Michael Podgajny led the Irish with two goals against North Carolina on Saturday.

Fifth-Ranked Irish Fall At No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6

March 8, 2008

Box Score

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A five-goal effort from Ben Hunt helped propel No. 4 North Carolina over No. 5 Notre Dame, 8-6, in a showdown between two undefeated teams on Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field. Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley) paced the Fighting Irish with two goals.

North Carolina (4-0) jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the 14:14 mark of the third quarter, yet Notre Dame (4-1) would mount a rally that fell just short. The loss ends the Irish’s program-record regular-season win streak at 12 games.

Hunt opened the game’s scoring with a man-up goal at the 5:45 mark of the first quarter. He struck again just over a minute later to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. His third goal made it 3-0 with 8:06 left in the opening half. Rob Driscoll added a goal with 41 seconds remaining in the half to put the hosts up by four at the intermission.

With 36 seconds elapsed in the second half, Hunt deposited another goal to make it 5-0. Notre Dame would then score four of the game’s next five goals.

Podgajny put the Fighting Irish on the board with a man-up score off a pass from Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) with 12:51 left in the third quarter. Notre Dame made it 5-2 just over a minute later as Podgajny used a feed from Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) to net his second straight goal.

The Tar Heels answered back with a score from Sean Delaney with 9:45 remaining in the third period.

Notre Dame responded once again with back-to-back man-up tallies. Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) scored off an assist from Christman before Podgajny found Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman), who made it a 6-4 contest with 4:24 left on the clock in the third quarter.

Goals from Delaney and Hunt would give North Carolina an 8-4 lead at the end of the third stanza.

The only scoring in the final period would come from Notre Dame, yet the Irish could only muster two goals. Sophomore Mike Creighton (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) registered his first career goal off a Davey Malera (Timonium, Md./Boys’ Latin) pass with three minutes gone by in the quarter. Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) then produced the final score as he found the back of the net with 2:08 left in regulation.

The Fighting Irish held a 41-29 advantage in shots. Notre Dame goaltender Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) made 11 saves, while Grant Zimmerman made 18 stops for the Tar Heels. Senior Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha) dominated the faceoff X for the Irish by winning 13-of-16 attempts. Notre Dame’s man-up unit was 3-of-6, while North Carolina went 2-for-6 in that category.

Notre Dame returns to action on Saturday, March 15 with a matchup against Dartmouth in Atlanta, Ga. Game time is slated for 2:00 p.m. (ET) at Lovett High School.

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#5 Notre Dame (4-1) – 0 0 4 2 – 6
#4 North Carolina (4-0) – 2 2 4 0 – 8

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Michael Podgajny 2-1, Duncan Swezey 1-0, Ryan Hoff 1-0, Alex Wharton 1-0, Mike Creighton 1-0, Peter Christman 0-2, Grant Krebs 0-1, Davey Malera 0-1; Goaltender: Joey Kemp (60:00, 11 saves, 8 GA)

North Carolina Scoring (goals-assists):
Ben Hunt 5-1, Sean Delaney 2-0, Rob Driscoll 1-0, Nick Tintle 0-2, Billy Bitter 0-1, Bart Wagner 0-1; Goaltender: Grant Zimmerman (60:00, 18 saves, 6 GA)