Irish depth keys victory over Robert Morris
Brian Plamondon | Sunday, April 13, 2014
No. 10 Notre Dame came out fast and never looked back on its way to a 15-5 win over Robert Morris on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium.The Irish used a 9-0 run in the first half to take a 10-2 lead into the locker room. Notre Dame (6-4, 2-2 ACC) benefited from 11 different players scoring goals, the most since its season-opening victory over Jacksonville.
“It’s good to have a lot of guys get involved and contribute,” sophomore defense Matt Landis said. “It means that we have significant depth and a lot of options going into the postseason.”
The Irish offensive onslaught was led by freshman midfield Sergio Perkovic, who contributed a career-high four goals while adding an assist.
“We’ve had a lot of contributions from underclassmen,” Landis said. “It means we have a growing program and it speaks to a lot of the hard work of the underclassmen picking up our system.”
Robert Morris (5-7, 2-3 NEC) struggled in most facets of the game Saturday. The squad was 6 of 25 at the face-off X while being outshot by Notre Dame 47-19. In addition, the Colonials failed on nine clear attempts.
The Irish offense scored early and often, including a pair of goals 14 seconds apart from Perkovic and sophomore attack Matt Kavanagh to open the scoring. Junior midfielder Nick Ossello and Perkovic later scored six seconds apart to open up an 8-1 lead with 5:24 left in the second quarter. Aside from Perkovic, senior attackman John Scioscia was the only other Irish player with multiple tallies as he scored twice.
“Getting the lead obviously helps because we can force the other team to come to us, and our defense is really good at handling that,” Landis said. “It helps when the ball is in the offensive zone because it takes the pressure off of us.”
For the Notre Dame defense, the five goals allowed was a season low. Freshman goalie Shane Doss started between the pipes, but he was later replaced by junior Conor Kelly and senior Kyle Ripp when the game’s outcome was all but guaranteed.
“We pride ourselves on our communication and working as a unit, and [Saturday] we showed we could do that,” Landis said.
Notre Dame has now put together back-to-back wins for just the second time this season as they head into their last regular season game before the ACC tournament.
“The last two victories really showed that when we stick to our system and everyone does their job we can be really effective on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field.”
The Irish return to ACC play this Saturday when they host No. 3 Maryland at noon at Arlotta Stadium.