first_imgThe only noise louder than the groaning of the shocked fans in the Carrier Dome bleachers was the two sticks clashing in mid-air.Syracuse attack Brendan Bomberry dove across the cage, receiving a pass from Jamie Trimboli and twisting his body to shoot from just a few feet out. As he contorted himself and followed through on what fans thought looked like a point-blank goal, Notre Dame goalie Matt Schmidt met Bomberry’s stick head on, snatching the ball out of the air.Schmidt’s save led to a Notre Dame fastbreak that would leave the crowd more shocked than it already was. At the tail end of the fast break, as Syracuse just settled into its defense, Brian Willetts fired a shot from the left side of SU goalie Dom Madonna, which he saved off his pole, but when Notre Dame retained possession, it tried to copy SU. Bryan Costabile received a pass on the right side of Madonna and raced across in front of the goalie. As Costabile mimicked Bomberry, leaping across the crease, Madonna met his stick head-on, saving what looked like a sure-fire goal, this time for Notre Dame.“We’d like to think if you have that shot from that spot, you score,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “He made the save. So today, he wins.”In No. 10 Syracuse’s (5-3, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) 10-6 win over No. 7 Notre Dame (5-3, 1-1 ACC) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, Dom Madonna extinguished any hopes of ND winning its second ACC game this season. Instead, Madonna’s 13-save career day leaves SU undefeated in conference, with just North Carolina left on the ACC schedule. Heading a young team that surrendered eight man-up opportunities to ND, Madonna led a defense that ranks 59th in the country in scoring defense — 12.29 goals per game entering Saturday’s contest — to just six goals allowed, without giving up a single goal while down a man.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Madonna did not just provide a career-best performance this Saturday. He led Syracuse to its 900th win in program history. For a diehard fan that grew up wanting to play goalie for SU his entire life, Saturday meant something more.“Looking back on it, it feels pretty special,” Madonna said. “Being able to stay resilient and show what Syracuse lacrosse is all about.”Madonna opened the game strong, holding Notre Dame scoreless for the first 11:23 of the game before giving up three-straight goals from the 3:37 mark in the first quarter until the 10:56 mark in the second.But following that stretch, Madonna was nearly unstoppable, allowing just three goals the remainder of the game. Tied at 3-3, Trimboli was called for slashing as Notre Dame huddled the crease. Madonna managed to save a shot following the play-on, but when Notre Dame earned a man-up opportunity, Madonna made a diving save to his left and threw a long outlet to prevent any score for the Fighting Irish. SU then scored off of the outlet to take a 4-3 advantage.Madonna continued to repeat that time and time again. Syracuse didn’t help out its goalie Saturday in terms of fouls. The Orange was called for eight penalties, stretching a time frame of 5:30, while Notre Dame was called for just one in garbage time. Playing down a defender for nearly half of a quarter, Madonna held the Fighting Irish scoreless at every opportunity.“I thought Dom had another special day, making some one-on-one saves, especially in the man-down situation,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “Hats off to him and the man-down defense.”Desko, clearly not pleased about the penalty numbers, spent much of the game waving his hands and trying to get the officials’ attention.“Usually if you’re in a tight game, and the ball’s going back and forth, the penalties tend to be more even,” Desko said. “I have to be careful what I say. I didn’t agree with all of them.”Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerNotre Dame poured on 33 shots, while Madonna stood tall, making 13 saves and forcing Notre Dame to take early shots and turn the ball over near-cage.“We didn’t execute, you’ve got a guy open on the crease and you’re throwing a bad pass then I don’t think that’s the other team,” Corrigan said. “If you throw a guy a good pass and he drops it, I don’t think that’s the other team. If you throw a guy a good pass and it ends up in the goalie’s stick…”Corrigan didn’t finish the sentence, knowing that Madonna put together a dominant performance on Saturday. The redshirt senior prevented Notre Dame from capitalizing all of its eight man-up opportunities, and made more than twice as many saves, 13, as the Fighting Irish had goals, six.During one sequence with just under eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Madonna saved a shot and raced around cage searching for a teammate to pass to. As he looked, the Notre Dame attack swarmed the SU goalie, hitting his stick and tugging on his jersey. No foul was called as Madonna dragged two Fighting Irish attacks with him, trudging forward as if he were pulling a weighted sled, his jersey nearly ripping behind him.As he escaped their grip, Madonna found a wide-open Riley O’Sullivan cutting up the middle. Instead of sticking to their assignments, O’Sullivan’s defenders ditched the midfielder to try to force a Madonna turnover. With only green grass in front, O’Sullivan led a three-on-one fastbreak which ended in a Nate Solomon goal. As the offense huddled around Solomon to celebrate, Madonna simply looked up to the ceiling, pointing straight up with a “number one” in the air.“We’re going to grind through (those possessions),” SU defender Nick Mellen said. “And then we’re going to trust this guy to make a big save at the end of it.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 31, 2018 at 7:22 pm Contact Matt: [email protected]last_img