Neal Hicks

Fighting Irish Fall To Rutgers, 10-8, In BIG EAST Opener

March 27, 2010

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 8 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team suffered a 10-8 setback to Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. The contest was the first-ever BIG EAST Conference game for both programs.

The Fighting Irish were paced by two-goal efforts from midfielders Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton), Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) and David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School).

Notre Dame (5-3, 0-1) scored the only goal for either team in the first quarter as Brenneman, a junior, found the back of the net with 4:11 left in the period.

Rutgers (5-2, 1-0) tied the contest on a goal from Justin Pennington with less than two minutes elapsed in the second quarter. Pennington had a game-high three goals.

After Krebs, a senior, put the Irish back on top with 11:35 left in the second quarter, the Scarlet Knights took the lead for good with four straight scores. Gerhard Buehning started the surge with 10:44 remaining in the second period. A score from Pennington was sandwiched between goals from Adam Goldberg to give Rutgers a 5-2 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half.

Notre Dame senior All-America goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) left the game with an injury with 3:32 left in the first half and he did not return. He made six saves on the day. Senior Brendan Moore (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) played the remainder of the first half and made two saves, while not allowing a goal. Freshman John Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) played the entire second half between the pipes and made eight saves while surrendering five goals. That was the first action of the season for Kemp.

An Earl goal with less than a minute remaining in the first half sliced the Rutgers lead to two (5-3) at the intermission.

Rutgers opened the second half scoring with a goal from Michael Diehl with 8:36 left in the third quarter. Earl, a junior, put the Irish back within two goals (6-4) with 4:21 showing on the clock in the third period. A Kory Kelly goal gave the Scarlet Knights a three-goal edge (7-4) after three quarters of play.

Krebs cut the deficit to two (7-5) once again as he scored with 17 seconds elapsed in the fourth quarter. Rutgers answered back as Pennington scored 30 seconds later to put the Scarlet Knights on top by three.

Irish sophomore attackman Nicholas Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) tallied a goal with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation to make it an 8-6 affair. Consecutive scores from Buehning and Duncan Clancy put Rutgers up by four (10-6) with 9:13 left in the game.

Notre Dame kept pressuring and cut the deficit to three (10-7) with 7:42 left on a man-up goal from senior attackman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School), who also had a game-best two assists. The Irish made it a two-goal contest with 6:46 left as Brenneman notched the game’s final goal.

Rutgers out shot Notre Dame 36-25. Senior midfielder Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) won 12 of 22 faceoffs for the Fighting Irish. Scarlet Knight goalie William Olin made 11 saves in the victory.

Up next for the Fighting Irish is a two-game BIG EAST road trip. Notre Dame will face Villanova at 1:00 p.m. (ET) next Saturday (April 3) in Villanova, Pa. A visit to Georgetown on Sunday, April 11 will conclude the trip.

March 27, 2010 – Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Rutgers (5-2, 1-0) – 0 5 2 3 – 10
#8 Notre Dame (5-3, 0-1) – 1 2 1 4 – 8

Rutgers Scoring (goals-assists):
Justin Pennington 3-0, Gerhard Buehning 2-0, Adam Goldberg 2-0, Kory Kelly 1-1, Michael Diehl 1-0, Duncan Clancy 1-0, Hunter Burnard 0-1, Will Mangan 0-1; Goaltender: William Olin (W, 60:00, 11 saves, 8 GA)

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Zach Brenneman 2-1, Grant Krebs 2-0, David Earl 2-0, Neal Hicks 1-2, Nicholas Beattie 1-1; Goaltenders: Scott Rodgers (L, 26:28, 6 saves, 5 GA), Brendan Moore (3:32, 2 saves, 0 GA), John Kemp (30:00, 8 saves, 5 GA)