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Men’s Lacrosse: Dominating start helps to tame Nittany Lions

Ellyn Michalak | Monday, February 25, 2008

Notre Dame’s 6-0 domination of the first quarter gave it momentum on the way to its 15-9 win over Penn State Sunday at the Loftus Center.

Junior attack Ryan Hoff led all scorers with six goals – four of which came off assists from attack Alex Wharton. Junior attack Duncan Swezey aided the team’s efforts with two goals, while senior attack Alex Wharton added one goal of his own.

“I thought we played very well at times,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “Certainly we played a great first quarter. Offensively we were pretty sharp. We handled and shot the ball well and created opportunities.”

Senior goaltender Joey Kemp also recorded ten saves for the Irish.

Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny started the Irish rally, scoring off the opening faceoff 37 seconds into the match. Swezey, sophomore attack Colin Igoe and sophomore attack Neal Hicks followed suit and gave the Irish a 4-0 lead. Hoff then scored twice on passes from Wharton and junior midfielder Dan Gibson.

The second quarter started off quickly, with two goals in 21 seconds. The Irish struck first when midfielder Grant Krebs took a pass from Igoe off the opening inbounds and found the back of the net at the 14:48 mark in the second quarter.

Attack Colby Rhodes retaliated just nine seconds later. Rhodes took the ball off the faceoff, made a swim move past the defender and launched a shot from the right side of the goal into the back of the net.

The freshman’s goal sparked a 3-0 Nittany Lions run that put Penn State back in the game.

With 3:25 left in the second period, the Irish made another run. Hoff first scored a goal on another assist from Wharton. Junior midfielder Davey Malera pushed the scored to 9-3, and Hoff then scored again, giving the Irish a seven-point lead at the half.

Penn State junior attack Rob Forster scored his team’s fourth goal with 7:13 in the third period, while junior midfielder Charley Henneghan and junior attack Max VanArsdale scored two more goals to cut the Irish lead down to five.

The Irish then rallied for a third time, scoring four consecutive goals. Hoff scored his last two goals of the day, and Swezey and freshman midfielder Zach Brenneman pushed the Irish lead to nine.

Penn State freshman attack Will Donley scored two of the game’s last three goals, and sophomore attack Matt Loy scored the day’s final point.

The Irish are now 2-0 and will host their second home match Saturday against No. 11 Albany at 1 p.m.

“Albany is a unique team,” Corrigan said. “They are aggressive defensively, they play an extremely good transition game, and are a good offensive group. We have to get used to their style-fast paced and very dynamic-and go out and play really aggressively.”