CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — No. 4 Notre Dame scored the first seven goals and withstood a second-half surge from No. 7 Virginia to open ACC play with an 11-9 victory on Saturday afternoon at Klockner Stadium.
Freshman attackman Mikey Wynne paced the Fighting Irish offense with five goals, while Conor Doyle chipped in three scores. Sophomore goalie Shane Doss made 10 stops for the Fighting Irish (4-1, 1-0).
Matt Kavanagh scored Notre Dame’s first two goals and Wynne added another to make it 3-0 early in the contest. Tallies from Doyle and Wynne gave the Fighting Irish a 5-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Doss made some key first-quarter saves and he along with the rest of the Notre Dame defense kept the Cavaliers off the scoreboard for the opening 22:26 of the contest.
Goals from Sergio Perkovic and Wynne less than a minute apart early in the second period upped the Irish advantage to seven. Virginia finally cracked the scoring column with 7:34 left in the first half on a goal from Greg Coholan, who had four tallies in the game.
Notre Dame regained its seven-goal lead in the final minute of the opening half when the Irish forced a failed clear and Perkovic fed Wynne for the score. A man-up goal from Virginia’s Ryan Tucker with 12 seconds left on the clock made it 8-2 in favor of Notre Dame at halftime.
“When the game ends as a two-goal spread, obviously it was pretty big to get off to a good start,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We played really well and we finished the ball really well. In the second half the combination of not winning faceoffs, not having the ball and a couple failures to clear and the next thing you know it’s a ball game. We just need to tighten up a lot of different areas that we can get better at.”
The Fighting Irish were the first to score in the second half as Doyle found the back of the net, but Virginia answered with a 4-0 run. The Cavaliers trimmed the Notre Dame lead to five (9-4) by the end of the third quarter with goals from Tucker and Owen Van Arsdale.
The Virginia spurt continued into the fourth quarter as Coholan netted consecutive goals to make it 9-6 with 12:18 left to play. Doyle halted the Cavalier surge 37 seconds later with his third tally of the afternoon and Notre Dame pushed the lead back to five (11-6) with just under six minutes remaining on another goal from Wynne, who has a team-high 15 goals this season.
Virginia (5-2, 0-2) did not go away as scores from Ryan Lukacovic, Coholan and Tucker made it 11-9 with 3:02 left, yet that is as close as the Cavaliers would get. The Cavaliers held a 37-29 edge in shots and they also won 13 of 24 faceoff attempts. Matt Barrett finished with nine saves for Virginia.
“Every game from here on out is going to be against a really good team and they are going to be games you have to fight your way through,” Corrigan said. “We’ll celebrate every one we win and we’ll get back to work after every one we lose because the only thing that matters is the next one.”