Saturday afternoon on the campus of Hofstra University, James Shuart Stadium saw some terrific NCAA quarterfinal action with Maryland defeating Bryant 16-8 and Notre Dame fighting back after relinquishing an early lead to grind past Albany 14-13 in overtime to advance to the NCAA Championships.
The Irish came out and scored on their first two possessions when Matt Kavanagh scored with a man-up advantage and then Conner Doyle drove down the lane, slipped to the ground – keeping his wherewithal and firing a shot past the goalie to help create a 4-0 advantage.
Albany caught right up to speed heading into the half tied 6-6 before the Great Danes manifested their scoring rush and opened up a 12-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Irish battled back and tied the game with goals from Nick Ossello and Westy Hopskins, and another goal from Doyle closing the gap to 12-10.
This momentum helped the Irish get back into the game and believe they belonged in Baltimore to vie for the NCAA title. Tied 13-13 Notre Dame goalkeeper Conner Kelly saved the would-be game winning goal with just seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime.
On the first possession in the extra period, Kavanagh finished the game how it started by scoring the clinching goal on the first possession of OT booking Notre Dame’s ticket back into the Final Four.
The Irish will face Maryland next weekend in a rematch of the ACC semifinal from earlier this season. The only lead the Irish held in that match was for the last 6.5 seconds of the game coming off another Kavanagh goal.
The Championships are running May 24-26 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD. The 2010 Championships’ were played at M&T in which the Irish lost 6-5 to Duke in overtime. Tune in the SlaptheSign for updates and conversation as the Irish try to deliver a national title!