Jake Taylor’s record-setting performance leads Irish over Orange
Nate Moller | Monday, April 4, 2022
The No. 15 Irish (3-4, 1-1 ACC) dominated the No.18 Syracuse Orange (4-5, 1-2 ACC) at Arlotta Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Scoring the first 12 goals, Notre Dame won by a commanding 22-6 score. Junior attacker Jake Taylor, who scored eight goals on the day, sparked the blowout for the Irish. Taylor, who entered with three career goals, set a Notre Dame program record for goals in a single game. Saturday marked Taylor’s first career start, and he had just two goals on the season before Saturday’s performance. Junior attacker Pat Kavanagh also had a great day for the Irish, putting up nine points on three goals and six assists.
Irish throttle Orange in dominant first quarter
The Irish dominated the Orange in the first quarter, outshooting the Orange 16-3, scoring nine times. They pitched a first-quarter shutout to hold a 9-0 lead. Notre Dame scored their first on a two-man-up advantage. The Irish methodically passed the ball around, and eventually, Pat Kavanagh slipped the ball to freshman attacker Jeffery Ricciardelli, who easily scored to give the Irish an early lead.
A couple of possessions later, the Irish struck again with Taylor slipping the ball past Syracuse goaltender Bobby Gavin. The Irish then went on to win the ensuing faceoff and scored again to take a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter. This time it was freshman attacker Chris Kavanagh that scored for the Irish off a beautiful unassisted shot that flew into the upper corner of the net past Gavin.
The Irish weren’t done yet, though, and they scored again just moments later off the stick of senior midfielder Quinn McCahon. A couple of minutes later, Taylor scored his second of the game with a behind-the-back shot to extend the lead to 5-0. Graduate student midfielder Wheaton Jackoboice then followed the Taylor goal to give the Irish a 6-0 advantage.
Taylor secured a first-quarter hat trick just moments later after a faceoff violation against Syracuse gave the Irish a man-up advantage. Quinn McCahon tacked on his second of the day at the end of the first quarter to extend the Irish lead to 8-0 with 2:23 to play in the first quarter.
Taylor wasn’t done in the first quarter yet either, and he scored his fourth goal of the quarter with a beautiful behind-the-back shot in front of the net to give the Irish a 9-0 lead after the first quarter.
Irish pour it on in the second
The Irish kept their foot on the pedal in the second quarter with sophomore midfielder Eric Dobson scoring early in the quarter to increase the Irish lead to 10-0. Chris Kavanagh and graduate student midfielder Morrison Mirer tacked on goals of their own a few minutes later to get the Irish to a dozen goals on the day.
The Orange finally got on the board with just under ten minutes to play in the second quarter. Brendan Curry scored his 21st of the season. Junior goaltender Liam Entenmann had to make a big save for the Irish on the ensuing possession. After the save, Wheaton Jackoboice went down to score his second of the day.
The Orange then scored their second goal of the game moments later, but the Irish answered again with Taylor scoring his fifth goal of the game to extend the lead to 14-2.
The Orange tacked on their third goal of the game with just under a minute to play, and they nearly added another one with just under ten seconds to go, but Entenmann made an incredible save and launched the ball downfield in desperation. Pat Kavanagh happened to be right in front of the net, and he capped off an incredible first half for the Irish by finding the back yet again to give the Irish a 15-3 lead at the break.
Irish roll through second half
The Irish continued to pour it on in the second half with Pat Kavanagh scoring two goals in a matter of seconds. Those goals gave Kavanagh a hat trick on the day. The Orange tacked on a goal moments after the Kavanagh goal to bring the score to 17-4. The game slowed down significantly after the goal. Sloppiness plagued both teams, and they failed to score until the end of the quarter.
Taylor ended the game’s scoring drought with 2:13 left in the third quarter, scoring two goals in a span of just over a minute. Those goals were good for Taylor’s sixth and seventh goals on the day, and the Irish held a 19-4 lead after the third quarter.
Taylor scored his eighth goal of the game with 9:51 to play. The goal put his name into the Notre Dame history books for the most goals in a single game. Head coach Kevin Corrigan discussed Taylor’s record-breaking day after the game.
“He puts the ball in the back of the net,” Corrigan said. “He knows how to get himself open and he’s got a couple of guys that can get him the ball when things are moving.”
The Irish ended up winning 22-6 behind Taylor’s history-breaking day. Taylor talked about what Saturday’s game meant to him, especially after all the injuries he had to overcome.
“It’s amazing to get the opportunity to compete out here today. It was my first career start, so that’s a big step. Being able to have a game that I will never forget is something that I can never imagine on this day. I had surgery a year and a day ago on my knee, and I just got back off an ACL a couple of months ago,” Taylor said.
Taylor hopes his team can build off Saturday’s win with some difficult ACC games coming up, including next weekend’s pivotal road game against Duke.
“This is a great turnaround game and a great game by our offense, defense, and everybody really played together and played well,” Taylor said. “It was a great time for us to turn it around and start the next half of our season going into a lot of ACC games.”
Irish win, celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week
Notre Dame honored Mental Health Awareness week during Saturday’s game. Notre Dame athletics participated in the efforts throughout the week. The game versus Syracuse honored Rob Kavovit and Tommy O’Brien and sought to raise money for charity funds in their honor. Kavovit starred for Syracuse lacrosse, graduated in 1997 and tragically took his own life in the spring of 2021. O’Brien played for Notre Dame lacrosse in the ‘90s but passed away at age 49 in the summer of 2020.
Taylor discussed what the mental health awareness game meant to him.
“Being fresh off an injury about a year ago, today was a pretty big deal for me. Just thinking back to moments when I was struggling or didn’t think I was ever going to come back and play,” Taylor said. “It was a great game today. Just to come out and represent Tommy O’Brien and [Rob Kavovit] and to celebrate them and celebrate the people that they knew and the people out here supporting them.”
Corrigan was proud of his team’s effort to initiate the mental health awareness game.
“It was a player-led thing, and that means a lot to me that we have guys of that character and of that empathy and understanding,” Corrigan said. “It meant a lot to me because Tommy O’Brien was one of the guys that we honored today, and Tommy was one of my guys in my early years here as coach. I am very proud of our guys for being the ones that initiated this.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.