The Irish take home their first title ever thanks to the Kavanagh Brothers & PLL prospect Brian Tevlin. PIC: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports
The City of Brotherly Love played host to Monday's NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship. There simply would be no denying brothers Chris and Pat Kavanagh - the two leading points contributors for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish - as they played key roles in etching Notre Dame's name in collegiate lacrosse history.
On Memorial Day, Notre Dame won their first NCAA Championship in program history, beating top-seeded Duke Blue Devils in 13-9 fashion in front of over 30,000 fans at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. It was historic in many ways for the Irish, but one thing is for sure: their win marks a much-needed exhale in South Bend. The Irish were riding a streak of 16-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament heading into the 2023 rendition, but they'd never converted. But in his 35th year on the Notre Dame sideline, head coach Kevin Corrigan never doubted his group.
The Irish took a 6-1 lead into the locker room at halftime, and many in the ND camp grew optimistic. That elation quickly turned into a panic of sorts when Duke went on a 6-1 run of their own to tie the game at 7 with just 1 minute left in the third.
Ultimately, it was the Kavanagh brothers that took over. Pat - who dished out a monstrous 51 assists this year - found Redwoods LC draft pick Brian Tevlin to give the Irish the lead back with less than 30 seconds in the 3rd. Chris - who led the team in goals with 44 - put one in with nearly a half second left in the frame. And just like that, Notre Dame had a 2-goal lead that they would never relinquish.
Seven Irish scored in the 13-9 win on Monday, but they most certainly shared the rock effectively. Every Notre Dame player that scored Monday had exactly 2 goals, with the exception of Jack Simmons, who potted one. Tevlin, the Kavanagh's, Jake Taylor, Eric Dobson, Jeff Ricciardelli, and Quinn McCahon all found the back of the net twice.
Notre Dame lost key battles in the clear/ride and shots on goal, but had the edge in ground balls (37 to 36) and face-offs (14 to 10).
A key area for the Irish was their goalkeeping, as Liam Entenmann was the showstopper on Monday. On the 27 shots he faced, he stopped 18 of them (only allowing 9) to register a whopping 67% in between the pipes. Entenmann stopped 7 in the fourth quarter alone. He was named the Most Valuable Player for his efforts.
"You wait your whole career to see this right here,” Kevin Corrigan said after the game. Now, the Irish are dancing - and bagpiping - back to Indiana.