NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 8/8 Fighting Irish opened the season with a nearly flawless performance, dominating Robert Morris in a 19-7 win to open the 2021 campaign.
Sophomore Pat Kavanagh turned in one of the best individual performances in program history, tying Notre Dame records for points in a game (9) and assists in a game (7). In total, 13 Notre Dame players scored at least one goal, with junior Quinn McCahon leading the team with three.
As impressive as the attack was for the Irish, the defense was equally as dominant, holding a Colonial team that entered the game averaging 14.7 goals a game to just seven over the course of 60 minutes. Liam Entenmann made 10 saves while allowing just five scores and Kyle Thornton led the close defense with three caused turnovers.
The Irish also got it done at the faceoff X, winning 23-of-30 against Robert Morris. Kyle Gallagher finished 13-of-15 in the opener with 11 ground balls. Charlie Leonard also had a solid showing, going 9-of-12 with six ground balls.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish wasted no time getting going on the offensive end, scoring six goals in the opening 15 minutes to build an early 6-1 advantage.
The visitors scored early in the second quarter to make it a 6-2 game before Notre Dame closed the half with six straight to make it a 10-goal game heading into intermission at 12-2. The final goal was one of the highlights of the day, as Griffin Westlin found Kavanagh, who made a leaping finish to put the exclamation mark on the half.
Notre Dame managed to build its lead in the third period, outscoring Robert Morris 4-2 to move the score to 16-4 through 45 minutes of action. The Irish were able to play some reserves in the fourth frame and found the back of the net three more times en route to a 19-7 win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The Irish had plenty of players worthy with standout performances but none were more impressive than Kavanagh’s record day. Kavanagh became just the second player in program history to dish out seven assists in a game, joining John Olmstead who accomplished the feat on April 21, 1988 in a win over Wittenberg.
He also recorded the ninth game in program history with nine points (2G, 7A) and was the first to do it since Randy Colley on April 13, 1995 against Air Force.
NOTRE DAME NOTES
- The Irish improve to 2-0 against Robert Morris in the all-time series.
- With the win, the Irish are now 34-7 in season openers, including a 28-5 record under Baumer Family Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Kevin Corrigan.
- Notre Dame improves to 37-4 in home openers in program history and 30-3 under Corrigan.
- Corrigan moves to 306 career wins at Notre Dame, just four shy of tying Bob Shillinglaw (310 at Delaware) for the all-time wins leader at a single school at the DI level.
- The 19 goals are the most the Irish have scored in a game since putting up 19 goals in the 2019 season-opening win over Detroit Mercy.
- McCahon recorded the first hat trick of his career and finished with four points (3G, 1A).
- Kyle Thornton and Eric Dobson made their first career starts for the Irish.
- Dobson, Nick Harris and Bryce Walker each scored their first career goals at the collegiate level.
- Sean Leahey, Will Yorke and David Lipka each scored their first goals in a Fighting Irish uniform.
The Irish return to Arlotta Stadium to take on Bellarmine at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 6. The game will air on ACCNX.
— ND —
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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