March 26, 2005
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), a native of Long Island, scored his sixth goal of the game to hand the #9 University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (4-1) a 9-8 double-overtime victory against #13 Hofstra (3-4) Saturday afternoon at Shuart Stadium. The Irish led nearly the entire game – going up by as many as four – but saw the Pride score twice in the final two minutes to force extra sessions.
Junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) created what would be the decisive turnover in the game, hounding Hofstra junior M Rob Bonaguro all around the Irish net until he finally was able to check the ball from his stick and then gather it up to give Notre Dame possession.
The ball was on Walsh’s stick following an Irish timeout, and the junior moved from the left wing to behind the net and then reversed his momentum. He made a dodge, dove toward the crease and scored to hand Notre Dame its first-ever double-overtime victory.
Walsh – who also had an assist for seven total points – put Notre Dame ahead 8-5 with 10:47 remaining on his fifth goal of the day, which came off an assist from junior A Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy). Hofstra won the ensuing faceoff and got a goal at the 9:12 mark by Ryan Lucas to make the margin two.
After the Irish turned it over with just over three minutes remaining, Hofstra called a timeout and then got a goal from Tom Brewer with 1:41 remaining to make it 8-7. A tripping penalty on Notre Dame with 1:05 left in the game set up the game-tying tally by the Pride. It was provided by Lucas with 40 seconds to go in regulation, making it 8-8. Senior co-captain A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) fired a last-second prayer as time ran out, but Pride goaltender Matt Southard stopped it to force overtime.
Notre Dame won the faceoff in the first extra session, and Walsh got a shot, but it was saved by Southard (his only save on the Irish All-American all day). The Pride would then control the ball for the remainder of the initial overtime, getting numerous good chances to end the game. But freshman G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School) continued to come up big, making three critical saves to keep his team’s hopes alive. He faced 42 shots and finished with a collegiate-high 16 saves (.667) and improved to 3-0, becoming the first Irish freshman to win in his first three starts since Chris Parent did so in 1990. In addition to overtime, Kemp was particularly effective in the opening quarter. Hofstra outshot Notre Dame 14-5 in the first 15 minutes, but could put just one of those offerings into the net (five were saved by Kemp), which allowed the Irish to hold a 2-1 advantage after one period.
Hofstra won the faceoff to open the second overtime and controlled the ball for nearly two minutes, before Ryan’s forced turnover.
Walsh, who came into the game ranked third in Division I in scoring (5.00 points per game), had previously never scored more than four goals in a game as a collegian (which he did against Harvard in 2003 and Denver in ’04). But he tallied four times in the first half and became the first Irish player to score six in a game since Jon Harvey did so against Villanova in 2000. Walsh tied the Notre Dame record for goals in a road game, as it was the eighth time in program history that an Irish player scored six goals in an opponent’s stadium. It was last done by Chris Dusseau against Massachusetts in 1999.
After Hofstra drew first blood in the third minute of the game, Walsh opened the scoring for Notre Dame with an unassisted tally at the 9:33 mark and then took a pass from senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) to give Notre Dame its first lead with 3:24 left in the first quarter. Following an unassisted goal by Ryan early in the second, Walsh completed his hat trick with an unassisted goal of his own just 19:02 into the game. After the Pride pulled to within two (4-2), junior M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) fed Walsh, who scored his fourth of the game with 7:31 remaining. Walsh – who had just eight goals combined in the season’s first four games – was unsuccessful on just two of his eight shots: a wide attempt just before his first goal and the one saved by Southard at the beginning of the first overtime.
Walsh, a third-team All-American and one of 15 nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2004, extended his scoring streak to 17 games. It was the fourth time in his career that he has had seven or more points in a game, as well as the third time this season he has had six or more in a contest (eighth career). He entered the game tied for first in Division I in assists per game (3.00). Walsh is Notre Dame’s leader in both goals (14) and assists (13) this season. He has factored in more than one-quarter (26%, 27 of 103) of the goals this season by the Irish, who entered the weekend as the highest-scoring team in Division I.
Notre Dame is off to its best start since opening the 2001 campaign with five consecutive victories (before losing 11-10 in overtime at Hofstra). This season, the Irish have beaten #21 Penn State, #10 North Carolina, Butler, and the 13th-ranked Pride, while their only defeat was an 11-10 decision at #10 Cornell on March 5. Notre Dame holds a 3-1 mark against ranked teams, with all of those games coming on the road. Hofstra was the highest-ranked team to lose at home to the Irish since Notre Dame beat #12 North Carolina 10-8 in Chapel Hill in 2003.
Giordano was the only player besides Walsh to notch multiple points, as he had both a goal and an assist. He has now tallied a goal in each of the last eight games in which he has played.
The Irish led by four on two occasions, first late in the second half (6-2) before a last-minute Pride score. Giordano’s goal to open the second-half scoring then made it 7-3.
Even though Notre Dame trailed for just 2:52 the entire game, Hofstra was up in a number of the statistical categories. The Pride had a 42-26 advantage in shots and a 39-27 edge in ground balls. The Irish did win 11 of 20 faceoffs, but Hofstra took five of seven in the fourth quarter and overtimes combined. Notre Dame freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) won nine of 17 faceoffs and shared the team lead (with Karweck) with five ground balls. The Irish have won the majority of faceoffs in every game this season after doing that just twice in 12 contests in 2004.
The Irish defense – led by Kemp, junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School), senior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), sophomore D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), and freshman D Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice H.S.) – continued its strong play. It has held opponents to nine goals or fewer in 10 of the last 12 games, dating back to last year, helping the team to a 9-3 mark during that span.
The game continued a tradition of outstanding games in the Notre Dame-Hofstra series, which has now seen each side claim six victories. It was the third overtime affair between the schools in the last seven years, as well as the seventh time in the last 10 that the game was decided by just a single goal. Notre Dame broke a streak of three consecutive defeats at Shuart Stadium, all of which came by one goal (twice in overtime) when the Irish were the higher-ranked team.
Notre Dame snapped a six-game losing streak in overtime affairs and earned its first extra-session triumph since a 10-9 win against #12 Hobart on March 29, 1997. The Irish, now 9-8 all-time in overtime affairs, had previously been defeated in their only other double-OT games, having lost 7-6 to #3 Loyola in 2002 and 9-8 against #3 Maryland last year.
The Irish will return to action quickly, as they travel to Villanova on Monday for a 1 p.m. (EST) contest at Villanova Stadium. The game was originally scheduled for March 8, but was postponed due to inclement weather.