Feb. 29, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Six players netted multiple goals and five had four or more points as the 11th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team opened the season with a 17-7 victory over #17 Penn State Sunday afternoon in the Loftus Sports Center. Among the offensive leaders for the Irish were sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), who had a career-high four goals, and senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) and sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), who each registered six points.
After Penn State took a 5-4 lead with 6:28 remaining in the first half on an unassisted goal by Charlie Perry, Notre Dame dominated the remainder of the contest. In the final 36:28, the Irish outscored the Nittany Lions 13-2, converting on all six extra-man opportunities and getting 12 saves from senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), who finished with 18.
Karweck opened the scoring in the second, third, and fourth quarters, and also started a run of six unanswered goals to end the game with a tally late in the third period. Karweck, who scored on each of his shots in the contest, scored just 10 goals all of last season and netted multiple scores just once — a hat trick against Pennsylvania. His first goal, from Hubschmann, came at the 12:36 mark of the second quarter and put the Irish ahead 3-2. Karweck opened the second-half scoring just 19 seconds into the third period with a man-up goal from sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) to put Notre Dame up 8-5. Walsh assisted again on his third score, which came with 1:52 left in the third quarter and put the Irish up 13-7. The next goal also was provided by Karweck, who took a pass from junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) and found the back of the net with 10:09 left in the contest.
A trio of Irish players had three goals each. Howell, who took just five shots, had three fourth-quarter tallies in a span of three minutes and three seconds, while also adding three assists. The six points matched his career high (also done vs. Penn State and Hartford last season), while it was the sixth multiple-goal outing for Howell in the 13 games in which he has played over the last two-plus campaigns. Howell netted man-up goals with 7:58 (from Giordano) and 5:05 (from Hubschmann) left in the game before striking again 10 seconds later after senior M Nick Petcoff (Troy, Mich./Detroit Country Day H.S.) won a faceoff and fed him the ball in scoring position. Howell also assisted on a Walsh goal with 6:04 left, giving him four points in that three-minute span.
Walsh had three goals and two assists for his third career hat trick. In his 15 career games, he has posted five or more points on six occasions. Walsh’s first goal, of the unassisted variety, knotted the score at 2-2 with just 33 seconds left in the opening period. He tallied another unassisted marker just eight seconds after a goal from senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) early in the second half before taking a Howell pass and finding the net. Walsh also had a career-high 10 shots in the contest, though only four were on-goal.
For the 12th time in his career, Berger had three goals in a game. His first two came on Irish extra-man opportunities late in the first half. Berger scored off a Howell pass with 3:12 left to tie the score at 5-5 and begin a streak of six straight Notre Dame goals. With 1:03 remaining, he found the net again, this time from Hubschmann. Berger’s final score came from Howell two and a half minutes into the second half.
Hubschmann gave Notre Dame its first lead of the game with an unassisted goal 3:45 into the game before adding another solo score with 1:40 left in the first half. His game-high four assists gave Hubschmann six points on the day, which matched his total from all of last season (three goals, three assists) and exceeded his career assists heading into the day.
Giordano also had four points, with a pair of goals and two assists. He put the Irish up 4-3 with an unassisted goal at the 8:54 mark of the second quarter before tallying a man-up score from Hubschmann with 8:10 left in the third.
Junior M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) led the Irish with five ground balls, all on faceoffs, while sophomores D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) and M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) each had four. Ryan made his first career start in the contest. Hubschmann and freshman M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) had three ground balls apiece.
Junior M Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), in his first game with a longstick after being a regular midfielder a year ago, led Notre Dame by causing three turnovers, while Walsh forced a pair of Nittany Lion errors.
The Irish were extremely adept in man-up situations, converting all six after one failed opportunity in the first quarter.
Seniors D Brennan Creaney (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.) and D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.) both started for the Irish and were key parts of the defensive unit that held Penn State to just two second-half goals and none in the final period. Creaney had a pair of ground balls and caused a turnover, while Blum also forced a turnover.
The Irish had four slashing penalties in the game, two each on Driscoll and senior M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.).
Notre Dame outshot Penn State 49-39, including 13-6 in the opening frame. The Irish also did not turn the ball over in the first quarter en route to 16 turnovers in the game, seven fewer than the Nittany Lions.
Notre Dame, which was second in Division I a year ago in ground balls (44.7 per game), finished with 36 on the game, including 26 in the second half. Penn State had 27.
The Irish were successful on more than 80 percent of their clear attempts, converting 17 of 21.
In addition to Liva, five other rookies made their collegiate debuts on Sunday. A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) took two shots and picked up a ground ball, while M John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) put a shot on goal. D J.R. Stahl (Sparks, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) caused a turnover, while D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and M Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans H.S.) also saw playing time.
Sophomore M Brandon Schultheis (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) also played in his first career game, as a longstick middie.
Juniors M Tyler Krummenacher (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS H.S.) and D Taylor Matthews (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS H.S.) both collected their first collegiate ground balls.
Notre Dame beat Penn State for the sixth time in the last eight years, with all of those contests coming in Irish season openers. The 17 goals were the most-ever for Notre Dame against the Nittany Lions and the 10-point margin of victory also marked the best in the 11-game series between the schools, of which the Irish have been victorious seven times.
The Irish improved to 17-7 all-time in season openers and 21-3 in home openers. Sunday marked the highest-scoring output and the largest margin of victory in a home opener for the Irish since 1993.