Eight score as No. 2 Notre Dame uses late rally to top No. 19 Villanova
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Second-ranked Notre Dame outscored No. 19 Villanova 7-3 in the fourth quarter en route to a 13-9 victory in front of a capacity crowd of 4,522 at a sunny Arlotta Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win moved the Irish into a tie with Villanova and Syracuse atop the Big East standings and it clinched a spot in the league tournament for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame (10-2, 4-1) used eight different goal scorers to post its fifth consecutive double-digit goal total. Junior attackman John Scioscia led the way for the Irish with four goals and one assist, while freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh had two goals and two assists. Senior goalie John Kemp made 14 saves in the victory.
The Fighting Irish led 4-3 at halftime, yet Villanova (5-7, 4-1) scored three goals in a row to open the second half to claim a 6-4 lead by the 9:46 mark of the third quarter. Notre Dame responded with a 5-0 run to take the lead for good.
The Irish surge began with 4:51 left in the third quarter as Scioscia picked up the rebound off a saved shot and deposited his first goal of the game. A tally from junior Westy Hopkins with six seconds left in the period made it a 6-6 contest following three quarters of play.
Junior midfielder Jim Marlatt caused a turnover in the Villanova offensive zone and got the ball back and scored to put Notre Dame up 7-6 less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Scioscia extended the lead to two off a feed from Sean Rogers. Sophomore Nick Ossello won the ensuing faceoff, took the ball down the field and scored to push the Fighting Irish advantage to three (9-6) with 13:06 remaining in regulation.
A goal from Villanova's Jack Rice temporarily stopped the Notre Dame run, but Irish sophomore Will Corrigan extended the lead back to three (10-7) with just about 10 minutes left to play. Consecutive scores from Rice made it a one-goal affair with 3:18 remaining, but Notre Dame responded by scoring the final three goals of the contest.
The final run began when Kavanagh fed Scioscia, who scored with just under two minutes left to play. Corrigan put Notre Dame back up by three (12-9) with 1:06 remaining and it was Kavanagh-to-Scioscia once again for the game's final deposit.
"John [Scioscia] catches almost everything you throw in his direction and then he turns it into a shot on cage," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. "That's a really tough thing to do and a really good attribute. He was moving without the ball and finding spots and our guys were finding him."
Goals from Max Hart and Kevin O'Neil had Villanova up 2-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Irish knotted the game early in the second period on tallies from Kavanagh and sophomore Jack Near.
O'Neil put the Wildcats up 3-2 with 8:12 remaining in the first half, but Kavanagh answered back less than a minute later. A key situation occurred late in the half as Notre Dame's Steve Murphy picked up a ground ball out of a scrum and fed Tyler Kimball, who scored with 10 seconds left to give the Irish their first lead of the day.
Villanova held a slim 37-35 advantage in shots and the Wildcats also won the faceoff battle, 16-10. Both teams were 0-of-2 in man-up opportunities. Villanova goalie Reed Carlson made 12 saves in the loss.
This marks the first time the Fighting Irish have netted 10 or more goals in five consecutive contests since 2009.
"The way that we try to play is in a way where our offense isn't geared towards one specific guy," Corrigan said. "It's geared towards us finding what the opponent is giving us. That's a good thing for us because different guys are having big days on different days and that's kind of how it should be if you're not gearing your offense to one guy. We're finding what the defense is giving us."