#3 Maryland Upended by #20 Notre Dame in Quarterfinals

PRINCETON, N.J. – For the second time in program history the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team has advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame defeated No. 3 Maryland, 7-5, in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Princeton Stadium. The Terrapins were the tournament's third seed, while the Irish are not seeded.

A hat trick from sophomore attackman Sean Rogers (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Holy Trinity) and a defense that allowed just five goals for the second straight game was the story of the day for the Fighting Irish, who never trailed in the contest.

Photos Courtesy of Ben and James Mackey

“Our guys just played their hearts out,” said Irish junior defenseman Kevin Ridgway (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Prep). “I thought we matched up pretty well with them (Maryland). We locked down and did what we always do, give them low-angle shots for the big guy (goalie Scott Rodgers). We came in with that game plan and I think we executed pretty well today.”

Notre Dame (9-6) got on the board with 10:10 left in the first quarter as Rogers found the back of the net. Maryland (12-4) answered with 8:25 showing on the clock in the quarter on a goal from Scott Larue. Following that Terrapin tally, Notre Dame went on a 4-0 run, spanning 16:24.

The Irish surge began on a David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) goal with 8:00 left in the opening quarter. Notre Dame went up by two (3-1) with 3:33 left in the first quarter on a Max Pfeifer (Crozet, Va./Western Albemarle) goal. Rogers netted his second goal of the game with 1:48 left in the first quarter to give Notre Dame a three-goal edge (4-1) after the opening 15 minutes of play.

A Nicholas Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) goal with 8:36 left in the second quarter gave Notre Dame a four-goal cushion (5-1). Maryland put a halt to the Irish uprising on a Jake Bernhardt goal with 7:01 remaining in the first half. The Terrapins sliced the Irish lead to two (5-3) three minutes later on a John Haus tally. Notre Dame led 5-3 at the intermission.

“Scoring early was big for us,” stated Rogers. “With the success our midfield has had, we knew coming in the focus would be on them. I had the shorty (short-stick midfielder) today and I tried to take advantage of it and the shots went in.”

A man-up goal from Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's) put Notre Dame back up by three (6-3) in the opening minutes of the second half. Rogers completed his hat trick with 2:00 left in the third quarter to give the Irish a 7-3 lead.

It marked the second career hat trick for Rogers, who scored on all three shots that he took on Saturday. The sophomore tallied three goals earlier this season against Denver.

Maryland notched its first goal of the second half with 1:06 showing on the clock in the third period when Travis Reed scored. Notre Dame led by three (7-4) after three quarters of play. The game's final goal came with 12:15 left in the contest on a goal from Maryland's Joe Cummings.

The Notre Dame defense stifled a Terrapin offense that entered the game averaging 11.71 goals per game. The Irish held Maryland's Grant Catalino, who has team-high totals in goals (34) and points (54), without a point.

Fighting Irish senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) made eight saves in the win. His counterpart Brian Phipps made 13 stops for Maryland. Notre Dame won the ground ball battle, 31-24.

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