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MEN’S LACROSSE: Defense prevails in blowout victory

Pat O'Brien | Monday, April 23, 2007

Notre Dame held the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh scoreless in the first three quarters of Saturday’s game at Moose Krause Stadium and took a 14-2 victory to extended the team’s school-record home winning streak to 13 games. Sophomore attack Duncan Swezey aided the effort on the offensive end with a career-high four goals and an assist. “This was a great win for us on the tail end of the home stretch,” Irish junior defender Ross Zimmerman said. “It was another great team defensive performance. When our goalies do that well, you can afford more mistakes on defense.” The Irish (9-3) used a strong defensive start to carry a 2-0 lead into the second quarter. Then Notre Dame erupted by scoring six straight goals en route to an 8-0 halftime edge over the Mountain Hawks. In the third quarter, Irish defensive stops paved the way for a 12-second span in which Swezey netted two of his four goals. Lehigh finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 10-1. But both teams knew that the game was out of reach as play continued to get sloppy with more incomplete passes. Irish sophomore goaltender Scott Rodgers, who took over for junior Joey Kemp midway through the third quarter, made some key saves that prevented Lehigh from making a late comeback.”Scotty is a very talented goalie as shown in the last few games,” Kemp said of Rodgers. “He really pushes me, and I push him to do better.”Sophomore attack Ryan Hoff had two scores and one assist for the Irish. Freshman midfielder Brett Vecchio netted two goals while junior midfielder Michael Podgajny added one goal and an assist. Sophomore attack Peter Christman, senior attack John Greaney, sophomore midfielder Davey Leach and sophomore midfielder Dan Gibson all aided with a goal each. Sophomore midfielder Kevin Cullinane, senior midfielder Ryan Cunn, freshman attack Neal Hicks, senior midfielder Lucius Polk and freshman attack Will Yeatman each had a helper in the contest. Kemp finished the day with eight saves, zero goals against, and was credited with his ninth win of the year. Rodgers played the last quarter and a half, making 10 saves and allowing two goals. “[This game] brought us one step closer to completing our goal, which is winning our league,” Kemp said. “Every game, our goal is to have that big goose egg [for the opponent] on the scoreboard.”Lehigh (4-9) was led by senior midfielders David Gaunt and Matthew Hichborn, who scored one goal apiece. Senior attack David Walsh added two assists. Senior goalie Dusty Granet picked up the loss in one half of play. He made six saves and gave up eight scores before being replaced by junior goalie Eric Spirko in the second half. Notre Dame hopes to extend its overall winning streak to seven games next Saturday when the Irish continue league play at Ohio State at noon.

Notes:- The Irish held a 47-33 advantage in shots while junior midfielder Taylor Clagett went 8-for-12 on face-offs against Lehigh.

– Yeatman picked up his team-high 37th point. He also leads the team with 19 assists to go along with his 18 goals. Hoff is the team-leader in goals with 30.