Feb. 14, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After trailing 7-2 in the second period, the 11th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team rattled off 10 goals in a row to take command of the game en route to a 14-11 exhibition victory over the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse Saturday afternoon in the Loftus Sports Center. Senior A Matt Howell’s (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) four goals led a quartet of Irish players who found the net multiple times. Notre Dame will conclude its exhibition schedule on Sunday, Feb. 22 at home against Denison at 10 a.m. (EST) before beginning the regular season by playing host to #17 Penn State on Sunday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m.
Howell, who was ninth in the nation in points per game (2.11) last season, started Notre Dame’s comeback with a goal from sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) with 8:07 remaining in the first half. It began a 17:41 stretch in which the Irish would outscore the Cannons 10-0 to take a 12-7 advantage. Irish senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) was a key part of that run, registering six of his 14 saves.
Boston struck back with four consecutive goals late in the third and early in the final stanza. With its lead cut to 12-11, Notre Dame got a pair of late insurance tallies after being held scoreless for 18:42. Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) took a pass from sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) and found the back of the net with 7:03 left in the game before Walsh concluded the scoring with a goal from senior M Steve Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) at the 1:59 mark. The scores were the second of the game for both Berger and Walsh.
Notre Dame’s defense stepped up its play over the final 8:28, allowing just a pair of Boston shots — neither of them on net. Among the Irish defensive leaders were sophomore D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School), senior D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.), senior D Brennan Creaney (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), freshman D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), and junior M Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.).
Sixteen seconds after Howell began the Irish rally, sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) became the first Notre Dame player other than Howell to score, netting an unassisted goal to cut the lead to 7-4. With 5:09 to go in the first half, Ryan added an unassisted tally of his own. Richez then scored with 3:38 remaining before junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) tied the game at 7-7 by taking a pass from freshman A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) and scoring with 2:06 left before halftime. Berger gave Notre Dame the lead for good by taking a Hubschmann pass and scoring with 1:24 left in the opening half, giving the Irish their seventh goal in the second period.
The third quarter saw the Irish assault continue, as sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) scored 53 seconds into the period. Giordano took advantage of a man-up situation to tally his second score of the game off a pass from senior M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.) with 11:27 to go in the third.
Junior M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.), who finished 10-11 in faceoffs, won the ensuing draw, collected a ground ball, and found Howell, who scored his fourth goal of the contest seven seconds later.
Walsh gave Notre Dame its biggest lead, 12-7, with an unassisted score with 10:45 remaining in the third.
The Cannons connected on their first five shots on goal to take a 5-0 advantage with 7:00 remaining in the opening period before Howell got the Irish on the scoreboard at the 1:06 mark off an assist from Hubschmann. After Boston scored off the opening faceoff of the second quarter, Howell took a pass from Walsh and made the score 6-2.
Boston finished second in the American Division with a 7-5 record in 2003, advancing to the MLL semifinals for the third consecutive season.
Notre Dame won its first exhibition game 22-4 over Mercyhurst on Feb. 8.