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USA vs Notre Dame Men

No. 7 Irish Fall To U.S. National Team, 12-7
Irish second-half rally falls short.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The U.S. National Team withstood a second-half rally from the No. 7 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team to capture a 12-7 victory in exhibition play on Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The game, which was part of the Champion Challenge, can be seen on tape-delay at 10:00 p.m. (ET) tonight on ESPNU.

Team USA scored the game’s first seven goals, yet the Fighting Irish responded with four straight tallies to slice the deficit to three by the end of the third quarter.

Notre Dame’s surge began just over five minutes into the second half as sophomore attackman Ryan Foley (Glen Ridge, N.J./Delbarton) scored on an assist from junior attackman Sean Rogers (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Holy Trinity). Rogers then netted a goal of his own with 6:16 left in the third quarter.

A man-up goal from senior attackman Colin Igoe (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne/Massachusetts) sliced the Team USA advantage to four (7-3) with 4:23 showing on the clock in the third quarter. Igoe had a team-high two goals on the day. Junior midfielder Max Pfeifer (Crozet, Va./Western Albemarle) scored with six seconds remaining in the quarter to make it 7-4.

Steven Brooks put a halt to the Irish uprising as he made it an 8-4 contest with 14:06 remaining. Igoe scored 30 seconds later on an assist from Rogers.

A 4-0 run from Team USA made it 12-5 with 8:29 left in the game. Stephen Peyser, Peet Poillon, Chazz Woodson and Kevin Leveille scored the unanswered goals.

Notre Dame’s final two scores of the game were man-up tallies. Junior attackman Nicholas Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) netted the first one with 7:43 left, while senior attackman Edison Parzanese (Edgartown, Mass./Martha’s Vineyard/Holy Cross), a transfer from Holy Cross, deposited the game’s final goal with 4:32 remaining. Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) assisted on both goals.

“I thought we made a lot of plays today, but we were just inconsistent,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “The first half could have been closer if we had some poise and finished some opportunities. We were bad during the first 10 minutes of the game and then we really settled down. I didn’t think we played bad for the final 15-20 minutes of the first half.”

The U.S. National Team led 4-0 after the first quarter and 6-0 at halftime. Leveille netted three goals in the opening quarter.

Leveille opened the game’s scoring less than two minutes into the contest and Woodson made it 2-0 on a man-up goal with 10:59 remaining in the opening quarter. Leveille scored with 8:36 left in the quarter and then again with seven seconds remaining.

Doug Shanahan gave the U.S. National Team a five-goal advantage just over one minute into the second quarter. Steven Brooks upped the lead to six with 3:39 left in the half. Steven Boyle opened the second-half scoring as he put Team USA up by seven less than a minute into the stanza.

Notre Dame sophomore John Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) played the entire game between the pipes and made 10 saves. Former Fighting Irish goalie Scott Rodgers, a 2010 Notre Dame graduate, played the entire second half for team USA. Rodgers made nine saves. Notre Dame held a slim 40-39 edge in shots.

“We came down here (to Florida) with the idea of getting better and I think we accomplished that,” stated Corrigan. “We practiced three times in a little over 24 hours and then played in this game today. We didn’t do everything we wanted to do today, but we need to keep it in perspective that it’s still January and we have a chance to correct our mistakes and get a little more consistent.”

The Fighting Irish will open the 2011 regular season with a national title game rematch versus No. 5 Duke at the inaugural Sunshine Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The game will be played at Everbank Field, home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. The contest is slated for a 3:00 p.m. (ET) start and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

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