April 13, 2016

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Notre Dame senior captain Matt Kavanagh wheeled around the right side of the net and fired in the left-handed game-winner 30 seconds into overtime as the second-ranked Irish men’s lacrosse team held off 19th-rated Marquette 8-7 Wednesday at Arlotta Stadium.

That goal, one of a game-high four by the Irish veteran from Rockville Centre, New York, enabled the 9-1 Irish to prevail in front of 1,699 fans on the University of Notre Dame campus on a mostly cloudy, 55-degree afternoon.

“We all have great confidence and faith in Matt Kavanagh,” said Irish coach Kevin Corrigan. “Nobody has made more big plays in his college career than he has. There’s nobody in our huddle that doesn’t expect that he’s going to make plays like that. So I’m not surprised. I’m thrilled for him, but I’m more grateful that we’ve had him for four years and I get to watch him make one more play like that at the end of a game.”

The Irish built a 5-2 halftime edge, as Notre Dame’s first-half defensive work matched its best statistical effort of the season (Maryland and Virginia also were held to two first-half scores).

After Marquette scored 59 seconds into the game on a goal by Blaine Fleming, the Golden Eagles didn’t dent the scoreboard again until just over six minutes remained in the first half. In the meantime, Notre Dame scored four times, as Kavanagh, freshman Ryder Garnsey, first-time midfield starter Cole Riccardi and Sergio Perkovic tallied for the home team. Kavanagh’s second goal with 54 seconds to go in the opening half cinched the three-goal halftime advantage.

Marquette scored three straight times in a 3:35 span early in the third period, and at the 8:29 stop the game was tied at five apiece.

The Irish regained a multi-goal lead on markers by Kavanagh and then by sophomore long-stick John Sexton on a length-of-the-field dash that ended with three seconds to go in the third period.

The Golden Eagles rebounded again, getting goals from Kyran Clarke at the 13:32 mark of the fourth period and then from Ryan McNamara at 8:51 to leave the contest tied at seven to end regulation.

Sophomore John Travisano Jr. won the overtime face-off, the Irish called time 13 seconds into the extra period–and Kavanagh won it 17 seconds later. For Kavanagh it qualified as his fourth career overtime game-winning goal–including against Albany in an 2014 NCAA Championship quarterfinal contest.

The Irish now have played three overtime games in 2016–including wins over Virginia (on a Perkovic goal) and now Marquette. Notre Dame also defeated Ohio State by a single goal in regulation.

Both goaltenders–Notre Dame’s Shane Doss and Marquette’s Cole Blazer–made nine saves. The Irish won 11 of 15 face-offs, including six of seven by Travisano.

Notre Dame now has nine days off before traveling to play 10th-ranked North Carolina at noon April 23 in Chapel Hill. An Irish win in that contest would clinch an unbeaten Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title for Notre Dame.

— by John Heisler, senior associate athletics director

Score by Period 1 2 3 4 OT F
#19 Marquette (8-2) 1 1 3 2 0 7
#2 Notre Dame (9-1) 2 3 2 0 1 8

Marquette Scoring:
Goals: Kyran Clarke 2, Blaine Fleming 1, Tanner Thomson 1, Griffin Connor 1, Henry Nelson 1, Ryan McNamara 1
Assists: Andy DeMichiei 1, Fleming 1, McNamara 1, Liam Byrnes 1

Notre Dame Scoring:
Goals: Matt Kavanagh 4, Ryder Garnsey 1, Cole Riccardi 1, Sergio Perkovic 1, John Sexton 1
Assists: Kavanagh 1, Garnsey 1

Marquette: Cole Blazer, L, 60:00, 8 goals against, 9 saves
Notre Dame: Shane Doss, W, 60:00, 7 goals against, 9 saves