NOTRE DAME – Notre Dame (7-5, 2-2 ACC) wrapped up the regular season with a big 12-10 ACC win over North Carolina (7-6, 1-3 ACC) to secure the No. 3 seed in the ACC Championships and earn a spot in the semifinals on Saturday. The Irish will take on No. 2 Duke in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the tournament.
Senior Brendan Gleason turned in one of the best performances of his career on Senior Day, matching his career high for goals in a game with five. The day had extra meaning for Gleason, as he switched jerseys from No. 9 to No. 40 after the team voted earlier in the week on who would wear the jersey that honors the late Mike Sennett. For more information on the life of Sennett, click here.
Junior attackman Brian Willetts also had a career day with a personal best six points off a career-high four assists and two goals.
The defensive unit put the clamps on Tar Heel attack, holding the visitors to just 26 shots, the second fewest an opponent has mustered against Notre Dame this season. The Irish defense limited Tar Heel attackmen to just two points on the day.
Another notable performance was turned in by junior Charlie Leonard, who once again dominated the X, winning 17-of-25 face-offs and scooping up seven ground balls.
How It Happened
Defense was the story of the first half, as the game was level after the first 30 minutes of play at 4-4. Gleason scored the first two goals for the Irish but the Tar Heels held a 3-2 lead at the end of the first frame. The visitors pushed their lead to two at 4-2 but the Irish responded with goals from Bryan Costabile and Connor Morin in the final minute of play to even the score at 4-4 at the break.
Notre Dame carried its momentum from the end of the second stanza into the third, recording the first three goals of the second half to take its largest lead of the game at 7-4 with just under 10 minutes left in the quarter.
The Tar Heels responded by scoring three of the next four goals to cut the Irish lead to just one at 8-7 with 13 minutes left in the fourth frame. Notre Dame answered with a goal from Costabile and Gleason to push the advantage back to three goals at 10-7 with 10 minutes left in regulation.
North Carolina made one last push, drawing within one goal on two occasions at 10-9 and then 11-10 but each time the Irish stopped any momentum with goals of their own to hold on and win by a final score of 12-10.
Notre Dame Attacking Player Of The Game
Gleason’s five-goal performance is a season-high for the senior and matches the most any Notre Dame player has scored in a contest during the 2019 campaign. Gleason now has four hat tricks on the season and 11 in his career. The attackman has scored 23 goals this season and 69 in his career.
Notre Dame Stat Of The Game
The Irish defense held North Carolina to just 26 shots, allowing the Irish to nearly double-up their opponent in shots, as Notre Dame finished with 50 attempts. The Tar Heels entered with the 11th ranked man-up unit in the country and the Irish held UNC 0-for-2 in extra-man opportunities for the day.
Notre Dame Notes
- Baumer Family Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Kevin Corrigan earned win No. 301 for his Notre Dame career, passing former UMass coach Dick Garber for second place in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse history for most wins by a head coach at a single school.
- The Irish will play Duke in the ACC Championship semifinal round for the third straight season.
- Notre Dame has now won the face-off battle in nine of 12 games this season, including each of the last four outings.
- The Irish committed just three turnovers in the second half against the Tar Heels
- All six of Notre Dame’s starting attackmen and midfielders scored at least one goal in the win.
- Willetts doubled his season assist total on Saturday, going from four entering the game to eight with his four helpers in the win.
- With five points in the win, Gleason moves to 99 for his career.
- Costabile’s two goals give him a career-high for goals in a season with 31, surpassing his previous best mark of 30 which came in his sophomore season.
The Irish earned the No. 3 seed in the ACC Championship and will face No. 2 Duke in the semifinal round of the tournament on Saturday, April 27 at Chapel Hill, North Carolina on the campus of UNC. The start time has yet to be announced but the game will air live on ESPNU and can be streamed via the WatchESPN app.
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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