UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A goal from freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh with 1:34 left in the first overtime period gave the No. 3 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team a 10-9 win over No. 8 Penn State on Sunday afternoon inside Holuba Hall.
A late flurry from both teams sent the game into the extra session. Notre Dame tied the contest (8-8) with 24 seconds left on a Conor Doyle goal, which was his career-high third of the day. Ryan Foley assisted on the score. The Irish took a 9-8 lead with just 18 seconds remaining when junior Liam O’Connor won the faceoff and scored his second goal of the game. A tally from Penn State’s Tom LaCrosse with one second left knotted the contest at nine.
The game featured seven ties and four lead changes.
“In a game that had two evenly-matched teams, I was just glad we were the one to make the play at the end,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We weren’t going to quit out there. We had a lot of experienced guys on the field and we made plays when we needed to. We had good contributions from a lot of different guys today.”
Consecutive goals from Doyle, a sophomore attackman, put Notre Dame (2-0) up 2-0 by the 8:10 mark of the first quarter. Penn State responded with three unanswered scores, including two from Jack Forster, to take a 3-2 lead midway through the second quarter.
Notre Dame attackman Westy Hopkins evened the game (3-3) with 58 seconds remaining in the opening half and the contest was knotted at the intermission.
Midfielder Jim Marlatt put the Irish up 4-3 early in the third quarter when he scored off a pass from Doyle. Goals from LaCrosse and Forster gave Penn State (2-1) a 5-4 advantage with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. Forster and LaCrosse both had three goals in the game.
With just over two minutes left in the third period, Notre Dame midfielder Steve Murphy took a pass from Hopkins and scored to even the game once again (5-5). A Nittany Lion goal from Kyle Zittel gave the hosts a 6-5 advantage after three quarters of play.
Penn State grabbed its largest lead of the game (7-5) on a man-up goal from Kyle VanThof 41 seconds into the final quarter. The Irish responded as midfielder Tyler Kimball sliced the deficit to one (7-6) and O’Connor won the ensuing faceoff and scored to make it 7-7 with 9:28 left in the fourth quarter. The two goals were a career-high for O’Connor.
“Liam’s (O’Connor) two goals were massive,” Corrigan said. “The first one tied the game after we were down by two goals and then the second gave us a lead with 18 seconds left. It was quite a game of swings.”
LaCrosse put the Nittany Lions back up (8-7) with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter.
Senior goalie John Kemp made 10 saves for the Fighting Irish, while his counterpart Austin Kaut also had 10 stops. Notre Dame had a 38-34 advantage in shots. O’Connor was 10-for-21 in faceoff attempts.
Notre Dame has won its last three overtime contests and the Irish are 5-1 in their last six one-goal games.
The Fighting Irish will begin the home portion of their 2013 slate Saturday against No. 9 North Carolina. Faceoff is scheduled for noon (ET) at Arlotta Stadium.