No. 3 Terps Lax bested in South Bend by No. 6 Notre Dame

The undefeated No. 3 Maryland Terrapins, boasting a perfect 4-0 record against non-conference opponents, embarked on a highly anticipated road trip on Sunday for a showdown against the No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the reigning 2023 NCAA champions.

Notre Dame carried a less impressive record at 2-1, most recently losing to Georgetown 10-11 in overtime last Sunday on its home turf. Forced to defend Arlotta Stadium for a second straight week, the Fighting Irish advanced to 3-1 by defeating Maryland, 14-9.

“They’re just really good, we play them because they’re really good,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said during Thursday’s media availability. “Coach [Kevin] Corrigan has done this a long time. He has a really good feel for what works at his place and they recruit at a high level.”

Maryland’s loss shifts its series record against Notre Dame to 9-8 and extends the Irish’s one-game win streak born from last year’s 13-12 triple-overtime victory in College Park. The winning goal was delivered by attackman Pat Kavanagh, who led Notre Dame in points heading into this year’s game with 15.

But fellow attackman Jake Taylor came for Kavanagh’s spot at the top early in the game. After Daniel Maltz put Maryland up first at the nine-minute mark, Taylor responded with a hat-trick which combined with another goal from Kavanagh to make it a 4-2 score heading into the second quarter. 

Eric Malever scored Maryland’s only other goal of the first quarter in the final thirty seconds with a jump shot across the crease— his fifth goal in five games. 

Notre Dame’s momentum only strengthened in the second quarter. Midfielder Devon McLane strung together his own hat-trick as Maryland struggled to clear the ball from one end of the field to the other. Attackman Chris Kavanagh took advantage of Maryland’s problem, intercepting a pass from Maryland goalie Logan McNaney for an easy shot into an open net. 

“The Kavanaghs, they’re very skilled players. They have high IQs,” Tillman said on Thursday. “We’re spending a lot of time in the clearing game, just chasing our guys around and trying to simulate what they do.”

Jake Taylor’s fourth goal (team-high) propelled the Irish to a halftime lead of 9-5, putting Maryland at its largest point deficit of the season.

Maryland entered the break successful on just eight of 13 clear attempts while also accounting for 13 turnovers. Notre Dame on the other hand succeeded in 11 of its 12 clears and lost the ball only eight times. 

The third quarter proved to be more lackluster than the second with only three goals being scored before time expired. Midfielder Jordan Faison managed two straight goals to put Notre Dame at 11 points, while Jack Koras scored Maryland’s only goal of the period (and his second of the game). Goalie Liam Entenmann proved to be Notre Dame’s most valuable player of the quarter, saving seven of Maryland’s eight shots on goal. 

Maryland finally geared up its offensive production in the fourth quarter, with midfielder Eric Spanos scoring back-to-back goals at the 10-minute mark to bring Maryland within three. Eric Malever tacked on one more at 4:16 to lead his team with three goals. 

The late points did not matter for Notre Dame which maintained its own offensive showcase. Goals from Chris Kavanagh, Jeffery Ricciardelli, and Jordan Faison — who earned his own hat-trick with just ten seconds left on the clock — secured Maryland’s defeat. 

The Terps host Brown next Saturday in College Park, now 4-1.