Notre Dame defeats Duke, Marquette to extend win streak
Manuel De Jesus | Wednesday, April 8, 2015
No. 1 Notre Dame extended its winning streak to five games after taking down No. 7 Duke and No. 16 Marquette over the Easter break.
Almost a year after falling to Duke (7-3, ACC 0-3) in the national championship game, Notre Dame (8-1, 3-0 ACC) took down the Blue Devils, 15-10, on Saturday in Durham, North Carolina. Carrying over the momentum from their win over the Blue Devils, the Irish earned a 14-7 win over the No. 16 Golden Eagles (9-3, 2-1 Big East) on Tuesday.
The Irish were relentless offensively in the first half against the Blue Devils, as Notre Dame outscored Duke 8-4, in the first two quarters. The Irish were led by senior attack Conor Doyle, who scored a hat trick in the first half, junior attack Matt Kavanagh who scored two goals, and freshman attack Mikey Wynne, who added another score and an assist.
The Irish scored a couple more goals before Duke made a run of its own. The Blue Devils brought the deficit down to three with a goal by sophomore midfielder Jack Bruckner midway through the third period. But Notre Dame pressed on offensively, scoring five goals to end the game.
“It definitely feels good beating an ACC rival and a team that we’ve had a lot of close games with recently,” sophomore goalie Shane Doss said. “Overall, though, we’re not really thinking about last season because we know as much as anyone that what happens in the postseason is what really counts. We’re just gonna treat this as a good win but move on and focus on the next game.”
Doss, who won ACC Player of the Week honors this week, had 17 saves against the Blue Devils, which rank sixth in the country in scoring offense with an average of over 14 goals per game. Wynne, Doyle and Kavanagh all scored a hat trick by the conclusion of the game, and Doyle added a team-leading four assists as well, which helped him earn ACC Co-Offensive Player of the Week.
Three days later, the Irish traveled back home to take on the Golden Eagles at Arlotta Stadium.
Doyle carried over his impressive performance against Duke to the matchup against Marquette, scoring four goals. Sophomore midfielder Sergio Perkovic and senior midfielder Nick Ossello added hat tricks to give the nation’s seventh-best scoring offense all the offensive firepower it needed against Marquette.
The Golden Eagles scored the game’s first two goals before the Irish went on a 9-3 run to end the first half. Doss had another solid outing in the cage, saving seven shots and allowing just seven goals.
Notre Dame’s strong showing on offense and defense helped the Irish secure the 14-7 win over the Golden Eagles by the time the clock hit zero at the end of the fourth period.
Doss thinks the team has spiked at the right time with just a game against No. 4 North Carolina left before the ACC Championships begin.
“I think we’ve done a good job of getting into the flow of the weekly schedule and peaking when its time to play, so mentally we don’t need to change much but keep doing what we’re doing,” Doss said. “We’ve put ourselves in a good position so far, but it’s important to just keep getting better every day.”
While the Irish are currently No. 1, they understand that the only thing that matters when the season wraps up is the NCAA championship, Doss said.
“The other day [Irish head] coach [Kevin] Corrigan asked us who was No. 1 at this time last season, and when no one answered he said, ‘Exactly, no one cares,’” Doss said. “We know that the only ranking that matters is the one at the end of the season, and I’m confident our team can stay focused on the task at hand and not worry about things like our ranking right now.”
Notre Dame will look to head into the ACC Championships on a six-game winning streak when it hosts the Tar Heels on April 18 at 4 p.m. at Arlotta Stadium in its regular-season finale.