March 23, 2005
Junior attackman Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week by the conference yesterday after helping the ninth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team register a 22-6 victory over Butler in the season’s first GWLL contest on Saturday. Karweck led all players with eight points (five goals, three assists) and missed the Notre Dame record for points in a game by one.
Karweck notched a career high in goals, matched his personal-best in assists, and doubled his previous collegiate-high total in points. No one in Division I has had more points in a contest this season (UMBC’s Brendan Mundorf also had eight vs. Canisius on March 12). He came up just shy of the Irish record of nine points in a game, which has been done eight times, but not since 1995. John Olmstead accomplished the feat twice in 1988, while Mike Sullivan did it in ’90 and ’91, and all-time scoring leader Randy Colley turned in four nine-point games from ’93-95. Karweck also was one off the record for most goals in a home game. Three players – Joe Franklin in 1986, Mike Quigley in 1990, and Jon Harvey in 2000 – have netted six in front of the home fans.
Karweck – who had just three goals and four points combined in the first three contests of 2005 – scored on all but one of his six shots and also picked up one ground ball. He opened the scoring with a man-up tally just 2:08 into the game. He struck again just 1:05 later, scoring an even-strength tally off an assist by freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.). He was quiet then until the start of the second half, when he scored three times in a four-minute span. Karweck next struck – on his third shot of the game – 4:08 into the third quarter, taking a pass from Morrison to find the back of the net. Just 1:26 later, senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) found Karweck for his fourth goal. With 8:18 left in the third quarter, the Irish junior had his only unsuccessful shot of the day, as his attempt was blocked out front by the defense. He bounced back, though, scoring another man-up goal – his fourth of the season – off another Giordano assist with 6:56 remaining in the third.
Karweck turned in his 11th career multiple-point game (four times in the last eight contests), as well as his seventh multiple-goal performance. Heading into Saturday, his career high in points was four, which he had done on four occasions, including in the opening game of the season, at #21 Penn State (3 G, 1 A). His goal and point totals were the most by an Irish player since Matt Howell registered five goals and three assists against Fairfield last year. Karweck also tied the Loftus Center record for points in a game, done last by North Carolina’s Jed Prossner in 2004, when he had six goals and two assists.
In his third year as a regular in the Irish lineup, but first at attack – where he moved just prior to the start of the season after a season-ending injury to junior Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) – Karweck was the most-effective weapon in an Irish attack that dominated the Bulldogs. Notre Dame outshot Butler 68-24 (46-7 combined in the first and third quarters; 61-14 after three periods) and converted on six of 11 extra-man opportunities against the team that came in leading the GWLL in penalty killing, having allowed just two man-up tallies in 12 opportunities. Notre Dame scored the game’s first 12 goals and then went up 21-3 before Butler outscored the Irish 3-1 in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin.
Karweck has excelled offensively against Butler, as he had four points (matching his career high at the time) vs. the Bulldogs in 2004, registering three goals and one assist on seven shots. As a rookie, he recorded an assist vs. Butler.
The 22 goals stand as the most by an Division I team this season and the most by an Irish squad in 12 years, since a 22-11 win over Butler on March 29, 1993, in the Bulldogs’ first season as a varsity program. It was the highest scoring output ever for any team in the Loftus Sports Center, as well as the largest margin of victory for the Irish since a 21-5 win against Canisius on Feb. 27, 1993. The eight goals in both the first and third quarters are the most ever in a single period by any team in the facility. The 13 first-half tallies also are the most in a half in the Loftus Center.
Karweck stepped immediately into a starting role in the midfield in his rookie season, 2003, accounting for 16 points (10 G, 6 A). He then ran on Notre Dame’s second midfield a year ago, notching five multiple-goal games and ranking third among middies with 15 goals (plus five assists). He was a major part of the Irish offensive unit that finished second in the nation in scoring offense (12.50) and 14th in man-up offense (.358).
This season, he ranks third on the Irish in points (12) and tied for second in goals scored (8). He is a major reason that Notre Dame holds the early national lead in scoring offense (13.75 goals per game) and is second in extra-man efficiency (.542). Karweck has scored on half of his 16 shots and leads Notre Dame in percentage of shots put on goal (.812, 13 of 16). He shares the team lead in man-up goals and also has collected eight ground balls.
It was the third time in four weeks that Notre Dame boasted the conference’s top player. Fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) earned the first award of the 2005 season, while junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) was last week’s recipient. This is the first time since 2001 – when the Irish rose to #2 in the national rankings and advance to the NCAA semifinals – that Notre Dame has copped the GWLL player-of-the-week award more than twice in a campaign. In ’01, Irish players earned the honor on fice occasions. This was the first such honor of Karweck’s career.
Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Karweck was a standout for Penn Yan Academy in upstate New York. He helped his team to four consecutive section titles, as well as the 2001 state championship.
Karweck and Notre Dame have a tough road trip ahead of them this weekend, as they head to #13 Hofstra on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. (EST) contest before playing at Villanova on Monday.