The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

Back-to-Back for the Fighting Irish

Photo+by+Ann+on+Unsplash%0A++
Photo by Ann on Unsplash

After almost having a perfect season, the No. 1-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish DI men’s lacrosse team found itself back in the national championship for the second straight year. Led by the Kavanagh brothers, Pat and Chris, and Liam Entenmann, Notre Dame dominated with a 15-5 win over the No. 7-seeded University of Maryland Terrapins to claim its second-straight national title, Notre Dame’s second national title in the program’s history. It also became the first team to win back-to-back championships in consecutive years since Duke in 2013 and 2014. 

The Terrapins were the underdogs throughout the whole tournament. Just a week before the tournament, the Penn State Nittany Lions destroyed the Terps 19-9. When asked if he thought that Maryland was going to go this far after losing to Penn State, junior and varsity lacrosse player Luca Palleschi said, “After losing to Penn State, I thought Marland wasn’t even going to make it to the semi-finals, let alone the championship.” Junior and varsity lacrosse player Frankie DeMonte said, “After the loss to Penn State, I didn’t even think Maryland would make the tournament. They exceeded my expectations by a mile; I was completely shocked when they beat Duke and then beat Virginia.”

The Maryland Terrapins came out hot, scoring 2 goals in the first four minutes. Then, plagued by turnovers, Maryland gave up 5 of the last 6 goals of the first quarter. The 5 Fighting Irish goals came from 5 different players – 2 assisted by Pat Kavanagh. Notre Dame went on an 8-1 run and were up 10-4 at the end of the first half. In the second quarter, Chris Kavanagh, who was named the most outstanding player, scored 3 straight goals for a hat trick in a span of 6 minutes. 

With just 1:15 left in the first half, Will Lynch of Notre Dame took a penalty. Eric Malever of Maryland capitalized on the opportunity by scoring a man-up goal right before half, slowing Notre Dame’s momentum. Notre Dame scored 10 first-half goals, the most since Johns Hopkins in 2007. When asked if he thought Maryland had any chance of turning it around in the second half, junior and varsity lacrosse player Luke Dantona said, “I didn’t think that they had a chance of turning it around, but I thought they were going to score more goals because of the outstanding coaching by John Tillman. They just were not as good as Notre Dame.” 

Malever’s goal before half was not enough to stop the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame continued its dominance in the second half, scoring the first 4 goals to push it to 14-4, and Fisher Finley became the 10th different Notre Dame goal scorer. This trend continued for the rest of the game. There were no signs of hope for Maryland. Notre Dame’s depth and talent was just too much for Maryland to handle. 

Pat and Chris Kavanagh finished with 6 assists and 5 goals, respectively. Entenmann was a brick wall in net for the Fighting Irish with 16 saves. Daniel Kelly of Maryland finished with two goals on four shots, and Luke Wierman of Maryland went 17/24 at the faceoff X. When asked if he thought that Maryland had any chance at winning, DeMonte said, “I thought after the Virginia game they looked solid, and I thought they had a decent chance at winning. The defense looked really good, and the offense looked sharp, but Notre Dame was just a powerhouse.” Palleschi said, “I thought from the beginning that Maryland was going to get killed.” 

Some of these superstars from Maryland and Notre Dame are headed to the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). For Notre Dame, Entenmann Round 1, Pick 5 to the New York Atlas; Pat Kavanagh Round 1, Pick 6 to the Boston Cannons; and Eric Dobson Round 2, Pick 4 to the Carolina Chaos. For the University of Maryland, Round 1, Pick 3 Ajax Zappitello to the Maryland Whipsnakes; and Wierman Round 4, Pick 1 to the Denver Outlaws. 

Pat Kavanagh and Entenmann anchored this whole team. They were the keys to both the offense and the defense. Given the fact that both Kavanagh and Entenmann are leaving, when asked if he thinks Notre Dame will make it back to the Final Four, Dantona said, “I think they will make it back…Chris Kavanagh is so good when it comes to the ride and stinging corners. Jordan Faison is such a creative player and can run by his defender very easily. Shawn Lyght is going to be excellent this upcoming season. The most impressive thing I watched him do was how good he would position himself so offensive players can’t dodge to the side they want.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Justin Haberman
Justin Haberman, Managing Editor
My name is Justin Haberman, and I am a member of the Class of 2025. I am an athlete, and I love to write and talk about sports. I am excited to be a part of Horizon as a sportswriter!