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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish defeat Brown at home

Tim Dougherty | Thursday, March 30, 2006

No. 11 Notre Dame defeated Brown 11-5 Wednesday at Moose Krause Stadium, improving the team’s record to 5-2 with one game left before its Big East schedule begins.

With a four-goal second quarter, the Irish jumped out to a 6-1 lead that the Bears (2-5) never threatened.

Paving the way for the Notre Dame’s early surge was sophomore goalie Joey Kemp, who recorded nine of his 10 saves in the first quarter – with all but one on shots coming from within 10 yards.

Kemp’s .596 save percentage (No. 16 in the nation) entering the game climbed to .615 after allowing only three goals against his 10 saves.

“We got a really good game from Joey,” Notre Dame senior co-captain Drew Peters said. “If we can eliminate close up shots on him, we can have a chance in any game we play.”

Fellow co-captain D.J. Driscoll echoed Peters’ sentiments.

“[Kemp] definitely bailed us out in the first quarter,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll – a defender – said his unit’s play improved in the second quarter, overmatching Brown’s enthusiasm and tenacity to take control of a game that became physical in the second quarter.

“I think we came out and we settled down,” Driscoll said. “We buckled down and we got the ball out of guys’ hands after the first quarter.”

Driscoll forced several Brown (2-5) turnovers with big hits, jarring balls loose – and on one occasion a players’ stick.

With the Irish up 3-1 with six minutes left in the first half, Driscoll forced a second turnover in as many minutes.

Three minutes later, Irish senior midfielder Matt Karweck converted that possession into a goal that Brown would never recover from. Taking the ball from the left rear of net, Karweck faked his defender one way and slipped around to the other side of the net. He dove forward and flipped the ball behind his shoulder – sending his teammates on the bench into a frenzy.

“I was just trying to get to the goal and make something happen and get our team going a little bit,” Karweck said. “All week in practice we’ve been talking about going hard to the cage and making something happen.”

Karweck’s score helped rally an Irish squad to two more scores before the half and left and some of his own teammates scratching their heads.

“Watching that play develop, I had no idea what he was trying to do,” Driscoll said. “I was back on defense, and I was like, ‘What was that?’

“[Karweck] is definitely a vocal leader on our team. Seeing him get into a groove kind of fed everyone else.”

The Irish out-hustled and out-muscled Brown the rest of the way and won the groundball battle 42-31. Driscoll and Irish sophomore defensemen Ross Zimmerman led Notre Dame with six pickups each. Senior face-off specialist Steve Panos recovered from a 2-of-15 performance against Hofstra Saturday to win 11-of-20 drops against the Bears.

Notre Dame attackman Ryan Hoff recorded a game-high three scores for the Irish in the freshman’s second multi-goal game of the year.

Fellow Irish freshman attackman Duncan Swezey matched Hoff’s three points on one goal and two assists, and senior attack Pat Walsh also netted one goal and two assists, bringing his team-leading assist total to nine.

Irish leading scorer Brian Hubschmann recorded his team-high 14th goal and added an assist, while sophomore midfielder Mike Podgajny scored a first quarter goal in his first game back after missing three games with mono.

The Irish began their offensive assault four minutes into the first quarter with a Peters line drive from the top of the circle for his first goal of the season.

Notre Dame’s performance Wednesday was a nice rebound after Saturday’s 13-5 loss to No. 4 Hofstra, Driscoll said.

“To come out and outwork another team is pretty uplifting,” Driscoll said. “We didn’t over-think things [against Brown].

“Definitely at Hofstra we over-thought things. If we play like today and take care of business, good things will happen. That’s all we really have to do.”

Notre Dame’s will play Dartmouth Sunday before beginning conference play against Butler in Indianapolis on April 8.