ND comeback falls short
A.J. Godeaux | Monday, March 31, 2014
Despite a frantic three-goal fourth-quarter comeback, No. 7 Notre Dame fell just short Saturday as No. 10 Syracuse came away with an 11-10 nail-biting ACC win over the Irish.
Freshman goalie Shane Doss stopped a career high 11 shots for the Irish, while Irish junior attackman Conor Doyle notched four goals for the Irish, also a career high.“I was extremely impressed with how Shane played,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “He’d probably tell you he could have stopped a couple more shots, but he played a heck of a game. They didn’t take many bad shots at all, so he really had to be at the top of his game.”
Down 10-7 with 9:19 left in the fourth quarter, the Irish rattled off three goals in three minutes. Junior midfielder Will Corrigan started the Irish rally, cutting the deficit to two. Two minutes later, senior midfielder Pat Cotter made it a one-goal game. Just 30 seconds after that, senior midfielder Jim Marlatt knotted the game at 10-10.
Both teams struggled offensively over the next four minutes, before Syracuse junior attackman Kevin Rice took a pass from behind goal from red-shirt sophomore attackman Dylan Donahue and ripped the game-winner past Doss.
“They just made one more play than us,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “This was a tremendously well-played game with two teams who can beat anyone in the country. We’ll certainly go back and pick out 10 plays we know we’re capable of making, but really, and we told our guys this, we lost that game by one play.”
Notre Dame controlled possession for much of the first half, as the Irish (4-3, 2-1 ACC) and Orange (5-3, 1-3 ACC) engaged in a back and forth battle. The Orange were up 3-2 after the opening quarter, with both Irish goals coming from Doyle. After the Irish tied the game at three, the Orange scored three straight goals to go up 6-3.
The Irish rebounded with two consecutive goals of their own, the latter coming from Doyle, giving him a first-half hat trick, but the Orange scored with 39 seconds left in the half as they headed into the break ahead 7-5.
Opening the third period, Doyle notched his fourth goal of the game to cut the lead to 7-6, but the Orange went on a 3-1 run thanks to two goals from Rice, and Syracuse entered the fourth with a 10-7 lead.
The Irish outshot the Orange 40-33 on the day, but lost the faceoff battle 15-9.
“We challenged them on the offensive end all day,” Corrigan said. “But we lost the faceoff battle for the first time all year. That’s something that’s normally one of our biggest advantages, so the fact that they were able to erase that and we still played as well as we did is really a testament to our guys.”
In addition to Doyle’s four goals, Marlatt and Corrigan each added a goal and an assist each. Rice led the Orange with four goals and two assists, while Donahue and senior attackman Derek Maltz each had hat tricks for the Orange.
Up next for the Irish is a rematch of last year’s NCAA Quarterfinal game against Duke, which the Blue Devils won 12-11.
“Now that we’re past the halfway point in the season, it’s not about changing things at this point,” Corrigan. “I’ve though we’ve done everything really well at some point this season. It’s about putting it all together now, which I thought we came close to this weekend. We just have to tighten up defensively going into the Duke game, but we’re close.”
The Irish take on the Blue Devils at noon Saturday at Arlotta Stadium.