April 4, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A hat trick from sophomore midfielder David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) paced the third-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team in a 10-4 victory over Air Force in Great Western Lacrosse League play on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame’s 9-0 record marks the best start in program history. The Fighting Irish also upped their program-record home win streak to 24 games. The stingy Notre Dame defense surrendered a season low four tallies, while senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) made 16 saves on the day. The Irish offense used eight goal scorers in the victory.
Neither team mounted much of an offensive attack in the first quarter. Notre Dame (9-0, 2-0) scored first with 3:51 remaining in the opening quarter as senior attackman Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) deposited his team-best 18th goal of the season off a pass from Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School). The Irish led 1-0 after the opening period.
The Fighting Irish broke the game open by scoring the first four goals of the second quarter to grab a 5-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first half. The uprising began with Earl’s first tally of the day, which came off a pass from Dan Gibson (Germantown, Tenn./Memphis University School). Junior long-stick midfielder Mike Creighton (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) followed with his first goal of the season to make it 3-0 with just under six minutes left in the opening half.
Back-to-back scores from Earl completed his hat trick and gave the Irish a five-goal cushion. The first tally came after a won faceoff by the Irish and Earl scored as the Air Force goalie was caught out of the net. Senior Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) assisted on Earl’s third goal.
Air Force (3-6, 1-1) finally cracked the scoring column with just 54 seconds remaining in the first half as Vinny Sandtorv converted on a man-up opportunity. The Fighting Irish led 5-1 at the intermission.
The Irish notched two early second-half goals to up their advantage to six (7-1). Sophomore Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) netted the first goal, while Hicks, off a feed from Swezey, put home the second score of the stanza.
The Falcons answered back with a goal from Adam Paranka to make it 7-2 with 11:09 remaining in the third quarter. Notre Dame quickly regained its six-goal edge as junior Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) scored with the assist going to Brenneman at the 10:24 mark of the quarter. Krebs now has notched a point in a team-best 25 games. He also has scored a goal in 21 consecutive contests, another team-best mark.
A man-up goal from Air Force’s Eric Evans made it an 8-3 affair at the end of the third period. The Falcons sliced their deficit to four (8-4) at the 12:34 mark of the fourth quarter as Dan Gnazzo scored.
Swezey put the Irish back up by five (9-4) off an assist from his classmate Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School), who has a team-high 11 assists this season. Christman then put the finishing touches on the Notre Dame victory with a man-up goal, off a pass from Brenneman, with 6:37 left in regulation.
Notre Dame out shot Air Force 38-36. The three goals from Earl matched his career-best single-game performance. He also netted three tallies earlier this season against Vermont. Air Force goalie Brian Wilson made 11 saves in the loss.
The Fighting Irish are back in action when they travel to Denver to face the Pioneers at Invesco Field at Mile High on Saturday, April 11. The GWLL tilt is slated for a 1:30 p.m. (MT) start.
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April 4, 2009 – Alumni Field – Notre Dame, Ind.
Air Force (3-6, 1-1) – 0 1 2 1 – 4
#3 Notre Dame (9-0, 2-0) – 1 4 3 2 – 10
Air Force Scoring (goals-assists):
Adam Paranka 1-0, Eric Evans 1-0, Vinny Sandtorv 1-0, Dan Gnazzo 1-0, Ridge Flick 0-1, Griffin Nevitt 0-1; Goaltender: Brian Wilson (L, 60:00, 11 saves, 10 GA)
Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
David Earl 3-0, Duncan Swezey 1-2, Zach Brenneman 1-2, Neal Hicks 1-1, Peter Christman 1-1, Ryan Hoff 1-0, Grant Krebs 1-0, Mike Creighton 1-0, Dan Gibson 0-1; Goaltender: Scott Rodgers (W, 60:00, 16 saves, 4 GA)
— ND —