March 21, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Despite a five-goal performance from junior attackman Dan Berger, the 11th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (3-3) could not hold on to an 8-7 second-half lead, dropping its third straight contest 9-8 to Hofstra (3-2) on Friday evening at Shuart Stadium. It marked the second game in a row the Irish fell by that score to a ranked team, having lost to #11 Loyola at home last Saturday.
The seventh goal of the game for Hofstra’s Jim Femminella, coming with 7:22 remaining off an assist from Chris Unterstein, proved to be the difference in the contest, completing the second comeback of the evening for the Pride.
Berger’s career-high five goals — on six shots — were one short of the Notre Dame records for scores in a road game and in a losing effort. They were the most by an Irish player in a single game since Tom Glatzel netted five vs. Harvard on April 28, 2001. Berger has 16 goals this season after leading the Irish with 21 scores throughout all of last season.
Trailing 7-5 at halftime, the Irish offense came out firing in the third period, netting three goals in a two-minute span. Berger found the back of the net with 8:01 remaining to pull Notre Dame within one score. Sophomore midfielder Brian Giordano tied the game at the 6:37 mark before Berger took a pass from freshman midfielder Matt Karweck 35 seconds later and scored again, giving Notre Dame an 8-7 advantage.
With 3:20 left in the third period, Hofstra’s Joe Kostolansky netted his second score of the game to even the contest at 8-8, setting up Femminella’s game winner.
Notre Dame outscored the Pride 3-1 in the initial period to take control of the game early. Junior attackman Matt Howell took a feed from Travis Wells and scored a man-up goal midway through the opening frame to put the Irish on the board. Femminella responded less than three minutes later with a goal, but the Irish would regain the advantage when Berger scored at the 4:14 mark and then again with 16 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Hofstra’s offense came alive in the second period, scoring six times to take a 7-5 lead into the intermission. Femminella accounted for five of the Pride goals in the second 15:00, while Kostolansky also had one. Berger netted his third goal in the first 17 minutes of the contest at the 13:08 mark, while junior midfielder Owen Mulford scored his sixth goal of the year at the 8:33 mark.
Goalkeeper Stewart Crosland had eight saves on 17 shots for Notre Dame.
The teams were virtually even in every statistical category, with the Pride holding a 35-33 edge in shots and a 38-34 advantage in ground balls. Eric Simon led Notre Dame with eight ground balls.
The Irish won 12 of 21 faceoffs, with Nick Petcoff taking five of six and Frank Matarazzo winning five of seven draws.
The Pride have defeated Notre Dame in each of the last six meetings.
Friday’s game, which had its start delayed 36 minutes due to thunderstorms, was the sixth contest in a row for the Irish against a ranked opponent. Previously, Notre Dame faced #16 Penn State, #23 Pennsylvania, #12 North Carolina, #1 Virginia, and #11 Loyola.
Notre Dame will return to action on Sunday, playing Hartford at Noon in Hempstead, N.Y.