Notre Dame vs. Drexel
March 25, 2008
The Game Story:
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Hat tricks from Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) and Duncan Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) helped to propel No. 7 Notre Dame past No. 11 Drexel, 13-6, in men's lacrosse action on Tuesday afternoon at Moose Krause Stadium. The victory moved the Irish's program-record home win streak to 16 games and ended Drexel's season win streak at seven games.

Notre Dame (6-1) has now opened a season with six victories in its first seven games for the first time since 2001. Tuesday also marked the fourth time this season that the Fighting Irish defense has held an opponent to just six goals.

Midfielder Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley) aided the Notre Dame offense as he collected five points on one goal and a career-high tying four assists. The five points also matched a career-best output for the senior. Swezey, a junior, also tied his career-high for points with five on three goals and two assists.

Drexel (7-2) jumped ahead with the first goal of the game as Andrew Chapman scored with 9:36 remaining in the first quarter. That marked just the third time this season that the Fighting Irish have surrendered a first-quarter goal.

The Irish did not stay down for long as they notched a goal 21 seconds later when Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's) took a pass from Wharton and put it into the back of the net. Tallies from Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) and Dan Gibson (Germantown, Tenn./Memphis Univ. School) gave Notre Dame a 3-1 lead by the 11:17 mark of the second quarter.

A score from Brian Neary sliced Drexel's deficit to one with 10 minutes left in the opening half. However, that would be as close as the Dragons would get the rest of the contest. The Irish scored the game's next six goals to take a commanding seven-goal advantage (9-2) with 8:13 remaining in the third quarter.

The Notre Dame surge began with a Peter Christman (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) goal followed by consecutive scores from Swezey to give the hosts a 6-2 halftime lead.

Krebs notched his second goal of the game to open the second-half scoring. Wharton then capped the Fighting Irish barrage with back-to-back tallies.

The Dragons answered with three straight goals. Scott Perri scored with 6:09 left in the third period to make it 9-3. His teammate Greg Casey deposited consecutive man-up goals to trim the Notre Dame lead to four (9-5) with 3:15 remaining in the third.

The Irish responded as a Podgajny goal made it 10-5 after three quarters of play. Notre Dame would go up by six (11-5) when Wharton collected his third goal of the afternoon. Following a tally from the Dragons' Adam Dennis, Swezey and Hoff scored for Notre Dame to produce the final outcome.

Notre Dame held a 44-21 advantage in shots and won 13-of-22 faceoffs led by senior Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha), who went 12-for-20 in the X. Senior goaltender Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) notched the win by making nine saves. He improved to 6-1 on the season and now has 32 career victories, which ties him for the school record along with Kirk Howell (1998-2001) and Alex Cade (1995-98). Drexel's Bruce Bickford made 20 saves.

The Fighting Irish open Great Western Lacrosse League play with a showdown at Bellarmine on Saturday, March 29. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET).