Rapid Reaction: Notre Dame 10, Penn State 9 (MD1)
by Mike Still | LaxMagazine.com
Live Blog Replay
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Third-ranked Notre Dame outlasted No. 8 Penn State 10-9 in a back-and-forth overtime thriller on Sunday afternoon. The two squads have split their last two meetings, which both went to overtime.
Three Things We Learned
1. These two teams are built for great matchups
While both sides said afterward that it's admittedly too early to begin discussing a serious rivalry, the past two meetings between Penn State and Notre Dame have made for highly entertaining contests. Last season, the Nittany Lions bested the Irish 4-3 in overtime in South Bend. Sunday's high-scoring affair didn't quite show it, but the second time around was another defensive battle. Both teams have strong, physical defenders standing in front of All-American goalies. If the two teams continue scheduling each other in the future, there will surely be more grueling and exciting matchups to come.
2. Matt Kavanagh is ready for the spotlight
The freshman had just one goal on Sunday, but the overtime game-winner couldn't have come at a better time for the Irish. Kavanagh showed great poise finding space in front of the net and finishing on the crease, even with one of the country's best goalies — Austin Kaut — standing in his way. Kavanagh, a Long Island native, has five goals in two games after registering four in the Irish's 13-5 rout of Duke last week.
3. Penn State isn't short on goal-scoring options
Junior Shane Sturgis entered Sunday's game as the Nittany Lions' leading scorer with eight goals in two games. Sturgis was surprisingly quiet on Sunday, picking up just one assist in the loss, but received plenty of help offensively from his teammates. Junior Tom LaCrosse picked up a hat trick, including tying the game with less than a second remaining in regulation. Kyle Van Thof, Kyle Zittel and TJ Sanders — three guys who played no factor in Penn State's offense last season — each added a goal, as well.