead (5-4) with 7:13 left in the third quarter on McBride's second goal of the day. That would be the final goal of the contest for the Tigers. The Notre Dame defense held Princeton without a score for the final 22:13 of the game.
Earl's third goal knotted the game, 5-5, with 5:23 left in the third quarter. Notre Dame captured the lead for good with 22 seconds left in the third period as Nicholas Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) scored off a feed from Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School). Two key saves from Rodgers in the final seconds of the stanza preserved Notre Dame's one-goal lead after three quarters of play.
Notre Dame went up by two (7-5) less than a minute into the fourth quarter on Earl's fourth tally of the game. The junior midfielder completed his career day with 55 seconds left in the contest as he registered his fifth goal.
Princeton's Tyler Fiorito had 11 saves in the loss. The Tigers held a 37-31 edge in shots.
"You tend to forget about some of the defensive mistakes when Scotty's (Rodgers) taking away goals on their shots," added Corrigan. "Offensively, it takes someone to step up and make a play and that was Dave (Earl) for us today. I'm just thrilled. I think it's a very good Princeton team. I think it's a terrific Princeton goalie and we're thrilled to get a win."
The five goals from Earl matched the most goals ever scored by a Notre Dame player in an NCAA Tournament game. Randy Colley had five goals in a 12-10 victory over Duke in the first round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament.
The Irish will face No. 3 seed Maryland in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals on Saturday, May 22 in Princeton, N.J. Game time will either be noon (ET) or 2:30 p.m. The contest will be aired live on ESPNU.
May 16, 2010 - Class of 1952 Stadium - Princeton, N.J.
NCAA Championship - First Round
#14 Notre Dame (8-6) - 1 2 3 2 - 8
#6 Princeton (11-5) - 1 3 1 0 - 5
Princeton Scoring (goals-assists):
Jack McBride 2-3, Rob Engelke 2-0, Paul Barnes 1-0, Jimmy Davis 0-1; Goaltender: Tyler Fiorito (L, 60:00, 11 saves, 8 GA)
-- ND --