April 25, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A dominant second-half effort propelled the No. 3 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse to a 14-8 win over Ohio State on Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium in the `Showdown in the Shoe’. The contest was played in front of 30,192 fans, which is a regular-season NCAA lacrosse record.
The win improved the Fighting Irish to 13-0 overall and 5-0 in Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play. This is the first-ever undefeated regular season in Notre Dame history. The Irish will be the top seed in next weekend’s GWLL Tournament in Birmingham, Mich. This marks the 12th GWLL regular-season title for the Fighting Irish and the eighth time they have gone undefeated in league play.
The crowd total also was a record for a contest involving Notre Dame. The previous mark was 21,103 from the 2001 NCAA semifinals against Syracuse in Piscataway, N.J.
“I thought we handled the atmosphere as well as we could,” said Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan. “It did affect us a little bit early, but I think the guys were just pumped up. We then settled down. Once we got a couple goals, I thought we played well from that point on. We didn’t score much in the first half, but we had a lot of opportunities and created a lot of good chances.”
Sophomore midfielder Zach Brenneman scored a career-high four goals for the Fighting Irish. His second tally of the day came with one second remaining in the first half to make it a 4-4 game at the intermission. Notre Dame went on a 6-0 run to open the second half and take control of the contest. Three of the goals came in the first 4:02 of the period.
Notre Dame took its first lead of the game (5-4) with 13:39 left in the third quarter as senior midfielder Peter Christman scored his second goal of the contest. The Irish then went up by two (6-4) 28 seconds later when senior attackman Ryan Hoff rolled in the rebound of a Christman shot in a man-up opportunity. Hoff had three goals on the day. Brenneman notched his third goal of the game with 10:58 left in the third quarter to make it 7-4 in favor of the Irish.
Senior attackman Duncan Swezey upped the Notre Dame lead to four (8-4) when he scored midway through the third period. Brenneman registered his fourth goal with 5:50 left in the third quarter with the assist going to Christman to make it 9-4. Junior attackman Neal Hicks deposited a goal seven seconds later to make it 10-4 in favor of the Irish. Hoff made it a seven-goal margin as he scored off a pass from junior Kelly McKenna at the four-minute mark of the third quarter.
The Buckeyes ended the Irish surge with a goal from Jeff Ryan with 3:16 remaining in the third stanza. Notre Dame led 11-5 after three quarters of play. Overall it was an 11-1 run for the Fighting Irish.
Junior midfielder Grant Krebs opened the fourth-quarter scoring to give Notre dame a 12-5 lead at the 11:45 mark of the period. Hicks scored 20 seconds later to give Notre Dame its largest lead of the game. Swezey assisted on both tallies. Following back-to-back goals from the Buckeyes’ Eddie Bambino and Ryan, freshman Nicholas Beattie deposited Notre Dame’s final goal of the game in a return to his hometown. Ohio State’s final tally came from Ryan, who had four goals.
Ohio State (7-7, 3-2) got on the board first with a goal from Mario Ventiquattro with 10:46 left in the first quarter. Joel Dalgarno made it 2-0 in favor of the Buckeyes with just over eight minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Ohio State went up by three as Ventiquattro scored at the 6:45 mark of the first period.
After the Buckeyes grabbed the early 3-0 lead, the Notre Dame defense clamped down and held Ohio State scoreless for the next 21:40. The Fighting Irish cracked the scoring column with a goal from Brenneman off a feed from Christman with 4:24 on the clock in the first quarter.
The Buckeyes led 3-1 after the first quarter.
“I thought our guys kept their poise in the first quarter,” stated Corrigan. “We went down 3-0 and there could have been some panic, but there wasn’t. We didn’t even call a timeout. I didn’t feel like we needed to. We just needed to cash in and settle things down and we did that.”
The Irish sliced the Buckeye lead to one (3-2) with 10:11 remaining in the second quarter as Hoff scored with the assist going to Swezey. Notre Dame knotted the contest, 3-3, on a man-up goal from Christman with three minutes left in the first half.
Ohio State regained the lead (4-3) on a man-up tally from Ryan with 1:35 left in the half. The Irish evened the game once again as Brenneman sent home a shot with one second remaining in the first half.
Dalgarno entered today’s game ranked fifth nationally in points per game (3.92) Junior defenseman Sam Barnes and the Irish defense held him to just two points. Irish goalie Scott Rodgers made nine saves in the win, while his counterpart Brandon Freeman had 18 stops. Notre Dame held a 51-32 advantage in shots. Both teams were 12-for-24 in faceoff attempts. Irish senior defenseman Regis McDermott picked up a game-high and career-high eight ground balls.
The 2009 GWLL Tournament will be played at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich. Final seeding will be determined following the conclusion of today’s games. Notre Dame is guaranteed to play in the first semifinal on Friday, May 1 at 5:00 p.m. (ET) against the fourth seed. The second semifinal between the second and third seeds is slated for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) start. The championship game will be played on Sunday, May 3 at 12 noon. Notre Dame won the inaugural GWLL Tournament last season.
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April 25, 2009 – Ohio Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
#3 Notre Dame (13-0, 5-0) – 1 3 7 3 – 14
Ohio State (7-7, 3-2) – 3 1 1 3 – 8
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Zach Brenneman 4-0, Ryan Hoff 3-0, Peter Christman 2-2, Neal Hicks 2-0, Duncan Swezey 1-3, Grant Krebs 1-0, Nicholas Beattie 1-0, Kelly McKenna 0-1; Goaltender: Scott Rodgers (W, 60:00, 9 saves, 8 GA)
Ohio State Scoring (goals-assists):
Jeff Ryan 4-0, Mario Ventiquattro 2-1, Joel Dalgarno 1-1, Eddie Bambino 1-0, Justin Hayes 0-1, Keith Lovett 0-1, Mike Pires 0-1, Doug Ruhnke 0-1;Goaltender: Brandon Freeman (L, 60:00, 18 saves, 14 GA)