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Men’s Lacrosse: ND stays perfect vs. Vermont

Mike Gotimer | Monday, March 23, 2009

Notre Dame stayed hot in sweltering Dallas this week, with a 13-7 win over Vermont in the 2009 Patriot Cup at SMU’s Ford Stadium.

Senior attack Ryan Hoff led the way for the No. 3 Irish with a five-goal effort on the day. Four of Hoff’s goals came during a stretch where Notre Dame tallied eight unanswered goals that began in the first quarter and ended early in the second with the Irish on top 9-1.

Irish coach Kevin Corrigan thought that Notre Dame’s aggressive start helped set the tone of the game.

“We played very well in the first quarter,” Corrigan said. “We were very aggressive at both ends and took advantage of opportunities and put the pressure on them in the first 20 minutes.”

The Irish got on the board first when junior attack Neal Hicks found the back of the net just over two minutes into the game. Vermont tied the score at one when senior attack Andrew Kelleher scored the first of his four goals on the day with 9:33 left in the first quarter.

Hoff began the eight-goal run for the Irish with his first. Fellow senior attack Duncan Swezey added two goals and an assist in the run while sophomore midfielder David Earl and junior midfielder Grant Krebs each scored once during the run.

Notre Dame’s run helped Irish set the tempo for the game.

“Their pressure worked against them,” Corrigan said. “We were able to kind of attack them a little bit and make plays.”

The Irish run also helped ease coach Corrigan’s concerns about Notre Dame’s offense, but he still thinks there is room for improvement.

“They came out and played us very aggressively,” Corrigan said. “I’m still not sure if I see us creating within our offense as much as I’d like to, but I love the fact that there’s a lot of people contributing.”

Notre Dame cooled off on both ends after the run however, allowing the Catamounts to get back into the game with four unanswered goals.

“They kept playing hard and we got a little frivolous with our decision making,” Corrigan said. “We did a good job defensively not giving them anything early, but we had to play a lot of it in the second, third and fourth quarters. Thankfully, we had a big enough cushion.”

Back-to-back goals from Kelleher cut the Irish lead to 9-3 and a goal from Vermont sophomore attack Derek Lichtfuss made it a five-goal game at the half.

The Catamounts scored first in the second half on a goal from junior midfielder Ryan Gillette with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter. The Irish ended the Catamount run nearly three minutes later when Hoff scored his fifth goal of the game, giving the Irish a 10-5 lead after three quarters of play.

After Kelleher notched his fourth goal of the game, Notre Dame opened the lead to 12-6 on goals from Earl and Hicks. Earl finished off the Irish scoring and sealed his first career hat trick with 21 seconds left to play.

Notre Dame will look to extend their undefeated start into conference play as the Irish take on Bellarmine at home in their Great Western Lacrosse League opener on Wednesday.