Notre Dame men's lacrosse senior midfielder Zach Brenneman.

No. 15 Notre Dame Falls At No. 13 Villanova, 9-8

April 3, 2010

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VILLANOVA, Pa. – A goal from Paul Webber with 2:10 left in regulation was the difference as No. 13 Villanova topped No. 15 Notre Dame 9-8 in BIG EAST men’s lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The Fighting Irish received two goals and two assists from junior midfielder Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton).

Villanova (6-3, 1-1) held a 5-3 advantage entering what would be a furious fourth quarter for both teams.

Notre Dame (5-4, 0-2) opened the final quarter with five unanswered goals to claim a three-goal lead (8-5) with 7:30 remaining in regulation. Brenneman started the surge with a man-up tally just 37 seconds into the quarter. The Fighting Irish knotted the contest (5-5) less than a minute later when senior defenseman Mike Creighton (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) picked off a pass and ran coast-to-coast and scored on a man-down opportunity.

Senior attackman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School), who had four points on one goal and a game-high three assists, put Notre Dame on top (6-5) with 11:32 left in the fourth period. The Irish went up by two (7-5) on a man-up goal from sophomore midfielder Max Pfeifer (Crozet, Va./Western Albemarle). Junior midfielder David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) gave Notre Dame its largest lead of the day (8-5) midway through the fourth quarter. Hicks assisted on both the Pfeifer and Earl goals.

The Wildcats responded with four straight goals to capture the victory. The final run opened with a goal from Kevin Cunningham with 7:16 left in regulation, which was just 14 seconds after Earl’s goal. Mark Scioscia followed with his second goal of the afternoon to make it a one-goal game (8-7) with 6:40 left. Back-to-back goals from Webber produced the final outcome. The first tally came with 5:07 showing on the clock.

Notre Dame’s late attempt for the equalizer fell short as the Irish could not connect on a late flurry of shots.

The Fighting Irish opened the game’s scoring just over two minutes into the contest as senior midfielder Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) scored on an assist from Brenneman.

Villanova answered back with four straight goals. The Wildcats tied things up on a score from Jack Rice at the 4:20 mark of the first quarter. The Wildcats grabbed a 2-1 advantage as Cunningham, who had a game-high three goals, scored with five seconds left in the opening quarter. Villanova led 2-1 at the end of the first 15 minutes of play.

The Wildcats upped their lead to two (3-1) as Matt Bell scored less than two minutes into the second quarter. Villanova grabbed its largest advantage of the game (4-1) when Scioscia deposited a goal with 12:11 left in the first half.

A Brenneman goal stopped the Wildcat run and put the Irish back to within two (4-2) with 4:11 left in the first half. Villanova led 4-2 at halftime.

Notre Dame cut the deficit to one (4-3) on a goal from freshman midfielder Steve Murphy (Shirley, N.Y./William Floyd) with 5:39 left in the third quarter. The Wildcats answered back on a Cunningham goal with 1:48 remaining in the third quarter. Villanova led 5-3 after three quarters of play.

The Irish out shot the Wildcats 32-25. Freshman goalie John Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) made his first career start for the Fighting Irish. Kemp made 10 saves, while his counterpart Billy Hurley had nine stops. Notre Dame senior midfielder Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) went 12-7 in faceoffs.

The Fighting Irish return to action on Sunday, April 11 at BIG EAST foe Georgetown. Game time is slated for noon (ET). The contest will be broadcast by ESPNU.

April 3, 2010 – Villanova Stadium – Villanova, Pa.
#15 Notre Dame (5-4, 0-2) – 1 1 1 5 – 8
#13 Villanova (6-3, 1-1) – 2 2 1 4 – 9

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Zach Brenneman 2-2, Neal Hicks 1-3, Mike Creighton 1-0, Grant Krebs 1-0, Max Pfeifer 1-0, Steve Murphy 1-0, David Earl 1-0; Goaltender: John Kemp (L, 60:00, 10 saves, 9 GA)

Villanova Scoring (goals-assists):
Kevin Cunningham 3-0, Mark Scioscia 2-0, Paul Webber 2-0, Matt Bell 1-2, Jack Rice 1-0, Mike Brennan 0-2, Chris Creighton 0-1, Brian Karalunas 0-1;Goaltender: Billy Hurley (W, 60:00, 9 saves, 8 GA)