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Irish Handle Another Ranked Test

Mar 22, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT

Sean Rogers (photo by Matt Cashore) Sean Rogers (photo by Matt Cashore)

Two more Top 10 wins vaulted the third-ranked Irish to 5-1 on the year. Notre Dame notched yet another tight victory against then fifth-ranked Denver at Mile High Stadium, 13-12 in overtime, and followed that performance with a much more convincing 9-4 victory on Wednesday inside Loftus over Ohio State. While tumultuous weather forced Notre Dame indoors, the Irish played with evident extra motivation to defeat the eighth-ranked Buckeyes.

Notre Dame provided consistent scoring in the first half with three goals in both the first and second quarters. Ryan Foley got the scoring started with a goal at the 14:11 mark in the first, followed by two goals by Conor Doyle and Nick Ossello. Both goals were assisted by freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh, who leads the Irish in total points and goals scored. Notre Dame scored five goals in a row at one point from late in the first through the second quarter. The Irish’s diverse scoring attack, which is 27th in the country, featured Ryan Mix, Jim Marlatt, and Kavanagh each scoring in the second.

Sean Rogers added two goals in the fourth quarter after both teams were held scoreless in the third. Rogers now has 10 goals on the year and recorded his fourth multi-goal game. The former Big East Offensive Player of the Week Kavanagh also scored his second goal of the game, his 11th total, to end the scoring blitz by the Irish. Five Notre Dame goal scorers had two or more points in the game dominated in total shots, 42-27. In fact, Notre Dame led in almost every major statistical category including ground balls, face offs, and saves.

Notre Dame’s defense only surrendered a goal in the first period and three in the fourth. Reegan Comeault scored two goals and the Buckeyes supplemented his offense with a goal apiece from David Planning and Jesse King. The Notre Dame defense of Stephen O’Hara, Senior CLASS Award candidate Matt Miller, Brian Buglione, and goalie John Kemp bottled up the Ohio State possessions for most of the game.

The Irish will next travel to New Jersey to face conference foe, Rutgers. This opens up Notre Dame’s BIG EAST competition and it should dictate how the Irish will match up against teams that make up the rest of the conference.

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