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Men’s Lacrosse: Declawing the Cats

Pat O'Brien | Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sophomore attack Ryan Hoff scored five goals and junior midfielder Michael Podgajny added three tallies and four assists as No. 13 Notre Dame cruised to a 15-5 victory Tuesday over Villanova.

The win is the 10th-straight victory at home for the Irish, dating back to 2005 and their third in a row.

The Irish (6-3) played strong out of the gate, taking a 5-0 lead early in the second quarter. However, Villanova (4-4) did not quit. The Wildcats netted four of the next five goals to cut the score to 6-4. Irish senior attack Brian Hubschmann stopped the bleeding by netting his only goal to give Notre Dame a 7-4 lead at the half.

After the halftime break, the Irish never looked back, closing the game on an 8-1 run. This streak included the first career goal scored by sophomore midfielder Davey Leach. Leach found the net by firing a deep shot with less than a second to go in the third quarter.

“It was definitely a good win,” Irish junior goaltender Joey Kemp said. “We left [Villanova] in the game a little bit, and they are a good comeback team. Earlier this year, they were down by five against Towson, and they came back to only lose by one. It felt good to put that kind of team away and win 15-5.”

Other Irish scorers included senior midfielder Lucius Polk and freshman attack Will Yeatman. Polk netted two goals and added an assist, while Yeatman scored one and racked up two helpers. Hubschmann also added an assist to his late second-quarter goal.

Sophomore attack Peter Christman and freshman midfielder Grant Krebs each tacked on a score, while senior attack John Greaney (one goal) and junior attack Alex Wharton (two assists) notched points.

Kemp made seven saves in over 51 minutes of play. Sophomore goaltender Scott Rodgers played the last 8:48 of the game, in which he made four stops without allowing a goal.

“I was a little slow in the first half, but I played a lot better in the second,” Kemp said.

Notre Dame held a slim margin over Villanova on shots, 39-33. Irish junior midfielder Taylor Clagett went 14-of-20 in faceoffs for the game.

“It has been rocky so far on faceoffs,” Clagett said. “However, during the past few games it has gotten a little better.”

Villanova’s offense was led by senior midfielder Andy German, who netted two goals and added an assist. Junior attack Jay Foley (two goals), junior attack Chris MacDonald (one goal), sophomore attack Tim Langan Jr. (one assist) and senior defensive midfielder Mike Hass (two assists) each scored points for the Wildcats.

Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew DiLoreto earned the loss, allowing 13 goals with five stops.

The Irish will try to push their winning streak to four games when they play league-rival Air Force Friday at 5 p.m. at Moose Krause Stadium.