April 21, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team lost its first Great Western Lacrosse League game of the season as the Irish suffered an 11-10 setback to Fairfield at home on Sunday afternoon. Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad rallied for four goals in the final 5:58 of the contest, but its bid fell short as Notre Dame lost for the fourth time by one goal this season.
Senior John Flandina (West Islip, N.Y.) and junior Travis Wells (Severna Park, N.Y.) tallied three goals each as the Irish lost its second straight to fall to 4-7 overall and 3-1 in the GWLL.
Fairfield was led by Matt Buecker’s three goals as the Stags defeated the Irish for the first time in three meetings. Garrett Bamann added two goals and an assist for the visitors who improved to 7-4 overall and 4-1 in league play.
Notre Dame began its fourth-quarter comeback following Buecker’s goal off of a feed from Troy Bamann which put Fairfield up 11-6 with 7:29 remaining in the contest. Junior Kyle Frigon (Salem, Mass.) netted his only score on the afternoon off an assist from freshman Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y.) to pull the Irish to within three goals with 5:58 left in the game. Flandina tallied his third goal in the game at the 4:17 mark and then Wells followed with his third score with 3:32 remaining.
Senior Chad DeBolt (Waterloo, N.Y.) won the face-off and raced down the field to score his first goal of the season and fourth of his career which pulled the Irish to within the final one-goal outcome with 3:19 left in regulation.
Notre Dame had a couple of opportunities in the closing minutes, but the Irish committed a couple of costly turnovers and Fairfield was able to run out the clock.
The Stags began the game by jumping out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Tom Werney and Garrett Bamann in the first four minutes of the contest.
Notre Dame answered with three consecutive scores as Wells netted Notre Dame first goal with 7:12 remaining off an assist from freshman Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y.). Sophomore Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md.) knotted the game at 2-2 off an assist from another second-year player, Dan Berger (Phoenix. Md.). The assist would be Berger’s lone point of the contest as he was held without a goal for the first time this season. Sophomore Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y.), playing in his first game since the season opener against Penn State on Feb. 24, put the Irish up 3-2 28 seconds following Mulford’s goal, but Brian Holland tied the game at 3-3 with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Notre Dame’s offense was shut down in the second quarter as the Stags held the Irish without a goal. Fairfield was able to extend its lead to 6-3 at the break as A.J. Califano, Joe Beaudet and Buecker each scored a goal in the second-quarter stanza.
The Irish struck first in the second half on Wells’ man-up goal 32 seconds into the second half, but the Stags answered with back-to-back goals by Buecker and Garrett Bamann.
Flandina cut the lead to 8-5 at the 8:42 mark of the second half, but Troy Bamann put the Stags up by four goals with 5:11 remaining in the third quarter. Flandina scored his second goal of the quarter with 34 seconds left as Notre Dame trimmed the deficit to 9-6.
Peter Vlahakis tallied what would prove to be the game-winning goal when his goal with four seconds remaining in the third quarter put the Stags up 10-6 heading into the final quarter.
C.J. Kemp went the distance in goal for Fairfield and made eight stops in the contest. Nick Antol played 51 minutes and had eight saves while allowing 10 goals.
Notre Dame has two regular-season games remaining as the Irish travel to Cambridge, Mass., on Sat., April 27 for a 1:00 p.m. contest with Harvard and then close out the regular season at home against Ohio State on Sat., May 4 at 1:00 p.m.