April 1, 2012

Marlatt's Fourth-Quarter Burst Helps Notre Dame Past St. John's

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Live Blog Replay

Jim Marlatt scored three goals in a span of 1:19 in the fourth quarter to give Notre Dame some breathing room.
© Jim O'Connor

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jim Marlatt scored three consecutive goals to open the fourth quarter and Notre Dame relied on its typically suffocating defense as the Fighting Irish topped St. John's 13-6 in the Big City Classic opener at MetLife Stadium. The Irish outscored their Big East foe 10-2 in the second half.

"It was a great second half for us. Couldn't be more pleased with the way we came out [after halftime]," Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan said. "We did some things we hadn't done in the first half, and it kind of changed our mentality. We played a lot more aggressively on both ends of the field, and some balls started dropping."

Marlatt, who led all scorers with the three goals, helped No. 6 Notre Dame (7-1, 2-0) turn a 7-5 squeaker into a runaway defeat of the Red Storm (5-4, 1-2).

Marlatt's trio of tallies came during a 1:19 stretch at the start of the final period. He beat St. John's goalie Jeff Lowman high-to-high in an extra-man opportunity, then followed with a pair of on-the-run goals — the first low, the second high.

"Jim has been terrific all year," Corrigan said. "He's got a great feel for the game. It's something you can't teach. Obviously he's got other things too: a great burst and he shoots the ball well. But it starts with his feel for the game and his understanding of what's going on. That makes him a hard guy to play. He was terrific this afternoon."

The Red Storm won 4-of-4 faceoffs and picked up eight ground balls in the second quarter to put the pressure on Notre Dame. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Fitzgerald scored two goals for St. John's, which controlled the tempo in the second stanza and looked like a team ready to pull off the upset in front of the hometown crowd at the home of the NFL's New York Giants and Jets.

The teams went into halftime tied at 3-3, but the Fighting Irish asserted themselves after intermission and put the clamps on the Johnnies offense.

"I didn't feel like we were out-working them in the first half," Corrigan said. "That's a big part of who we are and the way we play, establishing that against anybody. That was kind of the crux of the halftime talk. There wasn't much to be said."

Conor Doyle and Eric Keppeler each buried a pair of goals for Notre Dame, which had nine different players find the back of the net.

Lowman and Notre Dame goalie John Kemp both made 10 saves.


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