March 5, 2005
ITHACA, N.Y. – The ninth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (1-1) jumped out to a 6-3 advantage after 20 minutes of play, but then saw #10 Cornell (1-0) score seven consecutive goals en route to edging the Irish 11-10 Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. Notre Dame cut the lead to one in the final minute and won the ensuing faceoff, but could not send the game to overtime.
The final goal of the game came with just 44 seconds remaining, and it was scored by Irish senior co-captain Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.), who took a pass from junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) and scored from the top of the circle to cut the margin to one. It was Morrison’s team-leading third goal of the game, giving him back-to-back hat tricks after coming into the season with only one career goal (in five games) to his credit.
Senior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.), who had taken just one other faceoff (winning it) in the game, then outdueled Cornell senior J.D. Nelson on the draw, giving the Irish a chance to tie the score. Again they went to Morrison, who shot wide from the left wing. Big Red junior LSM Cameron Marchant picked up the ball, icing the victory for Cornell.
Initially, Notre Dame – which opened the season last weekend with a 14-6 win at #21 Penn State – appeared to have an advantage over Cornell, playing in its opening game. Morrison scored just 56 seconds into the game, and a goal from junior M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) at the 9:35 mark put the Irish up by two. It was 4-3 Notre Dame after one period, and goals by senior M Colin Fatti (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles H.S.) and Walsh made it 6-3 with 10:33 to go before halftime. The Cornell defense would then take over, holding the Irish scoreless for the next 29:43, scoring seven times to go ahead 10-6. The last of those goals was the fifth of the game for senior A Sean Greenhalgh, and it gave Cornell a four-goal cushion with 13:53 left in the contest.
The Irish made a fourth-quarter push, which was instigated by junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.). After having just one multiple-goal game in his first two collegiate seasons, he secured his second in as many outings this spring, first breaking the scoring drought with an unassisted tally with 10:50 remaining in the final period. He scored again 1:50 later to make the score 10-8.
Nelson won the next crucial faceoff, which allowed Cornell to run nearly three minutes off the clock during a possession that saw them pick up three ground balls and fire five shots, with the last – an effort from right in front by sophomore A David Mitchell, off an assist from senior A Kevin Nee – finding its way past Notre Dame rookie G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School) into the net. The goal – the first in Mitchell’s career – would prove to be the game winner.
Notre Dame’s third extra-man opportunity of the game, which came as the result of a holding penalty called on Cornell sophomore D Mitch Belisle, afforded another Irish goal. The third shot on that EMO found the back of the net, as senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) took a pass from Walsh and fired from the top of the circle for a score to make it 11-9.
Cornell won the faceoff and ran nearly 1:30 off the clock before finally turning it over. Irish freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) picked up his game-high sixth ground ball on that turnover, which set up Morrison’s goal.
Clagett helped the Irish win the majority of faceoffs for the second game in a row – after Notre Dame did that just twice in 12 contests last season. He won 12 of the 21 draws he took, as his team won 14 of the 24 on the game.
The Irish also had a 35-32 advantage in ground balls, with sophomore D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) picking up a career-high five, while junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) and Morrison had four apiece.
Morrison delivered a career-best four points (3 G, 1 A), while Ryan (2 G, 1 A) and Walsh (1 G, 2 A) had three apiece, and freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) had an assist, as well as his first collegiate goal (with 3:55 left in the opening period).
Kemp played the final 18:26 in goal, making two saves and allowing a pair of goals in relief of senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School). He took the loss, making 13 saves (.591) and giving up nine goals in 41:34 of action.
Cornell outshot Notre Dame 43-32 – including 23-11 in the middle two quarters – en route to joining Maryland as the only schools to have played the Irish three times or more without ever losing. The Big Red had also won the only two previous meetings, coming in 1990 and ’91.
The Irish will continue a 10-day, spring-break road trip on Tuesday, when they play at Villanova at 4 p.m. (EST) in Villanova Stadium.