SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A goal from Sean Rogers with 33 seconds left was the difference as third-ranked Notre Dame topped No. 20 Ohio State 8-7 on Wednesday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. Rogers, a junior attackman, scored a game-high three goals.
Notre Dame (5-0) grabbed a 7-4 lead with 7:22 remaining on a Zach Brenneman goal. Ohio State responded with three consecutive tallies to knot the game 7-7 with just over a minute left to play. With under a minute showing on the clock, Buckeye goalkeeper Greg Dutton picked off a Brenneman pass, yet Dutton could not keep the ball in the netting of his stick and Rogers grabbed the ball in midair and deposited the decisive goal.
“We were very fortunate to get that last goal,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “We were lucky, but luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Sean (Rogers) was there and he made the play.”
Ohio State (5-4) scored the game’s first goal midway through the first quarter as Jeff Tundo netted his first of two goals on the afternoon. The Fighting Irish responded nine seconds later on Rogers’ first goal of the game off an assist from senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving.
Dan Wertz put the Buckeyes up 2-1 at the 5:42 mark of the first quarter, yet the Irish evened the contest 21 seconds later as Irving fed freshman attackman Westy Hopkins for his seventh goal of the season. The score from Hopkins was the first of four unanswered goals for the Irish.
Rogers put the Irish up 3-2 by the end of the first quarter. A man-up goal from senior attackman Edison Parzanese off an assist from David Earl gave Notre Dame a two-goal cushion (4-2) with 5:42 left in the first half. Junior midfielder Eric Keppeler converted a Steve Murphy pass into a goal to put Notre Dame on top 5-2 at halftime.
“Our offense didn’t do much in the first half, but Andrew Irving made two assists and that’s how we got two of our goals in that half,” added Corrigan. “We got those off of faceoff and transition type plays. It was a bad day for us offensively. We didn’t handle the ball well and we didn’t finish things well and we didn’t run our offense consistently. But we’ll come back and work at getting better.”
Mike Smail sliced the Irish lead to two (5-3) with 11:28 showing in the third quarter. That snapped a 24-minute scoreless drought for the Buckeye offense. Two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Pat Cotter put the Fighting Irish back up by three (6-3). A tally from Ohio State’s Logan Schuss, who had two goals in the game, made it a 6-4 affair by the end of the third period.
Notre Dame won the faceoff battle by winning 16 of 19 attempts. Freshman Liam O’Connor went 13-16, while senior Jake Marmul was 3-3.
“Liam (O’Connor) did a great job today,” stated Corrigan. “He and Jake Marmul both work hard and they are both doing a really good job at that right now. It’s nice to have that because some days you really need it and today was one ofthose.”
The Fighting Irish held a 34-20 advantage in shots. Sophomore goalie John Kemp made five saves for the Irish to improve his record to 5-0 this season. Dutton had 12 stops for Ohio State. Irving and junior defenseman Jake Bremsboth had a game-high four ground balls for Notre Dame.
Rogers’ three goals matched a career-high total that he achieved twice last season. The junior has a team-high nine goals this season.