Ryder Garnsey leads Irish past Hoyas in season opener
Manuel De Jesus | Tuesday, February 21, 2017
No. 5 Notre Dame kicked off its start to the regular season with a trip to the Dallas Cowboys practice facility in Frisco, Texas. The Irish extended its season-opener win streak to 15 after defeating Georgetown, 16-10.
A season following the departure of former Irish attack Matt Kavanagh, who led the team last season with 50 points, Notre Dame (1-0) had several fresh and familiar faces step up Saturday against the Hoyas (0-2).
Junior attack Mikey Wynne, who led Notre Dame with 40 goals last season, put the Irish on the board for the first score of the game six minutes into the first quarter. Sophomore attack Ryder Garnsey added the second goal of the contest just over two minutes later, and freshman midfielder Bryan Costabile added the third goal of the 3-0 run exactly one minute later.
The quick first quarter lead proved to be key, as the Hoyas stormed back in the second quarter with a 5-3 run, cutting the Irish lead to one at the break.
Garnsey, who recorded a career-high six goals and eight total points against the Hoyas, picked up where he left off in the first half, scoring an unassisted goal just over two minutes into the second half. Later in the quarter, the Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, native added two assists on goals by Wynne and junior midfield Brendan Collins to push the Irish advantage to 10-5.
“I thought our offense played pretty well as a whole,” Garnsey said. “Everyone was putting each other in good spots to be successful. I just happened to be somebody in spots more often where the defense couldn’t take care of it. … As a shooter, you just have to be confident that they’re going to go in. When you take those shots, they don’t always fall, but yesterday just happened to be a day that I had a good shooting day, so they happened to go in.”
The Hoyas, led by redshirt junior midfielder Peter Conley, who netted five goals in the contest, made a run late in the fourth quarter, scoring four straight goals in just over five minutes of game action. However, goals from Costabile and Garnsey to close out the game ended any chance of Georgetown mounting a legitimate comeback.
Preseason All-American senior midfielder Sergio Perkovic, who recorded 26 goals last season, also scored a pair of goals on 10 shot attempts. Four of the six players who scored for Notre Dame scored two or more goals, which showcases the versatility of the Irish offense, Garnsey said.
“I think we moved the ball pretty well,” Garnsey said. “A lot of guys had points, so I think that was something that we did well. Georgetown wasn’t able to focus on just one guy, so I think that was big in the way we were able to score goals. Their goalie played well early, but we just kept shooting, and we were determined to get good shots, and we felt like if we were disciplined in our shot selection, then we would get good shots that would fall.
“Throughout the course of the preseason, that was something that we worked on, and that’s something that ended up happening in our first game.”
Notre Dame will look to start the season off with a consecutive victories as it looks ahead to its home opener against Michigan on Sunday. Garnsey said he is confident that regardless of who they play, if the Irish play as well as they potentially can, they can beat any team in the country.
“Going into the game against Michigan — they’re 4-0, so they’re a pretty good team,” Garnsey said. “As long as we stay disciplined with our shot selection and handle the ball well like we did against Georgetown — we didn’t have many turnovers — as long as we do those things crisp, we should be successful. It’s not necessarily about what the defense does as much as it is about what we do. If we play well, then we’ll be able to get good looks.”
The Irish and Wolverines will face off at 2 p.m. Sunday at Arlotta Stadium.