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Irish Advance in NCAA Tournament with 15-9 Win

May 14, 2017

With a couple of key offensive players returning from injury, the Irish turned to other contributors in their first round NCAA tournament game

Sunday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. Brendan Gleason and Brendan Collins combined for nine goals as the Irish used a strong run in the middle of the game to run away from the Marquette Golden Eagles, 15-9.

The Irish(9-5) made their 12th straight NCAA tournament appearances and with the victory advanced to the quarterfinals for the eighth consecutive year. The Golden Eagles(8-8) were making their second straight NCAA appearance after winning the Big East conference tournament.

Gleason's five goals set a Notre Dame tournament record.

Collins finished off his hat trick with 3:33 to go in the third to give the Irish a 12-6 advantage. The Golden Eagles then went on the man-up after an illegal body check on Garrett Epple. The Irish killed it off again but not before another flag came in for offsides.

The Golden Eagles failed to score yet again on the man advantage, but then Ryan McNamara scored with just 13 seconds left in the quarter to cut the Irish lead to five.

Shane Doss made a pair of saves to open the final quarter to preserve the Irish lead. With 11:56 to go in the game, Collins put in another goal, his fourth to give the Irish a 13-7 lead.

John Wagner then finished off his hat trick for the Golden Eagles with 10:36 to go. Just 48 seconds later, Tanner Thomson made it a four-goal game with a powerful shot that beat Doss up high.

The Irish then answered a few minutes later on a goal from Bryan Costabile to essentially ice the game with just 5:23 to play and the Irish leading 14-9.

After a faceoff win, the Irish drew a flag on the Golden Eagles for slashing. The Golden Eagles killed it off, but the Irish retained possession. Brian Willetts then scored for the Irish, his fourth of the season with just 3:24 left.

Gleason has scored at least a hat-trick in his last three games.

After forcing a turnover, Ryder Garnsey found Mikey Wynne in front of the goal for his thirtieth of the season, giving the Irish their largest lead of the game at 8-4 to open the second half.

Andy Demichiei answered right back for the Golden Eagles just 37 seconds later to cut the lead to three. On the next Irish possession, Gleason finished off his hat trick. Garnsey then found Gleason in front  for sophomore's fourth goal of the afternoon, upping the Irish lead to 10-5.

On the next Golden Eagles possession, they drew a penalty flag on Pat Healy. The Irish were able to kill it off rather quickly as their defense continued to have a strong day. With 5:11 left in third, Wagner scored his second of the game for the Golden Eagles, cutting the Irish lead to four.

After a faceoff win by P.J. Finley, he found Gleason in front for his fifth goal of the day.

The Golden Eagles won the opening faceoff but turned it over without putting a shot on goal. Gleason opened the scoring for the Irish on their next possession just 2:11 into the game.

The Irish doubled their lead just 45 seconds later on Collins' goal, his sixth of the year. After a few possessions of no shots, the Golden Eagles had a great look in transition, but Doss made a big-time stop on Joe Dunn.

On the ensuing possession, Marquette goalie Cole Blazer made a big stop on Pierre Byrne to preserve the 2-0 score. Wagner opened the scoring for the Golden Eagles with 6:18 to play in the quarter to cut the Irish lead in half.

Garnsey, returning from an ankle injury scored to give the Irish a 3-1 advantage with 4:57 left in the quarter. The score remained 3-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Collins buried his second goal of the game less than a minute into the second quarter off a feed from Sergio Perkovic to give the Irish a three-goal lead. After a long Marquette possession, they drew a penalty flag on Drew Schantz. The Golden Eagles couldn't capitalize, but the Irish turned it over immediately after.

The Golden Eagles cut the lead to two after a goal from Demichiei with eight and a half minutes left in the half. Dunn got the lead down to one about a minute later on a nice bounce shot through the legs of Doss.

McNamara then tied it after the Irish defense was caught napping, scoring from the faceoff dot at midfield. Gleason then scored his second goal on the ensuing possession to give the Irish the lead once again.

After a Doss save, Timmy Phillips scored in transition to give the Irish a two-goal lead with just 57 seconds left in the half. After a Golden Eagles turnover, Wynne scored his first goal of the game with just 10 seconds left to play. The Irish led 7-4 at halftime.

Player of the Game: Gleason. The sophomore was outstanding, scoring five goals and taking the pressure of the big guns and giving them serious momentum going into the quarterfinals.

Unsung Hero: Collins. Coming into the game with just six goals on the season, Collins was huge all afternoon coming up with a couple of big goals to maintain the Irish offensive domination. He finished the day with four goals.

Up next: The fourth-ranked Irish will take on fifth-ranked Denver next Saturday in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals at Hofstra University.
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