No. 2 Notre Dame survived a scare from Georgetown on Saturday, holding off the Hoyas, 14-12, at Loftus Sports Center en route to earning its 13th straight season-opening victory.
Irish sophomore attack Matt Kavanagh cuts back against a defender during Notre Dame’s 14-12 win over Georgetown on Saturday.
Notre Dame (1-0) was led by an unlikely source in freshman attack Mikey Wynne, who scored six goals in his first collegiate game.
“[Mikey’s] terrific. … He’s a crease guy,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “Those guys need other people to get them the ball. You can tell the confidence our guys already have in Mikey because they keep giving it there to him.”
Georgetown (0-1), however, opened the scoring, with senior attack Bo Stafford finding the net just seconds after an Irish penalty released.
Wynne would record the next three goals to give the Irish some breathing room in the first quarter. His first of the game was keyed by a pass from sophomore midfielder Sergio Perkovic, tying the game with 9:07 left in the first quarter.
“I think we were ready when the game started,” Wynne said. “I think mentally I was ready for the game — coach prepared us well.”
Notre Dame would go up 4-1, adding a goal from Perkovic, before Georgetown fought back to tie things up at five.
The teams traded goals in the second quarter, with Stafford eventually knotting things up at six on a fake that fooled Kelly. Stafford led all Georgetown scorers with four goals.
The Irish responded with scores from Wynne and junior attack Matt Kavanagh to take an 8-6 lead into the half. Kavanagh, a preseason All-American, ripped one from the top right corner of the box with just four seconds left in the half.
“I liked that we kept coming back when they kept coming back,” Corrigan said. “We just kept making plays when we had to, and it’s nice to know our guys have the ability to do that.”
Notre Dame added goals from two seniors, attack Conor Doyle and midfielder Jack Near, to go up 10-7 less than five minutes into the third quarter. After Georgetown sophomore midfielder Devon Lewis scored to keep the game within reach, Corrigan pulled Kelly in favor of sophomore goalie Shane Doss. Kelly exited with five saves.
“We had great confidence in [both] of them,” Corrigan said. “I wasn’t going to hesitate if I didn’t think one of the guys was on his game. Not because I don’t have confidence in the guy who’s in there, but I have so much confidence in the guy that’s coming in behind him.”
The Irish scored first after the change, as senior midfielder Nick Ossello found the net while falling over far out from the goal. With his tally, seven players scored for the Irish.
“I mean we have some depth, and we’re going to use that depth,” Corrigan said. [It’s] going to serve us well over the course of the year.”
Notre Dame’s victory was still very much in doubt as the fourth quarter began. Georgetown scored on two fast breaks, tying the game at 11 with 14:23 to go. But two goals in eight seconds for the Irish, courtesy of Perkovic and Wynne, put the game out of reach for the Hoyas.
“Lacrosse is a momentum game, and you have to make some plays like that,” Corrigan said.
Wynne would complete the scoring for Notre Dame with 29 seconds left.
Corrigan said he was pleased overall with his team’s effort, but there would be things to improve upon before the team next hits the field.
“We’d like to think defensively, we can put the clamps on somebody when we’re up by three in the second half,” Corrigan said.
Notre Dame returns to action Saturday when it travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan, taking on the Wolverines at 1 p.m.