Irish Put Up a Fight, Maryland is Able to Soar Into ACCs

The primetime match up on Saturday of Maryland and Notre Dame started off on a bumpy note. Opponents were trying to get a feel for the other’s competition and systems, Notre Dame wasn’t capitalizing on the opportunities they had, and the Terps were unloading on Conor Kelly in goal.

Maryland played aggressive offense, continuously bodied up against their defenders and made the Irish work for their protection. Matt Rambo, Mike Chanenchuk and Brian Cooper were all large players in the Terps’ success yesterday.

On the other side of the ball, the Irish were forcing Maryland’s defense to slide and shift, the only problems were the Terps’ defense were very reactive to anything ND threw at them. They slid on time and to the right players, shutting down the Irish for most of the first period.

At 10:27 in the second quarter, Maryland stood in the lead 4-1 and the refs threw multiple flags. Notre Dame would get their first big break of the game ending up with a two-man up opportunity.

The Irish exploded into offense with possession, but were quickly saved against and successfully converted by Maryland. Even 6v4, Maryland held their own and a presence.

At 9:24 in the same period, a very questionable call was made by the refs that changed the pace of the game. Following a blown-dead ball, Notre Dame’s Matt Kavanaugh blatantly shoved Maryland’s Brian Cooper from behind. As Cooper propelled forward, he reacted by shoving another Irish player as a result. The refs threw the flag at Cooper for unsportsmanlike conduct, and he went to the box for one minute.

From that point forward, this was a game of high caliber, aggressive, heated lacrosse.

It was 5-on-5 and Cooper (MD) and Kavanaugh (ND) were sitting in the box. Kavanaugh got released after 30 seconds and Notre Dame capitalized making it 4-2. The Irish stepped it up now, but were ahead of their passes on cuts. Maryland continued to communicate loudly and effectively, 100 percent ready for anything Notre Dame threw at them.

At 2:12 in the second, the officials found yet another call to make against Kavanaugh and Cooper. Cooper got two 30-second penalties, and Kavanaugh got one. It was 6-v-4 in Notre Dame’s favor, and the game went into halftime 6-3 Maryland.

Following halftime, the game picked right back up with the intensity and emotions that carried over from the first half.

8-4 Maryland at 4:40 in the third. Maryland had become more aware of who they were playing with than the Irish had because they were noticing when certain players weren’t covered, or that specific skills weren’t being shut down. In turn, the Terps were capitalizing frequently, and Kelly (goalie, ND) was having a rough day.

Kavanaugh scored big for the Irish at 2:17 in the third, and another Irish player followed up a minute later. At 11:36 in the final period of play, the Irish have finally brought the game to a tie at eight.

The competition continued tightly for the next six minutes, then Maryland stole the thunder and rode the lightning. They scored one, two, then three, finally four.

Final Score: Maryland 12 Notre Dame 8