May 22, 2010
PRINCETON, N.J. - For the second time in program history the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team has advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame defeated No. 3 Maryland, 7-5, in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Princeton Stadium. The Terrapins were the tournament's third seed, while the Irish are not seeded.
A hat trick from sophomore attackman Sean Rogers (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Holy Trinity) and a defense that allowed just five goals for the second straight game was the story of the day for the Fighting Irish, who never trailed in the contest.
"Our guys just played their hearts out," said Irish junior defenseman Kevin Ridgway (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Prep). "I thought we matched up pretty well with them (Maryland). We locked down and did what we always do, give them low-angle shots for the big guy (goalie Scott Rodgers). We came in with that game plan and I think we executed pretty well today."
Notre Dame (9-6) got on the board with 10:10 left in the first quarter as Rogers found the back of the net. Maryland (12-4) answered with 8:25 showing on the clock in the quarter on a goal from Scott Larue. Following that Terrapin tally, Notre Dame went on a 4-0 run, spanning 16:24.
The Irish surge began on a David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) goal with 8:00 left in the opening quarter. Notre Dame went up by two (3-1) with 3:33 left in the first quarter on a Max Pfeifer (Crozet, Va./Western Albemarle) goal. Rogers netted his second goal of the game with 1:48 left in the first quarter to give Notre Dame a three-goal edge (4-1) after the opening 15 minutes of play.
A Nicholas Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) goal with 8:36 left in the second quarter gave Notre Dame a four-goal cushion (5-1). Maryland put a halt to the Irish uprising on a Jake Bernhardt goal with 7:01 remaining in the first half. The Terrapins sliced the Irish lead to two (5-3) three minutes later on a John Haus tally. Notre Dame led 5-3 at the intermission.
"Scoring early was big for us," stated Rogers. "With the success our midfield has had, we knew coming in the focus would be on them. I had the shorty (short-stick midfielder) today and I tried to take advantage of it and the shots went in."
A man-up goal from Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's) put Notre Dame back up by three (6-3) in the opening minutes of the second half. Rogers completed his hat trick with 2:00 left in the third quarter to give the Irish a 7-3 lead.
It marked the second career hat trick for Rogers, who scored on all three shots that he took on Saturday. The sophomore tallied three goals earlier this season against Denver.
Maryland notched its first goal of the second half with 1:06 showing on the clock in the third period when Travis Reed scored. Notre Dame led by three (7-4) after three quarters of play.
The game's final goal came with 12:15 left in the contest on a goal from Maryland's Joe Cummings.
The Notre Dame defense stifled a Terrapin offense that entered the game averaging 11.71 goals per game. The Irish held Maryland's Grant Catalino, who has team-high totals in goals (34) and points (54), without a point.
Fighting Irish senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) made eight saves in the win. His counterpart Brian Phipps made 13 stops for Maryland. Notre Dame won the ground ball battle, 31-24.
The Notre Dame defense has surrendered only 10 goals during the first two games of the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Irish held No. 6 Princeton to five goals in an 8-5 victory last Sunday. The five goals allowed are the fewest in program history for an NCAA Tournament game.
Notre Dame senior midfielder Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) won 10 of 15 faceoff attempts. Maryland held a 33-28 edge in shots. Junior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving (McLean, Va./The Hotchkiss School) had game-high totals in caused turnovers (3) and ground balls (7) for the Fighting Irish.
Prior to today, Notre Dame had been 0-4 all-time against Maryland. The Terrapins defeated the Irish, 7-3, in the first round of last season's NCAA Championship.
Notre Dame last made the national semifinals in 2001 when the Irish fell to Syracuse, 12-5, in Piscataway, N.J.
"What a journey this has been," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "To lose six games after going undefeated last year we were very fortunate to even get to play in the (NCAA) tournament. I'm so proud of our guys because we prepared ourselves to be in the tournament. We prepared ourselves for being in the tournament and whether we got in or not wasn't up to us. Working the last month and getting prepared was up to us. I couldn't be more proud of the way the guys did that."
The Irish will face the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal contest between Army and Cornell in the NCAA Championship semifinals on Saturday, May 29 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Game time will either be 4:00 p.m. (ET) or 6:30 p.m. Both semifinal games can be seen live on ESPN2 HD.
May 22, 2010 - Princeton Stadium - Princeton, N.J.
NCAA Championship Quarterfinals
#14 Notre Dame (9-6) - 4 1 2 0 - 7
#3 Maryland (12-4) - 1 2 1 1 - 5
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Sean Rogers 3-0, Nicholas Beattie 1-0, Grant Krebs 1-0, Max Pfeifer 1-0, David Earl 1-0, Neal Hicks 0-1, Zach Brenneman 0-1, Mike Creighton 0-1; Goaltender: Scott Rodgers (W, 60:00, 8 saves, 5 GA)
Maryland Scoring (goals-assists):
Travis Reed 1-1, Jake Bernhardt 1-0, Joe Cummings 1-0, Scott Larue 1-0, John Haus 1-0, Will Yeatman 0-1, Ryan Young 0-1; Goaltenders: Brian Phipps (L, 58:22, 13 saves, 7 GA); Mark White (1:38, 0 saves, 0 GA)
-- ND --