Week Four Notebook: Notre Dame Tops Maryland in 3OT Thriller, Georgetown and Penn State Upset Ivies

(Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Atheltics)

March is here and with it has come the madness.

Week Four of the college lacrosse season saw arguably the best game of the season thus far go to triple overtime, in addition to more top 10 teams falling in upset losses.

Top Storylines

Heroics From The Kavanagh’s Push Notre Dame Past Maryland

With just under two minutes remaining in regulation, Chris Kavanagh got under his defenseman and got his third score off the day off a wild, diving shot to knot things up at 12-12 and help force overtime. About ten minutes later, in the third overtime period, Pat Kavanagh put home what was his first of the day to secure the victory for the Irish.

Notre Dame had a chance to win it in regulation as the Irish won the ensuing faceoff following Kavanagh’s game-tying score. Eric Dobson got off the Irish’s lone score during the possession and it sailed high. After retaining the ball on the backup, John Geppert forced a turnover on Quinn McCahon with 36 seconds remaining. The Terrapins would clear the ball up field but were unable to get a shot off and turned it over as time expired.

The Irish defense held strong on the overtime periods, allowing just five Maryland shots (zero in the final frame) and none on cage. It had been practically target practice for the Terrapins during regulation as Maryland outshot Notre Dame 50-35. The Terrapins, however, put just 26 of those shots on cage.

Liam Entenmann anchored the Notre Dame defensive effort with 14 saves and a 54% save percentage.

While it was the Kavanagh brothers who came up heroes on Saturday afternoon, perhaps it was the Irish midfield who was the most impressive on that end of the field. Quinn McCahon had two goals while Eric Dobson had one goal and one assists. Bryce Walker and Reilly Gray had one goal each. Jack Simmons had two goals while two-way midfielder Brian Tevlin had two goals and a caused turnover.

Facing a strong rope unit that features the likes of of Dante Trader, Jr., Donovan Lacey, the Irish were able to come up successful often when exploiting big-little matchups up top. That was especially true through the first three quarters as Tevlin, Simmons, Dobson, and McCahon had seven of the Irish’s seven goals heading into the final frame of regulation. Reilly Gray’s goals with 3:14 left in regulation stopped the Maryland three-goal run and made it a one-goal game.

After Owen Murphy’s goal put Maryland up 1-0 early in the game, the Terrapins would only lead four more times. Three of those leads came by way of three-goal runs. That includes a stretch in the first quarter where the Terrapins’ run was bookended by Owen Murphy man-up scores.

Murphy ended the day with three goals and one assist while Eric Spanos had a hat trick. Daniel Maltz had four points off two goals and two assists. Jack Brennan also scored twice.

Luke Wierman went 20-for-31 (64%) at the faceoff dot. Brian Ruppel made 12 saves with a 48% save percentage.

Georgetown Beats Princeton For First Win

After a slow start to the season that saw the Georgetown Hoys go 0-3 with losses to Johns Hopkins, Penn, and Notre Dame, they finally got a win on Saturday afternoon as they upset the Princeton Tigers 13-10 on the road.

A three-goal run that saw Brian Minicus, Nicky Soloman, and Patrick Crogan each find the back of the net put Georgetown up 4-2 with 7:35 left in the first quarter. From that point on the Hoyas would never trail. Princeton saw Jake Stevens scored late in the first to tie it and late in the second to make it a one-goal, 7-6, game the half. However, the Tigers were never able to pull back ahead.

Georgetown really turned the corner during the third quarter as the Hoyas scored four straight to pull ahead 12-6 before Coulter Mackesy got Princeton’s first and only goal of the frame. That game-changing Hoyas run started with a pair from Brian Minicus, who led the team with five goals off three goals and two assists.

The Hoyas outshot the Tigers 46-42 and put 30 of those shots on cage while Princeton put 25 on cage. Georgetown had 13 turnovers to Princeton’s 16, won the ground ball battle 37-24, and went 25-for-25 in the clearing game. Princeton was 100% clearing the second half but went 21-for-23 on the day as the Tigers had some trouble the first two quarters, going 10-for-12.

Declan McDermott and Tucker Dordevic also each had a hat tricks for Georgetown while Jacob Kelly had three points off two goals and one assist. James Reilly went 13-for-25 (52%) at the faceoff dot and Michael Schrafenberger made 15 saves in cage in his first start of the season.

Coulter Mackesy had five goals and one assist for six points to lead Princeton. Swiss-Army Knife midfielder Jake Stevens had three goals, one assist, five ground balls, and caused three turnovers.

Griffen Rakower made 11 saves in the first half of play while Michael Ginaforcarco made six in the second half.

Penn State Upsets Penn

For the second week in a row, the Penn State Nittany Lions played an Ivy League. And for the season time, it was the Nittany Lions who came up victorious in an upset this victory. This time it came against Keystone State foe Penn in a 15-8 win.

In a game that had yet to see either side take more than a three-goal lead, James Shipley put the Quakers back in front, 9-8, with 2:33 left in the third quarter. A Penn State score from Mac Costin made it a 9-9 game heading into the fourth and final frame. However, while things were shaking up to look like another close game involving the Quakers, Penn State stepped on the gas.

Following Costin’s score, the Nittany Lions would score six more times to make it a seven-goal, game-ending and game-winning run. That run included two consecutive scores from Jack Traynor and a man-up goal from Matt Traynor. Jack Posey also had his second pole goal of the day during that run.

Penn was outshot 53-36 in the game overall and 16-7 during that final period alone. Penn put just three of those shots on cage while Penn State put 10 of their fourth-quarter shots on cage.

Kevin Winkoff led the way for Penn State with five goals on the day while Mac Costin had a hat trick. Matt Traynor had three points off one goal and two assists. TJ Malone, Jack Traynor, and Jack Posey each had two goals.

Chase Mullins went 19-for-29 (65%) at the faceoff dot while Jack Fraycon made nine saves in cage.

James Shipley led Penn with three goals. Emmett Carroll made 16 saves in cage.

Cornell Makes Statement in Columbus

Ohio State outscore Cornell 10-7 in the second half alone, but it was the visiting Big Red who walked off the field victorious on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Buckeyes 13-10 in what was Connor Buczek’s squad’s first truly big test of the season.

CJ Kirst (4G/2A) and Billy Coyle (4G/1A) combined for 11 points while Brian Piatelli also had a hat trick, giving that attack unit a total of 14 points (11 goals) on the day.

However, despite the offense looking as advertised, it was perhaps an even better day for the Cornell defense. While they allowed 10 goals in the second half, its good to note that four of those came after the Big Red had already pulled away 15-9 and the final two Buckeye goals came with 46 and 30 seconds remaining in the game. Cornell also outshot Ohio State 30-18 in the second half.

On the whole, Ohio State committed 20 turnovers to Cornell’s 12. The Big Red caused 14 of those 20 Buckeye turnovers. The Cornell defense also held the Buckeyes to just three goals in the first half and held Jack Myers without a goal as he had three assists.

Chayse Ierlan anchored that Cornell defense with eight saves.

Ed Shean led Ohio State with four goals and Drew Blanchard won the faceoff battle 13-for-24 (54%). Matthew Fritz went 6-for-9 (66%) as the backup.

Three Winners, Three Losers

Winners: Georgetown Hoyas

After a tough 0-3 start to the season it was finally the Hoyas’ day as they took down Princeton 13-10 in a game in which they led for most of it. Between the offense looking better, more well-oiled, and deeper with seven different scorers, and Scharfenberger anchoring a defensive effort that was much better than in last week’s loss to Notre Dame, there is a lot to take away from Georgetown’s first win of the year.

The Hoyas started highly-ranked and with much hype surrounding them. After not seeming to click are they finally arriving?

Winners: Cornell Big Red

Cornell has been dominant and fairly quiet through its first few weeks of the season. A close loss to UAlbany raised some eyebrows, but the Big Red took it to Lehigh and Hobart in its last two outings. And while the final score looks closer than it was, make no mistake that Cornell went to Columbus with the intention to make a statement. And a statement it made.

The attack like of CJ Kirst, Billy Coyle, and Brian Piatelli looks flawless at the moment and the Cornell defense remained a strength against what had been a very good Ohio State offense. At 4-0 Cornell looks like one of the three best teams in college lacrosse.

Winners: Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

Injuries have plagued the Blue Jays the past few weeks with a loss to Loyola and a closer than expect win to Utah being some of the byproducts to that lineup changes. On Saturday, Tim Marcille was back in cage Russell Melendez was back at attack. Beaudan Szuluk was in the starting lineup at close for the first time this season in his second game of 2023. And this Blue Jays squad was able to hold on against a very good Saint Joseph’s squad in a 15-14 win.

Tyler Dunn was able to go 54% against Zach Cole while the Hopkins defense was able to fight through and hang on through a 7-3 Hawks run in the fourth quarter. Jacob Angelus (2G/6A) and Garrett Degnon (4G/1A) was uber productive for the Hopkins offense.

Losers: Princeton Tigers

The last two weeks, Princeton has combined for 18 first half turnovers and allowed 14 goals during the second half. Against Georgetown, the Tigers had 16 overall turnovers (8 in the first half) and allowed six goals in the second half of play. Princeton did make it a three-goal game in the end but that effort came too late.

In many respects, there are a few things to question. One, why does Princeton seem to start slow and struggles when playing from behind? Two, is it time to play Griffen Rakower for a full game in cage instead of just the first half? After all, that is when the Princeton defense has played its best.

Losers: Maryland Terrapins

For the first time since April of 2019, the Maryland Terrapins have lost in College Park. While the Terrapins offense appears to be gaining more fluidity and rounding its form it is fair to question its shooting. Maryland shot 21% as a team today. 47% (26) of the Terrapins’ 55 shots even came on cage.

Brian Ruppel has looked good in his two starts in cage and the defense, headlined by Ajax Zapitello and Brett Makar, has stayed pretty good. Outside of Dante Trader, Jr., you could say it was not the best day for Maryland’s short-sticks. However, the question with this team remains on the offensive end.

Losers: Penn Quakers

Penn is 1-2 on the season and in two of its games has failed to put up double digit goals. Penn is a team that always schedules tough and seems to get better, and deeper, as the year goes on. However, its offensive production to this point and falling flat in the final quarter against Penn State is concerning.

Conference-By-Conference Notes


  • Duke topped Syracuse 14-13 in overtime off a Charles Balsamo score. Brennan O’Neill (4G/2A) had six points and Jake Naso went 21-for-30 (70%) at the dot.

America East

  • Bryant beat Manhattan 15-12 in a game that saw Johnny Hackett and Jack Losinger net four goals.
  • Binghamton held off St. John’s in a 13-12 win to move to 3-1 on the year.
  • NJIT beat Wagner 10-8 for its first win in the Eric Wolf era.
  • UMBC moved to 4-0 on the year with an 8-4 win over Towson.
  • Merrimack beat Quinnipiac 16-8 to get back into the win column.


  • Bellarmine defeated VMI 17-6 in a game where Christian DellaRocco had six goals and one assists for seven points.
  • Air Force beat Mercer 14-8, riding behind a three-goal, two-assists day fro Ethan Grandolfo.
  • Cleveland State defeated Canisius 18-12.

Atlantic 10

  • Hobart defeated Robert Morris 14-12 where they had to ward off the Colonials after jumping out to an early 8-2 lead.

Big East

  • Denver earned a much-needed, 9-8, victory on the road against North Carolina. Alec Stathakis went 70% at the dot to help lead the way. JJ Sillstrop had the game-winner with 1:28 left.
  • Austin Fraser had seven points off one goals and six assists as Villanova beat Hofstra 15-8. Patrick Daly had four goals.
  • Providence beat Fairfield 17-10.

Big Ten

  • Michigan took down Delaware 16-12 in a game where they came back from down 8-4 at half. Josh Zawada (3G/3A) and Ryan Cohen (4G/2A) each had six points.
  • Rutgers held off an eight-goal fourth quarter from Utah in its 18-14 win. Ross Scott led the way with three goals and three assists.


  • Monmouth defeated Mount St. Mary’s 8-7, riding behind a six-goal effort from JoJo Pirecca.
  • Drexel beat Sacred Heart 12-11 Sean Donnelly had seven goals.

Ivy League

  • Freshman Emmett Paradine had four goals and one assist to help lead Dartmouth past Siena 11-8.
  • Brown took down Stony Brook 17-12. Aidan McLane had seven points (5G/2A).


  • Marist beat Bucknell 14-11.

Patriot League

  • Boston U. outscored Colgate 9-3 in the second half to win its Patriot League opener 14-8. Vince D’Alto led the way with five goals and one assist.
  • Lehigh beat Navy 13-10 in the most high-profile game of opening weekend of Patriot League play. Mike Sisselbeger went 14-for-26 (53%) at the dot.
  • Loyola defeated Lafayette 15-11. Devis Lindsey (3G/2A) and Matthew Minicus (4G) led the way.
  • Army West Point defeated Holy Cross 13-6 in its Patriot League opener on Sunday.

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