No. 9 Notre Dame tops No. 2 Duke
Pfeifer scores two goals and adds two assists for Irish
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- No. 9 Notre Dame scored seven unanswered goals en route to a 7-3 season-opening victory against No. 2 Duke on Saturday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. The Fighting Irish have won a program-record 10 consecutive season openers.
Senior midfielder Max Pfeifer tallied two goals and two assists for the Irish, while sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt scored two goals in his collegiate debut. Junior goalie John Kemp matched a career-high total with 14 saves for Notre Dame. He also had 14 stops in the 2011 season opener, a 12-7 victory against Duke.
The Fighting Irish (1-0) defense posted a scoreless streak of 40:24, which began at the 10:42 mark of the second quarter and ended with 18 seconds left in the contest. Notre Dame had two first-time starters in the close defense in junior Matt Miller and sophomore Stephen O'Hara. Senior captain Kevin Randall made his 32nd consecutive start in the Irish defense.
Duke (1-1) jumped on top just two minutes into the game on a Josh Dionne goal. The Blue Devils led 1-0 after the first quarter of play. Jordan Wolf put Duke up 2-0 with 10:42 remaining in the first half.
Notre Dame's seven-goal surge began with 9:28 showing on the clock in the second quarter as senior attackman Nicholas Beattie found the back of the net. Sophomore attackman Westy Hopkins knotted the score (2-2) with 3:57 left in the period and the Irish took the lead for good 40 seconds later on sophomore attackman Ryan Mix's first career goal. Pfeifer assisted on both the Hopkins and Mix tallies.
The Fighting Irish grabbed a two-goal advantage (4-2) as Marlatt deposited his first career goal with 2:15 left in the stanza. Hopkins assisted on the score. Notre Dame led 4-2 at halftime.
The Irish upped their lead to three (5-2) with 5:10 left in the third quarter on Pfeifer's first score of the afternoon. That was the lone goal of the third quarter.
Marlatt's second goal gave Notre Dame a 6-2 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the contest. Junior Ryan Foley collected the assist on the play. Pfeifer put the Irish up 7-2 with 1:05 showing on the clock. The game's final tally came from Duke's CJ Costabile.
"I thought we competed like crazy today," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "I don't know if it's as pretty of a win as we would have liked because I thought we had a chance to make a lot more plays. Defensively, we did a great job. One of the themes for us this year is to have good awareness of ourselves, our opponents and what's going on during the course of the game and I thought we did that really well today."
Notre Dame held a 38-37 advantage in shots. Duke's Dan Wigrizer allowed six of the Irish goals and he made 16 saves on the afternoon. The Irish did not commit a penalty during the game. Notre Dame sophomore Liam O'Connor was 6-for-11 in faceoff attempts. Duke had a slight 7-6 edge in faceoffs for the game.
The three goals allowed by the Irish defense marked the fewest against a ranked opponent since Notre Dame held No. 10 Ohio State to two scores in a 9-2 win on May 4, 2008. Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 80 games) Notre Dame's defense has allowed four goals or fewer in a game 14 times. The Blue Devils scored 16 goals in their season-opening win against Rutgers last Saturday.
This marks the third consecutive season that Notre Dame has opened with a victory against Duke. The Irish also have a 15-game win streak in the month of February. Today was Notre Dame's second win ever against a team ranked in the top-two of the national polls. The Irish defeated second-ranked Duke, 11-7, in the 2010 season opener.