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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The Observer

Men's Lacrosse: Triple overtime secures Irish victory over Denver

For the second week in a row, 60 minutes of regulation were not enough to decide Notre Dame's fate. And for the second week in a row, it was the No. 7 Irish who prevailed, thanks to a 10-9 triple-overtime victory over No. 9 Denver on Sunday.

Senior attack Sean Rogers scored his second goal of the game 1:25 into the third overtime on an unsettled play. After a ground ball pick-up by senior captain and defenseman Kevin Randall, the ball eventually worked its way to junior midfielder Ryan Foley, who found an open Rogers for the winning goal to send the Irish (4-1) past the Pioneers (4-2).

It was the second week in a row Rogers netted an overtime winner and the third consecutive week he scored the game-winning goal for Notre Dame. On March 10, Rogers notched the overtime score in a 6-5 win against Hofstra. He also scored the deciding goal in a 6-5 win over Drexel on March 3.

Though Notre Dame's settled offense had its most success in regulation up to this point in the season against the Pioneers, it was a transition opportunity that led to the winning tally.

"We got a ground ball and as we came up with the ground ball, [we] put ourselves in a little bit of an unsettled, transition situation," Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. "For all the good things that we had done playing offense out of our settled offense ¾ we got some great opportunities late in the game ¾ from it, we didn't cash on those, but we did on this unsettled play."

Notre Dame's defense, which entered the contest as the No. 1 scoring defense in the country at just 4.25 goals-allowed per game, allowed more than double its season average against Denver. But the Irish offense also put up its season high in goals in a game, surpassing the seven scored against Duke in their season opener.

Corrigan believes a large part of Notre Dame's offensive success was better patience and shot selection.

"I think we were a little more patient and that allowed us to get better shots. [Earlier in the season] we struggled shooting the ball but I don't think we really played that bad of offense," he said. "But I do think we maybe have been settling for a good shot, an average shot, instead of really working to get a great shot and I thought today we were a little more patient and a little more willing to wait for the best opportunity to come along."

The Irish twice opened up leads of four goals, leading 5-1 and 8-4 on separate occasions. But Denver freshman midfielder Wes Berg tied the game at eight with 8:50 remaining. Though Irish sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt quickly answered with his second goal of the game to put the Irish ahead, Denver sophomore midfielder Jeremy Noble scored the final goal of regulation with 6:17 left to once again knot the score.

Despite allowing Denver to come back and force overtime, Corrigan was impressed by the tenacity of his squad to end the game on top.

"It really is something that's not an easy thing to do, just in terms of the emotional swings of a game like that," Corrigan said. "But our guys, they've been very mentally tough this year and more than anything else, we've just kind of hung in there and stayed focused on making the next play all year. We made an awful lot of those plays on the defensive end up until today and it was great to see our offense come through and bolster our defense a little bit today."

The Irish are next in action in a rare mid-week game at Ohio State on Wednesday. Faceoff against the Buckeyes is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Contact Sam Gans at