Notre Dame knocks off No. 1 Maryland in defensive showdown
Manuel De Jesus | Monday, March 6, 2017
No. 4 Notre Dame did it again. The Irish defeated No. 1 Maryland in a defensive 5-4 battle at Arlotta Stadium on Saturday.
The first quarter was a defensive stalemate that saw 11 shots taken, but none of them finding the back of the net. The action picked up in the second quarter with Maryland (4-1) putting the first score on the board. Terrapins senior attack Dylan Maltz scored his 10th goal of the season to give Maryland a 1-0 lead, which would hold for about four minutes before Irish sophomore midfielder Brendan Gleason responded with an unassisted goal. One minute later, junior attack Mikey Wynne scored his eighth goal of the year to give the Irish (3-0) a 2-1 lead heading into the half.
The third quarter saw both teams go back and forth exchanging goals, which gave Notre Dame a 4-3 lead going into the final quarter. A few minutes into the fourth quarter, Gleason converted on another unassisted goal running through the middle of Maryland’s defense and firing the ball into the back of the net just a few yards away from the Terrapins’ goalie.
The 5-3 lead would hold for nearly the rest of the game until Maryland junior midfielder Connor Kelly cut the deficit to one goal scoring with 18 seconds left in the game. However, there wasn’t enough time left in the game for Maryland to potentially tie and go to overtime.
The win over the top-ranked Terrapins gives the Irish another victory over the nation’s top team. The last time Notre Dame defeated a top-ranked opponent was over then-No. 1 Syracuse in 2015 at Arlotta Stadium. The game was also the lowest scoring game for Notre Dame since its 6-5 win over Maryland in the first round of the ACC tournament in 2014. Last season, Notre Dame also held the Terrapins to four goals in their 9-4 win in the Pacific Coast Shootout.
“It was the same thing in California last year,” Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We ended up winning nine to something, but I think at the end of the third quarter, it was [4-3]. So, it was the same game a year ago. It’s about two teams still finding themselves early in the year competing at a really, really high level in a game that they’ve all gotten really excited about.”
Corrigan acknowledged the offensive threat that Maryland brought with them Saturday, as the Terrapins were ranked seventh in the country in goals per game, averaging 15.5.
“They’ve done an unbelievable job of getting out in transition against everybody they’ve played, and they’ve kind of reinvented themselves in that aspect of the game,” Corrigan said. “We had the advantage of having seen them play a few times to know that that’s what they were going to do. I think the teams that played them early were surprised by that. They haven’t been a team that pushed the transition quite as much and with long sticks and everything else. We had a chance to see that, and I think that our guys did a great job of getting underneath the play most of the time to not give them anything easy.”
Last week’s co-ACC defensive player of the week, senior Garrett Epple, was also praised by Corrigan for leading the defense against a tough Maryland attack group.
“I thought he was terrific,” Corrigan said. “That’s a really good player, and they absolutely have some of the best attackmen in the country, and I thought that Garrett just did a great job on them all day. He’s played great so far this year. He’s communicating, and he’s really taken kind the kind of the mantle of leadership on that end of the field a little bit in terms of making sure that guys are doing their jobs, but that only works if you’re doing your job, and he’s been doing his job really well.”
Notre Dame will look to carry its momentum from a win over the No. 1 team in the country into a matchup against the other No. 1 team in the country, Denver, on the road Sunday.