PHILADELPHIA - The Drexel men's lacrosse team fell to No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday at Vidas Field, 6-5. The Dragons (1-3) had the ball and a man-up opportunity with just over a minute to play in the fourth quarter, but could not get off a shot as an intense, rugged defensive game closed with Notre Dame swarming the Drexel offense as it closed in on the net. Aaron Prosser scored twice for Drexel, which took an early 2-0 lead.
The Dragons led 2-1 at the half before a four-goal third quarter by the Irish (2-1) gave Notre Dame control of the game. Drexel would knot the game at five momentarily in the fourth quarter, but could not take another lead.
Drexel lit up the scoreboard first less than two minutes into the game. Playing a man up thanks to a one-minute slashing penalty by Notre Dame's Conor Doyle, Drexel methodically worked the ball around the cage to open the man-up opportunity before Brendan Glynn found Ben McIntosh in front to rip in the game's first score. It was the first of two assists for Glynn on the day, and the second goal of the season for McIntosh.
Deven Thomas had a good start to the day in the faceoff circle, going up against Notre Dame's Liam O'Connor, one of the better faceoff men in the country. Thomas wound up winning nine of 15 faceoffs on the afternoon, including the first two of the day. The second, following McIntosh's goal, would eventually lead to the Dragons taking a 2-0 lead with 7:00 to play in the first quarter, when Ryan Belka served up Clifton Simeon for his first goal of the season.
Notre Dame would notch the only goal of the second quarter, getting on the board with 12:23 to play in the first half. The teams could not get anything to find the back of the net the rest of the half.
The Irish put together the only scoring flurry of the afternoon in the third quarter, when they scored three straight goals to start the period and take a 4-2 lead. Prosser got Drexel back on the board with 3:33 to go in the third, pulling Drexel back within a goal as Kevin Stockel fed him out front.
After Tyler Kimball put Notre Dame back up by two late in the third, Drexel opened the fourth quarter with two goals to even the score at five. Prosser got the first of those goals with 13:09 to play in the fourth, his second of the day off Brendan Glynn's second assist. Minutes later, Robert Church evened things up off a feed from behind the net by Kyle Bergman.
Less than ninety seconds later, Notre Dame regained the lead when Sean Rogers fired just over Drexel goalie Mark Manos' shoulder, hitting the post and getting a fortunate bounce into the net. The Dragons had several breaks go against them on Saturday afternoon, as they hit three posts on their offensive end only to see the deciding goal hit a post and bounce the Irish's way late.
Manos finished with five saves, including several point-blank, impressive stops in holding Notre Dame to just one score in the first half.
Thomas won control back for Drexel after the Dragons fell behind, and with just over a minute to play, Drexel went up a man when Devon Dobson was called for pushing, a 30-second penalty. They worked the ball around, but despite the extra man could not find an opening in the stingy Notre Dame defense. With the penalty over and time winding down, Drexel forced the action in close to the net, but lost control of the ball as the Irish scooped it up and preserved the victory.
The Dragons will return to the field on Tuesday, when they visit crosstown rival Saint Joseph's at 4:00 p.m.