April 21, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A stifling defensive effort powered No. 11 Notre Dame to a dominating 14-2 victory over Lehigh in non-conference men’s lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,252 fans at Moose Krause Stadium. The Fighting Irish defensive unit held the Mountain Hawks without a goal until the fourth quarter as the Irish offense opened the contest with a 10-0 run. Sophomore attackman Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro Horsham) netted a career-high four goals to help the Irish capture their sixth straight win overall and extend their program-record home win streak to 13 games.
Notre Dame (9-3) led 2-0 after the first quarter of play behind goals from John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon) and Swezey. Freshman attackman Will Yeatman (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) collected the assist on Greaney’s goal.
A six-goal second quarter would give the Irish an 8-0 lead at halftime. Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School) was the first to strike in the period as he took a pass from Ryan Cunn (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) and scored at the 12:02 mark. Wharton then fed Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) to make it 4-0 before Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster) and Davey Leach (Timonium, Md./Boys’ Latin) notched unassisted tallies.
Hoff collected his second goal on an assist from Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley). Podgajny would then score with 15 seconds remaining before intermission off a Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans) pass. Prior to today, the last time the Irish held a team scoreless in a half was the second half of last season’s Bellarmine contest.
The only scoring in the third quarter came from Swezey, who scored twice in a span of 12 seconds. His second goal of the game came off a Hoff pass, while his third goal was unassisted with 6:45 left in the period.
Lehigh (4-9) scored its first goal of the game at the 12:27 mark of the fourth quarter as Gavid Gaunt found the back of the net against Irish sophomore goaltender Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur), who came on in relief of junior Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep). Kemp played 37:10 without surrendering a goal, while making eight saves. Rodgers made 10 saves and allowed two scores.
Swezey netted his fourth goal off a Kevin Cullinane (Southport, Conn./Fairfield Prep) pass to make it 11-1 in favor of the Irish. That was the first career point for the sophomore Cullinane. Freshman midfielder Brett Vecchio (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) collected the first two goals of his Irish career as he sent home passes from classmate Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School) and Swezey.
The trend of career-firsts continued as sophomore midfielder Dan Gibson (Germantown, Tenn./Memphis University School) registered his first collegiate goal to give Notre Dame a 14-1 advantage. Lehigh’s Matthew Hichborn scored with 12 seconds remaining to make it a 14-2 final in favor of the Fighting Irish with 4:47 left in the game.
Notre Dame got big contributions on the defensive end from starters Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin), Sean Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) and Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice). The two goals were the fewest surrendered by the Irish since an 8-2 victory at Bellarmine last season. Notre Dame has only allowed 23 goals during the course of its current six-game winning streak.
The Irish went 18-for-19 in clearing opportunities along with holding a 47-33 advantage in shots. Junior Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha) went 8-for-12 in faceoffs.
Yeatman, who also played in Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold spring football game following the win over the Mountain Hawks, now has a team-high 37 points on 18 goals and a team-best 19 assists. Hoff leads the Irish in goals with 30.
The Fighting Irish return to action when they face Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, Apr. 28. Game time against the Buckeyes is slated for 12 noon (ET).
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Lehigh (4-9) – 0 0 0 2 – 2
#11 Notre Dame (9-3) – 2 6 2 4 – 14
Lehigh Scoring (goals-assists):
David Gaunt 1-0, Matthew Hichborn 1-0, David Walsh 0-2; Goaltenders: Dusty Granet (L, 30:00, 6 saves, 8 GA), Eric Spirko (18:31, 3 saves, 3 GA), John Park (11:29, 0 saves, 3 GA)
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Duncan Swezey 4-1, Ryan Hoff 2-1, Brett Vecchio 2-0, Michael Podgajny 1-1, Alex Wharton 1-1, Peter Christman 1-0, John Greaney 1-0, Davey Leach 1-0, Dan Gibson 1-0, Kevin Cullinane 0-1, Ryan Cunn 0-1, Neal Hicks 0-1, Lucius Polk 0-1, Will Yeatman 0-1; Goaltender: Joey Kemp (W, 37:10, 8 saves, 0 GA), Scott Rodgers (22:50, 10 saves, 2 GA)