April 20, 2004
Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) was named the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) Player of the Week on Tuesday after registering 12 points in leading the 12th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team to conference wins against Butler (15-5) and Fairfield (16-7) last week. Howell just missed the school record for points in a game in the latter affair, finishing with eight (five goals, three assists).
In games against the Stags and Butler, Howell scored seven goals on 13 shots and had five assists and five ground balls. He had only three shots saved by the opposing goalies, while hitting the post once against Fairfield.
Howell set career highs in goals and points on Sunday in coming up just shy of the Notre Dame record of nine points in a game, which has been done eight times, but not since 1995. He opened the scoring with an unassisted tally 1:08 into the contest and scored on a wraparound off an assist from senior M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.) to give the Irish a 7-4 advantage midway through the second quarter. Howell then scored the first two goals of the second half, first taking a pass from junior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.) for a goal 13 seconds after the opening faceoff and then tallying off a pass from sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) three minutes later. Howell scored the final Irish goal of the day, which came off an assist from freshman A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) with 7:43 remaining in the game.
Howell took just seven shots in the contest, hitting the post on Notre Dame’s first possession of the game and having freshman G Michael Krueger save an attempt on an Irish man-up chance in the fourth quarter in his only two unsuccessful tries.
On Thursday, Howell had two goals and a pair of assists. He set up sophomore Matt Ryan’s (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) goal 5:30 into the game that put Notre Dame up 2-0 before assisting on a Walsh score with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. Howell then took a pass from freshman M John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) and found the back of the goal to put the Irish up 7-1 just prior to the intermission. Howell then scored a goal from freshman A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) late in the third to make the lead 11-3.
Howell first earned a spot in the starting lineup prior to the 2002 season but missed 15 games over the previous two campaigns prior to starting every game this season. He is second on the Irish to Walsh this spring in points (37), goals (20), and assists (17) in ’04. Howell, who is second to Walsh in the GWLL and tied for 18th nationally with 1.55 assists per game, has six multiple-goal games this season after accomplishing the feat just five times over his first three campaigns.
It was the second time in Howell’s career that he was named the league’s player of the week, as he copped the honor following a six-point (1 G, 5 A) effort in last year’s season opener vs. #16 Penn State. Howell was the second Notre Dame player named GWLL Player of the Week this season, as junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) gained the distinction on March 29 after scoring five goals against #13 Hofstra.
Notre Dame has won five in a row and is 7-4 on the year, having finished 4-1 in the GWLL, which currently places it in second place. The Irish have just one game remaining this season, and it will come after a 12-day hiatus. The Irish will be at #3 Maryland on Saturday, May 1 at 1 p.m. (EST).