Irish KO Hopkins with 13-9 triumph

Notre Dame is first Midwest team to reach national semifinals

May 21, 2001|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK - Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala was not about to make excuses for his team after the Blue Jays were beaten, 13-9, by Notre Dame yesterday in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals at Byrd Stadium.

It was not because the fourth-seeded Blue Jays took the fifth-seeded Fighting Irish lightly, after having beaten Notre Dame, 15-11, in last year's quarterfinals. It was not because Hopkins was rusty after a 15-day layoff and a bye in the first round. It was not because of injuries or a wet and slippery playing field.

"They played better than we did. They executed better. It is as simple as that," said Pietramala, whose team finished its season at 8-4.

Tom Glatzel (Boys' Latin) had four goals and an assist and goalie Kirk Howell made 17 saves, including several from in close while the two teams were tied 8-8, to lead the Irish, who are the first Midwest team to make the final four.

The Irish (14-1) will play top-ranked and defending champion Syracuse on Saturday at Rutgers University, pitting Glatzel against his brother, John, an All-America defender with the Orangemen.

"I'm just thrilled for our kids," said Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan. "We are very excited, but this is where we hoped and wanted to be all season."

Said Tom Glatzel: "It should be interesting. I'm waiting to see how my parents react. Since he [John Glatzel] still has another year left, I am hoping that he takes it easy on me."

After Adam Doneger tied the game 7-7 at 11:06 of the third quarter, Glatzel, whose two second-quarter goals had helped the Irish turn a 3-1 deficit into a 7-5 halftime lead, worked his way around the net and fired a shot past Blue Jays goalie Rob Scherr (18 saves).

Hopkins' Bobby Benson (team-high three goals, one assist) answered about two minutes later to tie the score at 8 heading into the fourth quarter, but from there, Notre Dame and Howell took control of the game.

Midfielder John Flandina cut to his right and beat Scherr to the corner to end a 10-minute scoring drought for both teams and give the Irish a 9-8 lead with 6:22 to play.

"I saw an opening, called for the ball and just let it rip. It was pretty exciting," Flandina said.

Midfielder Steve Bishko picked up a loose ball and beat Scherr nearly 2 1/2 minutes later. Then, with 2:54 remaining, Flandina dropped down and fired a rising shot from 12 yards to give Notre Dame a 12-8 lead.

A four-goal lead was plenty for Howell, who repeatedly frustrated Benson and the Hopkins' offense.

"He always seemed to be in the right position," Benson said. "I couldn't figure out where to shoot on him."

Said Howell: "With the offense that we have, I just try to keep the game close."

Jon Harvey closed out the Notre Dame scoring with two late goals, giving him three for the day. It was the eighth time since 1993 that the Blue Jays' season ended with an NCAA tournament loss at Byrd Stadium.

"It's tough to sit in the locker room when you have as many seniors as we did," Pietramala said. "But I am very proud of what our team has accomplished."

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