June 12, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In the last month the University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse team has ventured from Long Island to Baltimore to Italy. That whirlwind travel schedule was a fitting way for the Fighting Irish to end their thrilling and record-setting season, which saw them win the ACC Tournament and advance to Championship Weekend for the third time in the last five seasons.
Several Fighting Irish records fell by the wayside during the 2014 season. When the Irish netted 19 goals in their season opener at Jacksonville, it was a sign of things to come for the Notre Dame offense, which took an eraser to several portions of the program's record book.
Here is a list of milestones achieved by the Fighting Irish in 2014:
Notre Dame's 213 goals scored were the most-ever for the program. The previous mark was 211 in 1992.
Sophomore attackman Matt Kavanagh established the single-season points record at Notre Dame with 75 on 42 goals and 33 assists. The previous standard was 74, which was set by Randy Colley in 1995. Kavanagh finished the 2014 campaign ranked 10th nationally in points per game (4.17).
Kavanagh's 33 assists are a Fighting Irish record. The previous high-water mark for assists was 32, which was accomplished four times: Mike Sullivan (1990), David Ulrich (2000), Pat Walsh (2003) and Alex Wharton (2008).
Kavanagh became the first Notre Dame player to notch 30 goals and 30 assists in a season.
Kavanagh's seven goals in the 13-7 win at Ohio State on March 25 tied the program record, which is also held by Randy Colley (1993 vs. New Hampshire) and Ryan Hoff (2007 vs. Drexel).
Sergio Perkovic's 28 goals were the most ever for a freshman midfielder at Notre Dame. The previous record for a rookie midfielder was 13 from Ed Lamb in 1990. In fact, Perkovic's 28 tallies would have established a program standard for a sophomore midfielder, surpassing Grant Krebs' total of 26 in 2008.
The Fighting Irish converted on 36 of their 69 man-up opportunities on the season. The .522 conversion percentage eclipsed the previous program record of .500, which was achieved in 1982 and 2007. Notre Dame ended the season ranked fourth nationally in man-up offense.
Notre Dame concluded the season with a 12-6 record and the 18 games played signified the most ever for the program. The Irish took to the field for 17 contests in both 2008 and 2010.
Notre Dame's runner-up finish in the NCAA Championship matched the program's top postseason performance.
Notre Dame's 6-5 win over Maryland in the semifinals of the ACC Championship ignited a six-game winning streak that spearheaded the run to the national title game. All six of those Irish opponents were ranked at the time of the meeting and it was the first time in program history that Notre Dame captured six straight wins over ranked teams.
QUARTERFINAL COMEBACK A TOP TOURNAMENT MOMENT
Notre Dame's thrilling 14-13 overtime victory over Albany in the NCAA quarterfinals was voted the No. 2 moment of this season's NCAA Championship according to the staff at Inside Lacrosse. Here is what they had to say about the comeback win in Hempstead, N.Y.:
It's tough to encapsulate the epic Albany-Notre Dame game into one moment, but if there is one, it's the play of Matt Kavanagh late in the game.
Kavanagh -- who's been known for his clutch play through his career -- saved an errant pass from going out of bounds by diving and managing to keep the ball off the end line ad keeping himself in bounds while fighting off Albany defenders over top of him.
Then, with 2:29 to play in overtime, Kavanagh drove toward the center of the defense and drew a double team. As he backed off, the Albany defenders slouched in, giving him room to take a few steps in and crank a sidearm shot that beat Albany's Blaze Riorden low.
Kavanagh finished the day with three goals, including the overtime score to send the Irish to the Final Four, capping Notre Dame's comeback win.
O'HARA A SCHOLAR ALL-AMERICAN
In addition to earning first team All-America honors, senior defenseman and team captain Stephen O'Hara was named a USILA Scholar All-American. It was the latest accolade for O'Hara, who started every contest over the last three seasons for the Fighting Irish. He earned all-ACC honors along with being selected to the All-ACC Tournament Team. O'Hara was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and he was selected by the Ohio Machine in the sixth round of January's Major League Lacrosse Draft.
BETTER EARLY THAN NEVER
Even though Notre Dame's 2014 campaign concluded less than three weeks ago, it's never too early to look ahead to 2015 and the Fighting Irish are highly-ranked in couple preseason polls...
Lacrosse Magazine (Corey McLaughlin)
2. NOTRE DAME
5. North Carolina
Inside Lacrosse (Christian Swezey)
3. NOTRE DAME
5. Johns Hopkins
The University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse team pursues excellence on and off the field through the three pillars in which the program is built: Character, Culture & Community. These three foundational values guide the promise of the program, which is to provide its student-athletes with the most compelling and enriching experience in all of college athletics. Through academics, competition, service and travel, the program aims to immerse its players in situations that enhance their student-athlete experience to help them become the people, students and teammates they aspire to be.
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