May 9, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Unfazed by a four-goal deficit late in the second quarter, the University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team rattled off six unanswered goals in a span of just under eight minutes as the top-seeded Irish defeated Towson 12-10 in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Arlotta Stadium on Saturday. Senior attackman Conor Doyle scored three goals and dished off two assists in leading Notre Dame to its straight NCAA Championship quarterfinal appearance.
The Irish (11-2) will face Albany (16-2) in the quarterfinals next Saturday, May 16 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The contest will be a rematch of a quarterfinal game between the two schools in Hempstead, New York in 2014. Last year, Notre Dame rallied in that contest to defeat the Great Danes in a 14-13 overtime thriller.
“It is like I said to the team right after the game, you don’t get to play the game you had hoped to play,” head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “You have to play the one you are in. Certainly that wasn’t the way we hoped to start the game, but a lot of credit goes to Towson. I thought they played very well, particularly in the first half.
Towson (12-6) came into the game riding a three-game win streak and grabbed the momentum early to jump out to 6-2 advantage with 2:50 remaining in the second quarter. Winners of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship, the Tigers advanced to the first round after defeating High Point on Wednesday night at home in a play-in game.
After Doyle netted his 25th goal of the season 43 seconds into the contest, Towson scored the next four goals of the game.
Mike Lynch tied the game at 1-1 on the first of his two goals at 11:32 before Max Siskind put the Tigers up 2-1 with 1:46 remaining on his 21st score of the season. That is the way the first 15-minute stanza with Notre Dame trailing for the first time all season after the first quarter. Heading into the contest, the Irish had outscored their opponents 45-14 in the first quarter.
Tyler Konan scored his fourth goal on the year 3:32 into the second half and then Ryan Drenner on an assist from Justin Mabus tallied his only goal of the day with 7:59 remaining before the intermission.
After the goal by Drenner, Notre Dame took control of the contest as the Irish scored four of the final six goals of the half. Senior midfielder Will Corrigan, who entered the game having scored in each of the last two games, ended the Tigers’ four-goal run with an unassisted goal at 7:05. It was the first of two goals by Corrigan who recorded the second multiple-goal game of his career.
The Tigers answered with back-to-back scores by Greg Cuccinello and Tyler Konen at 5:07 and 2:50, respectively.
Senior midfielder Nick Ossello, a native of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, tossed in back-to-back scores in under a minute, and sophomore midfielder Sergio Perkovic added a third straight goal with 39 seconds remaining as Notre Dame pulled to within 6-5 at the break. It marked just the second time this season that the Irish had trailed at the half.
“I thought our guys did a great job of getting their poise, getting aggressive and making plays at the end of the first half and at the start of the second half,” Corrigan said. “It changed the tone of the game and we were able to ride it out from there.”
Notre Dame continued its offensive pressure to start the third quarter as the Irish scored the first three goals of the second half to extend their run to 6-0. Doyle tossed in his second goal of the game eight seconds into the second half and then netted his 27th goal on the year at the 10:49 to give the Irish a 7-6 advantage.
Junior Eddie Lubowicki scored his third goal of the 2015 campaign 48 seconds later to push the Irish lead to 8-6. The Tigers ended the six-goal outburst by Notre Dame when Lynch netted his 10th goal on the year at 9:10. Spencer Parks’ goal off an assist from Siskind tied the game for the third time with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter.
After that point, the Irish were firmly in control as Notre Dame countered Towson’s two goals with a four-goal scoring burst of its own. Corrigan tallied his second goal of the game with 2:01 remaining in the third quarter and then sophomore P.J. Finley tossed in his second goal of the season at 1:45.
Notre Dame netted the first two goals of the final 15-minute stanza. Senior Jim Marlatt gave the Irish an 11-8 advantage 1:13 into the fourth quarter before sophomore Nich Koshanky’s first career goal with 10:21 left in the game ended the day’s scoring for Notre Dame.
Towson scored the game’s final two goals on scores by Joe Seider and Cuccinello.
In all, Notre Dame had eight different goal scorers on the afternoon. The experience and balance of the Irish proved to be the deciding factor in the win.
“I think it speaks to the guys on our team,” Will Corrigan said. “We have a lot of experienced guys. Nick (Ossello), Connor (Doyle) and I have played in basically every game of our careers. We have a lot of seniors and juniors who have played a lot of meaningful minutes. That comes up big. We have been in a lot of situations where we go down and we have to scrap back.
“Knowing that we have been in that position and knowing that we can pull through is important.”
May 9, 2015
Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Towson (12-6) – 2 4 2 2 – 10
No. 1 seed Notre Dame (11-2) – 1 4 5 2 – 12