Liam Entenmann stars, but Notre Dame falls to Maryland, 14-9
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 3, 2020
In 2019, the Notre Dame lacrosse team showed flashes of outstanding potential, but it could never put together a consistent stretch of elite play, winning no more than two games in a row at any point. After opening the 2020 season with an easy victory over Cleveland State and a statement 13-5 win over a ranked Richmond squad, No. 5 Notre Dame (2-1) hoped to end questions of its consistency when it visited No. 7 Maryland on Saturday.
However, the Irish could not rise to the occasion, as they ultimately suffered a second half collapse and dropped a 14-9 decision to the Terrapins (4-1). Notre Dame surrendered 64 shots, 30 on goal, but freshman goalie Liam Entenmann put forth a career-best effort, making 16 saves between the pipes to keep the game within reach. Eight different Notre Dame players scored, with senior midfielder Bryan Costabile being the only player to notch two tallies.
On the other side of the field, Maryland was paced by a five-goal effort from junior midfielder Logan Wisnauskas and a pair apiece from senior attack Jared Bernhardt and sophomore midfield Kyle Long.
The game got off to a sluggish offensive start. Notre Dame won the opening face-off and got off a shot on its first possession, but Maryland freshman goalie Logan McNaney made the save. It was the only shot Notre Dame got off in the first nine minutes of the game.
Meanwhile, the Terrapins went on the attack, and after finding stiff resistance in Entenmann, they finally solved him just over six minutes into the contest. Bernhardt scored once and then again about a minute and a half later for a 2-0 Maryland lead.
Thanks to Entenmann, Notre Dame’s sluggish start didn’t cost it much, and the Irish rallied back. After two Maryland shots rang off the post, senior defenseman Jack Kielty scooped up the ground ball and cleared it successfully. The Irish worked the ball around and eventually got it to sophomore midfielder Quinn McCahon who whipped a shot past McNaney for his fifth of the year. The goal was assisted by sophomore attack Griffin Westlin, who knotted the score two minutes later with a goal of his own. Maryland got one of those goals back to take a 3-2 lead after one quarter.
The second quarter had yet another slow offensive start, before both teams picked it up. Notre Dame tied the score with 10:20 to go in the half and took the lead under two minutes later.
However, after taking their first lead, Notre Dame could not escape its defensive half of the field, undergoing extensive offensive pressure from the Terrapins. Notre Dame got just one shot off in the next five minutes, and Maryland capitalized with another pair of goals, but Entenmann again came up big, making three saves in that span. The Irish freshman goalie recorded seven saves in the quarter, but as Maryland continued to rattle off shots, a few found their way through, and ultimately, the Terrapins headed to the locker room up 7-5.
Notre Dame came out for the second half with an energy it lacked for much of the first half, and the Irish quickly tied the score up at seven goals apiece. Costabile cut the deficit in half, picking up a ground ball off of a shot that hit the post and firing it home. Junior attack Mikey Drake picked up his first goal of the year with 10:51 remaining in the third quarter to tie the game, but that was the end of Notre Dame’s potential rally.
The Terrapins went on a 7-1 run to put the game out of reach, as the Irish didn’t score until the fourth quarter. Thanks to another series of big saves from Entenmann, the Irish kept it close, and when Costabile rocketed in his second goal of the night, Notre Dame was within 10-8 with 14:22 to play. Maryland scored the next four goals of the game. By the time Notre Dame got another shot on frame, Wisnauskas scored his 18th and 19th of the season in short succession for a four-goal lead, and the Terrapins added another pair of goals for an insurmountable 14-8 lead.
Notre Dame’s star freshman attack Pat Kavanagh made the final score a little more respectable with a late-game score, but it was far too little and far too late. Overall, it was a game that probably should have been a blowout earlier than it was, but the Irish got great goaltending to keep them close. But ultimately, they simply gave up too many shots, lost too many face-offs and turned the ball over far too many times, and eventually, the final score reflected the disparity in play between the two teams. Maryland improved to 4-1, while Notre Dame dropped to 2-1 and No. 10 in the latest poll.
The Irish host No. 17 Denver this Saturday, with the opening face-off scheduled for noon.