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Irish Use Hot Start To Knock Off Georgetown, Advance To Men's Lacrosse Final Four

Written by Peter Jay Mulroy ⏐ Writer ⏐ Instagram: @sportstodaywithpeterjay

Photo by University of Notre Dame Athletics


Fresh off a second-round victory over the University of Albany, one in which they trailed at the half, No. 1 Notre Dame traveled to Hempstead, New York, on Saturday afternoon for a date with No. 8 Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Division I men’s lacrosse championship.

 

The Irish (13-1 overall) used a strong second half to drive past the Great Danes last weekend in South Bend, providing the nation’s top-ranked squad with an opportunity to exact revenge on the only team to have beaten them this season. The Hoyas handed ND an 11-10 overtime loss back on Feb. 25 in South Bend. Since that moment, however, the Irish have gone a perfect 11-0, including wins over Virginia and Duke to win the ACC championship, and the aforementioned triumph over UAlbany.

 

Last weekend, the Irish fought back from a slow start to upend the Great Danes. But this time around, the white and gold came ready to roll.

 

Devon McLane’s 32nd goal of the season, which came 53 seconds into the contest, was the first of three straight scores, a clear indication that Notre Dame wasn’t going to give Georgetown any opportunity to capture any early momentum. Follow-up tallies by Reilly Gray (12th of season) and Chris Kavanagh (32nd) had the Irish up 3-0 midway through the opening frame on what was a picturesque day on Long Island.




 

In the second frame, the Irish -- who lead the all-time series with their foes from Washington, D.C., 10-9 -- began pouring it on with an offensive onslaught those in South Bend have thoroughly enjoyed watching this season.

 

Chris Kavanagh’s second marker of the first half provided the defending national champions with another three-goal cushion, and when ensuing goals from Eric Dobson (15th) and Pat Kavanagh (26th) rifled past Hoyas netminder Anderson Moore in the final 80 seconds of play in the opening half, Notre Dame found itself ahead 7-2 heading into the locker room.

 

Two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year Liam Entenmann wasn’t tested all that much across the first 30 minutes of action, but as he’s done throughout his career, the New York native supplied his Irish squad with rock solid play between the pipes.

 

It was more of the same for Notre Dame in the second half, as they kept the Hoyas offense -- one that entered as a Top 15 unit in points per game -- off balance for much of the 60-minute contest.

 

Two additional goals from Chris Kavanagh -- which gave him a whopping five on the day to go along with three assists -- plus markers by McLane, Will Lynch (4th), Pat Kavanagh (28th), Jordan Faison (20th) and the first of the season by Marco Napolitano, were more than enough to help send the now 14-1 Irish into championship weekend for the seventh time in program history, which includes last season’s national title-winning campaign.


What’s Next for the Irish?

 

Notre Dame will head to Philadelphia for the Final Four of the 2024 Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Saturday, May 25. The Irish will play the winner of the No. 4 Syracuse and No. 5 Denver quarterfinal.

 

The remaining semifinal contests feature matchups between No. 3 Johns Hopkins and No. 6 Virginia, and No. 2 Duke and No. 7 Maryland.


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