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Men’s Lacrosse: Laxers make it three straight

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No. 7 Notre Dame earned its third straight victory Tuesday, defeating Air Force 13-5 and improving its record to 10-2, (3-1).

The Irish squad was led offensively by senior attack Alex Wharton, sophomore attack Neal Hicks and junior attack Ryan Hoff, each tallying two goals apiece. Ten different Irish players recorded goals during the match up, and Irish coach Kevin Corrigan attributes some of his team’s success to its offensive diversity.

“We’ve had different people scoring each game and that’s really encouraging,” he said. “We’re scoring 14-15 goals a game, but not just one person is doing the heavy lifting. Everyone is contributing to the team’s offense.”

Senior goaltender Joey Kemp recorded nine saves with only two goals in fifty minutes of play to aid Notre Dame’s defense.

“Defensively we played great,” Corrigan said. “We held them to two goals until later in the game, which put us in a great position to win.”

The Irish didn’t hesitate to ignite their offensive attack. Sophomore midfielder Kelly McKenna scored at the 11:46 mark in the first period to begin a 7-0 run. Junior midfielder Dan Gibson, sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs, Wharton, and Hicks went on to notch four goals within two and a half minutes, and the Irish ended the period with a commanding 5-0 lead over the Falcons.

The Irish improved their lead to seven at the start of the second period when Hoff and Wharton scored. Air Force finally got on the board with 5:27 remaining in the period, scoring back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to five. The Irish retaliated when senior midfielder Michael Podgajny and freshman midfielder Zach Brenneman scored, allowing the Irish to enter halftime with a 9-2 lead over the Falcons.

The Irish carried their successful offensive tactics into the third period outscoring the Falcons 2-0 with goals from Hoff and Hicks.

Junior midfielder Peter Christman and freshman midfielder Billy Maloney tallied the final two Irish goals of the game in the fourth period. The Falcons scored the final three goals of the game designating resulting in the day’s final score of 13-5.

The Irish continue their season Saturday, hosting conference opponent Ohio State.

“Right now Ohio State is playing as confidently as anybody in the country,” Corrigan said. “They are very athletic and play very aggressively at both ends of the field. It’s going to be a great game we’re very excited.”

The match will end the conference season for the Irish and will begin at 12 p.m. at Moose Krause Stadium.

“If we win the next three games, not only are we going into the tournament but having played very well at the end of the year when it counts, but we’re also putting ourselves in a great position,” Corrigan said. “But right now all we need to do is beat Ohio State, and that’s all we’re focusing on.”