Terps outlast Notre Dame
Greg Hadley | Wednesday, April 23, 2014
In the final ACC game of the regular season for both teams, No. 9 Notre Dame surrendered four unanswered goals in the final quarter to give No. 5/7 Maryland the 12-8 win and the regular season conference crown at Arlotta Stadium on Saturday.
The Irish (6-5, 2-3 ACC) and the Terrapins (10-2, 4-1) both entered the game guaranteed the first and fourth seeds in the ACC tournament semifinals, respectively, meaning that the two teams will play each other again Friday in Chester, Pa. Moving forward, the Irish will need to control the flow of the game better Friday, Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said.
“We actually played good defense and didn’t do a bad job offensively of taking advantage of our opportunities,” Corrigan said. “The big thing is we just didn’t have the ball.”
The Irish lost 20 of 24 face-off opportunities and collected 10 less groundballs than the Terrapins (31-21). Senior Liam O’Connor and junior Nick Ossello split face-off duties against Maryland junior midfielder Charlie Raffa, who ranks third in the nation in faceoff percentage.
“You can’t lose face-offs 20-4 and win very many games,” Corrigan said. “They had a face-off guy who kicked our butt. That’s not our doing, but there are ways that we can do a better job as a team to counteract that. We need to do a better job facing-off as a team, and we’ve got to do a better job turning our stops into possessions by clearing the ball effectively, and we’ve got to a better job making sure we don’t give away many goals.”
The Irish went down early on in the contest, giving up six first-half goals while scoring three times. Sophomore attackman Matt Kavanagh, who leads the Irish in points, chipped in assists on all three scores, part of a career-high four assist afternoon. The Terrapins were led by All-American senior attackman Mike Chanenchuk, who tallied three goals and an assist in the first two periods, including a score with six seconds left in the half.
Notre Dame had five man-up opportunities in the second quarter and capitalized on two of them, but would receive no more extra chances for the rest of the game, while the Terrapins converted two of three opportunities.
“We’ve got a bunch of guys who can score and have scored,” Corrigan said. “We have great depth and we scored eight goals and probably had the ball for about a third of the game at most. The production offensively wasn’t bad, but you have to have the ball to score goals.”
Junior goalkeeper Conor Kelly started in goal for the Irish for the first time since March 1 and faced 40 shots from the Terrapins, making 14 saves, a season high. Of those shots, 24 came in the second half. The Terrapins went up 8-4, gave up four straight to Notre Dame, then pulled away with nine minutes to go to secure the victory
“We felt like Conor’s been playing well lately,” Corrigan said. “At the end of the day, we’re looking for a spark [from the goalkeeper position].
The Irish and the Terrapins square off for the second time in a week Friday at the ACC championships in Chester, Pa. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.