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Irish Impress In 11-9 Win Over No. 5 Denver

March 10, 2018

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By: Robby Hamman

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 10 Notre Dame (3-1) used a strong start to carry it to an impressive 11-9 win over No. 5 Denver (4-2) on Saturday afternoon in front of a packed Arlotta Stadium crowd. The Irish raced out to a 6-1 lead after the first 15 minutes and never trailed during the game.

Sophomore Brendan Gleason led the attack with a season-high four goals and sophomore Brian Costabile added three to carry much of the offensive load. Freshman Mikey Drake had a day to remember, scoring the first two goals of his collegiate career against the Pioneers. Sophomore Brian Willetts also found the back of the net in the two-goal victory.

An unsung hero in the game for the Irish was senior midfielder John Travisano, who went 9-for-18 against Denver’s Trevor Baptiste, arguably the best face-off man in lacrosse.

With the win, Notre Dame remains unbeaten at home this season, improving to 3-0.

How It Happened

The Irish could not have asked for a better start to the showdown against the Pioneers, scoring six times in the first frame, the most they have scored in any quarter during the 2018 campaign. Notre Dame scored the opening four goals of the afternoon over a span of 4:18.

Willetts scored the first just 90 seconds into the game and then Gleason double the lead less than two minutes later. The third goal was a gift from Denver, as a Pioneer player shoveled a pass back to the goalkeeper and the ball found its way into the back of the net. The final goal of the run came from Drake, the first goal of his career.

Denver got off the mark with 7:37 left in the first to draw within three at 4-1 and then Costabile took over, closing out the quarter with two goals to put the Irish on top by five at 6-1 after the opening 15 minutes of action.

The two sides traded scores in the second, both teams putting two goals on the board to move the score to 8-3 heading into the halftime break. Notre Dame’s goals were tallied by Drake and Gleason, both scoring their second goals of the afternoon.

Notre Dame came out of the break and scored two of the first three goals to push its advantage to six goals at 10-4, the biggest lead of the afternoon with nine minutes left in the third quarter. Both of the Irish goals came from the stick of Gleason to give the junior four goals on the day.

Denver refused to go away quietly, going on a 5-0 scoring run to draw within one at 10-9 with 8:27 left in the game. The Irish then dug in on the defensive end, coming up with a number of key stops and saves to keep the lead. Costabile then gave Notre Dame a two-goal cushion at 11-9, completing his hat trick to seal the win for the Irish.

Notre Dame Player Of The Game

Gleason was clinical in front of the cage, scoring a season-high four goals to pace the Irish in scoring. The junior ran by his defender for three of the goals and positioned himself perfectly to scoop up a ground ball in front of the crease and finish past the keeper.

Stat Of The Game

Notre Dame held the Pioneers to nine goals, their fewest total in a game this season. The Irish have now held opponents to single-digit goal totals in three of the four games they have played this season. Even more impressive, Notre Dame gave up just six goals to Denver in even-man situations.

Tweet Of The Day

Mikey Drake’s first career goal was a beaut!

Tune into @ESPNU to catch the rest of the first half vs. Denver!#GoIrish

 Notre Dame Lacrosse (@NDlacrosse) March 10, 2018

Notre Dame Notes

  • The Irish have scored 10-plus goals in all four games this season.
  • Notre Dame improves to 15-9 against Denver in the all-time series.
  • The Irish improve to 13-11 against teams ranked in the top 5 of the USILA Coaches Poll since 2012.
  • Notre Dame has now won nine straight games at home against non-conference opponents.
  • With four goals against Denver, Gleason now is second on the team in goals with eight on the year and is tied for the lead in points with 12.
  • Costabile notched his second hat trick of the season and third of his career, finishing with three goals. The sophomore now has a team-high 10 goals on the season and is tied for the lead in points with 12.
  • Willetts has scored in each of the last three games.
  • Drake’s first two goals of the season give him four points in 2018.
  • Senior LSM John Sexton led the Irish in ground balls with four.

Up Next

The Irish open up Atlantic Coast Conference play next weekend, hosting No. 9 Virginia at Arlotta Stadium at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 17. The game will air live on ESPNU.

— 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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