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MEN’S LACROSSE: Irish fall to Dartmouth 10-9 in second one-goal loss of year

Mike Gilloon | Monday, April 4, 2005

Notre Dame fell 10-9 at Dartmouth Saturday, tallying its second one-goal defeat of the season. “I feel like we didn’t play particularly well,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “I was disappointed in the way we played and I take full responsibility for it. I don’t think I had us as prepared as we needed to be.” Dartmouth led 8-7 at the beginning of the fourth quarter but Notre Dame tied the match when attack Pat Walsh tossed in a goal with 7:11 left in the contest. The Big Green answered back quickly with two goals in the final three minutes to cement the win. Midfielder Ben Grinnell weaved his way through the Irish defense and scored with 2:54 remaining. His teammate, midfielder Alec Hufnagle, notched the winning goal 1:27 later. The Irish mounted a comeback with freshman midfielder Michael Podgajny scoring with 19 seconds remaining, but the final seconds ticked away before Notre Dame could score again.”The most encouraging thing of the day is that we gave ourselves a chance to win the game,” Corrigan said. “We did that without playing well and that is a good sign for a team.” Walsh, currently second in the NCAA in scoring, continued his hot streak by netting two goals and one assist. The Great Western Lacrosse League player of the week has totaled at least three points in every game this year. Notre Dame took the early lead with two Matt Ryan goals in the first eight minutes of the game. Dartmouth then tied the contest with two goals of their own coming at the 2:51 and 1:50 mark of the first quarter. The victory was Dartmouth’s first ever over Notre Dame. With their only two losses this seasons coming by a combined two goals, Corrigan believes Notre Dame might be better than its record indicates. “I think we have tremendous potential,” Corrigan said. “I’ve seen some great signs from this team throughout the season in terms of their approach to things. At the same time, the important thing is, are we learning the lessons we need to be learning as we go through, both from the wins and the losses.” Dartmouth fired 51 shots on goal compared to Notre Dame’s 32, but Irish freshman goalie Joey Kemp made 23 saves to keep his team within reach. “Joey was terrific,” Corrigan said. “I honestly think Joey was the reason we had a chance to win at the end. He was outstanding all day. I think he’s proving to be just a tremendous talent in the cage.”Notre Dame is currently in a position to determine its NCAA Tournament fate. The Irish need to win their remaining four regular-season games (Denver, Air Force, at Fairfield, at Ohio State) to win the conference and automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament. “If we win our next four we’re going to win our league and go to the tournament,” Corrigan said. “That’s what we need to be focused on now and I think we’re going to need all the experience that we’ve gained throughout the season.”