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Notre Dame men’s lacrosse wins Georgetown rematch, advances to NCAA semifinals

IMG_7504by:Jack Soble05/18/24


No. 1 Notre Dame’s stars played like stars Saturday afternoon. And when that happens, the Irish are tough to beat.

One could argue impossible.

When they fire on all cylinders like they did Saturday afternoon at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., the Irish are the best men’s lacrosse team in the country. No. 8 Georgetown found out the hard way. Notre Dame won 16-11 — in a game that was not that close until the Hoyas went on a late 3-0 run after it had already been decided — and eliminated the only team who beat it during the regular season.

The defending-champion Irish advanced to the NCAA semifinal in Philadelphia, where they’ll face the winner of No. 4 Syracuse and No. 5 Denver.

“If you’re looking for extra motivation in the quarterfinals, you’re probably missing something,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said on ESPNU after the game. “Our guys are plenty motivated at this time of year. There’s one prize at the end, and we’re all going for it.”

Georgetown made Notre Dame work for it, particularly when the Irish tried to score. But the Hoyas couldn’t stop Notre Dame’s star power from taking over.

Junior attackman Chris Kavanagh was relentless, scoring 5 goals, dishing 3 assists and peppering the net with 13 shots. Graduate student attackman Pat Kavanagh was sensational, with a hat trick that included multiple highlight-reel goals. Graduate student goaltender Liam Entenmann let a couple goals through that he would like to have back, but he made 8 saves and kept the Hoyas at bay when the game was close.

Beyond the “big three” — each of whom grew up on Long Island, not far from Hofstra — Notre Dame has several other players who are elite at their craft. Almost all of them flexed their muscles against the Hoyas.

Graduate student attackman Jake Taylor made a one-handed pass to Chris Kavanagh that might make SportsCenter. Senior midfielder Eric Dobson fired a bullet past Georgetown freshman goalie Anderson Moore for a goal. Graduate student attackman Devon McLane scored twice, and freshman midfielder Jordan Faison got on the board. The veteran and the rookie on defense, graduate student Marco Napolitano and freshman Shawn Lyght, guarded the ball like Lyght said they would.

Notre Dame’s most critical performance, though, might have come from junior face-off/midfielder Will Lynch. He won 21 of his 26 face-off attempts, making it impossible for the Hoyas to go on any kind of run.

Graduate student Hoyas face-off man James Ball, one of the best in the country, was out with an injury. Lynch took advantage of his backups, and he suffocated the Hoyas all game.

“He was outstanding,” Corrigan said about Lynch. “He just kind of took over the game. When that happens, it puts an awful lot of pressure on the other team, because they have to make something in every possession.”

As much as Notre Dame embraced the chance to play Georgetown again, Corrigan downplayed the “revenge game” factor in his postgame interview. ESPNU play-by-play announcer Chris Cotter said it was like Corrigan had a “carrot to dangle” in preparing for Saturday’s game, but for the 36th-year head coach, it was strictly business.

“The only good thing about it was it was an opponent we’re familiar with,” Corrigan said. “It’s nice to know that we didn’t have to start all over with our preparation.”

Notre Dame will go back to Philadelphia for the second year in a row, and its semifinal matchup will start at a to-be-determined time on this coming Saturday. The Irish need two more wins to go back-to-back.

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