Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

No. 5 Irish Succumb To Second-Half Rally, Fall To No. 3 Syracuse

March 11, 2004

Box Score

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The fifth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (1-1) held a 10-7 lead early in the third quarter before third-ranked Syracuse (3-0) started a 9-1 run en route to a 19-13 victory Thursday evening in the Carrier Dome. The Irish will have just two days off before returning to action against another top-10 team, as they will play host to #9 North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m. (EST) at Krause Stadium.

Notre Dame’s offense was effective, especially in the first half, but Syracuse used a substantial ground ball advantage to get more possessions and, thus, more scoring opportunities generated by one of the top offenses in the country. The Orangemen finished with 53 ground balls, while the Irish had 34. In the second half, Syracuse held a 29-15 advantage. Junior M Jarett Park, also an all-BIG EAST soccer player, led SU with nine ground balls.

The Orangemen had four players register hat tricks in scoring 18 or more goals for the third time in as many games this season. Leading the way was senior A Michael Powell, a three-time first-team All-American and three-time winner of the Jack Turnbull Award as the best attackman in Division I. He scored three goals in the first 12 minutes and added three assists to finish with six points to go with six ground balls. Sophomore A Brian Crockett had a game-high five goals, as well as an assist, after notching four goals in the fall contest against the Irish. Senior A Brian Nee added four goals and sophomore M Greg Rommel had three.

Leading Notre Dame offensively was junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), who had points on four of the first five Irish goals, scoring three times in the first 17 minutes before adding an assist. Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) also had four points, with three of them coming on assists. Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) accounted for three of Notre Dame’s four second-half goals in registering the 13th hat trick of his career and second in as many contests this season.

The Irish also got three points apiece from senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) and sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.). Howell, who had seven points in the season opener against Penn State, notched a pair of goals, while Ryan registered his first goal of the season to go along with two assists. Howell added four ground balls.

Sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) followed up a four-goal performance against the Nittany Lions with a pair of goals on Thursday, while his classmate, M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), also netted a goal.

Sophomore D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) was a defensive standout for the Irish. Charged with guarding Powell, he held the 2002 Tewaaraton Trophy winner without a goal for the final 48:03 and pointless for the last 26:52. Driscoll also lead the team with five ground balls.

Senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) came up with a number of big saves in the first half. He had nine saves, while giving up seven goals, in the opening 30 minutes before finishing with 13.

Junior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.) had career highs in both faceoffs won (10) and draws taken (24).

Giordano opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game with a goal from Ryan. Powell then netted a pair of scores in just over a minute to put the Orange ahead. His first tally came with 10:56 remaining in the opening quarter and his second was 1:01 later.

Notre Dame continued its outstanding play in extra-man opportunities, converting on its first of the game. Hubschmann took a pass from Walsh and scored to tie the score 2-2 with 5:26 to go in the first.

Powell tallied his third goal of the initial 12 minutes to put Syracuse ahead, taking a pass from M Steve Vallone for a 3-2 lead with 3:03 remaining. Nee got his first goal of the game – an extra-man score – with 2:21 left in the opening frame to put Syracuse up by two.

Notre Dame again made good on a man-up chance, when Giordano took a Walsh pass and scored his second goal of the opening quarter at the 1:01 mark to cut the lead to 4-3. Matarazzo won the ensuing faceoff for the Irish, snapping a streak of seven consecutive Syracuse faceoff victories to start the contest.

Junior G Jay Pfeiffer finished the first period with seven saves, while giving up three Notre Dame goals. He ended the game with 15 saves.

Giordano got his third goal in the first 17 minutes of the game, taking a pass from Ryan to even the score at 4-4.

Rommel put Syracuse ahead by one with an unassisted tally with 10:58 remaining. That lasted just 53 seconds, as Karweck took a pass from Giordano for a man-up goal to tie the score 5-5. It was the ninth consecutive successful extra-man opportunity for Notre Dame, dating back to its season opener.

Syracuse got an extra-man goal of its own when Vallone found Nee for a score at the 7:46 mark. Less than a minute later, Ryan got his first goal of the 2004 campaign to even the score at 6-6. But Crockett responded with an unassisted goal to put Syracuse ahead.

After a Berger goal was disallowed, three unassisted Irish goals in the final minute and a half of the first half gave Notre Dame a 9-7 lead at the intermission. Walsh got it started with a score with 1:26 remaining. Eleven seconds later, it was Howell who found the net. Karweck then added another tally just four seconds before halftime.

Notre Dame nearly took a three-goal advantage immediately in the third quarter. After Matarazzo won the faceoff, Walsh scored, but the tally would be waived off. Just over a minute later, Berger delivered a 10-7 advantage for the Irish, taking a feed from Walsh for his first goal of the game. It was the fourth consecutive goal for Notre Dame.

Fourteen seconds later, Syracuse began a four-goal run that would give it the lead again. Powell started it by finding Crockett, who found the back of the net to pull the Orangemen to within 10-8. A little more than a minute later, Syracuse got another goal, converting on a man-up chance to cut the Irish lead to one. The goal was the third of the game for Nee, and it came off Powell’s third assist of the contest.

Crockett tied the game at 10-10 with his third goal of the game, coming with 8:09 remaining in the third period. Nee gave the Orange the lead 35 seconds later with his fourth goal of the game, from a feed by Kevin Dougherty.

Syracuse had a pair of good opportunities with six and a half minutes remaining, but a Crosland save and then a Powell shot that sailed high from the close right wing kept the Syracuse advantage at one.

Berger evened the score at 11-11 with his second goal of the period, coming at the 5:03 mark. The tie lasted just 42 seconds, as Rommel netted his second of the contest off a pass from Bucktooth to give Syracuse a lead it would not relinquish, 12-11.

Freshman Steven Brooks’ first goal gave Syracuse a 13-11 advantage. The Orange continued their offensive surge early in the fourth quarter. Senior M Sean Lindsay got a score with 13:14 remaining to put the ‘Cuse up three before Rommel registered his third goal of the game for a 15-11 advantage with 12:40 remaining.

Syracuse couldn’t convert on a two-on-one fast-break opportunity with just under 11 minutes left, but Crockett converted on the restart for his fourth goal of the contest to give Syracuse a 16-11 lead.

Berger completed a second-half hat trick thirty seconds later, receiving a beautiful pass from Howell right in front of the crease and putting the ball in the net.

Crockett scored his fifth of the game at the 8:23 mark, taking a Lindsay pass to put Syracuse up 17-12. Zack Wallace scored 1:22 later to give Syracuse a six-goal lead.

Howell bounced in a goal with 6:33 left to cut the lead to 18-13. Dougherty rounded out the scoring with a goal with 3:42 remaining in the game.

Notre Dame held a 26-24 shot advantage in the first half, but Syracuse finished with 44 shots, three more than the Irish.

The Orangemen finished with a 21-15 advantage in faceoffs, but the Irish won 15 of 29 after Syracuse’s 7-7 start.

The meeting was just the second between the schools in men’s lacrosse, and it was the first in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the first matchup, a 12-5 decision in the 2001 NCAA semifinals.

Though both teams were missing key players, the Irish beat Syracuse 10-9 last fall in the semifinals of the Algonquin Fall Showcase in Boston.