Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army football team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below.
As Debbie and I drove to campus on Saturday morning I announced that it was a Grantland Rice kind of day. She looked up at me over her iphone and mumbled, who is Grantland Rice? Don’t you just hate it when you have to explain your witty references? Grantland Rice wrote these words on October 18, 1924, and it was with this same backdrop 88 years later that Notre Dame hosted another military academy in South Bend.
Truth is the sky was a bit more gray than blue this weekend. Our lacrosse game started at 11 AM and we got through most of it with minimal discomfort. It was immediately after our game ended that the heavens opened up and continued pretty much throughout the football tailgate and then the game against Stanford.
We had a nice showing of parents and of ND laxer alumni. Spotted 2012 grads Smith, Beattie and Dobson in attendance as well as 2011 alum Marmul. Former assistant coach and current head coach at Monmouth Brian Fisher was in attendance and made the rounds with his wife and cute little girl. Coach Fish reports recruiting going very well at Monmouth with 18 kids already committed to play in the inaugural season in 2014. Coach Fish was always popular with the team and we wish him great success in his native New Jersey.
Always great to see the alums back to support the team. Had a chance to speak with Devon Dobson after the game. It was Devon’s first time watching a game from the stands at Arlotta and he was a tad melancholy about the experience. Actually his direct quote was “this sucks”. Offered himself up to do a guest blog as a former player. You are on Devon.
As for the game, Liam O’Connor won the opening face off and went end to end for a quick goal and a 1-0 lead. Navy had a long possession and tied the game at 1 at the 10:27 mark. The first quarter ended 1-1 as Navy controlled the ball throughout the first period and candidly had the better of the play. John Kemp was in goal for the Irish and was outstanding with one save after another.
The defense would stiffen in the 2nd quarter and behind it the Irish offense also came to life. Matt Kavanagh scored twice to open up a 3-1 Irish lead. Westy Hopkins scored on a nifty dodge and Kavanagh scored again, with an assist from Connor Doyle, to make it 5-1. Ryan Foley deposited a goal to make it 6-1 and finish the first half scoring.
Nick Ossello won the opening face off of the third quarter. After an Irish turnover, Navy had another long but unproductive possession. Connor Doyle pinned one high to make it 7-1. Stephen O’Hara had a nice double team on the defense end leading to an Irish possession. After a turnover, Doyle had a nice ride which led to a Navy failed clear and another Ryan Foley score 8-1 Irish. Ossello fed Kavanagh for a 9-1 lead. Ryan Mix got into the action with a crazy looking fall down over the shoulder shot from the crease and a 10-1 lead. Navy scored to break the drought 10-2. After another long Navy possession the Irish fast break resulted in a Johnny Scioscia score and the 3rd quarter ended 11-2.
It should be noted that Connor Kelly was between the pipes in the second half and made a series of nice saves. Actually I jotted down that he “stood on his head”. The Irish goaltending tradition continues.
The final score was 14-3. Doyle, Scioscia and Ed Lubowicki scored for the Irish in the 4th. To view the fall ball article on inside lacrosse:
After the game, we headed over to the tailgate under parking lot marker #1. Many thanks to parents Rogers and Lubowicki for getting to the parking lot at 5:30 AM to get a plum spot. Would have been perfect but for the lousy weather. I snapped several photos of the decidedly soggy tailgate but the best of the bunch was simply Nancy Miller’s Wizard of Oz boots. It was the kind of day where the buzz involved boots and rain gear.
Our boys took the field immediately before the start of the football game and received a resounding cheer for their second final four appearance in three years. I have the last two team photos framed and in the Brenneman basement. This one just might have a Grantland Rice prose inscription.
Meanwhile, the Navy kids encountered some WWII vets at BWI airport on their way home. Thanks to Gene Foley for finding this story.
The Navy men’s lacrosse team flew back to BWI airport today after playing Notre Dame in a fall lacrosse game on Saturday. While at BWI, the team encountered 67 World War II veterans. After having the opportunity to shake their hand and thank them for their service, the team lined up and saluted them as their buses passed by.
The weekend ended for the Brenneman, Rogers and Gilmatin clans at Fiddler’s Hearth in South Bend. “Three Men in Kilts” were as advertised.
And with that mid terms are over and we head into fall break. The junior’s will be in NYC on Tuesday for some Wall Street networking.
We’ve got a lot of good stuff coming in the next week or two including new SWAG. See you soon.