NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- In a game that featured eight ties and six lead changes, fifth-ranked Notre Dame got the decisive tally from Conor Doyle with 20 seconds left to top No. 19 Army 18-17 on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. A capacity crowd of 4,522 fans saw the ACC champion Fighting Irish in their regular-season finale.
Senior attackman John Scioscia tied a career-high mark with six goals in addition to having two assists, while Doyle had four goals and one assist. Matt Kavanagh, Sergio Perkovic and Jack Near all had two goals for the Irish. Kavanagh also had two assists, while Perkovic had one. John Glesener paced Army with six goals and one assist.
The victory gives Notre Dame (9-5) a season-best three-game win streak.
"I think we're probably playing with the most confidence that we've had all year," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. "[Saturday was not a great day for us execution wise, but it was a great day for us competitive wise. That was a team [Army] that just kept coming and made it hard on us. They went up by three in the second half and it would have been easy for us to quit and say 'We're going to the [NCAA] tournament anyway,' but our guys kept playing and kept battling all day and it was a terrific win."
In addition to his stellar offensive display, Scioscia caused the turnover that led to Doyle's game-winner. Glesener possessed the ball in Notre Dame's offensive end during a clearing attempt when Scioscia applied pressure, forced the turnover, scooped up the ground ball and assisted on Doyle's tally.
"It was kind of crazy because you're never quite expecting that exact play to unfold like that," Scioscia said. "Me and Kav [Kavanagh] both got pressure and he [Glesener] turned into me, fell and threw the ball into my chest and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, is this really happening,' and I pick it up and look to my left and thought I saw a defenseman and didn't think I had enough room to take it myself. So I look back again and realize it was Conor Doyle standing in front of the net so I just pitched it and he dunked it."
Scioscia and Kavanagh scored the final two goals of the first half to make it 7-7 at the intermission. That duo would strike again early in the second half to give the Irish a 9-7 advantage. The two squads alternated the next four goals and then a 5-0 run from the Black Knights gave them a 14-11 lead with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Doyle and Scioscia both scored in the final 30 seconds of the third period to slice the deficit to one.
The Irish run continued into the fourth quarter with back-to-back man-up goals from Perkovic, on a non-releasable Army penalty, that put Notre Dame ahead 15-14 less than three minutes into the final period. Army (9-5) reclaimed a one-goal lead by the 4:14 mark of the quarter with scores from Jimbo Moore and Cole Johnson (man-up).
Scioscia tied the game (16-16) with 2:59 remaining and Doyle put the Fighting Irish back on top 48 seconds later. Army's Connor Cook, who had three goals, knotted the affair for the last time with 1:31 left to play.
Army held a 42-38 advantage in shots. Junior goalie Conor Kelly made 10 saves for the Fighting Irish, while his counterpart, Bobby Sincero, had nine stops for the Black Knights, who entered the game with the nation's best goals-against average (6.38).
Notre Dame won the face-off battle, 22-16. Liam O'Connor was 16 of 29 and Nick Ossello was 6 of 9. Both squads were 4 of 6 in man-up opportunities.
Glesener gave Army an early 1-0 lead, but Notre Dame responded with a 4-0 run on goals from Doyle, Near, Scioscia and Eddy Lubowicki, who compiled one goal and three assists on the day. The Black Knights then went on a 6-1 run to claim a 7-5 lead by the 5:26 mark of the second quarter. Westy Hopkins had the only Irish score during that Army surge.