NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive performance led No. 3 Notre Dame to a 9-4 victory against No. 8 Ohio State on Wednesday inside the Loftus Sports Center.
Freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh posted a game-high four points on two goals and two assists for Notre Dame (5-1). Senior attackman Sean Rogers added two goals and one assist. The Irish had seven different goal scorers in the contest.
Fighting Irish goalie John Kemp matched a season-high with 11 saves. The Notre Dame defense held the Buckeyes scoreless from the 12:14 mark of the first quarter until there was 10:47 left in the game, a span of 46:27. Ohio State (5-2) entered averaging 11.8 goals per game this season.
All five Notre Dame wins this season have come against a team ranked in the top 10 of the USILA Coaches’ poll at the time of the contest. This is the first time the Irish have defeated five top-10 opponents in the same season since the 2010 campaign.
“Ohio State is a very good offensive team. They’ve been giving teams fits all year,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “I think we really benefited from playing Denver on Saturday because they are very similar in their styles. They are both very unique to the rest of the lacrosse world, but similar to each other in their styles.”
The Fighting Irish scored less than a minute into the contest when Ryan Foley took a pass from Jim Marlatt and deposited the ball into the back of the net. Ohio State tied the game on a Reegan Comeault goal with 12:14 left in the opening quarter.
Notre Dame started a 5-0 run on a Conor Doyle goal with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter. A Nick Ossello tally put the Irish up 3-1 by the end of the first quarter. Kavanagh assisted on both scores.
The Fighting Irish defense kept the Buckeyes off the scoreboard for the entire second and third quarters. Notre Dame used second-quarter goals from Ryan Mix, Marlatt and Kavanagh to take a 6-1 lead into intermission. Rogers and Doyle had assists during that stretch.
“We played a very, very good first half [Wednesday],” Corrigan said. “We are a tough team to come back on from five goals down. I’m still waiting for us to put a full 60 minutes together. We’re about halfway through the year now and it’s time for us to really kind of know ourselves better and have a sense of what plays we can make and which ones we need to take a pass on.”
Following a scoreless third period for both squads, Ohio State snapped its drought on a Comeault goal with 10:47 remaining.
A Rogers goal off a feed from Tyler Kimball put Notre Dame back up by five at 7-2 with a little less than 10 minutes left in regulation. A Buckeyes tally from David Planning 25 seconds later cut the Irish lead to four.
Rogers once again gave the Irish a five-goal cushion when he scored off a pass from Foley with 5:25 remaining. The Buckeyes quickly answered on a man-up goal from Jesse King. A man-up tally from Kavanagh produced the final outcome.
The Fighting Irish were 1-for-1 in man-up opportunities, while the Buckeyes were 1-for-3. Notre Dame outshot Ohio State 42-27. Buckeyes goalie Greg Dutton made 10 saves in the loss. The Irish won the faceoff battle as Liam O’Connor was nine of 17.
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