Irish open season with win over Detroit Mercy
Mia Berry | Tuesday, February 13, 2018
A fourth quarter scoring run helped propel the No. 6 Irish to a 10-7 victory over Detroit Mercy, giving them a win in their first contest of the season.
Despite Notre Dame’s (1-0) victory, Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan was not pleased with his team’s performance against the Titans (0-1).
“I don’t think we had a good day at all. I don’t think we had a good week of preparation,” Corrigan said. “And that’s disappointing. We found out today we have an awful lot to work on. The one thing I know about our guys is that they will go to work.”
The Irish struck first in the game, when junior midfielder Brendan Gleason found sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter. A successful clear by the Titans allowed them to even the score at one a minute later, but a goal by senior attack Mikey Wynne would give the Irish a 2-1 lead at the end of the first.
A scoring battle between the two teams would ensue in the second quarter before the Irish were able to capture a 4-3 lead off Costabile’s third goal of the game, but with two seconds remaining in the half the Irish allowed the Titans to score again to tie the game at 4-4.
The Irish had 15 first-half turnovers compared to nine from the Titans, and each of the Titans’ four points came off of Irish turnovers. At the start of the third quarter turnovers continue to plague the Irish, while aiding the Titans to a 2-0 run and a 6-4 lead with 8:02 remaining in the third. Another goal by Wynne with 4:25 in the 3rd pulled the Irish to within one, as they trailed heading into the fourth.
Spearheaded by two Costabile goals the Irish outscored the Titans 5-1 in the fourth sealing a 10-7 victory with just one turnover in the game’s final period. Corrigan praised his team’s composure for its ability to pull off a fourth-quarter comeback.
“We were going to get beaten if we didn’t go on some sort of run,” Corrigan said. “To the credit of our guys, they didn’t go into a shell. That’s a real concern with a young team. I’m proud of the way they gathered themselves, got their poise and went about making plays when we had to have some.”
Corrigan said the biggest differences between the first and second half was better decision-making by his team, as well as minimizing mistakes like turnovers.
“It was a matter of handling the ball cleanly, and just making more patient decisions, we were in such a hurry, I think we wanted to score five goals on every possession,” Corrigan said. “So we were in just such a hurry that we weren’t any good in any aspect. We did the same thing in our clearing game. We were in a rush. We turned the ball over. We gave a team that thrives on transition too many opportunities.”
Costabile led the way for the Irish with a game-high five goals and two assists, with two of his goals coming in the fourth quarter. Wynne added two more goals for the Irish, while Gleason, junior attack Ryder Garnsey and senior midfielder Brendan Collins each contributed one goal apiece.
Corrigan was happy with Costabile’s playmaking down the stretch, but also expects more out of the sophomore.
“He was good in terms of the plays he made, but he would be the first to tell you there were a lot of plays he didn’t make today that were more invisible, and simple plays we needed him to make,” Corrigan said. “But Bryan is a terrific player, and he stepped up when we needed to have someone step up.”
Costabile agreed with Corrigan, and he said he knows he struggled offensively throughout the game, but is thankful his team was able to help him make plays down the stretch.
“Today honestly, I didn’t do very well,” Costabile said. “I finished on the back end of some of them. I had some mistakes and my team carried me through a lot of that. [The team] made some really good plays, and I was able to capitalize on the backside. They definitely played better and I have a lot to work on.”
Although, a shaky start first game of the season, Costabile said he remains optimistic in the team’s capabilities, and cites his team’s perseverance as the reason for the comeback.
“Our team has a lot of heart and a lot of strength,” Costabile said. “We’re a very good team in general, and I think we’re going to do really good things today is just the first [game]. We made some mistakes, but we’re never going to give up. We’re always going to be there to pick each other up.”
The Irish will next take the field against Richmond on Saturday at Loftus Sports Complex at 1 p.m.