No. 5 Irish to take on No. 7 Terrapins at College Park
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, February 28, 2020
The No. 5/5-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team is coming off of a weekend victory over No. 20/20 Richmond, avenging their 9-8 loss to the Spiders (2-2) last season. Now, just as they did last season after the Richmond game, the Irish (2-0) are set to hit the road to take on Maryland, who sit two spots below the Irish in the polls at No. 7/7 nationally.
The Terrapins (3-1) have already faced three ranked opponents this season, defeating Richmond 14-13 in double overtime on the road, besting then-No. 9 Penn 17-15 in College Park and falling 13-12 to No. 15 Villanova most recently. Their contest against Navy which was scheduled for Sunday was postponed. The matchup against Maryland will be interesting as it will tip the scales to whoever wins as the teams are deadlocked at 6-6 in their 12 all-time meetings.
Notre Dame’s schedule gets no easier after taking on the Terrapins, as nine of the opponents on their slate are currently ranked in the top-20 nationally in both major polls.
The Irish have had the good fortune to get solid production from their youth. They are currently led by freshman attack Pat Kavanagh, who leads the team with 12 points behind seven goals and five assists, while sophomore attack Griffin Westin is in second with four goals and three assists for a total of seven points. Notre Dame has also gotten stiff goaltending from freshman Liam Entenmann, who has 16 saves and has only allowed seven goals for a save percentage of 70%, although the Terrapins will provide the first ranked test of his young collegiate career.
Irish senior middie Bryan Costabile, a reigning first team All-American selection and 2019 ACC Offensive player of the year, is third on the team with five points behind four goals and an assist. Costabile set a program record for single-season goals by a midfielder last year with 42 and is currently 11th in Notre Dame history in career goals with 93. With seven more goals he would be only the ninth Irish player to reach 100 for a career and with 18 he would become the all-time program leader in goals by a midfielder.
When Notre Dame took on Maryland last season at home, the cold weather caused the teams to move indoors to face off in the Loftus Sports Center. The then-No. 2-ranked Terrapins jumped out to a 4-3 lead on the then-No. 12/17 Irish after the first period, but Notre Dame stormed back and outscored Maryland 4-1 in the second quarter to lead 7-5.
After posting even offensive efforts in the third quarter with four goals apiece, Maryland rallied in the fourth quarter, scoring a goal with 2:22 remaining to cut it to one and converting with just 16 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. However, quickly out of the gate the Irish scored on their first possession to take the match 14-13.
The Terrapins will be looking for revenge come Saturday at 1 p.m. in College Park, Massachusetts.