(Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics)
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are moving on to the NCAA Quarterfinals after taking down the Utah Utes in a dominating 20-7 first round victory on Saturday.
Reilly Gray, Chris Kavanagh, and Jake Taylor netted consecutive goals over a roughly minute and a half stretch early in the opening frame to get the Irish started with an early 3-0 lead.
After the Irish got humming, they never stopped. Taylor scored once more before Gray, Taylor, and Westlin followed to make it a 7-0 game. Ross Burgmaster closed out the opening frame for the home squad with a pol goal to pull the Irish ahead 8-0 entering the second frame.
Utah seemed to get its big game jitters out early in the second with Carson Moyer, Tyler Bradbury, and Jared Andreala each finding the back of the net to cut the Notre Dame lead to five (8-3). That run would be one of two three-goal runs from the Utes all day. They saw Andreala, Ryan Stines, and Trey Akabane put home three in a row later in the second half. However, outside of those runs the Utes wouldn’t get much else all day.
Notre Dame answered that first three-goal Utah run with an eight-goal run that started with a pair from Pat Kavanagh and ended with another strike from the senior. That run made it a 16-3 game and helped to put this one to bed. The Irish would score four in a row in the fourth quarter to get themselves to 20. It marks the third time this season in which the Irish have hit 20 of more goals. It is a program record for games in an NCAA Tournament game.
Jake Taylor led Notre Dame with five goals on the day while Pat Kavanagh had six points off three goals and three assists. Reilly Gray had himself a hat trick.
Liam Entenmann made 13 saves in cage with a 68% save percentage to anchor an Irish defense that held their opponent to under double-digits for the sixth time this season. Notre Dame caused six of Utah’s 12 turnovers in the contest.
Will Lynch went 15-for-19 (78%) at the faceoff dot.
Jared Andreala led Utah with a hat trick.
Notre Dame advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals where they will play the winner of Johns Hopkins-Bryant.