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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Men's lacrosse defeats Cleveland State at home

Notre Dame men’s lacrosse defeated Cleveland State 18-8 Sunday afternoon in Arlotta Stadium. The third-ranked Irish improved to 2-0 on the season and extended the program’s win streak to eight straight games — the longest active streak for any men’s Division I team.

Under the South Bend sun, the Kavanagh brothers, sophomore attack Chris and senior attack Pat, shined — and not just because of their golden helmets. The two Kavanaghs combined for 16 points. While Chris tallied four goals and four assists, Pat picked up a game-high six assists in addition to two goals of his own.

The opening 11 minutes of play were anything but indicative of the Irish onslaught to come in quarters two through four. Viking senior goalie Cameron Logan, who collected half of his 16 total saves in the first quarter, did his best to block any Irish momentum from accumulating.

Just over a minute into the matchup, junior midfielder Bryce Walker put Notre Dame on the board first. About five minutes later, Cleveland State senior attack Ryan Haigh knotted the score back at one. It would take another five minutes after Haigh’s point for the Irish to finally start picking things up.

A goal by senior midfielder Reilly Gray lifted the Irish back ahead 2-1 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. The media timeout directly after Gray’s goal proved quite the turning point.

The Kavanagh brothers stuck immediately out of the break. First Chris assisted a Pat goal, and less than 10 seconds later, Chris scored off a Pat assist. With only a minute having passed from the game clock, the Irish had suddenly fashioned a 4-1 lead from a 1-1 ballgame.

A couple minutes later, sophomore midfielder Ben Ramsey would net his first collegiate goal, securing a 5-1 advantage for Notre Dame at the close of quarter one.

Cleveland State junior Gavin Held drew first blood three minutes into the second, propelling the Vikings back within striking distance. However, Notre Dame responded with three unanswered goals over the rest of the second period — one by Walker, one by Pat Kavanagh and one by Chris Kavanagh. At halftime, the Irish stood firmly ahead, 8-2.

Chris Kavanagh, the game’s leading scorer, earned a hat trick about 30 seconds into the third and then punched in his fourth goal of the afternoon three and a half minutes later. Next, scores by graduate student midfielder Quinn McCahon and junior midfielder Eric Dobson lifted Notre Dame to a 10-goal lead, 12-2, with just over nine minutes remaining in period three.

The Irish and the Vikings would go on to trade goals during the non-conference matchup’s remaining minutes. By the end of the third quarter, the Irish were ahead 14-4. At game’s end, Notre Dame held out on top, 18-8.

In addition to Chris Kavanagh, Dobson and McCahon brought home hat tricks. Senior goalie Liam Entenmann finished the day with the win, six goals allowed and seven saves.

Head coach Kevin Corrigan said he wasn’t too concerned about the Irish’s slow-scoring start.

“The only difference between this game and the last game was that last game, the first five shots went in, and this game, the guy made four saves, two of which he never saw,” Corrigan said.

Corrigan added that although his players weren’t finishing the ball perfectly, he was happy about the way they were playing.

“We were getting good shots,” Corrigan said. “We were playing well. We didn’t feel any sense of panic or anything. The ball just wasn’t going in the goal. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t.”

Regarding the Kavanagh brothers’ performance, Corrigan said he was impressed, despite not paying much attention to statistics.

“They're such competitors,” Corrigan said. “They really just so consistently make the right play that you're almost like shocked when they don't… The way they kind of raise the level of their teammates is really good.”

The still-flawless Irish travel to Washington, D.C. Friday to take on the twelfth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas at noon.