Notre Dame scores six goals in fourth quarter, beats Detroit in NCAA tourney
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- No. 2-seed Notre Dame outscored Detroit 6-0 in the fourth quarter to capture a 9-7 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division Men's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. Matt Kavanagh netted a game-high four goals for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame (11-4) entered the final period trailing 7-3, yet scored four goals in the first 4:50 of the quarter to tie the contest. The furious rally began on Kavanagh's second goal of the game, which came just 48 seconds into the period. Conor Doyle scored less than a minute later to slice the Detroit advantage to two at 7-5.
Sean Rogers deposited his second tally of the day, off an assist from Jim Marlatt, just 48 seconds after Doyle's goal. The equalizer came from Kavanagh and he then gave the Irish their first lead of the day with 5:27 remaining in the contest. Ryan Foley registered the game's final goal with 2:31 left. Rogers assisted on the score.
Notre Dame used a 10-man ride to force Detroit into five failed clears in the fourth quarter. The Fighting Irish won six of seven faceoffs in the final period in addition to outshooting the Titans 16-3 in that stanza.
"Offensively, we didn't play very well at all and we kind of played into their hands," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. "We may have only had a total of seven possessions in the first half and that's kind of horrific. We knew we had to change that so we waited as long as we thought we could and then went 10-man. You can't do that for an entire half or else your guys will die. We changed the tempo and then got some possessions and got the ball in space for some of our offensive guys who were able to make plays."
Goals from Brandon Beauregard and Alex Maini gave Detroit (5-10) a 2-0 lead by the end of the opening quarter. Doyle put the Irish on the board with 12:08 left in the second quarter, but goals from Maini, Beauregard and Mike Birney had the Titans up 5-1 at halftime.
"I thought Detroit played really well [Saturday]," Corrigan said. "They came in with a game plan and it wasn't a surprise to us, but they executed well."
Rogers cut the Detroit advantage to three, 5-2, with 10:19 remaining in the third quarter, but the Titans responded on a Tom Masterson goal with 8:22 left in the period. Kavanagh's first tally of the day came midway through the third quarter to make it a 6-3 affair. Beauregard's team-high third goal put the Titans up 7-3 after three periods of play.
"In the first three periods, we came out to take it," Detroit head coach Matt Holtz said. "We really took it to them and we were leading almost every single stat across the board in the first three periods. We kind of ran out of gas and in the fourth quarter they started taking it from us. When a team is that good and scores that close, you just can't give them an opportunity like that."
Notre Dame outshot Detroit 30-27 in the game. Goalie John Kemp made 10 saves for the Irish, while his counterpart, A.J. Levell, also had 10 stops. The Irish defense kept the Titans off the scoreboard for the final 19:57 of the contest.
Detroit held a slight edge in faceoffs, winning 10 of 19 attempts. Notre Dame's Nick Ossello was seven of 11 in faceoffs, while Liam O'Connor was two of six and Trevor Brosco was 0-for-2.
Kavanagh's four goals matched a season-high total that he achieved two other times (Duke & North Carolina). They are the most goals for a Notre Dame player in an NCAA championship contest since Neal Hicks tallied four in a 12-7 win against Cornell in the semifinals of the 2010 tournament. They are the most goals ever for a Notre Dame freshman in an NCAA tournament game.
The Fighting Irish have won their past four first-round games in the NCAA championship. Notre Dame will be making its fifth NCAA quarterfinal appearance in the past six seasons.