Zach Brenneman

Irish Top Johns Hopkins 10-7 In San Francisco Fall Classic

Oct. 16, 2010

By Greg Angilly (Inside Lacrosse)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – More than 6,000 Northern California lacrosse fans were treated to a 10-7 Notre Dame victory over Johns Hopkins during the 2010 San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic on Saturday afternoon at Kezar Field.

Sponsored by the BAYS Foundation, the game was the culmination of a day of activities that including a coaches clinic and a youth clinic run by both teams and coaching staffs. The youth clinic ended with comments from Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Petramala and Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan.

Corrigan encouraged the young men to follow and pursue their passion while Pietralama implored the boys to find a true hero in their lives.

In brief pre-game interviews both coaches stressed that while any time you step on the field, you want to win, the focal point of the day would be to improve. “This is the 20th day of practice,” commented Corrigan. Pietramala enjoyed being able to have his team travel across the country on Friday and play a game on Saturday and was focused on using this experience as a positive step towards the 2011 season.

The game featured quite a few players as both staffs substituted liberally throughout the game. Johns Hopkins was able to play four goalies while Notre Dame, due to some injuries, relied on several young players on the defensive side of the ball.

Notre Dame jumped out of the gate, dominating face-offs and possession and got goals by Max Pfeifer (M/Jr.), Eric Keppeler (M/Jr.) and Zach Brenneman (M/Sr.). Notre Dame started and played freshman John Kemp in the cage and he looked impressive throughout. Throughout the first quarter, Notre Dame looked in mid-season form on defense throwing several different looks at a Hopkins team that was tentative. Jake Marmul (M/Sr.) and Liam O’Connor were impressive at the face-off X.

Hopkins started Pierce Bassett in the cage and featured freshman Robert Guida on the first midfield line along with John Ranagan and John Greeley. Pietramala did not use any defensive midfielders in this game. The Jays have been working during the fall on having more midfielders who can run both ways rather than middies used specifically for defense.

Johns Hopkins got on the board on a well-run play by Robert Guida. Notre Dame quickly answered on a nice finish by Edison Parzanese. Hopkins answered with two of their own on goals by John Greeley and Kyle Wharton, who as the game went along became one of the dominant players on the field. Johns Hopkins featured Steven Burke in the goal and he played well throughout the second quarter. Johns Hopkins had far more possessions in the second quarter while Notre Dame continued to play solid team defense. The second quarter featured multiple midfield lines from both teams, some failed clears and the occasional errant pass. With that said, the teams played with a high level of intensity and both sidelines were active and excited. In some ways, it felt like fallball – in many ways, if felt like May. Edison Parzanese added a goal off a nice assist by Keepelar to run the score to 5-3

The second half featured nice runs from both teams. Keppeler had two-second half goals and along with Brenneman and David Earl (M/Sr.), appeared (one goal each in second half) to anchor the Notre Dame offense, which was patient and possession oriented throughout the game.

Kyle Wharton had two-second half goals for Johns Hopkins, who pulled to within 6-5 and 7-6 midway through the third quarter. The fourth quarter was dominated in possession by Hopkins, but they could not finish many of their opportunities and go no closer than 10-7 after John Ranagan’s goal with four minutes left. Tim Donovan had several strong dodges in the fourth quarter as did freshman Greg Edmonds.

After the game both coaches were pleased with the effort.

“It was a good day for Notre Dame,” Corrigan said. “We competed well and showed our depth on defense.”

Corrigan went on to say how pleased he was with his short-stick defensive midfielders and with smarter decisions on the offensive end. He feels they will have opportunities to succeed in 2011.

Pietramala was slightly more critical and said he felt his squad was deficient in the midfield play. He felt Notre Dame did a solid job of controlling his offense but was thrilled to be part of the event, play a quality opponent and have the opportunity to evaluate so many players, including four goalies.