Notre Dame tops Albany in overtime, punches ticket to Baltimore
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- A Matt Kavanagh goal in overtime gave No. 6 seed Notre Dame a thrilling 14-13 overtime victory against Albany Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA championship in front of a sellout and stadium-record crowd of 13,519 at James M. Shuart Stadium.
The Fighting Irish trailed by five (12-7) with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest before ending regulation on a 6-1 run. The surge began on a Nick Ossello goal, which snapped a 6-0 Albany run, and Westy Hopkins scored less than a minute later to make it a three-goal affair. Tallies from Conor Doyle and Sergio Perkovic 36 seconds apart cut the Albany lead to one (12-11) with 6:19 left to play.
The Great Danes went back up by two on a Ryan Feuerstein goal with 5:44 remaining, but goals from Hopkins and Perkovic knotted the game by the three-minute mark of the final period. The Notre Dame defense withstood a final Albany possession and goalie Conor Kelly saved a Ty Thompson shot with five seconds left and the game went to overtime.
Kavanagh had a hat trick for the Irish, while fellow attackman Conor Doyle had two goals and three assists. Lyle Thompson paced Albany with three goals and three assists. Notre Dame's Liam O'Connor went 21-of-31 in faceoff attempts.
"What a fantastic atmosphere, it couldn't have been a more fantastic venue," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. "Albany played terrific lacrosse today and deserved a better fate, but I'm pretty glad they didn't get it. It was a heck of a lacrosse game. I couldn't be more proud of our guys. To be in the situation we were in in the fourth quarter ... if you were in our huddle you didn't sense any quit. Nobody was hanging their head, they were focused on making some plays and making one at a time. All the credit in the world to our guys."
This is the third Championship Weekend appearance in the last five seasons for Notre Dame and the fourth trip overall in program history. The Irish were semifinalists in 2001 and 2012 and they were the national runner-up in 2010.
Notre Dame will face Maryland in the NCAA semifinals next Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Md. That game will take place at 1 or 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. Maryland topped Bryant, 16-8, in the day's first quarterfinal. The Fighting Irish and Terrapins split two meetings this season. Maryland won the regular-season matchup (12-8), while Notre Dame was victorious in the ACC semifinal showdown (6-5).