April 22, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 6 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (7-3, 2-2 ACC) improved to 5-1 at Arlotta Stadium this season, winning the regular season home finale over No. 16 North Carolina (6-7, 1-3 ACC) by a final score of 14-13 in front of a capacity crowd of 5,000 fans. The crowd was tied for the largest in Arlotta Stadium history.
Junior attackman Mikey Wynne and senior midfielder Sergio Perkovic stole the show, each accounting for five points. Wynne scored a season-high five goals, while Perkovic added three goals and two assists to deliver the Irish the victory.
How It Happened
The Irish turned in a strong opening 15 minutes from an offensive standpoint, scoring four goals in the first frame. The Tar Heels struck first within the first minute of the game before Notre Dame responded with three consecutive goals from Wynne, Bobby Gray and Bryan Costabile. Wynne scored his second of the day with 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter to increase the Irish lead to 4-2.
North Carolina managed to level the game at 4-4 after finding the back of the net twice in the first four minutes of the second stanza. However, for the second straight quarter the Irish reeled off three goals in a row, as Perkovic, Brendan Gleason and Wynne each beat the Tar Heel keeper to put Notre Dame back on top by three goals. Unfortunately for Notre Dame the visitors got a goal back just before the halftime whistle, as Chris Cloutier scored with three ticks left in the first half to cut the Irish lead to 7-5.
The offensive fireworks from both teams continued in the second half. UNC’s Cloutier and Notre Dame’s Gleason each scored in the opening two minutes of the third quarter before the Tar Heels leveled the score at 8-8 with 11:05 left in the third. Wynne then scored his fourth and fifth goals of the afternoon to put the Irish back on top at 10-8 with less than five minutes to go in the quarter.
North Carolina roared back with four unanswered goals of its own to take its largest lead of the day at 12-10 with 10:20 to go in the game. Despite the setback Notre Dame refused to go away, posting three goals of its own thanks to two scores from Perkovic and one from Brendan Collins to retake the lead at 13-12 with seven minutes remaining. North Carolina’s William Perry tied the game back up at 13-13 before Costabile received a pass from Perkovic and fired the game-winner past the Tar Heel keeper with 2:44 on the clock to deliver the Irish the 14-13 victory.
Notre Dame Players Of The Game
Perkovic and Wynne put on an offensive clinic for the Irish on Saturday, each totaling five points in the win over North Carolina. Wynne finished with a season-high five goals, finishing just one shy of his career record. The junior was efficient, scoring his five goals on just seven shots. Wynne was excellent at finding pockets in the North Carolina defense and finishing from close range.
Perkovic has been in great form on the offensive end over the last six games. The senior’s three goals mark his fourth hat trick of the season and his two assists tie a career high. Perkovic has now totaled three or more points in six consecutive outings.
Notre Dame Stat Of The Game
The Irish did a great job on face-offs on Saturday, winning 19-of-30 from the X. Senior P.J. Finley and junior John Travisano Jr. shared the duties and kept the Tar Heels off balance for the duration of the game. Travisano finished 10-of-14 while Finley went 9-of-16 on the day. The 19 face-offs wins are the most Notre Dame has recorded in a game all season.
Notre Dame Notes
- Notre Dame leveled the all-time series with the Tar Heels, as each program has now won eight times in the matchup.
- The senior class improves to 42-16 over the last four seasons and 23-5 in games at Arlotta Stadium.
- The Irish recorded a season-high 39 ground balls in the victory.
- With five points Perkovic has 134 for his career and is just eight shy of moving into a tie for 11th place for career points in the Notre Dame all-time rankings.
- Wynne’s five goals are just one shy of tying for the most goals by an Irish player in a game this season.
- Perkovic now has four hat tricks in 2017 and 18 in his career
- Wynne’s five goals give him a team-high 23 on the season and 96 in his career.
- With two goals and an assist, Gleason now has career highs in both goals (13) and assists (5) for a season.
- Gleason has scored in nine of 10 games this season, including the last six outings.
- Costabile finished the game with two goals and an assist for a career-high three points. The freshman has 11 goals and two assists on the season.
- Gray has five goals on the year, all coming in the last six games.
- Brendan Collins’ goal gives the junior five on the year and 15 in his career.
- Senior defenseman Garrett Epple scooped up a season-high seven ground balls and led the team with three caused turnovers.
The Irish travel to Durham, North Carolina this week for the ACC Tournament. Notre Dame faces the hosts Duke in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 28 at Koskinen Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The winner of the game will earn a spot in the title game on Sunday.
— 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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Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.