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Men’s Lacrosse: Irish win final home game

Griffin Dassatti | Monday, April 28, 2008

In its last home game of the season, No. 7 Notre Dame captured the GWLL regular season title with a 17-12 win over No. 13 Ohio State.

The victory pulled the Irish (11-2, 4-1 GWLL) into a three-way tie with the Buckeyes (9-4, 4-1 GWLL) and Denver for first place in the Great Western Lacrosse League, which the Irish won by virtue of a tiebreaker. The Irish came out firing early, scoring three goals in the first seven minutes, including one by junior midfielder Peter Christman just 51 seconds into the game.

But the Buckeyes wouldn’t go down easily. Following a time-out, the Buckeyes scored four straight goals to take the lead for the first time in the game.

Despite this impressive offensive display by the Buckeyes, Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said he remained confident in his team’s ability to adjust to the pressure.

“We knew it was going to be up-and-down and I wasn’t concerned with the mentality of the team,” he said. “A lot of times you would call time-out in that situation but I didn’t call timeout because I wasn’t worried.”

After ending the first quarter down 5-4, Notre Dame showed its coach that his confidence was not in vain, going on a 4-2 run of their own to go into halftime up 8-7.

Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny dominated during the run, scoring all three of his goals, two of which were assisted by sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs.

The third quarter saw much of the same as the Irish extended their lead to 12-9 on goals by sophomore midfielder Neal Hicks, junior attack Duncan Swezey, senior attack Alex Wharton and sophomore attack Matt Ciambella. Wharton, who leads the Irish in assists this season with 27, had four in the game.

Notre Dame closed out the game thanks in part to two goals by Krebs, who finished the game with three. Senior goaltender Joey Kemp made 12 saves.

Having secured the No. 1 seed in next week’s GWLL tournament, the Irish will take on the Quinnipiac, a team the Irish beat 16-6 on April 18. Corrigan said after the game that the team is happy with the win but determined to keep their focus.

“Denver and Ohio State are very good teams, excellent teams, and I think that not having to play one of them in the first round and the other in the second round is terrific,” Corrigan said. “We’re glad that we’ll only have to play one or the other, but our job now is to play Quinnipiac in the first round and take them down. We only have one game on the schedule right now, and we have to work hard this week to prepare for it.”