Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny notched a hat trick on Senior Day for the Irish.

Seventh-Ranked Irish Top No. 9 Ohio State, 17-12

April 27, 2008

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In a showdown between two top-10 teams, No. 7 Notre Dame defeated No. 9 Ohio State, 17-12, in men’s lacrosse action on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field. The Fighting Irish were led by three-goal efforts from midfielders Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley) and Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s). The game was the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Notre Dame (11-2, 4-1) victory extended the program-record home win streak to 18 games and forced a three-way tie atop the final Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) standings. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Denver all finished with 4-1 conference records. The Fighting Irish will be the No. 1 seed at next weekend’s inaugural Great Western Lacrosse League tournament.

Notre Dame jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind scores from Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School), Adam Felicetti (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) and Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney). Ohio State (9-4, 4-1) responded with four straight goals, including two from Chris Friel to take a 4-3 lead with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter. Krebs put a halt to the Buckeye surge with his first goal of the game. A goal from Peter Schell put Ohio State on top, 5-4, at the end of the opening period.

Podgajny knotted the game (5-5) with a man-up tally at the 10:42 mark of the second quarter. The Buckeyes reclaimed an advantage with a goal from Jeff Ryan less than a minute later, however that would be their last lead of the contest. Notre Dame would score six of the game’s next seven goals to take an 11-7 lead by the 7:56 mark of the third quarter.

The uprising started with a goal from Podgajny with 7:39 left in the first half and Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) followed to give the Irish the lead back at 7-6. Podgajny completed his hat trick to give Notre Dame a two-goal edge before Ohio State’s Peet Poillon scored the final goal of the half to make it an 8-7 game in favor of the Irish at the intermission.

Notre Dame scored the first three goals of the second half as Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School), Swezey and Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School) all found the back of the net to expand the lead to four (11-7). Wharton matched a career-high total with four assists on the afternoon. After a score from Poillon, Matt Ciambella (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) deposited a man-up goal to give the Irish a 12-8 lead with 2:54 remaining in the third period.

Back-to-back goals from Ohio State’s James Green sliced the Fighting Irish lead to two (12-10) with 11:42 left in regulation. Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) briefly halted the Buckeye surge with a goal for Notre Dame, yet Green responded with his team-leading third score of the game to make it 13-11 in favor of the Irish with 8:49 on the clock.

Three unanswered goals from Notre Dame would put the game out of reach for Ohio State. The run featured the second goals of the game for Krebs, Hicks and Hoff. Buchanan scored the final Buckeye goal of the afternoon to make it 16-12 with 3:24 remaining. Krebs then completed his second career hat trick to produce the final result and give the Irish their fourth straight win.

Notre Dame dominated the statistical categories by claiming a 47-31 advantage in shots and winning 24-of-32 faceoffs. Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha) took every faceoff for the Irish. Notre Dame also went 3-for-5 in man-up opportunities.

Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) earned the win by making 12 stops and playing all 60 minutes between the pipes for the Fighting Irish. Stefan Schroder made 18 saves in the loss.

The Fighting Irish defense held the reigning GWLL player of the week Joel Dalgarno to two points on one goal and one assist. Dalgarno was coming off a nine-goal, three-assist performance against Denver. Notre Dame’s offense used 10 different goalscores, which marked the sixth time this season the Irish have had at least 10 players score a goal in a game. Notre Dame also reached double-digits in the scoring column for the ninth time this season.

The three-way tie gives Notre Dame a share of its 11th Great Western Lacrosse League regular-season title. The Irish claimed the outright championship last season.

Notre Dame will face Quinnipiac in the semifinals of the GWLL tournament on Friday, May 2 at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m. (ET). The second semifinal contest featuring Denver and Ohio State will follow at 7:30 p.m. The title game will be held on Sunday, May 4 at 12 noon (ET).

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#9 Ohio State (9-4, 4-1) – 5 2 2 3 – 12
#7 Notre Dame (11-2, 4-1) – 4 4 4 5 – 17

Ohio State Scoring (goals-assists):
James Green 3-1, Kevin Buchanan 2-3, Peet Poillon 2-0, Chris Friel 2-0, Joel Dalgarno 1-1, Jeff Ryan 1-0, Peter Schell 1-0, Ryan Lowe 0-1; Goaltenders: Stefan Schroder (L, 58:53, 18 saves, 17 GA), Brandon Freeman (1:07, 0 saves, 0 GA)

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
Grant Krebs 3-2, Michael Podgajny 3-0, Duncan Swezey 2-2, Ryan Hoff 2-0, Neal Hicks 2-0, Alex Wharton 1-4, Peter Christman 1-2, Adam Felicetti 1-0, Matt Ciambella 1-0, Zach Brenneman 1-0; Goaltender: Joey Kemp (W, 60:00, 12 saves, 12 GA)