No. 2 Notre Dame tops No. 8 Villanova
Igoe tallies hat trick to lead Irish to victory
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --Second-ranked Notre Dame captured a 12-8 home victory against No. 8 Villanova on Saturday in front of 2,655, the biggest on-campus crowd for Notre Dame this season at Arlotta Stadium. The win helped the Fighting Irish remain undefeated (7-0, 2-0 BIG EAST).
Senior attackman Colin Igoe and freshman attackman Westy Hopkins both netted a career-high three goals for Notre Dame, and midfielder Zach Brenneman added two goals and an assist for the Irish.
Villanova (7-3, 0-2 BIG EAST) jumped out to a 5-2 lead by the 12:07 mark of the second quarter, but the Irish scored five straight goals to take a 7-5 advantage into halftime.
The Fighting Irish second-quarter surge began with 11:05 remaining on a goal from sophomore midfielder Steve Murphy. His classmate Ryan Foley assisted on the tally. Igoe then scored off a pass from David Earl with 7:14 left in the first half. Brenneman then evened the contest (5-5) with 6:16 remaining in the stanza.
Notre Dame claimed its first lead of the day on a Sean Rogers goal with just under two minutes left in the opening half. Another Earl-to-Igoe connection would give the Irish a two-goal advantage (7-5) with 23 seconds remaining in the period.
“We didn’t make many adjustments (after the early deficit). Our guys recognized what they (Villanova) were doing and really moved the ball well today,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “I thought they (Villanova) were having trouble recovering off of their slides because they were trying to slide really aggressively to a couple of our guys. Our guys did a great job at not holding the ball and putting the ball in play and letting the ball do the work. You’re tough to defend when you do that.”
Villanova’s CJ Burke momentarily quelled the Irish run with his third goal of the contest four minutes elapsed into the second half. The Wildcats knotted the game 56 seconds later on a Jack Rice tally.
Hopkins' put Notre Dame on top once again (8-7) with 1:43 left in the third quarter. Notre Dame senior Jake Marmul won the ensuing faceoff and then fed Hopkins, who scored to make it a 9-7 affair with 1:31 left to play in the period. A Michael Vigilante goal sliced the Irish lead to 9-8 at the end of the third quarter.
The Fighting Irish defense kept Villanova off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Brenneman’s second goal put Notre Dame up 10-8 with two minutes gone by in the final period. Hopkins completed his hat trick with 2:14 remaining, while Igoe did so with 1:52 left.
“Villanova is a very good team and they’re hard to play against,” Corrigan added. “You don’t play against guys who play like that a lot. I thought we did a good job this week preparing for that, but it’s still different when you get into the game and it’s their guys. They are tough to defend. Part of the problem early is that I think they had four of the first five possessions in the game.”
The Wildcats struck first in the contest as Rice scored just over two minutes into the game. Notre Dame junior attackman Nicholas Beattie made it 1-1 with 9:53 left in the first quarter, but Villanova would answer with three consecutive goals from Burke and C.J. Small with 1:40 remaining in the period to make it 4-1 with 1:40 left in the opening period. Fighting Irish junior midfielder Eric Keppeler scored off a pass from Murphy with 24 seconds showing on the clock to make it 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats were led by the three goal, one assist effort from Burke and defensively by senior Brian Karalunas and junior Chris Creighton, both of whom collected four ground balls and three caused turnovers for the afternoon.
Villanova held a slight 38-34 edge in shots, and both teams won 11 faceoffs. Marmul went 7-of-12, while freshman Liam O’Connor was 4-of-10. Sophomore goalie John Kemp made 11 saves for Notre Dame, while Billy Hurley had eight stops for Villanova.
The 12 goals matched Notre Dame’s largest offensive output of the season. The Fighting Irish also had 12 tallies against Duke in the season opener. The eight goals scored by Villanova were the most against Notre Dame this season.