Villanova vs. Notre Dame
March 4, 2008
The Game Story:
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The No. 5 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0-0) responded to an early Villanova score with eight straight goals in the first half en route to a 16-6 victory on an unseasonably mild afternoon here this afternoon.

Ryan Hoff led the Fighting Irish with five goals and an assist.

A Tim Driscoll goal off a feed from R.J. Lyons gave Villanova a 1-0 edge less than two minutes into the match. But the Fighting Irish answered with a burst of three goals in a six minute span off the sticks of Duncan Swezey, Michael Podgajny (assist to Peter Christman) and Ryan Hoff (assist from Alex Wharton). A second unassisted goal from Swezey with 4:28 remaining on the first period clock gave the Irish a 4-1 lead.

Christman came from behind the Villanova goal to fire a shot past Wildcat goalie Andrew DiLoreto with 31 seconds left to extend Notre Dame's advantage. Then Irish sophomore Kelly McKenna scored with eight seconds left in the first period to conclude the session with a 6-1 lead.

Hoff and Wharton teamed up for a second time in the opening minute of the second period to build Notre Dame's lead to 7-1. Colin Igoe finished a deft passing play on a pass from Hoff with 2:44 left in the second period to push the advantage to 8-1. That was the score at intermission.

Notre Dame picked up the first score after intermission when Grant Krebs scored an unassisted goal 34 seconds into the third period. Villanova twice came close to scoring its second goal of the day but Jay Foley and Kevin Kaval each had their shots ricochet off the post.

Hoff got his third goal of the contest with 9:31 left in the third for Notre Dame. His fourth goal came off a nifty pass from Christman in front of the Wildcat net with 7:36 left in the third to make it an 11-1 game. Wharton scored off a neat pass from Podgajny with Villanova down a man at the 4:56 mark of the third.

Junior Tim Langan, Jr., scored late in the third period to give the `Cats their second goal of the day. Notre Dame held a 12-2 lead after three periods.

Villanova (1-3-0) opened the scoring in the fourth period when junior Tim Driscoll found senior Tim Atkins at 13:29 to cut the gap to 12-3. Hoff notched his fifth goal of the day off a feed from Podgajny with 10:27 left to restore the 10-goal lead for Notre Dame. Driscoll scored off a pass from Matthew Fritts with 9:34 left to bring VU to within 13-4 and Atkins scored just over a minute later for the `Cats to make it 13-5.

Matt Ciambella scored with the Irish a man up at 5:54 to extend the count to 14-5. Alex Wharton added another Notre Dame score with just under five minutes left to push the lead up to 15-5. Sloan Smith then scored an unassisted goal for the Irish at 4:06. Freshman Andrew Henrich scored for the `Cats at 2:18 to make it a 16-6 deficit and concluded the afternoon's scoring.

Next up for the Wildcats is a contest at Penn State next Tuesday evening. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. in State College, Pa.