Feb. 27, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The third-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 6-2 triumph of Penn State on Sunday afternoon at Bigler Field. The Fighting Irish used six different goal scorers to claim their ninth straight victory over the Nittany Lions.
The two goals allowed by the Fighting Irish defense were the fewest since a 12-2 win over St. John’s during the 2009 season. Notre Dame sophomore goalie John Kemp made eight saves in goal, while his counterpart Austin Kaut had 15 stops for Penn State (1-1).
“Our defense played great today,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “We had Kevin Ridgway on their top guy and he did a good job at shutting him down. John Kemp was good in goal even though he didn’t face a lot of shots. It can be tough for a goalie when they don’t see a lot of shots, but he did a good job.”
Notre Dame led 3-2 after three quarters of play and the Irish out scored Penn State 3-0 in the final period to secure the victory. Junior midfielder Max Pfeifer netted a man-up goal at the 11:15 mark of the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 4-2 edge. That was Pfeifer’s second goal of the season.
Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins scored less than a minute later to give Notre Dame its first three-goal advantage (5-2) of the contest. Hopkins has three goals this season. Junior midfielder Eric Keppeler deposited the game’s final tally, on an assist from Sean Rogers, with 3:50 remaining. It was Keppeler’s first goal of the season.
“Their goalie played well, but we also made him look good at times,” added Corrigan. “We actually played pretty well offensively. We had some good looks, but we just couldn’t cash in on those opportunities. We need to do a better job at that.”
Notre Dame grabbed a 1-0 lead just over two minutes into the contest on junior attackman Nicholas Beattie’s first goal of the season. Penn State answered back at the 6:06 mark of the first quarter on a Matt Mackrides man-up tally. Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman put the Fighting Irish up 2-1 with nine seconds left in the opening quarter. Brenneman has a team-high four goals this season.
Fighting Irish sophomore attackman Ryan Foley registered the game’s only goal of the second quarter as he deposited his first score of the season with 13:29 left in the opening half.
The Nittany Lions scored the only third-quarter goal as Tom Lacrosse made it a one-goal affair (3-2) with just over seven elapsed in the stanza.
Notre Dame out shot Penn State 42-19 and the Irish forced 16 turnovers. Fighting Irish senior defenseman Kevin Ridgway forced a game-high three turnovers. Senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving and junior midfielder Devon Dobson both had a team-high three ground balls for the Irish.
The two scores were the fewest-ever for Penn State in the 18 all-time meetings against Notre Dame. The Irish lead the series versus the Nittany Lions, 14-4.
The Fighting Irish will open the home portion of their 2011 slate next Sunday versus No. 19 Drexel. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET).
February 27, 2011 – Bigler Field – University Park, Pa.
#3 Notre Dame (2-0) – 2 1 0 3 – 6
Penn State (1-1) – 1 0 1 0 – 2
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Nicholas Beattie 1-0, Zach Brenneman 1-0, Ryan Foley 1-0, Max Pfeifer 1-0, Westy Hopkins 1-0, Eric Keppeler 1-0, Sean Rogers 0-1; Goaltender: John Kemp (W, 60:00, 8 saves, 2 GA)
Penn State Scoring (goals-assists):
Matt Mackrides 1-0, Tom Lacrosse 1-0, Colton Vosburgh 0-1; Goaltender: Austin Kaut (L, 60:00, 15 saves, 6 GA)
— ND —