March 31, 2005
Junior attackman Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week by the conference Tuesday after leading the ninth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team to a 9-8 double-overtime victory at #13 Hofstra on Saturday. Walsh had an assist and scored a career-high six goals – including the game-winner – and became the fourth different Irish player to be named the conference’s top player in five weeks this season.
With the score still tied 8-8 midway through the second overtime period on Saturday, 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. He also scored his team’s penultimate goal, which put the Irish ahead 8-5 with 10:47 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Walsh, one of just two Division I players among the national top 10 in both goals and assists, 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 one saved at the beginning of the first overtime.
Walsh, a third-team All-American and one of 15 nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2004, now has a scoring streak of 18 consecutive games, including a four-assist performance at Villanova in an 11-7 win on Monday. 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).
The junior is the top player for an offensive unit that came into this week leading Division I in scoring (12.80 goals per game). He is one of just two players in the country (along with UMBC’s Brendan Mundorf) to rank among the top 10 in this week’s NCAA leaders in points per game (2nd, 5.40), goals per game (9th, 2.80), and assists per game (6th, 2.60). Walsh currently holds healthy leads in the GWLL leaders in scoring (5.40, Air Force’s Will Meister is next at 3.67) and assists (2.60, Meister is next with 2.17). He is second in goals per game (2.80) and third in man-up goals per game (0.60), behind only two of his teammates. Walsh leads Notre Dame in scoring with 31 points, and he is tops in assists (17) and second in goals (14). He has had three or more points in every game this season, including six against both #21 Penn State and Butler and five vs. #10 North Carolina.
Walsh immediately was a prolific offensive threat upon joining the Irish, and he has turned into one of the top players in the nation. He was honorable mention All-America as a freshman before earning third-team accolades last season and being named to the second team in Inside Lacrosse’s preseason awards for ’05. Walsh is the only Notre Dame player ever to earn All-America honors in both of his first two seasons and he became the second-quickest to register 100 career points when he did it in this season’s opener, his 26th career game.
It was the fourth time in five weeks that Notre Dame boasted the conference’s top player. Fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) earned the first award of the 2005 season, while junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) and junior A Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) had won the previous two awards. This is the first time since 2001 – when the Irish rose to #2 in the national rankings and advanced to the NCAA semifinals – that Notre Dame has copped the GWLL player-of-the-week award more than twice in a campaign. In ’01, Irish players earned the honor on five occasions. Despite being a two-time first-team all-GWLL selection, it was Walsh’s first weekly honor from the conference.
Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Walsh was the most-accomplished scorer in the history of Wantagh High School, which he helped to a New York state championship in 2001. He set the Nassau County record for career points (390) and notched school records in career goals (212), career assists (178), and points in a season (120). Walsh was named the Nassau County Player of the Year and was twice a first-team All-America selection after being honorable mention as a sophomore. He helped the United States to the gold medal in the Under-19 World Championship in 2003, scoring at least one point in every game and notching four goals and three assists in the title game against Canada.
Walsh and Notre Dame, off to its best start (5-1 record) since 2001, will take on a ranked team for the fifth time in seven games this season, when they travel to #19 Dartmouth this Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. (EST) contest.