Notre Dame Tops Denver In GWLL Action

Notre Dame Tops Denver In GWLL Action

Notre Dame Tops Denver In GWLL Action

Notre Dame Tops Denver In GWLL Action

The battle for the Great Western Lacrosse league bid for the big dance began today in South bend as Notre Dame held on to beat Denver, 9-8. Going in to the game, Denver coach Jamie Munro wanted to exploit the one Irish weakness, control of the face off, in order to get an edge. Denver did succeed in that aspect of the game, with two of its goals coming straight from the face, but the Irish defense, led by seniors Eric Simon and John Souch, shut Denver out in its last drive.

The Irish were not able to rely upon their top scorer, Matt Howell, who underwent an appendectomy the other day and who will be out from the lineup for the next two weeks. Howell had his partners on offense, Dan Berger and Pat Walsh, filling in for him, with Berger ringing up 3 goals and Walsh getting 2 goals and 5 assists. Walsh is one of ND's scholarship freshman and he already has 28 points (12 goals and 16 assists) in 8 games for the Irish. One of his two goals today was a sweet behind the back shot that caught Denver keeper Jeff Nunziato napping. Walsh is most dangerous when near the crease and most teams will have to use a strong defender to push him out and keep him from coming around from the back, where he uses either hand to dish the ball off. Walsh likes to change hands to confuse his opponents, so he is a pleasure to watch.

Even though Denver was considered to be one of the top contenders (with Nd and Fairfield) for the GWLL title, the game began with the Irish scoring first with Walsh hitting Dan Berger at the 11:47 mark, after Denver had moved the bal around the Irish cage for the first three minutes. At 11:04, Travis Wells fed Walsh to put the Irish up 2-0. Canuck freshman Jeff Snider beat Irish keeper Stewart Crosland for the Pioneers' first score at 9:28. Berger was fed again by Walsh off of a fast break started by Eric Simon digging the ball out from a pile. Walsh took the ball from up top and crossed from center to left, drawing Nunziato out slightly. Berger was hanging out at the right pipe and came out to catch Walsh's feed, and quickly put a low ball inside of the right pipe. Walsh then assisted freshmen middie Matt Ryan at 2:22 on another fast break to up the lead to 4-1. Denver attacker Adam Miller, a freshman Ohioan, then scored at 0:14 to cut the lead at the end of the first quarter to 4-2, when he took the ball at left pipe and fired a hard shot across Crosland to catch the right pipe.

The second quarter was much of a yawner for the home fans, as Denver's defense held the Irish scoreless. Pioneer sophomore midfielder, Scott Davidson, Denver's MVP for the game, ruled the quarter with two goals to even the score 4-4 at the half. Davidson's first goal came on a solo shot taken right after winning the face off and coming in from the top. His second goal came on a nice curl move where Davidson curled from right to left in front of the net at about 15 yards as he ran in a long arc. At the end of his curl, he let loose a hard right hand shot that caught the right inside of the pipe. The half ended with a goal being disallowed for hitting the cage after time had expired.

The teams traded possessions for the first four minutes of the third quarter until Brian Giordano took a feed from Kyle Frigon at 11:36 to put Notre Dame ahead 5-4. Davidson tied the game 5-5 with another solo score right from the faceoff at 11:23. After a few trades in possessions, Simon stripped the ball from a Pioneer to start another fast break for Notre Dame at 7:51. Nunziato used his body to make a falling save on the break, and the ball bobbled to the right of the goal where Walsh picked it up. Walsh is a cunning player, for rather than taking a shot straight at Nunziato, he ran for the back of the net as if he were setting up at X, but just when he reached the GLE, he let flipped a behind the back shot to beat Nunziato and put ND up 6-5. Denver tied the game again 6-6 at 3:37 with Snider's second goal, which came off a solo curl moving right to left in front of new Irish Keeper, Nick Antol, to end the scoring for the third..

Walsh tallied another assist at 10:43 of the fourth quarter when he found Matt Karweck in an extra-man situation for the Irish at 10 yards in front of the right pipe. Karweck took the feed in stride and nailed the left pipe. Denver answered with yet another quick blast off the faceoff six seconds later, when Davidson feed Darren Saski-Scanlon at the edge of the new sod laid in Krause Field (the 10 yard mark), and Scanlon buried a quick right overhand shot past Antol to tie the game at 7-7. Steve Clagett scored next for Notre Dame at 10:06, followed by Berger at 5:27 as the Irish went ahead 9-7. The five minute span between these two goals saw many hits in the midfield area as both teams were contesting every ground ball with sticks and bodies (some of the airborne action is shown in the pictures). The ninth goal for Notre Dame came off a hard ride after freshmen defender Bart Sullivan had the ball taken from him. Nunziato was out of the crease and ran back but not in time as Berger hit the left corner of the net after a feed from Matt Malakoff. Davidson responded for Denver again. This time, Davidson passed to Andrew Huelskoetter, who turned and leaped while shooting and catching the inside of the left pipe at 3:16 to trim the deficit to 9-8. Simon took the faceoff for ND, and was beaten with a quick rake, but an errant pass gave the ball to ND. The Irish played catch inside the box, and an errant pass to Walsh sailed over the end line and the ball went to Denver with 1:12 left. They brought it across the midfield line and called a timeout at 0:48. It was clear that they would go with Davidson, who had the hot hand for the day. Denver wanted Davidson was to get the ball at the top, even though he had drawn ND's LSM Souch. Davidson drew a slide by Irish defender Eric Simon as he came down, and Davidson was forced to dump the ball off, causing a turnover at 0:22. Ground ball. Simon's stick. Irish ball. The Irish ran the clock out to preserve the win.

Notre Dame takes a 1-0 GWLL conference record with them on the road to their next test: Ohio State, who always play the Irish close. In other GWLL action, Butler held on Saturday to beat last year's conference champion, Fairfield 8-7 to make things interesting. Butler was predicted to be mostly ho-hum, while Fairfield returned its potent offense that won the league title last year. In another guess who will win, Air Force upset Navy and then loses to Stony Brook. Nothing is sure in the GWLL this year.

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hard hitting action
    by (#28132) on 3/31/03 @10:41PM
It looks from some of the pictures, that the Irish were getting knocked around. It must have been a tough game. If ND expects to win the GWLL, maybe their goalie Crosland should put both hands on his stick. No wonder he got beat right off the face. Don't discount Butler. The Bulldogs should kick the Irish off!
 
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WOW
    by (#48857) on 3/31/03 @11:50PM
Looks like you take a couple of still frame pictures a little too seriously. First, ND did it's fair share of hitting just ask Denver. And you would know that if you read the article. Secondly, the goalie has his hand off his stick in one picture and you assume thats what he does all the time? You have a lot to learn...
 
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(no subject)
    by (#37331) on 4/02/03 @3:04PM
no way in hell butler will beat the irish
 
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Tourney Field?
    by (#41662) on 4/01/03 @2:01AM
SO far, I 'm thinking the 4 ACC schools, G-Town, Rutgers, Cuse, Hopkins, Princeton and Towson can start planning on postseason berths. Any thoughts? I don't see 3 ECAC teams getting in, so likely bye - bye to UMass unless they beat G-Town AND Cuse now because of the loss to PSU. I think Hofstra and Loyola will end up making the field too. Which would pretty much account for all the at-larges.
 
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Playing the Field
    by (#46862) on 4/01/03 @8:36AM
Hofstra & Towson still have some wood to chop before they get there. I can't see both teams going, although the 4/4 contest will settle that quick. The Dutch boys still have to get past SU & Duke after that.

As for Umass...I'm all ears. They are the team the tourney selection group loves to hate. Beat G-town, and the committee might listen.
 
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UMass
    by (#41662) on 4/01/03 @1:18PM
My personal feelings for UMass and their SOS aside, I think the committee hears all the gripes about and from UMass, and will see the bad loss to PSU as a case of not putting their money where their mouths are. The reason I said they need to win 2 out their last 3(RU,g-town, cuse) is to A) get the big win that every major will have, and B) to offset the horriffic loss to an inferior team.
 
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Loyola
    by (#33555) on 4/01/03 @6:08PM
The hounds had a trobling loss to Towson on Saturday that will hurt their tourney standings. Being from Maryland I'd love to see them make it but I think with a loss to Towson they MUST make an outstanding showing in their up-coming big games (Cuse, G-town, JHU, and Princeton)
 
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Hold On......
    by (#20631) on 4/01/03 @10:27AM
Now I would love to see the Dutch, Pride, Lions or whatever those boys over at hofstra are calling themselves make the tourney. But unless they grab that AQ its gonna be an uphill battle. They squeaked by Notre Dame, loss to loyola, and got hammered by Princeton, and yes even UMASS who everyone loves to hate put a hurtin' on them. Big one for them on Friday against towson, and good luck against cuse and then closing out the season against Duke. They're just too young and loss too much fire power from last year.
 
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hard hittin
    by (#44551) on 4/01/03 @4:08PM
even tho denver lost it looks like they !@#! up notre dame. in the 1 picture it looked like some guy got hit in the balls, !@#! i hope he was wearin a cup.(i used astrics like u told me lax.com)
 
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(no subject)
    by (#56719) on 7/17/03 @4:29AM
dude if you don't wear a cup, you're an idiot
 
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