ND squeaks past Virginia in overtime win
Kit Loughran | Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Junior midfielder Sergio Perkovic scored the game-tying goal with 23 seconds left in the fourth period and then netted the game-winning goal 29 seconds into overtime to lift Notre Dame over Virginia.
No. 2 Notre Dame (5-1, 1-0 ACC) opened ACC play with an 8-7 win against Virginia (3-5, 0-2) on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. Last Sunday, No. 1 Denver pushed Notre Dame into overtime, edging the Irish, 9-8. Notre Dame’s second overtime session in one week, though, saw Perkovic fire the ball off the pipe and into the net past Virginia junior goalie Matt Barrett less than 30 seconds into the extra time.
“Sergio came up huge on those last two shots, both of which were from far out but were still really hard saves for Virginia’s goalie,” Irish junior goalie Shane Doss said. “That just goes to show how good of a shooter he is capable of being, and also the confidence that he has to make them in big moments like that.”
Leading up to Sergio’s late goals, both teams opened the contest with long possessions that resulted in low scores. Notre Dame maintained a 2-0 lead after a first-period goal by senior captain and attack Matt Kavanagh, followed by junior midfielder Ben Pridemore’s goal in the second. By halftime though, Virginia tied the game, 2-2, with the Irish turning the ball over nine times.
Less than half a minute into the third period, Virginia scored twice to take the lead, 4-2. But Perkovic helped keep the offense alive, notching a goal off an assist from freshman attack Ryder Garnsey just over five minutes into the third period. Kavanagh tied the game, 5-5, with 1:26 left in the third period, and senior captain and attack Eddy Lubowocki found the net with 2:27 left in the fourth to tie it, 6-6.
“Coach Corrigan talked about moving the ball around the offensive end faster and attacking the backside of the defense, which makes it hard for the other team later on in possessions,” Doss said. “Virginia was playing really well defensively and their goalie Matt Barrett made some really tough saves, but we can still improve as an offense and make it harder for opposing defenses in the future.”
While the Irish offense continued to tie the game each time the Cavaliers took the lead, Notre Dame’s defense proved steady throughout the game. Doss finished the first half with nine saves and ended the day with 14, thanks to help from his teammates in front of the net, he said.
“The defense did a great job of forcing Virginia into taking harder shots from tough angles, which made my job a lot easier throughout the day,” Doss said. “We didn’t give them anything easy and we made some key stops in important situations which put our team in a good position to win the game.”
The Cavaliers called a timeout with 16.8 seconds on the clock following Perkovic’s game-tying goal just seven seconds before. The Irish held Cavaliers in the game’s final seconds, forcing the match into overtime. This time the Irish emerged on top, 8-7.
“We’ve dug some holes for ourselves early on in games so that is definitely something we’re going to need to work on in the future, but the fact that we have come from behind to push the game to overtime speaks to the confidence and resilience of our team in late game situations,” Doss said.
“We never stopped fighting even when things were getting frustrating for us and it paid off in the end.”
After two games at home, Notre Dame will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State. The Irish and Buckeyes are set to meet Saturday at 1 p.m.