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    Fighting Irish

    Mar. 10, 1997

    Irish on the Road for Two Games Versus Delaware and No. 6 Loyola

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team, ranked 14th nationally, opened up the 1997 campaign with a 9-5 victory at Penn State. It was the first win for the Irish in a season opener since the 1994 season. Two years ago, Notre Dame dropped a 15-14 decision to the Nittany Lions in the season opener.

    The Week Ahead: With Notre Dame students on spring break, the Irish lacrosse team will play two road games. Coach Kevin Corrigan's squad takes on Delaware on Tuesday, March 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the Delaware Field in Newark, Del. in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

    Notre Dame plays its second road contest when the Irish take on Loyola (Md.) in Baltimore, Md., on Saturday, March 15 at Curley Field. Game time for the contest is 1:00 p.m.

    Penn State in Review: Trailing 5-4 at the half, Notre Dame held Penn State scoreless in the final 30 minutes of the contest and prevailed with a 9-5 victory in the season opener for both teams.

    Junior BURKE HAYES (Chevy Chase, Md.) and sophmores STEPHEN TAYLOR (Rockville Center, NY) and CHRIS DUSSEAU (Columbus, Ohio) each scored two goals in the victory. Junior JIMMY KEENAN (Floral Park, NY) had two assists and freshman STEDMAN OAKEY (Charlottesville, Va.), playing in his first collegiate game, added a goal and an assist.

    Junior ALEX CADE (North Potomac, Md.) made 10 saves in the game as he played the entire 60 minutes of the contest. The Notre Dame defense limited the Nittany Lions to just nine shots in the final two quarters after they outshot Notre Dame 17-14 in the first 30 minutes of the game.

    Penn State jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 10:29 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame scored its first goal of the '97 campaign with 9:24 remaining in the first quarter when OAKEY took a KEENAN feed and shot it past Penn State goalkeeper Kevin Keenan. It was OAKEY's first goal of his collegiate career.

    After the Nittany Lions went up 3-1, HAYES closed the margin to 3-2 with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter. His first tally came off an assist from WILL DeRISO (Cold Spring Harbor, NY).

    Penn State scored the first two goals of the second quarter, but sophomore BRAD OWEN, tallying the first score of his career, and DUSSEAU pulled the Irish to within one with goals coming at 8:17 and 6:33.

    HAYES' scored his goal of the game 42 seconds into the second half off of a KEENAN assist to tie the game at 5-5. TAYLOR had the first score of his collegiate career in giving the Irish a 6-5 advantage with 11:56 left to play in the third quarter. It was the first of two unassisted goals for the sophomore.

    PAUL CHEN (Amherst, NH) followed TAYLOR's goal with the first score of his college career off an OAKEY assist which came with 8:35 in the third quarter.

    Notre Dame final two goals, which were scored in the fourth quarter, were tallied by DUSSEAU and TAYLOR. DUSSEAU's goal came off a NED WEBSTER (Baltimore, Md.) assist.

    Head Coach Kevin Corrigan: Kevin Corrigan is in his ninth season at Notre Dame and 11th overall as a head coach. During his tenure, the three-time Great Western Lacrosse League coach of the year has guided Notre Dame to a 73-39 record (.652) and six NCAA tournament appearances, including five straight. Under Corrigan in 1995, Notre Dame won its first-ever NCAA tournament game which propelled the Irish into the quarterfinals. Corrigan has led Notre Dame to berths in the NCAAs six of the last seven seasons.

    The Irish have won 10-plus games three of the past five seasons, including a school record 11 wins in '93.

    Prior to taking over as head coach of the Irish in 1989, he was head coach at Randolph-Macon for two seasons (1985 and 1986). While at Randolph-Macon, he compiled a 10-15 record (.400). His overall coaching ledger in 10-plus seasons as a head coach is 83-54 (.603).

    Series Record vs. Delaware: This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

    Series Record vs. Loyola: The two teams have played five contests and the Irish have lost all five games played between the two teams. The Irish are 0-3 playing the Greyhounds in Baltimore, Md. The last time Notre Dame played at Loyola was during the 1990 season and dropped an 18-3 decision. The two teams last faced each other in the '96 season opener with Loyola earning a 14-7 victory.

    Irish Face Tough Schedule in '97: The Irish will face another demanding schedule this seasn as they play five teams -- Harvard, Loyola, Hofstra, Massachusetts and Penn State -- that finished in the Top 20 in the final USILA rankings. Three of those teams -- Harvard, Hofstra and Loyola -- all participated in the '96 NCAA tournament. Six of Notre Dame's opponents this season are ranked in the Face-off Lacrosse Preseason Top 20.

    The Captains: Notre Dame's four captains this season are seniors DAVE CASHEN (Chester, N.J.), WILL DeRISO (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) and juniors ALEX CADE (North Potomac, Md.) and JIMMY KEENAN (Floral Park, N.Y.).

    Tough Defense: Under head coach Kevin Corrigan, the Irish always have been known for its tough defense as was evident in the Penn State game when Notre Dame held the Nittany Lions scoreless in the second half.

    A year ago, Notre Dame ranked second nationally in scoring defense as the Irish are allowing just 7.16 goals per game. Coach Kevin Corrigan's team only allowed 10-plus goals in four games in '96 (Loyola, Dartmouth, North Carolina and Johns Hopkins).

    Home Sweet Home?: After going undefeated at home during the 1994 and 1995 campaigns, the Irish did not find much success at home last season and were an uncharacteristic 2-3 - the most losses ever by a Notre Dame lacrosse team since the program's inception in 1981. The 12-4 win over Michigan State was the first home win of the '96 season.

    New Faces on Irish Staff: There are two new faces on the Irish coaching staff this season -- KEVIN ANDERSON and STEVE CICCARONE. ANDERSON is a 1993 Loyola graduate where he starred in both lacrosse and basketball. He earned USILA All-America honors in the midfield during his season year and finished his career with 35 goals and 10 assists. He played on the '90 Greyhound squad which finished as the runner-up to Syracuse in the NCAA tournament. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, ANDERSON spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Washington & Lee.

    CICCARONE was a starter on the 1987 Johns Hopkins University National Championship Team. A three-year starter on defense for the Blue Jays and is a 1990 graduate of the University.

    Baltimore Homecoming: Saturday's game versus Loyola will mark a homecoming for several Irish players and coaches. Assistant coaches KEVIN ANDERSON and STEVE CICCARONE are both from the Baltimore area. Five players will be returning home. They include: NED WEBSTER (Boys Latin), ALEX CADE (No. Potomac/Landon), BEN SAVAGE (Ellicott City/Mt. Hebron), BURKE HAYES (Chevy Chase/Landon) and DAVID BIDDISON (Gilman School).

    Elite Company: Notre Dame's fifth straight appearance in the '96 NCAA tournament put the Irish in rather elite company. Only five other teams in last year's NCAA field - Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, North Carolina and Syracuse - were part of the NCAA tournament the past five years. Notre Dame's first round win over Duke in '95 marked the first-ever win for a Midwest team in the NCAA championships.

    Preseason Honors: Four members of this year's Irish squad were selected to the College Lacrosse USA Preseason All-America teams. ALEX CADE was selected for first-team honors, while teammates JIMMY KEENAN, TODD RASSAS (Northfield, Ill.) and CHRIS DUSSEAU were named to the honorable mention team. In his second season, CADE led the nation in goals against average for the second straight year.

    As sophomores, CADE, KEENAN and RASSAS were named to the USILA All-America teams as they became the first three players in Irish lacrosse history to be selected for the honor in the same season. RASSAS was a third team honoree, while CADE and KEENAN claimed honorable mention accolades.

    Sargent, Webster Return: Juniors ADAM SARGENT (Rochester, NY) and NED WEBSTER saw action for the first time since the '95 season after both missed the entire '96 campaign. Both made their first collegiate starts in the game. WEBSTER dished off an assist in the game, the second of his career.

    Freshmen See Action: Three freshmen -- STEDMAN OAKEY, KEN YANICKY (Rochester, NY) and KEVIN HIGGINS (Wilton, Conn.) all saw action in their first collegiate outings. OAKEY scored Notre Dame's first goal of the '97 season and also added an assist.

    First-Time Scorers: Sophomores STEPHEN TAYLOR, BRAD OWEN and PAUL CHEN all scored their first collegiate goals in Notre Dame's win over Penn State. TAYLOR had two goals in the contest, while OWEN , in addition to recording his first career score, also made his first career start.

    1997 United States Lacrosse Association Poll
    (Poll as of March 3)
    1.  Princeton       199
    2.  Syracuse        191
    3.  Virginia        178
    4.  Johns Hopkins   170
    5.  Duke            155
    6.  Loyola          147
    7.  Maryland        133
    8.  Georgetown      119
    9.  Hofstra         113
    10. Navy            106
    11. North Carolina   90
    12. Massachusetts    78
    13. Brown            77
    14. NOTRE DAME       74
    15. Harvard          71
    16. Army             66
    17. Towson State     55
    18. Penn State       22
    19. Rutgers          15
    20. Yale             11
    
    Notes of the Week
    • Four players -- STEPHEN TAYLOR, STEDMAN OAKEY, BRAD OWEN and PAUL CHEN -- were all first-time scorers in Notre Dame's 9-5 win over Penn State.
    • Notre Dame has a 12-5 record in season openers.

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