Auburn Tournament Feb. 18-19, 2012
Record for the Tournament: 3 - 1
Notre Dame 6, Georgia 3
In its first tournament since conference championships in October, the Irish came out slightly sluggish. Facing a formidable opponent from the SEC, the Irish took an early lead and never looked back. Defense proved to be the key to the victory in this low-scoring contest. Standout freshman Dolff Hanke proved to be the difference with two goals in the game.
Notre Dame 13, Emory 8
Facing the 15th place team at nationals this past season, Notre Dame had a tough challenge with Emory University in its second game. The Irish rose to the challenge, however, and their offense came alive in the contest. Jumping out to an 11-4 lead at halftime, the team was able to give some of its younger, more inexperienced players valuable playing time. Senior Drew Wroblewski and again Dolff Hanke were offense standouts, while senior Dan Geisman and sophomore Jack Turek starred on the defensive end.
Notre Dame 8, University of Central Florida 4
After recovering from the matches the previous day, the Irish again came out determined to grab a victory. Throughout the entire game, the team was in total control against a strong opponent from the Florida Conference. Offensive leaders Dolff Hanke and sophomore Pat Raycroft led the scoring for the Irish, while Jack Turek and freshman Kevin Balhoff kept the Knights' attack at bay. Goalie Geno Freeman also was pivotal in halting the UCF offense.
Notre Dame 9, Florida State University 10
In the championship game of the tournament, the Irish were brought against a national powerhouse in the Florida State Seminoles. In an extremely close, last-second finish, the team fell to the Seminoles. After leading early in the game, the Irish found themselves behind for most of the contest. With a little more than three minutes left in the game, Notre Dame was down 10-7. The team rallied back, however, with two quick goals. The Irish had a chance to tie the game with 10 seconds left, but the shot hit the crossbar and time expired. Top performers were Dolff Hanke and Pat Raycroft on the offensive end, and Dan Geisman, Jack Turek, Kevin Balhoff, and freshman Chris Catalino on the defensive end.
Conference Championships Oct. 21-23
Severely hampered by the loss of players due to fall break was the men's water polo club. The top seeded Irish failed in their quest to claim the conference championship and advance to nationals as several key performers did not travel to Ohio University.
In the opening round, the Irish defeated Loyola, Chicago, 8-3. Senior captain Dan Geisman led the team in scoring, while goalkeeper Tate Kernell was strong in goal.
It was all downhill from there, as the Irish dropped a 9-6 contest to Grand Valley State, and lost 11-8 to Miami, OH, two teams the Irish had decisively defeated during the season with a full roster.
Conference Qualifiers Oct. 1-2, 2011
Notre Dame's men's water polo club swept the field at the conference qualifiers hosted in Rolfs Aquatics. The Irish opened with a 16-6 victory over Dayton, with Chris Jennis leading the team in scoring. This was followed by perhaps the club's biggest win in several years.
Although the club garnered a win over national power Florida two weeks ago, the 12-6 triumph over 20th ranked and defending conference champion Grand Valley State was much sweeter as it ended a long string of losses to the Lakers in a heated rivalry. Jennis starred early, scoring five first half goals. Captain Dan Geisman and Jack Turek assisted Tate Kernell in goal to keep the Laker offense in check throughout the game. Dolff Hanke's late goals iced the game, while Marc Gazda and Pat Raycroft were key Irish players.
The Irish maintained their focus Sunday morning, defeating Ohio University 11-6. The game featured several stellar saves by Kernell, with Jennis and freshman phenom Hanke again leading the scoring parade. This set up a finals with Illinois Chicago, another Midwest power and last year's conference runner-up.
Once again the Irish proved victorious, in a grueling 9-7 championship. Kernell's goaltending proved to be the difference.
Miami (OH) Invitational Sept. 23-25, 2011
The Irish traveled to Miami Ohio this weekend to play in an invitational tournament. They started strong jumping to a 4-0 start against the host team in their first game. The scoring was led by Dolff Hanke and Chris Jennis. Although Miami struggled back into the game, the Irish were able to close them out in the fourth, opening the weekend with a 7-4 victory. Their next game was against Lindenwood. The Irish again jumped out to a great start, jumping to a 2-0 lead by the end of the first, and a 5-0 lead by the end of the half. Notre Dame struggled mightily in the second half however, getting blanked in the third quarter while giving up 6 goals. The lackluster effort continued into the fourth, where the Irish gave up another goal before finally getting on the scoreboard again to make the score 7-6. Lindenwood slammed shut the door, however, and scored 2 more goals before the Irish put up the last tally to make the final score 9-7. Jennis again led the scoring, with Hanke, Dan Geisman, and Jack Turek all getting in on the action.
In the third game of the day, the Irish took on the Florida Gators. In arguably their best effort of the day, the Irish played solid defense, and shot extremely well to take a 9-6 lead at half time. Chris Catalino scored a preposterous half court lob to end the half, stealing momentum from the gators. Scoring was led by Jennis, Hanke, and Jack Turek. Goaltender Tate Kernell played a great game, stopping many opportunities. Turek and Geisman led the defensive effort, holding an extremely talented two meter in check. The shooting barrage continued for the Irish through the second half, and the Irish would go on to claim a 16-12 victory.
For the fourth game, the exhausted Irish took on the Hoosiers of Indiana. Notre Dame started off extremely flat, falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter. The Irish never found their stride, and followed their best performance with their worst one of the year en route to a 16-0 defeat.
The Irish finished the weekend with an exhibition game against the Michigan Wolverines. Many Irish players saw playing time, and the Irish played well, although they fell to the Wolverines by a score of 7-4. Overall, the Irish were much improved over last tournament, and are looking forward to conference qualifiers in a week.
MSU Invitational Sept. 10-11, 2011
ND 8, Iowa 1
Notre Dame started out their season well with a victory over Iowa. Senior Captain Dan Geisman made the opening goal with a skip shot to the upper right corner. Chris Jennis followed soon after with a goal off of an ejection to put the Irish up by two. In the second quarter Jack Turek managed to put a point on the board. Goalkeeper Geno Freeman managed a complete shutout for the entire first half. In the third quarter, Iowa finally managed to get on the board during an ejection play. Chris Jennis scored two more goals putting the score at Irish 5 - Iowa 1. Iowa came out strong during the last quarter by scoring a quick goal off the start. However, Dan scored two goals out of hole set, finishing the game with and Irish victory 7-2.
ND 1, Michigan State 17
The first quarter did not start out well with Notre Dame missing two fast break scoring opportunities and two man up situations. Michigan State capitalized on these mistakes and gained the lead by three. The second quarter did not go much better for the Irish as the Trojans scored six more goals. Chris Jennis did manage to bar in a shot, putting the Irish on the board. The second half was ever worse and the Trojans continued to pull away, managing to score 6 more points. Geno Freeman did stop a 5-meter penalty shot. Dan Geisman scored late in the fourth bringing the score 15-2 Michigan State.
ND 2, Michigan 8
Not long after the Michigan State game, Notre Dame had to face Michigan. The Wolverines only scored one in the first while the Irish offense struggled to develop. The next quarter Jack Turek and Dolf Hanke both scored. However this was countered by 3 goals from the Wolverines. Although the Irish were still in the game, they simply ran out of gas in the second half. Offense struggled to develop as the Wolverines marched down the pool and scored three more times before the end of the game leaving the score at 7-2 Michigan.
ND 5, Illinois 4
When the game started out, the Irish seemed to have a clear advantage as Illinois had no substitutes. Unfortunately after the Irish lost a few passes and because Illinois was cherry picking, Illinois went up by two in the first. Notre Dame came out strong in the second, with Dolf Hanke scoring off of a 5-meter foul. Chris Jennis also scored a cross-cage skip shot, tying the game. Illinois responded by scoring two goals of their own to maintain a lead. During the third, Dan Geisman scored out of hole set, but Illinois scored yet again. Dan Geisman scored during a man up in the final quarter. Illinois scored two and temporarily widened the gap. After an Irish timeout, they rallied with Chris Jennis and Dolf Hanke both with back-to-back scores. However, this was not enough and the Irish lost 7-6.