May 3, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -
Army scored the most goals on a Notre Dame team since 2004, but it was not enough as the No. 19 Black Knights came up just short in an 18-17 shootout at the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon at a sold-out Arlotta Stadium.
Notre Dame's ride led directly to Conor Doyle's game-winner scored with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. The Black Knights owned possession over the final 9.3 seconds, but could not tally the equalizer and came out on the wrong end of a one-goal contest for a fifth time this season.
Army junior attackman John Glesener lit up the scoreboard with a career-best six goals, while Will Mazzone and Connor Cook both collected hat tricks for the Black Knights. Five of Glesener's six goals came in the first half, but Army got a boost from five different second-half goal scorers to go blow-for-blow against the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference champion Fighting Irish.
In the first meeting between the two programs in 12 years, the game did not disappoint, featuring eight ties, 35 goals and no more than a three-goal lead for either club. It was a game of runs all afternoon, as Army crawled out of an early 4-1 deficit but later let a 14-11 lead slip away.
Scoring a season-best 17 goals, Army (9-5) outshot Notre Dame (9-5) by a 42-38 margin. The Fighting Irish held a 36-28 edge in ground balls and were a perfect 14-of-14 in the clearing game. Notre Dame's Liam O'Connor and Nick Ossello combined to win 22-of-38 face-offs, while goalkeeper Conor Kelly totaled 10 saves.
Army senior goaltender Bobby Sincero made nine saves in his fifth career start. In addition to Glesener, Mazzone and Cook, Jimbo Moore scored twice and Tyler Kamide, Shea Mullins and Cole Johnson came away with one goal apiece. Moore added a pair of assists for a career-best four points.
Glesener completed a hat trick over the opening 30 minutes for a second game in a row. The first team All-Patriot League performer opened the game's scoring just 1:04 into the contest and never looked back. Notre Dame retaliated with four-straight goals over the next four minutes to take a 4-1 lead with 10:08 to go in the first. Glesener's second goal of the day stopped the Fighting Irish run with 24 seconds on the clock.
Glesener made it two-straight tallies as he got the second quarter going with his 40th goal of the season to pull Army within 4-3 just over two minutes into the frame. After Notre Dame made it 5-3 just 55 seconds later, the Black Knights scored three unanswered to go ahead 7-5 on back-to-back EMO Glesener goals during an unreleasable Notre Dame illegal stick penalty. The Fighting Irish again responded, netting two goals in an 11-second span (5:07 and 4:56) to level the score, 7-7, at the half.
The third quarter alone featured a combined 13 goals. Notre Dame opened the frame with a pair of scores to take a 9-7 advantage. The teams traded the next four scores and the Fighting Irish led 11-9 at the 11:28 mark. Both offenses took a brief breather before Army went on a 5-0 run beginning with Cook's goal at 8:02 and ending with Mazzone's man-up score at the 2:00 mark. The pivotal surge gave Army a 14-11 lead late in the third. The Black Knights' momentum disappeared in a hurry, however, as Notre Dame scored twice over the final 29 seconds to make it a 14-13 ballgame at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Fighting Irish added two more goals during a crucial 4-0 run spanning the third and fourth, going on top 15-14 with 12 minutes to go in regulation. Three additional ties ensued, while Johnson's EMO goal at 4:14 gave the Black Knights its final lead of the afternoon, 16-15. Cook's third goal of the day came with 1:31 on the clock and tied the score for an eighth time, 17-17, but Notre Dame's Doyle came up with his 28th goal of the year 1:11 later to give his team the home field victory.
Notre Dame's John Scioscia matched Glesener with a game-high six goals to lead the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame earned the ACC's automatic NCAA Tournament bid and will learn of its opponent during tomorrow night's NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Selection Show.
The Black Knights graduate nine players later this month. That group includes Kamide, Sincero, John Burk, Zeric Butters, Alex Carros, Kevin Epp, Nate Gustafson, Pat Hart, Nick Isnardi, David Tarsa.
Game Notes: John Glesener stretched his point-scoring streak to 29 games ... Glesener was named a Tewaaraton Award top 25 nominee last week ... he recorded his fourth-straight hat trick and 15th of his career ... senior LSM Kevin Epp, a native of Naperville, Ill., led the team into Arlotta Stadium bearing the American flag ... South Bend hosted the Rip The Duck youth lacrosse tournament Saturday, featuring 2,000-plus aspiring players ... Army surrendered back-to-back double-digit goal games for the first time in 27 games ... Army scored its most goals since a 24-7 win over Wagner on Feb. 15, 2012 ... Army had three players score a hat trick in the same game for the second time this season.