Notre Dame vs. Air Force
April 10, 2005
The Game Story:
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Playing in his final game at Moose Krause Stadium, senior co-captain M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) scored five goals - including the game winner 2:42 into overtime - to lead the 11th-ranked University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse team (6-3, 2-1 GWLL) to a thrilling 14-13 victory over Air Force (3-5, 0-2 GWLL) in Great Western Lacrosse League action Sunday afternoon. After trailing by two in the fourth quarter, the Falcons scored a pair of goals to tie the game for the sixth time and force overtime in front of a record crowd of 1,305.

Freshman Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) won the faceoff that opened overtime, and Notre Dame got the first possession, which produced a pair of wide shots from junior M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), who moved back into the midfield on Sunday after being an attackman in the first eight games of the season. Air Force then took possession and fired a pair of shots on net, but fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) - who played the final 22:23 and got the victory - saved both of those attempts. His second stop transitioned into a successful clear for Notre Dame, which called a timeout with 1:33 left in the four-minute extra session. Out of the timeout, the Irish got the ball to junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) behind the goal. He sprinted to the left wing and turned to the center of the field, dishing off to Giordano, who fired a shot from up top past Air Force goaltender Justin Pavoni, instigating a midfield mobbing by his teammates and a roar from the raucous crowd at Krause Stadium.





Giordano led the Irish with five points, while another senior, A Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore H.S.) - who made his first start of the season - netted a career-high three goals and added an assist for a career-high four points. Junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) added a pair of goals, while Karweck ended with two assists. Other goal scorers for Notre Dame were senior M Colin Fatti (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles H.S.), junior M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.), sophomore M Ryan Cunn (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.), and Clagett. Ryan, senior co-captain A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.), and freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) all registered assists.

Crosland, who started the first two games of the season for the Irish but had played in just one of the six games after that, relieved freshman G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School) with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter with Notre Dame leading 11-10. The veteran made seven saves and allowed just three goals, with two of them coming on man-up opportunities. He moved to 2-1 this season. Kemp had five saves in 40:19 of action.

The Irish dominated statistically in virtually every category, finishing with a 51-36 advantage in shots (42-21 after three quarters) and a 57-38 ground-ball advantage (including a majority in every period). Notre Dame also won 21 of 31 faceoffs, with Clagett being victorious on 19 of the 28 that he attempted. He also picked up a collegiate-high 12 ground balls. Senior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.), in his final home appearance, won two of his three faceoffs.

Air Force opened the game quickly, netting the first three goals to build a 3-0 advantage 8:22 into the game. Clagett won the next faceoff, scooped up the ground ball and scored six seconds later to get the Irish on the board. But the Falcons would continue to have offensive success, going up 6-3 with 8:00 to go before halftime. Notre Dame then ended the second quarter - during which it would hold a 21-4 advantage in shots - with five consecutive goals, including three from Giordano, to put the Irish up 8-6 at the intermission.

The Falcons tallied the first two goals of the second half to tie the score at 8-8. The squads traded goals until Peters broke an 11-11 tie with his fourth goal of the season, coming with 37 seconds remaining in the third period. Malakoff then completed his first career hat trick to put ND up 13-11 with 12:08 left.

Air Force's man-up unit would provide the two goals necessary to get back to even. Will Meister took advantage of an illegal body check call on Peters and brought the Falcons within one at the 10:12 mark. After an unnecessary roughness penalty on sophomore D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys' Latin H.S.), Kevin Crumrine knotted the score with 5:31 left in regulation by scoring his fifth goal of the game. The Falcons had a number of chances in the final five minutes, outshooting ND 4-1, but Crosland and the Irish were able to hold on and force overtime.

Crumrine led Air Force with five goals and two assists, while Conrad Lochocki had five points (3 G, 2 A), and a trio - Justin Kuchta (2 G, 1 A), Meister (1 G, 2 A), and D.J. Benzing (3 A) - notched three each. Pavoni made 19 saves , including a number on great Irish scoring chances.



Giordano matched his career high in goals, which he first did in Air Force's last trip to Moose Krause Stadium, in 2003.



Giordano came into the game with just seven goals in eight games this season, including none in the last three contests. But he scored on five of his nine shots to match his career high in both goals and points. His first five-goal explosion came in Air Force's last visit to Moose Krause Stadium, in 2003, while he duplicated that feat last season against Hofstra.

Notre Dame beat Air Force for the 17th consecutive time and the ninth time in as many games with the Falcons at home. It was the closest contest between the schools since a 12-11 Irish win in 1990 in San Diego, Calif. Air Force's 13 goals were the second-most ever for the Falcons against ND, behind only their output in the first-ever contest between the schools after the Irish program gained varsity status. Air Force won that game, 14-8 in 1988.

Sunday's crowd of 1,305 was a Moose Krause Stadium record, as well as the largest home men's lacrosse attendance on record. This season provided both of the two biggest home crowds in program history, after 1,089 saw Notre Dame beat Butler 22-6 on March 19.

The Irish are currently in fourth place in the GWLL with a 2-1 record. Fairfield, Denver, and defending champion Ohio State all stand 1-0, while Butler and Air Force are both 0-2. Notre Dame will play next Sunday, April 17, at #20 Fairfield at 1 p.m. (EDT) before concluding the regular season at Ohio State on April 29 at 7 p.m. (EDT).

Sunday's game will be televised by Comcast Sports Local on a tape-delayed basis. The game will air on Comcast cable channel 3 in South Bend on Monday at both 2 p.m. (EST/CDT) and 7 p.m. It also will be shown on Comcast Sports Local in Michigan, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. (EDT), Friday at 2:30 p.m., and Saturday at Noon. It will be aired on Comcast SportsNet Chicago on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. (CDT). Check local listings for air times in other markets.


SCORE BY PERIOD 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
----------------------------------------
Air Force........... 4 2 5 2 0 - 13
Notre Dame.......... 2 6 4 1 1 - 14
Air Force SCORING: GOALS: Crumrine, Kevin 5; Lochocki, Conrad 3; Kuchta, Justin 2;
Meister, Will 1; Jablonski, Jeffrey 1; Brush, Jared 1.
ASSISTS: Benzing, D.J. 3; Crumrine, Kevin 2; Lochocki, Conrad 2; Meister, Will 2;
Kuchta, Justin 1.
Notre Dame SCORING: GOALS: Giordano, Brian 5; Malakoff, Matt 3; Walsh, Pat 2;
Fatti, Colin 1; Peters, Drew 1; Clagett, Taylor 1; Cunn, Ryan 1.
ASSISTS: Karweck, Matt 2; Malakoff, Matt 1; Morrison, Jim 1; Podgajny, Michael 1;
Ryan, Matt 1.