April 17, 2005
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore midfielder Greg Downing scored with 2.9 seconds remaining to hand 20th-ranked Fairfield University (9-2, 2-0 GWLL) a 12-11 victory over #14 Notre Dame (6-4, 2-2 GWLL) Sunday afternoon in Great Western Lacrosse League action in front of a crowd of 1,376 at Lessing Field. The Irish led by as many as four goals (8-4 and 9-5), but allowed seven scores in the final 16 minutes to drop their penultimate game of the regular season. Fairfield tied its program record with its seventh consecutive victory.
Notre Dame junior M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) tied the score at 11-11 with 2:17 remaining, and freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) won the ensuing faceoff, when another rookie, A Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School), picked up the loose ball. The Irish took a timeout and made a change in goal, bringing in fifth-year senior Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School). Notre Dame maintained possession for nearly the rest of the game, getting three shots, including one on goal by senior co-captain M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) with 40 seconds remaining that was saved by Fairfield sophomore G Michael Kruger.
The Stags then got the ball with just one-half minute remaining after an Irish shot by junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) sailed wide. Fairfield was successful in its clear attempt, and it then took a timeout with eight seconds remaining in regulation. Coming out of the break, Downing had the ball on his stick and he beat his defender and fired a shot past Crosland for his fifth goal of the game. Clagett won the final faceoff, but could not get off a shot before time expired.
Offensively, Notre Dame was led by Karweck, who had three goals and an assist, while senior co-captain A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) added a pair of goals and two assists. Junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) notched a goal and two assists, while freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) scored a pair of goals, and Walsh and Wharton both had a goal and an assist. Giordano also scored a goal.
Notre Dame held a 4-3 edge at halftime, but Fairfield tied the game just 30 seconds into the third quarter. But the Irish responded with four consecutive goals to make the score 8-4 with 4:30 left in the period. Freshman A Matt Castele stopped the string with a goal of his own, but Morrison regained the four-goal cushion (9-5) with 1:21 remaining the third.
Downing began the comeback with his second goal. Sophomore A Mike Bocklet then scored 1:03 into the final period, and that was followed by another Downing tally and one by Travis Nelson to tie the score 9-9 with 8:47 left. Irish senior co-captain LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.) was then called for a pushing penalty – for the second time in the final quarter – and that allowed Downing to score another goal, making it 10-9 Fairfield with 8:17 remaining.
Podgajny took a feed from Morrison at 6:14 to tie the game, but Downing found Bocklet for an 11-10 edge with 4:59 left.
Fairfield finished with a 44-35 advantage in shots, as well as a 49-36 edge in ground balls. Notre Dame won 14 of the 27 faceoffs, but had troubling clearing the ball, succeeding on just 13 of 23 attempts (.565).
Notre Dame came into the game leading Division I in man-up efficiency, scoring on 51.6% of their EMOs. But the Stags – who lead the GWLL in man-down defense – shut out the Irish man-up unit on each of its four EMOs, including one midway through the fourth quarter.
Freshman G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School) started for Notre Dame and played the first 57:51, allowing 11 goals and making 19 saves (eight in the fourth quarter) for a .633 percentage. Crosland played the final 2:09 and allowed a goal on the only shot he faced, taking the loss and dropping to 2-2 this season.
Clagett won 13 of the 23 draws he took and led the team in ground balls with eight. Sophomore D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) – who missed the last Irish game – added five ground balls, while Morrison had four.
Downing led Fairfield with five goals and an assist, while Castele and Bocklet both had two goals and an assist. Bocklet also picked up a team-high eight ground balls, while sophomore M Charles Keinath – who was 13-26 on faceoffs – had seven. Kruger played the entire time and had 13 saves, while allowing 11 goals, getting the win to improve to 8-2 this season.
The Stags continued their success in one-goal games, improving to 5-0 this season in those contests.
The win was the first in three meetings with the Irish at home for Fairfield, which will leave the GWLL at the end of this season to join the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).
Notre Dame has just one game remaining in the regular season. The Irish will travel to defending GWLL champ Ohio State on Friday, April 29, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest.
SCORE BY PERIOD 1 2 3 4 Tot-------------------------------------Notre Dame.......... 1 3 5 2 - 11Fairfield........... 1 2 3 6 - 12
Notre Dame SCORING: GOALS: Karweck, Matt 3; Morrison, Jim 2; Podgajny, Michael 2;Ryan, Matt 1; Walsh, Pat 1; Wharton, Alex 1; Giordano, Brian 1.ASSISTS: Morrison, Jim 2; Ryan, Matt 2; Karweck, Matt 1; Walsh, Pat 1;Wharton, Alex 1.
Fairfield SCORING: GOALS: Downing, Greg 5; Bocklet, Mike 2; Castele, Matt 2;Nelson, Travis 1; Thornton, Josh 1; Manley, Chris 1.ASSISTS: Bocklet, Mike 1; Castele, Matt 1; Downing, Greg 1; Finnerty, Brendan 1;Manley, Chris 1; Nelson, Travis 1; Olson, Jake 1; Thornton, Josh 1.