The top-five matchup between Maryland and Notre Dame was tied 60 minutes in, and remained that way after two scoreless overtimes.
But after an almost 12-minute scoring drought between the two teams, Pat Kavanagh struck.
After failing to score on all seven of his attempts through the opening 68 minutes, the senior came up clutch.
Kavanagh ran around Brett Makar before firing a shot on the run. The ball bounced in front of Brian Ruppel, who was unable to convert his fourth overtime save as he laid on the ground in disbelief.
The Fighting Irish bench stormed the field, as they celebrated a three-overtime thriller in College Park. Kavanagh’s winning strike lifted No. 2 Notre Dame (4-0) past No. 4 Maryland (3-2) at SECU Stadium on Saturday.
The Terps fell in their first overtime game since a sudden-death winner against the Fighting Irish in the 2021 NCAA quarterfinals.
“Tough ending for our guys, a lot of disappointed guys in the locker room,” coach John Tillman said. “Really proud of their effort, really proud of this group and how far we’ve come in the last three weeks … a lot that we can build on.”
Junior attacker Owen Murphy got the scoring started just over three minutes in on a strike into the back of the net after senior attacker Daniel Maltz found him cutting on the right side of the cage.
But Notre Dame responded with three straight goals from Brian Tevlin, Quinn McCahon and sophomore attacker Chris Kavanagh to go up 3-1 about halfway through the first quarter.
Murphy took advantage of a man-up look with his second goal of the quarter less than two minutes later on a 15-yard rifle past senior goalkeeper Liam Entenmann.
Senior midfielder Kyle Long acted as an excellent feeder in the first quarter, finding both Murphy and redshirt senior midfielder Jack Brennan on skip passes in a 34-second span. Both converted the looks into scores, putting the Terps ahead, 4-3.
Murphy excelled off the bench in the first quarter, notching his 10th career hat trick inside 13 minutes.
Junior attacker Bryce Walker tied the game back even at four just 38 seconds into the second quarter, and Tevlin’s second score of the day less than a minute later brought the Fighting Irish back in front, 5-4.
Tevlin’s goal was the last for a while as neither offense could get anything going for the rest of the half. The near 14-minute long scoreless stretch was filled with 18 missed shots and seven turnovers. Maryland trailed 5-4 at halftime.
It didn’t take long for the scoring to start in the second half, as Brennan struck in just 50 seconds on a shot into the upper right side of the net, tying the game at five.
Unassisted goals from Maryland sophomore attacker Eric Spanos and Notre Dame junior midfielder Eric Dobson in a 22-second span of one another kept it even at six at the 9:51 mark of the third quarter.
Graduate student midfielder Jack Simmons scored on a bounce shot to the left of Ruppel to put the Fighting Irish back in front, and he struck yet again on a bounce shot while falling down — this time to the other side of Ruppel — to put Notre Dame up 8-6 with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
Spanos scored less than a minute later and sophomore attacker Zach Whittier added his first collegiate goal shortly after to tie the game for the sixth time.
Maryland got back in front on junior attacker Daniel Kelly’s 12th goal of the season on a quick shot right in front of the crease with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.
Kelly’s score was the final of the quarter, as Maryland entered the fourth up 9-8.
Scores from Kavanagh and McCahon to open the fourth quarter gave the Fighting Irish a 10-9 lead.
Spanos’ third goal of the day — his first career hat trick — and Maltz’ first of the day put Maryland back in front with 8:48 left in the fourth.
Maltz struck again five minutes later to put Maryland up two.
“Every week we do in practice up three goals with three minutes left or down three goals with three minutes left, so I think we were definitely prepared for it and that’s something we’re going to keep working on and get better at,” Maltz said.
Senior midfielder Reilly Gray countered Maltz’ goal with one of his own to keep the Fighting Irish within one with just over three minutes to go.
The nation’s sixth-best goal scorer on a per-game basis found the back of the net for a third time of the day at the 1:56 mark of the fourth, when Kavanagh scored on a masterful diving attempt in front of the crease to tie the game at 12.
Neither side scored the rest of the quarter, resulting in a sudden-victory overtime period.
A further scoreless eight minutes over two overtime frames — which included three massive saves from Ruppel — sent the game to a third overtime in which Kavanagh’s winner was the decider, handing the Terps their second loss of the season.
“The Kavanagh’s are great players, they’re guys that just make plays,” Tillman said.