May 17, 2014
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – A Matt Kavanagh goal in overtime gave No. 6 seed Notre Dame a thrilling 14-13 victory over Albany on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship in front of a sellout and stadium-record crowd of 13,519 at James M. Shuart Stadium.
The Fighting Irish (11-5) trailed 12-7 with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest before ending regulation on a 6-1 run. The surge began on a Nick Ossello goal, which snapped a 6-0 Albany run, and Westy Hopkins scored less than a minute later to make it a three-goal affair. Tallies from Conor Doyle and Sergio Perkovic 36 seconds apart cut the Albany lead to one (12-11) with 6:19 left to play.
The Great Danes (12-6) went back up by two on a Ryan Feuerstein goal with 5:44 remaining, but goals from Hopkins and Perkovic knotted the game by the three-minute mark of the final period. The Notre Dame defense withstood a final Albany possession and goalie Conor Kelly saved a Ty Thompson shot with five seconds left and the game went to overtime.
Kavanagh had a hat trick for the Irish, while fellow attackman Conor Doyle had two goals and three assists. Lyle Thompson paced Albany with three goals and three assists. Notre Dame’s Liam O’Connor went 21-of-31 in faceoff attempts.
Notre Dame used a 10-man ride in the fourth quarter and that played a huge role in the furious comeback. The Irish forced seven Albany turnovers in the final nine minutes of regulation.
“What a fantastic atmosphere, it couldn’t have been a more fantastic venue,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “Albany played terrific lacrosse today and deserved a better fate, but I’m pretty glad they didn’t get it. It was a heck of a lacrosse game. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. To be in the situation we were in in the fourth quarter … if you were in our huddle you didn’t sense any quit. Nobody was hanging their head, they were focused on making some plays and making one at a time. All the credit in the world to our guys.”
This is the third Championship Weekend appearance in the last five seasons for Notre Dame and the fourth trip overall in program history. The Irish were semifinalists in 2001 and 2012 and they were the national runner-up in 2010.
Notre Dame will face Maryland in the NCAA semifinals next Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Md. That game will take place at 1 or 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. Maryland topped Bryant, 16-8, in the day’s first quarterfinal. The Fighting Irish and Terrapins split two meetings this season. Maryland won the regular-season matchup (12-8), while Notre Dame was victorious in the ACC semifinal showdown (6-5).
Notre Dame led 6-5 at halftime, but the Great Danes outscored the Irish 5-1 in the third quarter. Ty Thompson evened the contest early in the second half and neither team scored for the next five minutes but John Scioscia snapped the drought with a timer-on goal to give the Irish a 7-6 lead. The Great Danes answered right back with a Will Stenberg goal that began their 6-0 run. Lyle Thompson gave Albany its first lead of the game (8-7) with 4:45 left in the third quarter. Another goal from Lyle Thompson two minutes later increased the Great Dane advantage to two. Ty Thompson scored with 2.4 seconds left in the period to make it 10-7.
Albany pushed the lead to five (12-7) just over three minutes into the fourth quarter on transition goals from Doug Eich and Matthew Bertrams.
The Fighting Irish scored the first four goals of the game beginning with a man-up tally from Kavanagh. Goals from Doyle, Ossello and Kavanagh made it 4-0 with just under eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. Lyle Thompson put Albany on the board with 7:02 left in the opening period and consecutive scores from Miles Thompson made it 4-3 by the end of the quarter.
Scioscia gave the Irish a two-goal advantage early in the second period, but John Maloney got the Great Danes back to within one and Miles Thompson evened things up (5-5) with 8:41 left in the first half. Notre Dame regained its lead with just over three minutes remaining in the stanza on a Trevor Brosco tally.
Notre Dame held a 47-32 advantage in shots. Kelly finished with six saves for the Irish, while Blaze Riorden had 14 for Albany.
NCAA Championship Quarterfinal
May 17, 2014
James M. Shuart Stadium – Hempstead, N.Y.
Albany (12-6) – 3 2 5 3 0 – 13
#6 Notre Dame (10-5) – 4 2 1 6 1 – 14