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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish take down OSU

Greg Arbogast | Monday, May 1, 2006

It was a two-man show on Saturday as senior attack Brian Hubschmann and Pat Walsh led Notre Dame to a 10-8 victory over rival Ohio State in front of a crowd of 1,563 fans at Moose Krause Stadium.

Hubschmann tallied three goals and three assists to tie a career-high with six points while Walsh had two assists to go along with his three goals. With their strong performances on Saturday, Hubschmann (25 goals, 16 assists) and Walsh (20 goals, 21 assists) both increased their team-leading point totals to 41.

“I’m shaking my head because [Hubschmann and Walsh] are playing so well right now,” Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “They’ve really started to come into their own the second half of the season. They were our key to success [on Saturday].”

Hubschmann and Walsh were slated to start alongside each other in the 2005 season before Hubschmann tore his ACL, forcing him to miss his entire junior season. This year, the two are making up for lost time.

“[Brian] getting hurt threw our chemistry off a little bit at the beginning of the season,” Walsh said. “As the season has gone on, our chemistry has gotten better each week. He’s a great shooter, and I’m more of a passer. We read each other well.”

The two seniors’ play was the catalyst for Notre Dame’s victory, which improves the team’s record to 2-2 in the Greater Western Lacrosse League and 9-4 overall.

The match-up was also the 25th time that Notre Dame and Ohio State have met. With the win, the Irish gained the series advantage by the slim margin of 13-12.

Notre Dame also extracted a measure of revenge on the Buckeyes, who crushed Notre Dame’s dreams of an NCAA berth in 2003 and 2004 with late-season victories both years.

This time, it was the Irish who broke Ohio State’s hearts, as Notre Dame ended the Buckeyes’ chance to win a share of the GWLL championship.

“We used the rivalry to play extra hard and defend our home field,” Walsh said. “Every win is a good feeling, but it’s always nice to beat a rival like Ohio State.”

Notre Dame used the extra emotion of the game to jump out to an early lead. After Ohio State’s Craig Nolan tied the game at one with 4:28 left in the first period, Notre Dame rattled off four consecutive goals to take a 5-1 lead. Hubschmann scored two of the four, with Walsh assisting on the second. Matt Ryan and Matt Karweck also found the net for the Irish.

“[Getting off to a good start] has been a struggle for us so far this season,” Corrigan said. “It was important because it allowed us to dictate the flow of the game. We didn’t have to force it in the offensive end which prevented them from using their athletic guys in transition.”

After Notre Dame’s strong start, goals by Ohio State’s Jason Lutz and Kevin Buchanan cut the score to 5-3 at halftime.

The third period saw a flurry of scoring, as the two teams combined to score seven goals. Like the first half, the Irish were the stronger team to start, as sophomore Michael Podgajny, Walsh and Hubschmann each scored to extend the lead to 8-3.

Ohio State cut into the lead again, as goals by Lutz and Jason Bloom brought the score to 8-5 with 6:46 left in the third period.

Walsh scored again to extend the Irish lead back to four, but a goal by Ohio State’s Josh Wittenberg made the score 9-6 at the end of third period.

The fourth period saw the Buckeyes cut the lead to two at 9-7, but Ohio State could never get closer than two goals, and the Irish held on to win by the score of 10-8.