Sergio Perkovic ruined what could have been an amazing comeback story with his goal with 25 seconds remaining in regulation as #10 Notre Dame fended off a six-goal rally by Marquette and defeated the Golden Eagles 11-10 on Tuesday afternoon in South Bend. Marquette falls to 6-4 on the season, and will likely need to win the rest of their remaining regular season games in order to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
The first 16 minutes at Arlotta Stadium was pretty much all Notre Dame. Sure, John Wagner and Tanner Thomson had goals, but after Perkovic scored two of his six goals on the day in the first minute of the second quarter, the Irish had an 8-2 lead and seemed to be in complete control of the game. Perkovic was an unstoppable machine in the early going, registering four of ND’s strikes to that point, and it seemed that MU was not going to be able to to anything to slow down the senior from Michigan.
Step one for Marquette: just stop Notre Dame from scoring. They did that over the remaining 14 minutes of the second quarter, and goals from Kyran Clarke and Joseph Dunn gave the Golden Eagles a little bit of life. Wagner got his second of the game with 22 seconds left in the half, and MU went to the locker room having cut the Notre Dame lead in half.
Perkovic’s fifth of the game opened the scoring in the third quarter as the two squads traded goals back and forth across the 15 minutes. Ultimately, this is probably where the game was lost for Marquette. The Golden Eagles outshot the Irish 11-3 in the period and out-hustled them to ground balls to the tune of 11-6, but when two-thirds of ND’s shots go into the net, it doesn’t really matter how badly you controlled the action.
Dunn capped off a four-goal run by the Golden Eagles with his second of two fourth-quarter goals, with that last goal tying the game at 10-all with 7:56 to play. Heck, it wasn’t just a 4-0 run, it was a 8-2 run by the Golden Eagles over the past 37 minutes against the #10 team in the country.
And then they just couldn’t score again.
The two teams traded shots for a while, coming up empty on three shots each, and each team committed a turnover along the way. Notre Dame collected the ball after their third shot went wide and Perkovic cashed in for his sixth goal of the game to put ND up 11-10. Marquette had a chance to score in the final seconds of the game, but no one saw Andy DeMichiei open next to the net and Noah Joseph’s last second shot was blocked.
It’s the second straight one-goal loss to Notre Dame for the Golden Eagles, as they fell 8-7 in overtime last season. Marquette is now 18-6 in one goal games over the history of the program.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles have one more road game to play as they head out to Rhode Island to square off with Providence on Easter Saturday. The Friars are 8-3 on the season and 2-0 in league play after beating Georgetown 13-7 on Tuesday.