It was Notre Dame domination as Utah lacrosse fell to the Irish 20-7 in the Utes’ first-ever NCAA tournament game.
Jake Taylor scored five goals to lead Notre Dame, and Pat Kavanagh and Reilly Gray contributed three goals each. Notre Dame’s 20 goals set an NCAA tournament program record.
The No. 3-ranked Irish controlled the all-important faceoff all day in South Bend, winning 22 of 31 opportunities, and dominated the time of possession as a result.
Notre Dame leapt out to an early 6-0 lead, aided by scoring three goals in 90 seconds. The Irish’s passing was crisp, and the team found lots of great looks on goal.
After falling behind 8-0 in the first quarter, Utah’s offense got going, scoring three goals in a row. Carson Moyer got the Utes on the board early in the second quarter with a wraparound goal, then Tyler Bradbury put a long-range shot in the back of the net. Jared Andreala cut the lead to five with a goal, and Utah was showing signs of life.
But the Irish took back control, scoring four goals in the last four minutes of the half to go up 12-3, then scoring the first four goals of the second half to expand their lead to 16-3.
Andreala scored three goals to lead Utah, while Moyer, Bradbury, Ryan Stines and Trey Akabane all scored a goal each.
It’s a bitter end to a successful season by the upstart Utes, who just aren’t at the Irish’s level.
Utah, which is in its fifth year as a Division I program, made history this season, going on an 11-game win streak to claim the ASUN conference championship and punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament.