March 10, 2012

Rogers' OT Goal Caps Crazy Finish, Gets Notre Dame Past Hofstra

by Chris Mascaro | LaxMagazine.com | Related: Live Blog Replay

Although there was little John Kemp could do about Hofstra's goal with 3.9 seconds left that forced overtime, he stewed about the lapse heading into the extra period and in OT. But he then made an overtime save that led to Sean Rogers' winning score.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com (file)

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – It's a deflating play for a goalie, exacerbated by the fact that there's really nothing he can do about it.

Lose the faceoff, have a defensive breakdown, high shot on a one-on-one situation — goal. A one-goal lead turns into a tie game in the matter of less than eight seconds.

Notre Dame's Sean Rogers scored 1:19 into overtime, so the No. 7 Fighting Irish were able to overcome their late defensive lapse and earn a 6-5 win at No. 19 Hofstra Saturday afternoon. But Irish goalie John Kemp was upset it came down to sudden death.

"You can kind of almost see it coming, because if it happens, that's the only way it's going to happen," the cerebral Kemp said of the Pride's unlikely goal with 3.9 seconds left in regulation.

Rogers scored with 11.5 seconds left in regulation to give Notre Dame (3-1) a 5-4 lead and seemingly end the game. But Hofstra's John Antoniades won the ensuing faceoff. He passed to Adrian Sorichetti, who passed to Torin Varn, who turned unabated to the goal. Varn scored easily to tie the game, sending the crowd of 4,144 at James M. Shuart Stadium into a frenzy.

Kemp had two stoppages to stew in the proceedings. In the few moments between regulation and overtime, and when Hofstra called a timeout 10 seconds into overtime after winning the opening faceoff. But the junior made his eighth save on Hofstra's only overtime possession, which led to a methodical clear and culminated in what could be considered Rogers' second game-winner.

"It's not going to help if I'm nervous or not talking [to the defense]," Kemp said. "Thankfully, I got a pretty easy shot, an 18-yard stick-side shot."

During the breaks, Irish coach Kevin Corrigan preached poise to his team, and it rubbed off on Rogers and company. "All coach said was, 'They made a play, so we have to make the next one,'" Rogers, a senior attack, said. "There was a sense of urgency on both sides."

Notre Dame led 3-1 after Westy Hopkins' unassisted goal with 9:10 left in the first half. But Hofstra (2-3) took a 4-3 lead on three straight unassisted Lance Yapor goals, the last coming with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter. On all three goals, Yapor scored on the same invert play, as he started from behind the goal and then ripped a shot on a wraparound before a Notre Dame defender could slide to him.

"It was really the same thing we had trouble with over and over," Corrigan said. "Fool me once, ya know?"

Yapor, a sophomore from Illinois, has scored at least two goals in four of Hofstra's five games and has 12 on the season.

Scoring has been a problem for Notre Dame, as it's averaging only 5.5 goals through four games. Rogers scored three on Saturday, and Jim Marlatt added two. They've combined to score 10 of the Irish's 22 goals this season, including Marlatt's goal on a Ryan Foley assist to tie the game at 4 with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter.

"It was a frustrating second half offensively," Marlatt said of Notre Dame's 38:08 scoring drought. "I thought I had finally put it away. But their goal [to tie it] was amazing. You just have to shake your head and say, 'Good job.'"

Rogers, who played at Shuart Stadium many times while at Holy Trinity High on Long Island, didn't want to send a crowd of about 60 family and friends home disappointed, though. After giving the Irish their first win over Hofstra since 2005, he turned towards the visiting bleachers where his fan section was and raised his arms in triumph.

"I looked over at my family," Rogers said, "and thought, 'This can't get any better right now.'"

The wait for elation simply had to be prolonged a couple minutes.


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