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Men’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame upends Brown in preparation for Big East

Greg Arbogast | Monday, April 2, 2007

Notre Dame is finding its stride at just the right time.

With the main part of their conference schedule fast approaching, the Irish won their second game in a row in convincing fashion Saturday by defeating Brown 11-3 in Providence, R.I.

After struggling to find some consistency early this season, Notre Dame has stepped up its performance recently, especially on the defensive end, allowing only eight goals in its last 10 quarters.

“I feel like we’re starting to develop some consistency and some things to build on,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We have young guys playing alongside experienced guys right now, and hopefully that’s a mix that will allow us to continue to improve over the course of the season.”

One young player who matured rapidly is freshman attack Will Yeatman, who netted his second consecutive hat trick Saturday. Yeatman now has a team-leading 26 points this season, including 15 goals.

“Will is doing a lot of good things, but the best thing is that we’re not having to rely on Will,” Corrigan said. “He’s finding his opportunities within our offense, and I’m very pleased with how he’s playing.”

Notre Dame and Brown traded goals to begin the game. Notre Dame senior midfielder Lucius Polk scored a man-up goal before Brown’s Alex Buckley answered. The Irish responded by scoring five consecutive goals to break the game open.

Junior Michael Podgajny began the run with an unassisted goal at the 10:03 mark in the first period, and subsequent goals by Yeatman, attack Peter Christman and midfielder Grant Krebs put Notre Dame up 6-1 early in the second period before the Bears’ Jack Walsh found the back on the net.

“Lacrosse is a sport of runs, and once you get up on a team, it forces them to come after you,” Polk said. “Our team thrives on a fast-paced game, and when we go on a run, it forces teams to play into our hands.”

Polk set up another Irish goal, this time assisting attack Ryan Hoff, to extend the lead to 7-2 going into the half. Any chance of a Brown comeback was extinguished early in the second half when goals from Wharton and Yeatman put the game out of reach.

“Those goals were very important,” Polk said. “Coming out of halftime, it’s very easy to have a lull and let the other team back into the game. It really closed the door to come out and continue our pace from the first half.”

The Irish held the Bears scoreless over the final 19:10 of the game, highlighting the continued stellar play of junior Notre Dame goalie Joey Kemp. In a matchup with Brown keeper Jordan Burke and his .683 save percentage, Kemp outperformed his counterpart, recording 11 saves to Burke’s five.

On the afternoon, Notre Dame out-shot Brown 39-35, and junior Taylor Clagett won 14 of 18 face-offs.

The Irish will return to action Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Villanova at Moose-Krause Stadium.