NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team opened Arlotta Stadium in fine fashion with a 14-7 win over Denver on Tuesday afternoon. The ninth-ranked Fighting Irish used hat tricks from Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton), Grant Krebs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's) and Sean Rogers (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Holy Trinity) to secure the victory in the first regular-season game played in their new facility.
Notre Dame (4-2) had a total of seven goal scorers against the Pioneers. Senior attackman Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School) netted two goals, while Colin Igoe (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne), Steve Murphy (Shirley, N.Y./William Floyd) and David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) all had one tally. Senior goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) made 12 saves to earn his fourth win of the season.
Denver (3-4) jumped on top first with a goal from Todd Baxter less than three minutes into the contest. The Irish responded with scores from Hicks and Rogers to claim their first lead of the game with 9:54 showing on the clock in the first quarter.
Following a Pioneer goal from Mark Matthews, Notre Dame went on a 3-0 run that extended into the second quarter. Igoe started the surge to put the Irish on top for good by the end of the first period. Goals from Krebs (14:16) and Earl (12:11) extended the Fighting Irish lead to three (5-2).
Alex Demopoulos, who led Denver with two goals on the day, stopped the Irish run temporarily with a score at the 9:42 mark of the second quarter. Notre Dame responded with a 4-0 uprising that carried into the second half. Krebs was the first to score in the run and Rogers followed to put the Irish up 7-3 at the intermission.
Scores from Hicks and Brenneman made it a six-goal (9-3) advantage for Notre Dame with less than five minutes gone by in the second half. Hicks, who has tallied a point in a team-best 24 straight games, leads the Irish in goals (12) and points (16) this season. Brenneman, a junior midfielder, is second in both categories with 10 and 14, respectively.
Denver would score four of the game's next five goals to trim the Irish lead to three (10-7) by the beginning stages of the fourth quarter. Scoring in that span for Denver were Cameron Kerr, Demopoulos, Cameron Flint and Andrew Lay. The only Irish tally in that Denver run was a man-up score from Brenneman midway through the third period.
Notre Dame produced its second 4-0 run of the afternoon to put the game away. Murphy, a freshman midfielder, began the final push with a goal at the 6:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Brenneman scored with 2:55 left in regulation and Rogers deposited his third goal 33 seconds later to secure the first hat trick of his career. The sophomore attackman also had two assists for a game-high five points.
Krebs, a senior midfielder, registered the game's final goal with 1:46 remaining to post his second hat trick of the season. Brenneman has a team-best three hat tricks this season.
Notre Dame out shot Denver 37-23. Zander Buteux started in goal for the Pioneers and allowed five goals, while making two saves. Peter Lowell replaced Buteux with 12:11 left in the second quarter. Lowell made nine saves and surrendered nine goals. Buteux picked up the loss.
Notre Dame senior midfielder Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) won 14 of his 24 faceoff attempts and picked up a game-best seven ground balls. Sipperly has gone 41-20 (.672) in faceoffs over the past three games.
The Fighting Irish return to the field this Saturday (March 20) against Ohio State. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Arlotta Stadium.
|Sean Rogers||(3, 2)|
|Zach Brenneman||(3, 0)|
|Grant Krebs||(3, 0)|
|Colin Igoe||(1, 1)|
|Neal Hicks||(2, 0)|
|David Earl||(1, 1)|
|Max Pfeifer||(0, 1)|
|Andrew Irving||(0, 1)|
|Steve Murphy||(1, 0)|
|Scott Rodgers||12 (0.632)|