NOTRE DAME, Ind. — On a day that pitted two of the nation’s top teams against each other, the fourth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (3-0) prevailed in a defensive battle, knocking off No. 1 Maryland (4-1) 5-4 at Arlotta Stadium.
The Irish have now won two straight games when playing top-ranked teams in the country, as they also knocked off Syracuse at Arlotta in 2015.
The defensive nature of the game was evident from the start as the game remained scoreless after the first quarter. The Irish managed six shots on goal in the first 15 minutes, against just three for the Terrapins.
Maryland struck first at the 10:03 mark of the second quarter. The Irish answered just over four minutes later as sophomore Brendan Gleason fired a shot past Maryland's Dan Morris for his fourth goal of the season.
Exactly one minute later, Mikey Wynne scored in transition off a perfect feed from Ryder Garnsey for his eighth goal of the season and a 2-1 lead Notre Dame would take into halftime.
The Terps and Irish traded goals throughout the third quarter, with Maryland finding the back of the net first to even the score at 2-2 with 11:13 left in the quarter on an extra-man opportunity.
Garnsey put the Irish back in front with an unassisted goal from virtually no angle at the 10:25 mark for his team-leading ninth goal of the year. The Irish held a 3-2 lead for the next eight minutes.
Maryland again drew even at 2:28 of the third, but it was again short-lived as Bryan Costabile put Notre Dame back on top 4-3, giving the Irish a lead they would not relinquish.
Gleason gave the Irish some breathing room early in the fourth, as the sophomore scored his second goal of the game to extend the Irish lead to two goals at 5-3. The Irish defense continued its dominant display, holding onto the two-goal advantage until the game’s final minute, when Maryland scored with 18 seconds remaining.
The Irish killed off the final seconds to secure the 5-4 victory and send the capacity crowd of 2,815 into a frenzy.
NOTRE DAME KNOCKS OFF #1 MARYLAND! The Irish win 5-4 to improve to 3-0 on the season! pic.twitter.com/0WVAPEtkeD— Notre Dame Lacrosse (@NDlacrosse) March 4, 2017
In goal, Shane Doss finished with six saves for Notre Dame, while Maryland's Morris finished with 13 saves.
Gleason bookended Notre Dame’s scoring efforts and recorded the second two-goal game of his career. The sophomore now has five goals on the season and seven in his career. Gleason totaled four shots on frame and five for the game.
On the defensive end, preseason All-American Garrett Epple was masterful against one of the top offensive units in the country. The senior defender matched his career high in caused turnovers with four and scooped up a season-high six ground balls to lock up the Terrapin attack.
Notre Dame held Maryland to just four goals, its lowest number of the season. The Terrapins previously low for the 2017 season was 12 against Yale. The four goals are the fewest the Irish have allowed since giving up just four to Maryland last season in a 9-4 victory in California.