Notre Dame vs. Air Force
April 13, 2007
The Game Story:
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Hat tricks from Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley), Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School) and Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton) along with a solid defensive effort carried No. 11 Notre Dame to a 16-4 victory over Air Force in Great Western Lacrosse League action on Friday afternoon at Moose Krause Stadium. The 16 goals matched a season-high output for the Fighting Irish offense.

Notre Dame (7-3, 2-0) led 4-1 at halftime before tallying four goals in a span of five minutes to open the second half. Back-to-back goals from Wharton began the second-half scoring for the Irish. John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon) then found the back of the net before Hubschmann made it 8-1 with his third goal of the contest with 10:01 left in the third quarter. Hubschmann has a team-best four hat tricks this season.

Air Force (2-6, 1-1) put a stop to the Notre Dame run as Griffin Nevitt scored a goal with 9:41 left on the clock in the third period. The Fighting Irish responded with an unassisted goal from Podgajny before the Falcons struck back on a tally from Conrad Lochocki to make it 9-3.

Notre Dame would then go on a 5-0 run to put the game out reach. Sophomore Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) notched consecutive goals followed by tallies from Wharton, Podgajny and freshman Will Yeatman (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) to give the Irish a 14-3 lead by the 11:10 mark of the fourth quarter. Hoff leads the team with 24 goals this season.

Following an Air Force goal from Will Meister, sophomore Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) and freshman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School) scored for the Irish to make it a 16-4 final. The goal from Hicks was the first of his young career.

The Irish took a 1-0 lead in the first quarter off a goal from Hubschmann before the Falcons evened the score on tally from Justin Kuchta. Hubschmann struck back to make it 2-1 before goals from Podgajny and Yeatman put the Irish up 4-1 after the first quarter. Neither team would score in the second quarter.

Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep), a junior, had a solid day between the pipes as he made 12 saves, while allowing only four goals, in 51 minutes of action. Sophomore Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) came on in relief of Kemp and made two saves. Dan Gnazzo picked up the loss for the Falcons as he surrendered 10 goals and made 13 saves in 44 minutes of play. Daniel Bellissimo allowed six goals and made four saves the rest of the way for Air Force.

Yeatman had a four-point day on two goals and two assists to up his team-leading point total to 33 (18 G, 15 A). Wharton and Podgajny also collected four points on the day as they added an assist each to their three-goal efforts. The three goals and four points from Wharton were career-best totals for the junior attackman. Senior midfielder Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans) dished out a career-high three assists for the Irish.

Junior midfielder Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha) dominated in faceoffs, once again, as he went 14-for-17. Notre Dame held a 50-23 advantage in shots, while also converting on three-of-five man-up opportunities. The Irish, who scored 16 goals earlier this season against Drexel, have reached double-digits in goals in six games this season, while allowing their opponents to five goals or fewer on five occasions, including all of the past four contests.

The Irish return to action when they host Great Western Lacrosse League rival Denver on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Moose Krause Stadium. The game will be aired live on College Sports Television (CSTV).

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