For the third time in program history, the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team will be playing in the NCAA Championship weekend. No. 4 Notre Dame topped No. 5 and defending national champion Virginia 12-10 on Sunday afternoon in the NCAA quarterfinals at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa.
Notre Dame (13-2) will face top-seeded Loyola (16-1) at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The contest will be aired on ESPN2/ESPN3. Notre Dame was a 2010 NCAA finalist and a semifinalist in 2001.
Senior midfielder Max Pfeifer registered three goals and one assist for the Fighting Irish, while junior midfielder Steve Murphy also had four points on two goals and two assists. Senior attackman Sean Rogers chipped in two goals for Notre Dame, who used eight goal scorers in the victory. Junior goalie John Kemp had 14 saves for the Irish.
Sunday's back-and-forth contest was knotted 6-6 after three quarters of play. Notre Dame won the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter and senior long-stick midfielder Bobby Smith picked up the ground ball and scored to put the Irish on top (7-6). Virginia answered backed 20 seconds later on a Steele Stanwick goal to make it a 7-7 contest. Stanwick had a game-high seven points on two goals and five assists.
"I'm just thrilled to get a win against a very good Virginia team," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "I'm also thrilled to have a chance to play next week."
Virginia held a 38-35 advantage in shots. Cavalier goalie Rob Fortunato made eight saves on the day. Both teams won 13 faceoff attempts.
"The great thing about our team is that we don't have any idea who's going to step up in the next game," said Corrigan. "The players are all buying in to what we are doing. It seems like every game or every half it changes who we are getting plays from. The most gratifying thing about that is that means everyone is out there trying to make plays."