May 15, 1997
Notre Dame Finishes '97 Campaign with 9-3 Record
Irish Fall in First Round of NCAA Tournament
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame's 1997 season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA tournament as the Irish dropped a 21-5 decision to Loyola on May 11 at Minnegan Stadium in Towson, Md.
It was the sixth straight tournament appearance and seventh in the last eight years for the Irish. All seven NCAA berths have come under head coach Kevin Corrigan.
Notre Dame finished the season ranked ninth nationally as the Irish won their sixth consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League championship. It was the highest finisher ever for the Irish in the final United States Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll. Notre Dame climbed to as high as eighth in the poll during the '97 campaign. Corrigan's squad faced eight ranked opponents this season and was 5-3 in those games.
Recap of Loyola Game: It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams. In the first game, the Greyhounds earned a one-goal victory over the Irish in Baltimore, Md. as Loyola scored the game-winning goal in the final 2:45 of the contest.
In Sunday's first round contest, the Irish gave up the most goals since its 1994 NCAA tournament first round loss to Virginia (23-4) as Notre Dame dropped a 21-5 decision. After NED WESBSTER (Baltimore, Md.) tied the game at 1-1 with 13:11 to play in the contest, the Greyhounds scored six unanswered goals en route to an 11-3 halftime lead. WEBSTER scored two goals for the Irish in the contest.
Also scoring in the game were STEDMAN OAKEY (Charlottesville, Va.), ADAM SARGENT (Rochester, N.Y.) and BRAD OWEN (Amherst, N.H.). For SARGENT, it marked the first goal of his collegiate career.
Goalkeeper ALEX CADE (North Potomac, Md.) gave up 20 goals (the most of his career) and made nine saves in the game.
Head Coach Kevin Corrigan: KEVIN CORRIGAN finished 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 an 81-42 record (.659) and seven NCAA tournament appearances, including six 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 seven of the last eight seasons.
The Irish have won 10-plus games three of the past six 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 91-57 (.615).
Irish in the NCAAs: Notre Dame made its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Irish are 1-7 in NCAA competition. Notre Dame's 12-10 first round win over Duke in 1995 was the school's first-ever NCAA tournament win.
Irish Faced Tough Schedule in '97: In recent years, the Irish have played a tough schedule. This season the Irish faced eight ranked opponents and posted a 5-2 record. Three of those teams -- Loyola, Hofstra and Massachusetts -- were on the Irish slate in '97. Notre Dame's two losses during the regular season were by a total of two goals. Notre Dame beat Hofstra 10-9 on April 4 when the Flying Dutchmen were ranked fourth nationally. The victory was the first for the Irish lacrosse program over a Top Five team.
Tough Defense: Under head coach Kevin Corrigan, the Irish always have been known for its tough defense. The Irish gave up just 8.91 goals per game and had the most success in the first and third quarters, allowing just 1.58 and 1.75 goals per quarter, respectively. Notre Dame gave up 10-plus goals in four games this season (Delaware, Loyola (both meetings) and Butler) and only twice in the last nine games.
Home Sweet Home: For the third time in four seasons, the Irish finished the home season with a perfect 6-0 record. Notre Dame was an uncharacteristic 2-3 at home in '96 which marked the most losses ever by a Notre Dame lacrosse team since the program's inception in 1981.
The Irish were a perfect 10-0 at home during the 1994 and 1995 campaigns. Over the past four years, Notre Dame is 24-4 (.857) at home.
Elite Company: Notre Dame's sixth straight appearance in the '96 NCAA tournament puts the Irish in rather elite company. Only four other teams in this year's NCAA field -- Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland and Syracuse -- have been part of the last six NCAA tournaments. Notre Dame's first round win over Duke in '95 marked the first-ever win for a Midwest team in the NCAA championships.
Historic Win: Notre Dame's 10-9 win over the then fourth-ranked Flying Dutchmen of Hofstra proved to be one of the biggest in school history as it marked the highest ranked team the Irish had beaten in the 16-year history of their program.
CHRIS DUSSEAU (Columbus, Oh.) and BURKE HAYES (Chevy Chase, Md.) each scored three goals and NED WEBSTER added four assists to lead Notre Dame, which was ranked 13th at the time of the game.
The Irish jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game and led 4-0 after one quarter and scored three goals in the first eight minutes of the second quarter.DUSSEAU had two of his first three first-half goals in the run. Hofstra scored with 4:29 remaining in the first half and cut the Irish advantage to 7-4 right before halftime. KEN YANICKY'S (Rochester, N.Y.) goal with one second remaining in the half gave Notre Dame an 8-4 lead after 30 minutes.
Both teams scored once in the third quarter as the Irish led 9-5 with 15 remaining in the contest. Hofstra cut the lead to 9-6, but DUSSEAU scored his third goal of the game with 8:41 left in the contest to give Notre Dame a 10-7 lead.
The Flying Dutchmen scored the final three goals of the game, including its ninth goal of the game with 36 seconds left to play. Hofstra had a chance to win the game at the end, but good defensive pressure from the Irish forced a turnover as Notre Dame held on for the victory.
Nail Biters: Notre Dame was involved in five one-goal games this season and is 3-2 in those contests. The Irish beat Delaware (15-14); Hobart (10-9) in overtime; and Hofstra (10-9), but lost to Loyola (12-11) and Massachusetts (6-5).
In the losses to the Greyhounds and Minutemen, Notre Dame never led in the contest. Against Massachusetts, the Irish fell behind 6-0 and did not score their first goal until the 40th minute of the contest.
Sargent, Webster Return: Juniors ADAM SARGENT and NED WEBSTER started all 12 games this season after both missing the entire '96 campaign. WEBSTER had a big offensive presence in the lineup as he has scored 13 goals and dished off 18 assists (31 points). SARGENT has been a force defensively. He scored a goal, dished off two assists and picked up 55 ground balls.
Freshmen See Action: Three freshmen -- STEDMAN OAKEY, KEN YANICKY and KEVIN HIGGINS (Wilton, Conn.) played in all 12 games. OAKEY had one of the biggest game of his career against Ohio State as he scored a career-best four goals and dished off one assist. YANICKY led the team with 76 ground balls and scored three goals and dished off two assists. HIGGINS had a goal and 17 ground balls.
DeRiso Having a Big Year: Senior co-captain WILL DeRISO (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) had the best season of his career. After three seasons, he had 17 goals and 12 assists. In his final collegiate outing, DeRISO has already surpassed his three-year totals. This season, he led the Irish in scoring with 18 goals and 24 assists (24 points).
Hayes Proves to be Irish Scoring Threat: Junior BURKE HAYES became a scoring threat for Notre Dame this season. Heading into this year, he had 17 goals and three assists. IN '97, he surpassed his two-year goal total with 23 in '97, while dishing off three assists.
Keenan Sets Irish Mark: Jimmy Keenan's (Floral Park, N.Y.) 28 assists in 1997 were the most by an Irish midfielder. The former mark of 23 was set by Will Sutton during the 1995 season. Keenan also eclipses the mark for assists in a season by a junior set by Brian Mayglothling during the 1997 campaign.
Dusseau Hits 29-Goal Mark Again: For the second straight year, sophomore CHRIS DUSSEAU scored 29 goals to lead the Irish in that category. As a freshman in '96, DUSSEAU set the single-season freshman mark for goals scored.
Irish in the National Statistics: JIMMY KEENAN ranks sixth nationally in assists (2.33 per game). ALEX CADE is fourth in goals against average (8.86) and 13th in save percentage (.576). As a team, the Irish are fourth in scoring defense (8.91 goals per game), ninth in scoring margin (2.33) and fourth in winning percentage (.750).
Irish Lacrosse Notes of the Week
1997 United States Lacrosse Association Final Poll 1. Princeton 200 2. Virginia 190 3. Syracuse 176 4. Johns Hopkins 170 5. Duke 163 6. Loyola 148 7. Georgetown 129 8. Massachusetts 127 9. NOTRE DAME 121 10. Maryland 109 11. Brown 100 12. Hofstra 84 13. Army 77 14. Penn State 72 15. North Carolina 62 16. Maryland-Balt. County 41 17. Hartford 34 18. Rutgers 30 t-19. Harvard 15 t-19. Butler 15