April 11, 2009
DENVER, Colo. – Duncan Swezey’s third goal of the game snapped an 8-8 tie with 2:03 left in regulation and the fourth-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team held on for a 10-8 victory over Denver on Saturday afternoon at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Sophomore midfielder David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) sealed the game as he scored with 1:09 remaining. The win improved Notre Dame to 10-0 on the season and 3-0 in Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play. The contest against the Pioneers (6-6, 1-2) was part of the sixth annual Rocky Mountain Showdown.
“It was another guy who stepped up for us today. Duncan Swezey had the hat trick and it seems like every game we have another guy step up with a hat trick,” stated Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan.
Denver jumped out in front first behind a goal from Andrew Lay at the 12:55 mark of the first quarter. That would be the only lead of the game for the Pioneers. Notre Dame responded with four straight goals to claim a three-goal advantage with 8:39 left in the opening half.
Junior midfielder Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) put the Irish on the board off a pass from Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro Horsham) at the midway point of the first quarter. Sophomore Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) then found the back of the net with senior Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) picking up the assist. Notre Dame led 2-1 after the opening 15 minutes of play.
Back-to-back scores from Swezey just over a minute apart put Notre Dame up 4-1. Senior Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) assisted on the first tally. Following a Denver goal from Todd Baxter, the Fighting Irish regained their three-goal lead (5-2) as Brenneman sent home his second goal of the day with Christman picking up his team-high 13th assist of the season.
The Pioneers trimmed the lead back to two (5-3) as Lay scored his second goal of the afternoon with 3:56 left in the first half. Notre Dame answered back 22 seconds later when Hoff deposited his 19th goal of the season. Krebs then followed with his 19th tally of the campaign at the three-minute mark of the second quarter. Hoff and Krebs share the team lead in goals.
The goal flurry continued when Denver’s Ben Wahler scored six seconds after the Krebs goal to make it 7-4 in favor of the Irish. A Mark Matthews goal with seven seconds remaining in the first half sliced the Notre Dame lead to two (7-5) at halftime.
A goal from Matthews with 1:32 left in the third quarter would be the only score from either team in the period. Notre Dame carried a 7-6 lead into the final stanza.
The Fighting Irish grabbed some breathing room when junior Kelly McKenna (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield) scored off a feed from Earl with 9:43 on the clock. Denver responded with a man-down goal from Joey Murray at the 9:17 mark of the fourth quarter. The Pioneers then tied the contest (8-8) with 5:07 left in regulation when Patrick Rogers found the back of the net.
“Maybe the most encouraging thing about today was our poise,” added Corrigan. “It was a tough situation playing in a hostile environment and their crowd got into it when they tied it up (8-8) late in the game, but we handled it and came through with the win.”
Senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) remained undefeated by making 15 saves on the afternoon. Denver’s Peter Lowell had nine stops in the loss. Notre Dame held a 43-32 advantage in shots.
“Having our defense give up eight goals today was a little disappointing, but I felt Scott Rodgers played well in the cage,” commented Corrigan. “Denver is a good team. They can score in a lot of different ways and they showed that today.”
The Irish claimed the faceoff battle as they won 12 of 22 attempts. Junior Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) went 7-5, while sophomore Jake Marmul (Livonia, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) was 5-5. Notre Dame senior defenseman Regis McDermott (Amityville, N.Y./Chaminade) picked up a career-high seven ground balls. Junior attackman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School) assisted on Swezey’s game winner.
Notre Dame now has won 16 of its last 17 contests against GWLL opponents. With Virginia’s loss today to Duke, the Irish are now the only undefeated team left in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse.
The Fighting Irish return to the field at Quinnipiac on Saturday, April 18. The GWLL tilt is slated for an 11:00 a.m. (ET) start in Hamden, Conn.
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April 11, 2009 – Invesco Field at Mile High – Denver, Colo.
#4 Notre Dame (10-0, 3-0) – 2 5 0 3 – 10
Denver (6-6, 1-2) – 1 4 1 2 – 8
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Duncan Swezey 3-2, Grant Krebs 2-0, Zach Brenneman 2-0, Ryan Hoff 1-1, David Earl 1-1, Kelly McKenna 1-0, Peter Christman 0-2, Neal Hicks 0-1; Goaltender: Scott Rodgers (W, 60:00, 15 saves, 8 GA)
Denver Scoring (goals-assists):
Mark Matthews 2-0, Andrew Lay 2-0, Todd Baxter 1-2, Patrick Rogers 1-1, Joey Murray 1-0, Ben Wahler 1-0; Goaltender: Peter Lowell (L, 60:00, 9 saves, 10 GA)
— ND —