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Irish finish season undefeated against conference foes

Pat O'Brien | Friday, May 18, 2007

After completing an eight-game winning streak by beating league foe Quinnipiac 14-9 on May 5, Notre Dame dropped its first-round game of the NCAA Tournament to No. 5 Johns Hopkins 11-10 in overtime May 12.

Notre Dame 14, Quinnipiac 9

The victory over Quinnipiac (6-7, 1-4) gave Notre Dame an unblemished 5-0 record in the Great Western Lacrosse League. In a game that featured a 39-24 Irish advantage in shots, sophomore attack Ryan Hoff netted six goals.

Notre Dame senior attack Brian Hubschmann added three goals and two assists while freshman attack Will Yeatman had one score and two helpers.

Junior goaltender Joey Kemp picked up his 11th win of the season and played the entire 60 minutes. He made 10 saves and gave up nine goals.

“It should be one of our top goals to finish well in our league every season,” Kemp said.

Quinnipiac, which kept it relatively close in the second half, was led by sophomore attack Mike Annunziata and senior midfielder Mike Stottler. Both players scored hat tricks, and Annuziata added an assist. Sophomore midfielder Todd Kaiser aided with two scores of his own. Freshman goaltender Jamie Prudden picked up the loss in 59 minutes of work. He made 13 stops and let in 14 goals.

After the game, which ended Notre Dame’s regular season, Yeatman was named GWLL newcomer of the year. He led the Irish with 44 regular season points and 23 assists.

Coach Kevin Corrigan won coach of the year for the fourth time, and Kemp was named player of the year. He finished the season with a .630 save percentage and a 6.47 goals-against average. Among Division 1 goalies, the marks place him third and fifth, respectively.

Four Irish members were selected to the GWLL first-team, and four were placed on the second team.

“I felt I played a little bit better this season,” Kemp said. “I had different attitudes to help the team, and I learned new leadership skills.”

Johns Hopkins 11, Notre Dame 10 (OT)

No. 9 Notre Dame (11-4, 5-0) took on Johns Hopkins May 12 to begin the 16-team tournament in a thrilling game that the Blue Jays won in overtime after two 40-minute weather delays.

With the Irish down 10-8 with less than half of the fourth quarter to go, Hoff netted two goals to force the game into overtime. He was fed by Yeatman and Hubschmann, respectively, for the two scores – the second one coming with nine seconds left in regulation.

“I was really proud of the team at that time,” Kemp said of the late Irish surge. “[Johns Hopkins] had the ball in the last two minutes, and we were able to put it on the ground 3-4 times.”

But the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins (10-4) kept their winning streak alive. Freshman midfielder Michael Kimmel netted his only goal, and it was the most important one of the game. He found the back of the net a minute into overtime to score the unassisted game winner.

“I’m disappointed that the seniors left Notre Dame lacrosse with a loss in the first round of the playoffs,” Kemp said.

Irish junior midfielder Michael Podgajny led both teams with four goals. Hubschmann added three goals and an assist while Yeatman had two helpers. Freshman midfielder Brett Vecchio netted a goal, and sophomore midfielder Davey Leach had an assist. Kemp made eight saves and gave up eleven goals. The Irish outshot the Blue Jays 43-36.

The Blue Jays, who won 17 out of 24 face-offs, were led by senior attack Jake Byrne’s three goals. Junior midfielder Paul Rabil added two goals and two assists and junior attack Kevin Huntley had three helpers. Sophomore midfielder Brian Christopher netted two goals as well. Senior goalie Jesse Schwartzman anchored the defensive end with 14 stops in a complete-game win.