Irish suffer first loss of season to Cavaliers
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 30, 2021
The sixth-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team suffered their first loss of the season Saturday in heartbreaking fashion against ninth-ranked Virginia (7-2, 1-2 ACC) by a score of 12-11. Saturday’s game also marked the first ACC game of the season for the Irish (4-1, 0-1 ACC).
At first, it looked like the Cavaliers might run away with the victory. Over the first quarter on Saturday, the Cavaliers outscored the Irish 3-0 behind solid defense that forced some tough shots by Notre Dame.
The second quarter, however, flipped completely in favor of the Irish. Over the second quarter, the Irish outscored the Cavaliers 7-2 behind 17 shots on goal. Graduate student attack Will Yorke was the star of the second quarter for Notre Dame, as he scored three goals in a span of two and a half minutes. Those goals were good for Yorke’s sixth, seventh and eighth goals on the season.
Despite the Irish owning a 7-5 lead at halftime, the Cavaliers responded out of the gates and scored three consecutive goals to grab an 8-7 lead. The Irish answered quickly, though, with Yorke scoring again for the Irish with 2:18 left in the quarter to bring the score level.
A big turning point in this game came in the last minute and a half of the third quarter. Virginia was able to score twice at the end of the quarter to take a 10-8 lead into the fourth quarter and grab some momentum.
The fourth quarter ended up being a wild finish. The quarter started with the Irish getting one goal back behind an unassisted goal from first-year midfield Eric Dobson. The Cavaliers were quick to respond, though, and regain a two goal lead less than a minute later.
With just over 4 minutes remaining, it appeared that Virginia was in control, but the Irish were not going down without a fight. Dobson scored his second goal of the quarter and third goal of the game to put the Irish in striking distance with just over four minutes remaining.
Just over 30 seconds later, the Irish were able to tie the game up at 11-11 behind a Yorke unassisted goal. That goal was the fifth of the day for Yorke.
Although it looked like the Irish had seized the momentum, the Cavaliers were able to answer yet again and grab a 12-11 lead with just under two and a half minutes remaining in the game. This time, it was Dox Aitken scoring for the Cavaliers. Aitken finished the game with four points off of two goals and two assists.
Although the Irish were able to create some good chances in the final minutes of the game, they were not able to find the back of the net. One of the best chances came with three seconds left when Yorke put a good shot on goal, but Cavalier goalie Alex Rode was able to make the stop. Saturday’s win marked the first time that the Cavaliers have won at Arlotta Stadium.
In addition to Yorke and Dobson, who finished the game with five and three goals, respectively, senior midfield Wheaton Jackoboice had a good day as well, finishing with four points off of one goal and three assists. Sophomore attack Pat Kavanagh and junior attack/midfield Griffin Westlin finished the game with two points.
Leading the way for the Cavaliers was Payton Cormier who finished with five goals to his name on the day.
The Irish will look to bounce back this coming weekend on the road against fourth-ranked Syracuse. Syracuse beat Virginia earlier in the year by a score of 20-10. Like the Irish, the Orange are coming off of a heartbreaking one-goal loss, as they lost to Duke by a score of 15-14 last week.