Peter Christman (left) and Duncan Swezey (right) celebrate one of Christman's three goals against Villanova.

Irish Remain Perfect With 9-7 Win Over Villanova

March 31, 2009

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Peter Christman’s (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) third goal of the day snapped a 7-7 tie with 2:54 left in regulation and the No. 3 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team went on to grab a 9-7 victory over Villanova on Tuesday afternoon at a cold and rainy Alumni Field.

Notre Dame’s 8-0 record equals the best start in program history. The Fighting Irish also started the 1993 campaign with eight straight victories. The Irish also upped their program-record home win streak to 23 games.

With the Irish holding an 8-7 lead late in the contest, Villanova (6-3) mounted one last attack and Matthew Fritts ripped a shot on goal that was saved by senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) to preserve the lead with 30 seconds left. Junior attackman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School) put the game away for Notre Dame with his second goal of the contest with four seconds left on the clock.

The Wildcats struck first in the game as Fritts scored with nearly three minutes gone by in the first quarter. Notre Dame used goals from Hicks and Christman to claim a 2-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Villanova’s Chris MacDonald knotted the game (2-2) with 13:44 left in the first half. The game would not be tied for long as the Irish won the ensuing faceoff and Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) scored 18 seconds after the Wildcat tally. However, goals from Tim Langan, Jr. and Tim Driscoll put Villanova back on top, 4-3, with 7:56 left on the clock in the second quarter. A Christman goal, on an assist from junior defenseman Sam Barnes (Branford, Conn./Branford), with 5:44 remaining made it a 4-4 game at the intermission. That marked the first point of Barnes’ career.

The Fighting Irish grabbed a two-goal advantage with early second-half goals from Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) and Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham). The scores came just 35 seconds apart. The Hoff goal was a man-up tally with the assist going to sophomore attackman Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton). Hicks collected the assist on the Swezey goal.

The Wildcats did not go away as scores from Fritts and Driscoll tied the game at 6-6 with 9:58 left in the third quarter. Brenneman put the Irish back on top with 8:36 showing on the clock in the third period. Notre Dame carried the 7-6 lead into the final stanza.

Driscoll netted his third goal of the contest in the first minute of the fourth quarter to make it a 7-7 affair. Neither team would score until Christman put home the game winner with just under three minutes left in regulation. The three goals from Christman matched a single-game career-high total that he also achieved earlier this season versus Dartmouth.

Another key stop from Rodgers, off a MacDonald shot, preceded the Christman game winner. Rodgers had nine saves on the day. Villanova’s Andrew DiLoreto made 12 stops. The Fighting Irish out shot the Wildcats 39-26. Notre Dame won 13 of 20 faceoff attempts. Sophomore Jake Marmul (Livonia, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) was 8-3, while junior Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) was 5-4.

The Fighting Irish return to action when they play host to Air Force in a Great Western Lacrosse League tilt on Saturday, April 4. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field.

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March 31, 2009 – Alumni Field – Notre Dame, Ind.
Villanova (6-3) – 1 3 2 1 – 7
#3 Notre Dame (8-0) – 2 2 3 2 – 9

Villanova Scoring (goals-assists):
Tim Driscoll 3-0, Matthew Fritts 2-0, Chris MacDonald 1-1, Tim Langan, Jr. 1-0, Mike Brennan 0-2, C.J. Small 0-1, Chris Aitken 0-1, Mark Scioscia 0-1; Goaltender: Andrew DiLoreto (60:00, 12 saves, 9 GA)

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Peter Christman 3-0, Neal Hicks 2-1, Grant Krebs 1-1, Zach Brenneman 1-1, Duncan Swezey 1-0, Ryan Hoff 1-0, Sam Barnes 0-1; Goaltender: Scott Rodgers (W, 60:00, 9 saves, 7 GA)