(Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics)
For the first time since 2015, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are heading to Championship Weekend.
Notre Dame took down Johns Hopkins 12-9 on Sunday afternoon to advance to semifinals next weekend where they will face Virginia for a third time this season.
Johns Hopkins made it a 4-4 game early in the second frame and outscore the Irish 3-1 in the final 8:30 to pull back within three (12-9) and potentially threaten the Notre Dame lead late. However, this game felt to be in Irish control for most of the contest, no matter how much Hopkins seemed to chip away. That is in large part due to Notre Dame dominance in the middle of the game.
From the 9:12 mark of the second quarter through the 2:44 mark of the third quarter, Notre Dame outscored Johns Hopkins 7-2 to pull ahead 11-6. That five-goal lead was the Irish’s largest of the day.
During that stretch, Johns Hopkins committed six turnovers with two of them being caused. The Blue Jays also went a nearly 13 minutes without a shot as they didn’t get one off from the 14 minute of the second quarter until the 3:25 mark of that frame. All four of the Blue Jays’ shots late in the frame were unsuccessful with two being stopped by Liam Entenemann.
Johns Hopkins went 3-for-15 during the second and third quarters combined. Notre Dame, on the other hand, put up six goals during those two frames and did so off 22 shots.
Chris Kavanagh (3G/1A), Jack Simmons (3G/1A), and Jake Taylor (3G) led the way for the Irish offense. And it was Taylor and Simmons in particular who helped the Irish pull away in the second half as Taylor had the first and second scores of a three-goal run to end the third quarter. Simmons found the back of the cage in between.
Jalen Seymour added one early in the fourth quarter to make it an 11-6 game and Chris Kavanagh scored what was practically and insurance goal late in the final frame to get the Irish to 12 on the day.
Liam Entenmann made 10 saves with a 52% save percentage to anchor the Irish defense. Four of those saves came in the fourth quarter as the Irish fought off the Blue Jays chipping into the lead.
Notre Dame also held Johns Hopkins to a 14-for-17 mark in the clearing game with two of those failed clears coming in the fourth quarter.
Russell Melendez, Garrett Degnon, Matt Collinson, and Jonathan Peshko each had two goals for Johns Hopkins.
Matt Narewski went 14-for-20 (70%) at the faceoff dot for the Blue Jays.