May 10, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The second-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team suffered a 7-3 setback to No. 13 Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field. The Fighting Irish, who were seeded seventh in the tournament, conclude the season with a 15-1 record. That is a school record for wins and winning percentage in a season.
Maryland (10-6) never trailed in the contest. The Terrapins, who were not seeded in the tournament, got on the board behind a goal from Jeremy Sieverts at the 12:38 mark of the first quarter. Joe Cummings made it 2-0 in favor of Maryland with 11:08 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame answered back with an unassisted tally from sophomore midfielder Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) with 10:22 on the clock in the period. That would be the final goal of the first quarter for either team.
Four straight goals from the Terrapins would give them a 6-1 advantage by the 10:08 mark of third quarter. The surge began with a Grant Catalino goal with 12:38 left in the second quarter. An Adam Sear tally with just over five minutes remaining in the opening half gave Maryland a 4-1 lead at the intermission.
“We didn’t play that well on the offensive end of the field and we didn’t handle the ball cleanly and it hurt us,” said Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan. “It was a limited-possession game and you have to be selective and smart about what you’re doing on offense and we didn’t play with the discipline that we needed. Defensively, we gave up a couple that we didn’t like but we played pretty solid there.”
The Terrapins went up by four (5-1) as Dan Groot scored in the opening stages of the second half. Maryland upped its lead to five on a Rob Morrison goal less than five minutes into the third quarter.
Notre Dame halted the streak when senior midfielder Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) scored an unassisted goal at the 3:51 mark of the third period. Overall, the Fighting Irish were held without a goal for 36:31 during Maryland’s 4-0 run. The Terrapins led 6-2 after three quarters of play.
Maryland regained its five-goal edge on Groot’s second tally of the afternoon less than two minutes into the final stanza. The Irish would get the last goal of the day as junior midfielder Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) scored off a pass from his classmate Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School). That extended Krebs’ team-best point streak to 32 games and his team-best goal streak to 28 games.
The Fighting Irish held a 34-33 edge in shots along with going 9-for-13 in faceoffs. Sophomore Jake Marmul (Livonia, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) led the way in that category by going 8-2.
Maryland goalie Brian Phipps picked up the win by making nine saves, while Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) suffered the first loss of his career. The Irish goalie made 14 stops on the day.
“Maryland is a very good team,” added Corrigan. “They are a very smart team. They have a number of different guys who can make plays and they had a very good defensive game today. I think we shot the ball very poorly. We settled in our offense and we can’t do that against a team like them because it’s not going to be an up-and-down high-possession game and you have to make your possessions count and we didn’t do that.”
The three goals from Notre Dame marked its lowest output since a 12-2 loss to Loyola during the 2000 campaign. The Fighting Irish defense never surrendered more than nine goals in a game all season long. Notre Dame held its opponents to seven goals or fewer on 12 occasions.
The loss snapped Notre Dame’s program-record 25-game home winning streak. That also was the longest active streak in the nation.
NCAA Championship – First Round – May 10, 2009 – Alumni Field – Notre Dame, Ind.
#13 Maryland (10-6) – 2 2 2 1- 7
#2 Notre Dame (15-1) – 1 0 1 1 – 3
Maryland Scoring (goals-assists):
Dan Groot 2-0, Grant Catalino 1-0, Jeremy Sieverts 1-0, Rob Morrison 1-0, Adam Sear 1-0, Joe Cummings 1-0, Will Yeatman 0-2, Ryan Young 0-2, Warren Hansen 0-1; Goaltender: Brian Phipps (W, 60:00, 9 saves, 3 GA)