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Offensive Explosion Fuels Notre Dame To ACC Lacrosse Championship

April 29, 2018

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won its second ACC Lacrosse championship with a 17-7 victory over host Virginia on Sunday afternoon in Charlottesville.

Notre Dame set a season-high with 17 goals, with seven players recording multiple point games. Ryder Garnsey led the Irish with a hat trick and two assists as they are well set up to host a first-round game in the NCAA tournament.

The Irish improved to 8-5 with the victory and the Cavaliers fell to 11-4, but both teams are expected to make the NCAA tournament with Selection Sunday a week away.

Notre Dame opened the final quarter on the man advantage but weren’t able to capitalize, but they still held a 13-6 lead. The Cavaliers cut into the lead as Matt Moore found Mikey Herring in front with 12:26 to go in the game.

The Cavaliers went on the man up, looking to get closer but were unable to take advantage as they failed to get a good look at the net. Brendan Collins fired in his second goal of the game to make it 14-7 with just 6:36 to play in the game. Brian Willetts buried a de facto empty-net goal with five minutes to go to finish off his hat-trick.

Willetts, Garnsey, and Bryan Costabile each had hat tricks as the offense looked unstoppable at times.

The Irish scored on the man advantage as Mikey Wynne picked up his second goal of the game to make it 9-3 Irish just 18 seconds into the second half. Costabile made it look easy as he capped off a hat-trick with a couple of patient moves for his 27th goal of the year to extend the Irish lead to seven.

Garnsey made it six straight goals for the Irish with a nice move to the inside for his second of the day with 9:39 to go in the third quarter. Michael Kraus finally ended the Irish onslaught with his second goal of the afternoon to cut the lead to 11-4. The Irish went to the man advantage again looking to add to the lead.

Willetts buried his second goal of the afternoon in front of the net after a nice feed from Garnsey to get the lead up to eight with 6:39 remaining in the quarter. Kraus finished off a hat-trick with a nice finesse move in front to make 12-5 less than a minute after Garnsey’s goal. Mike D’Amario made it two consecutive goals for the Cavaliers as he finished off a hat trick just about 30 seconds after the goal by Kraus.

Pierre Byrne scored his second goal of the day on a shot from distance to give the Irish a 13-6 advantage with just 30 seconds left in the quarter. The Irish went on the man up late in the quarter and remained on it going into the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame a total of 31 goals during the ACC Lacrosse Championship. 

The Irish had a long first possession but came up empty after Byrne missed the net. The Cavaliers struck first as Kraus ripped a shot past Matt Schmidt just 2:06 into the game. Costabile tied the game less than a minute later with a rocket past Cavalier goalie Alex Rode.

Costabile made it two goals on the day with a long shot past Rode with 9:49 to go in the first quarter to make it 2-1 Irish. A lot of possession time by both teams didn’t yield any offense in the next few minutes as both defenses started to settle in.

Willetts made it 3-1 Irish with a nice turn of the goal to beat Rode for his 12th goal of the season with 48 seconds to play in the quarter. The Cavaliers answered after a faceoff win with a goal from D’Amario just 12 seconds after the Irish goal. The quarter ended with the Irish leading 3-2.

Garnsey scored an impressive goal after a mad scramble in front to give the Irish a two-goal lead once again with 12:07 to go in the first half. The Irish defense responded after the goal with an outstanding defensive possession to maintain the two-goal advantage. Brendan Gleason took advantage of the strong defensive effort with a goal to extend the lead to 5-2.

After the Irish took a penalty, D’Amario scored on the man advantage for his second goal of the afternoon to cut the lead back to two with 8:28 to go in the first half. Schmidt made a big-time stop after a turnover to keep the Irish in control.

The Irish responded as Byrne found the back of the net on an impressive bounce shot for his seventh goal of the year to make it 6-3 with under three minutes to play in the half. The Irish went on the man up after Schmidt was knocked down behind the play before Byrne’s goal.

Wynne buried his first goal of the day, moving up to third overall on the all-time Irish goal list to make it 7-3. Timmy Phillips scored off the rush for his first goal of the season which got the bench going, and the Irish continued their strong second quarter, making it 8-3 with 1:09 to go.

Player of the Game: Garnsey. The junior had an active afternoon and was a big reason for the offense clicking so well.

Unsung Hero: Byrne. The midfielder recorded two goals and an assist and was a big part of the Irish’s strong finish to the first half.

Up Next: The Irish wrap up their regular season next Saturday afternoon at home against Army at 1 P.M.

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