Sean Rogers scored a career-high four goals in Sunday's win over Rutgers.

#6 Notre Dame Tops Rutgers 12-9 In BIG EAST Opener

March 25, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A career-high four goals from senior attackman Sean Rogers helped the No. 6 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team open BIG EAST play with a 12-9 win over Rutgers on Sunday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. The Fighting Irish have won five straight games.

Notre Dame (6-1, 1-0) scored six of the game’s first seven goals and never trailed in the contest. The Irish grabbed a 1-0 lead just over a minute into the game on a goal from sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt, who had two goals and an assist on the afternoon. A Pat Cotter tally made it 2-0 with 8:16 left in the opening quarter.

Rutgers (4-5, 0-2) got on the scoreboard with a goal from Will Mangan at the 6:33 mark of the first quarter. Mangan was one of four Scarlet Knight players with two goals on the day.

The Fighting Irish rattled off four straight goals to build their lead to five (6-1) with just over 11 minutes remaining in the opening half. Scoring goals during the surge were Liam O’Connor, Steve Murphy, Eric Keppeler and Ryan Foley, who also had two assists in the game.

Rutgers sliced the Irish advantage to three (6-3) with tallies from Michael Diehl and Mangan. Diehl had two goals in the game.

Notre Dame freshman Will Corrigan netted his first career goal with 5:23 left in the first half to push the Notre Dame lead back to four (7-3). Corrigan also had an assist in the contest. Scarlet Knight goals less than a minute apart from Zachary Zenda and Nick DePaolera made it a 7-5 contest at halftime.

The Rutgers run continued on a Scott Klimchak goal less than two minutes into the second half to make it a one-goal affair (7-6).

Rogers responded for the Irish as he negated a clearing attempt by the Scarlet Knights by picking off a pass and scored without Rutgers goalie Steven Lusby between the pipes. Notre Dame led 8-6 with 10:22 left in the third quarter.

The back-and-forth game continued as Klimchak put home his second goal of the day to trim the Irish lead back to one (8-7) with 5:25 showing on the clock in the third period. Following a man-up goal from Rogers, DePaolera scored with just 16 seconds left in the third quarter to make it a 9-8 contest after three periods of play.

A 3-0 Notre Dame run in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach for Rutgers. The spurt began on Marlatt’s second goal of the game with 13:27 left in regulation. Consecutive goals from Rogers extended the Irish lead to four (12-8) with just over three minutes remaining in the contest. A goal from Diehl produced the final outcome.

Rogers is the first Notre Dame player with four goals in a game since Neal Hicks netted four against Cornell in the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Championship. Rogers has a team-high 12 goals this season.

“I’m just happy to get the win today,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “We made it hard on ourselves. We didn’t get a lot of saves and we made some plays that were regrettable in our minds. To their credit, they (Rutgers) kept the pressure on us. Thankfully we were good enough offensively to stem the tide.”

The 12 goals were a season-high total for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame outshot Rutgers 41-30 and the Irish also won the faceoff battle, 14-11. O’Connor, a sophomore, was 9-for-18 in faceoffs, while freshman Nick Ossello was 5-for-7.

Junior goalie John Kemp made seven saves for the Irish to improve his record to 6-1 this season. Lusby had 13 stops for Rutgers.

“We got a goal off a ride and we got another goal off a faceoff today,” added Corrigan. “Finding ways to be productive is always important. That’s kind of been the key to the success we’ve had so far, but we have to get consistently better in a lot of areas. There are things that we know we can do, but just aren’t consistent enough with.”

The Fighting Irish will face BIG EAST foe St. John’s next Sunday in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. Faceoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at MetLife Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

March 25, 2012
Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind. (Attendance: 1,844)

Rutgers (4-5, 0-2) 1 4 3 1 – 9
#6 Notre Dame (6-1, 1-0) 5 2 2 3 – 12

Rutgers Scoring (goals-assists):
Nick DePaolera 2-2, Scott Klimchak 2-1, Will Mangan 2-1, Michael Diehl 2-0, Zachary Zenda 1-0, Nicholas Zerrillo 0-1; Goaltender: Steven Lusby (L, 60:00, 13 saves, 12 GA)

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Sean Rogers 4-0, Jim Marlatt 2-1, Ryan Foley 1-2, Will Corrigan 1-1, Pat Cotter 1-0, Steve Murphy 1-0, Eric Keppeler 1-0, Liam O’Connor 1-0; Goaltender: John Kemp (W, 60:00, 7 saves, 9 GA)

— ND —