Junior midfielder David Earl tallied a career-best four points on three goals and an assist in Saturday's win over Loyola.

Third-Ranked Irish Top No. 10 Loyola, 11-9, In Face-Off Classic

March 6, 2010

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BALTIMORE, Md. – Hat tricks from Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) and David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) spearheaded the offense for No. 3 Notre Dame in an 11-9 victory over No. 10 Loyola at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on Saturday afternoon. The contest was played in front of 19,742 fans at M&T Bank Stadium.

Senior attackman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School) upped his team-best point streak to 21 games by depositing two goals and an assist for the Fighting Irish. Max Pfeifer (Crozet, Va./Western Albermarle), Steve Murphy (Shirley, N.Y./William Floyd) and Colin Igoe (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) all scored one goal for Notre Dame.

Igoe, Earl and Andrew Irving (McLean, Va./The Hotchkiss School) each had one assist in the victory. Irving also had a game-high seven ground balls. Senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) made 11 saves to up his career record to 18-1.

Loyola struck first two minutes into the contest on a goal from Eric Lusby. Lusby and Collin Finnerty both had three goals for the Greyhounds. The deficit was the first of the season for the Irish.

Notre Dame (3-0) did not stay down for long as Earl tallied his first goal of the day with 11:34 showing on the clock in the first quarter. Lusby responded three minutes later to put Loyola back up by one.

Brenneman’s first tally of the game evened the score with just over six minutes left in the opening quarter. A Matt Langan goal gave the Greyhounds a 3-2 lead after the first 15 minutes of play.

The Notre Dame defense held Loyola without a goal in the second quarter, while the Irish offense went on a 3-0 run to take a 5-3 lead at the intermission. The surge began with a goal from Earl with 2:03 left in the first half. Hicks scored with 56 seconds remaining in the stanza and Murphy scored with eight seconds showing on the clock.

Loyola (3-1) went on a 3-0 run of its own to claim a one-goal advantage (6-5) with less than five minutes elapsed in the second half. Two of the goals came from Finnerty, while the third was from Taylor Ebsary.

Notre Dame put a halt to the surge with tallies from Hicks and Brenneman, which gave the Fighting Irish a 7-6 lead midway through the third quarter. The Greyhounds answered back with goals from D.J. Comer and Finnerty to produce an 8-7 advantage with 1:53 left in the third period.

Brenneman’s third goal of the day, which came with 48 seconds left in the period, evened the contest (8-8) after three quarters of play. The hat trick was the second of the season for Brenneman, who also notched three goals in an 11-7 win over No. 2 Duke in the season opener. Brenneman, a junior midfielder, and Hicks both lead the Irish with seven goals apiece this season.

Pfeifer scored with 13:42 left in regulation to give Notre Dame a 9-8 edge. A man-up tally from Lusby evened the contest once again with just over 12 minutes left.

The Fighting Irish went up for good as Igoe deposited a goal with 9:26 remaining in the fourth quarter. Earl put the finishing touches on the win and his third career hat trick with 48 seconds left in regulation. The four-points were a single-game career-high total for the junior midfielder.

Notre Dame held a 36-29 advantage in shots in addition to going 14-10 in faceoffs. Junior Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) won 14-of-23 faceoff attempts.

“Our execution was not very good,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “We were very fortunate that our guys made enough plays to help us win the game. Some days you’re not at your best and you hope you have guys that play as hard as they did and make some good plays. They made some great plays. (Zach) Brenneman did not have his best day, he had three goals, but Zach knows what I’m talking about, but three goals is a great day for anybody.”

The win improved Notre Dame to 3-0 for the third straight season. The Fighting Irish boast a 20-game regular-season win streak. Notre Dame has won the last four meetings against Loyola.

The Notre Dame-Loyola tilt was the third and final game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on Saturday. Maryland topped Duke, 11-10 in overtime, in the opener, while Princeton defeated Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in the second contest.

The Fighting Irish return to action at Drexel on Tuesday, March 9. Game time is slated for 4:00 p.m. (ET).

March 6, 2010 – M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, Md.
#3 Notre Dame (3-0) – 2 3 3 3 – 11
#10 Loyola (3-1) – 3 0 5 1 – 9

Notre Dame Scoring (goals-assists):
David Earl 3-1, Zach Brenneman 3-0, Neal Hicks 2-1, Colin Igoe 1-1, Max Pfeifer 1-0, Steve Murphy 1-0, Andrew Irving 0-1; Goaltender: Scott Rodgers (W, 60:00, 11 saves, 9 GA)

Loyola Scoring (goals-assists):
Eric Lusby 3-0, Collin Finnerty 3-0, Matt Langan 1-2, D.J. Comer 1-1, Taylor Ebsary 1-0, Kevin Moriarty 0-1;Goaltender: Jake Hagelin (L, 60:00, 10 saves, 11 GA)

— ND —