No. 1 Irish Open With Win Over No. 10 Georgetown
KENNESSAW, Ga. – Notre Dame will settle for nothing less than the national championship this season. Winning its first game is a good way to start.
Sergio Perkovic scored four goals, three of them assisted by fellow All-American Matt Kavanagh, goalie Shane Doss made 14 saves and the top-ranked Irish handled No. 10 Georgetown 12-7 in the opener of the Cobb County Classic on Saturday.
"In a lot of ways, it was a typical first game," said Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan. "We had a few turnovers and mental errors where you just shake your head. That is typical of a first game because there is a lot of emotion and it is a new rhythm from practice. We played through that stuff, which was the good news."
The Irish jumped on top 4-0 in the first quarter and led by at least two goals the entire way as they defeated Georgetown in the season-opener for the second consecutive season. Mikey Wynne, who had six goals against the Hoyas last year, scored three and had a fourth disallowed because of a crease violation.
"We always try to get off to hot starts," Perkovic said. "We really didn't really get into a possession until late in the first quarter because we had so much unsettled offense and we had them on their heels. It was nice to get off to that quick start. "
Georgetown was led by freshman Daniel Bucaro and Peter Conley, who each had two goals. Bucaro also had one of the three Hoya assists.
"We did a good job overall," said Georgetown coach Kevin Warne. "We believed we could win, we played hard enough to win, we just made some uncharacteristic errors. That's what happens in the first game of the season. Hopefully we will fix those and get better."
Georgetown had a shot to tighten the game late in the third quarter trailing 9-6 with a one-minute man-up opportunity, but the Irish killed off the penalty, as it had on two other occasions on the day and eventually took a 10-6 lead on Perkovic's fourth goal.
"Special teams are always important in a first game," Corrigan said. "To do as well as we did in faceoffs, to do as well as we did in man-up and man-down makes me feel really good."
The Irish enjoyed a 17-5 advantage on faceoffs and scored three goals within 14 seconds off a faceoff, the last of which was by U.S. under-19 men's team member Hugh Crance with 4:02 left that gave Notre Dame an 11-7 advantage.
"We had some guys do some really positive things on the faceoff game," Corrigan said. "We worked hard on that in the preseason and I am excited for them for the job they did. "
After the game, Perkovic took an additional 10 minutes to reach the locker room as he signed autographs for an enthusiastic crowd of young fans unaccustomed to major Division 1 lacrosse being played it their back yard.
"It is great to see all the kids out here," Perkovic said. "The sport is obviously growing a ton in Atlanta. If I can make their day by signing an autograph, that's awesome and I'm happy to do it."
And happy to leave Atlanta with a win, too.
Freshman attackman Chris Donovan notched a goal for the Hoyas against the top-ranked Irish. (Cecil Copeland)
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