Notre Dame tops Syracuse 15-14 to win ACC tournament in inaugural season
CHESTER, Pa. -- Notre Dame went on a 6-0 run in the third quarter and held on to defeat Syracuse 15-14 to win the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship on Sunday at PPL Park.
"I couldn't be more proud of them," Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan said. "We didn't play tentatively like a team that's afraid and not sure what's going to happen to them. We played like a team that's going to go out and win games.
"The one thing was, no matter what happened -- good play, bad play -- we turned it right around, focused on the next play and played really hard and really fearlessly."
Matt Kavanagh, the tournament's most valuable player, led the Irish with four goals and two assists, including back-to-back goals in the pivotal third quarter.
Jim Marlatt tallied three goals and one assist for Notre Dame, while Conor Doyle had a career-high five points.
Irish goalkeeper Conor Kelly finished with seven saves, including stopping Syracuse's Kevin Rice with 4 seconds remaining to clinch the league title.
After the Irish jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter, Syracuse went on a 5-0 run to take a 6-3 lead. Notre Dame scored four of the last five goals of the first half to send the game to the break tied at 7.
Syracuse converted on an extra-man opportunity to start the second half. Notre Dame then scored six goals and held the Orange scoreless for more than 13 minutes to take a 13-8 lead.
Trailing 15-10 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Syracuse scored four in a row to pull within one. The Orange had the ball with the chance to send the game to overtime but were unable to get the ball past Notre Dame's Kelly.
Syracuse's Chris Daddio won 21 of 33 face-offs, including eight of the first nine in the game. Notre Dame's Nick Ossello went 10 of 25 and tied a career high with three points.
Rice, who had six assists and seven points for the Orange in the championship, set tournament records with 15 points and 11 assists on the weekend. Randy Staats tied a career high with five goals against Notre Dame.
Both teams converted on two extra-man opportunities. Notre Dame was a perfect 2-for-2 with the advantage, while Syracuse went 2-for-3.
Joining Kavanagh on the all-tournament team were Doyle, Kelly and Notre Dame's Stephen O'Hara; Rice, Staats and Syracuse's Brandon Mullins and Dylan Donahue; Duke's Case Matheis and Deemer Class; and Maryland's Goran Murray.