Irish shut down comeback attempt by No. 8 Syracuse
Colin Capece | Tuesday, April 2, 2019
After an 11 goal offensive explosion in the first half, the No. 12 Irish held off a comeback by the No. 8 Orange to clinch a 13-10 victory Sunday, their first at Arlotta Stadium this season. The midfield tandem of junior Bryan Costabile and senior Brendan Gleason led the way for Notre Dame’s (5-3, 1-1 ACC) win over Syracuse (5-3, 1-2), scoring one hat trick a piece to help the team secure a bounce-back win following last weekend’s overtime loss to No. 4 Ohio State. Costabile commented on the team’s mentality going into the game.
“We were bitter after last weekend’s game and really wanted to come out firing, and thankfully we made enough plays to come out with a win,” Costabile said.
The Irish offense started fast and kept their feet on the accelerator throughout the first half. Costabile opened the scoring 48 seconds into the game, whipping a bouncer past the right leg of Syracuse junior goaltender Drake Porter. Gleason tallied his first goal of the game just two minutes later, muscling his way through three Orange defenders to increase the Irish lead. Syracuse would respond shortly after, as senior attack Bradley Voigt received a centering pass from fellow senior attack Nate Solomon and fired a sidearm shot into the back of the cage. However, Notre Dame answered quickly, as Costabile fired a laser over Porter’s left shoulder, putting the Irish up 3-1.
Notre Dame took advantage of a major unforced error by Syracuse in the first quarter. With 5:38 to go, sophomore attack Connor Morin scored a wraparound fourth goal for the Irish with the shot clock winding down. During the play, Syracuse senior defenseman Tyson Bomberry was called for an illegal hit to the head — a two minute, non-releasable foul that gave Notre Dame a man advantage. Penalties were a common theme in the game for the Orange, which ultimately came back to haunt head coach John Desko’s squad.
Gleason converted with seven seconds left in the penalty to extend the Irish lead to 5-1. Notre Dame retained the man advantage on the ensuing faceoff and gained possession. Sophomore attack Wheaton Jackoboice then scored his first of two goals on the afternoon to give Notre Dame a 6-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Irish continued their offensive clinic in the second quarter. Junior attack Brian Willets scored to open the period, and after another penalty by Bomberry, Costabile ripped his third tally into the back of the cage. Gleason, Jackoboice and freshman midfield Quinn McCahon also scored in the second for Notre Dame. The Irish dominated the time of possession in the first half and moved the ball extremely well to find open shots. Notre Dame continued to work the shot clock down, minimizing offensive opportunities for Syracuse.
In the third quarter, however, the Orange clawed their way back into the game. Entering Saturday, Syracuse had erased a deficit of four goals or more in their last three contests, and Notre Dame seemed to be on the receiving end of a fourth-straight comeback. Solomon scored back-to-back goals to begin the period, and redshirt junior attack Stephen Rehfuss skipped a shot past Irish sophomore goalie Matt Schmidt with 1:27 to play to cut the Irish lead to 11-6. The Orange almost added a fourth tally in the third, but Voigt’s goal at the buzzer was waved off by the referee.
Syracuse continued their scoring run in the fourth, as Voigt flipped a behind the back shot into the cage to make it 11-7. Junior and redshirt sophomore midfielders Jamie Trimboli and David Lipka then scored on consecutive Syracuse possessions to shrink Notre Dame’s lead to just two.
With the Orange riding a 6-0 scoring run, the stagnant Irish offense was in need of a spark, and they found one thanks to another costly Syracuse penalty. With 8:34 to play, redshirt sophomore long stick midfielder Brett Kennedy cross checked Gleason, giving the Irish another man advantage.
Costabile wasted no time reclaiming the game’s momentum for Notre Dame, scoring his fourth goal of the afternoon just 22 seconds later. After a huge defensive stop by the Irish defense, the junior found the back of the cage again to ultimately put the game out of reach. Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan said he told the team to be prepared for a team as good as Syracuse to make a run in the second half.
“We said at half time that the winning plays haven’t been made yet, and that we would have to make even more plays to win this game,” said Corrigan after the game. “We know Syracuse is a team that doesn’t stop, and I’m glad our guys remained poised in the last 10 minutes of the game and played the way they needed to.”
Notre Dame will travel to Durham, North Carolina, to take on the fifth ranked Duke Blue Devils on Monday.