March 17, 2018
By: Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 4 Notre Dame (4-1, 1-0 ACC) donned special uniforms that included green on the jerseys and helmets on St. Patrick’s Day and celebrated the occasion with its second straight win against a top-10 opponent, defeating No. 7 Virginia 9-7 at Arlotta Stadium.
The Irish were impressive on the defensive end, holding the high-powered Cavalier attack to just seven goals. Senior long-stick midfielder John Sexton led the defense, causing five turnovers and scooping eight ground balls.
Senior attackman Mikey Wynne was clinical in front of the cage on Saturday, scoring four goals on four shots. Junior Brendan Gleason and sophomore Bryan Costabile each added two goals and senior Pierre Byrne also scored to give the Irish their nine goals
With the win, Notre Dame remains unbeaten at home this season, improving to 4-0.
How It Happened
For the second consecutive game, the Irish attack was on fire to start the contest. Notre Dame struck four times in the opening five minutes to quickly build a 4-0 lead. Byrne struck first followed by two goals from Wynne within the first four minutes. Costabile got in on the action less than a minute later, ripping a shot past the Cavaliers’ keeper to put an exclamation mark on the early goal flurry.
Virginia regrouped and answered with four straight goals of its own, all coming from attackman Michael Kraus to level the score at 4-4 with 11 minutes to go in the second quarter.
Notre Dame finished the second stanza strong, as Gleason and Costabile both found the back of the net to give the Irish a 6-4 lead after the opening 30 minutes of play.
The Cavaliers were locked in coming out of the halftime break, scoring three unanswered goals to take their first lead of the game at 7-6 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.
The Irish showed their resiliency in the fourth frame, outscoring the Cavaliers 3-0 to earn the victory. Wynne leveled the contest less than a minute into the fourth quarter before putting the Irish back on top with a finish in front of the crease off a perfect pass from Ryder Garnsey.
The Notre Dame defense dug in during the final 10 minutes of play and received two huge caused turnovers from Sexton in the final minute to secure the 9-7 victory.
Notre Dame Players Of The Game
Wynne did an excellent job of picking his spots and finishing when he had opportunities for the Irish on Saturday. The four goals the senior scored are a season high. Wynne picked up the 21st hat trick of his career and the first of his season.
Sexton was an absolute menace to the Virginia attack, as the preseason All-American proved worthy of his status in the win. The senior was everywhere, recording career highs in caused turnovers (5) and ground balls (8). Sexton made two huge defensive plays down the stretch, forcing two turnovers in the final minute of the game.
Stat Of The Game
For the second straight week, the Notre Dame defense held the opposition to its lowest goal total of the season. The Irish gave up just seven goals to Virginia and didn’t allow the Cavaliers to score a goal in the final 17:52 of action. Furthermore, Notre Dame held Virigina without a single shot from the 11:17 mark to the 2:54 mark in the fourth quarter.
Tweet Of The Day
— Dan Aburn (@Dan_Aburn) March 18, 2018
Notre Dame Notes
- The Irish have allowed fewer than 10 goals in four of their five games this season.
- Notre Dame improves to 7-5 against Virginia in the all-time series and has won six straight matchups.
- The Irish improve to 34-24 against teams ranked in the top 10 of the USILA Coaches Poll since 2008.
- Notre Dame is 24-2 when playing at home since the beginning of the 2015 season.
- The Irish remain unbeaten in ACC openers, improving to 5-0 with Saturday’s victory.
- With four goals against Virginia, Wynne moves into fifth place in the all-time program goals rankings. Wynne has 116 career goals, surpassing former standout Chris Dusseau (115).
- Sexton’s eight ground balls are the most any Notre Dame player has recorded this season.
The Irish host Michigan in a midweek contest at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 21, at Arlotta Stadium. The game will air live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.
— 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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