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    Fighting Irish

    March 5, 1998

    Notre Dame Debuts at #9 in USILA Poll

    Irish Win Season Opener vs. Penn State Behind Five Goals by Freshman David Ulrich

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Behind five goals and two assists from freshman DAVID ULRICH (Baltimore, MD), the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team posted a 14-9 victory over Penn State in the season opener for both teams.

    The Irish made its debut at number nine in the STX/United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Poll -- the highest they have been ranked this early in the season. In Faceoff Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason poll, Notre Dame was ranked 13th.

    Notre Dame will play its next three games on the road. The Irish travel to Colorado for its next two games as they face Air Force on Saturday, March 7 at 1:00 p.m. and then meets Denver on Sunday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m.

    Penn State Review: For the second straight year, the Irish opened up the season with a victory against Penn State. Led by freshman DAVID ULRICH, the Irish rallied from an early two-goal deficit against the Nittany Lions to post a 14-9 victory.

    ULRICH finished the game with five goals and two assists -- the most points ever scored by a Notre Dame freshman in his first collegiate contest.

    After trailing 2-0 in the first 1:46 of the contest, Notre Dame outscored Penn State 10-3 over the next 28 minutes as the Irish had a 10-5 advantage at the half.

    ULRICH was one of of four Irish players who had two or more goals in the game. Senior BURKE HAYES (Chevy Chase, MD) and juniors CHRIS DUSSEAU (Columbus, Ohio) and BRAD OWEN (Amherst, NH) each scored twice in the contest. Also adding goals were JIMMY KEENAN (Floral Park, NY), REVERE LA NOUE (Baltimore, MD) and STEPHEN TAYLOR (Rockville Centre, NY). HAYES and LA NOUE also were credited with an assist in the game. LA NOUE, who missed last season while studying abroad, scored the first goal of his collegiate career in the game.

    Senior MIKE SEAMAN (Springfield, Pa.), who missed all of last season with a knee injury, had two assists in the contest -- the first two of his career.

    After Penn State went up 2-0 to start the game, ULRICH scored Notre Dame's first goal of the 1998 campaign with 10:06 left in the first quarter. HAYES then tied the score at 2-2 with 8:32 remaining in the game, before KEENAN gave the Irish their first lead of the contest with 5:47 remaining. Penn State tied the game (3-3) with 3:35 left in the first quarter, but then Notre Dame took the lead for good on goals by ULRICH and OWEN in the final 2:55 of the first quarter to give the Irish a 5-3 advantage after one quarter.

    ALEX CADE (North Potomac, MD), registered 17 saves in the game as he played all 60 minutes of the contest. Penn State held a 40-37 shot advantage in the contest.

    Head Coach Kevin Corrigan: KEVIN CORRIGAN is in his 10th season at the Notre Dame helm and 12th at the collegiate level. During his tenure, the three-time Great Western Lacrosse League coach of the year has guided Notre Dame to an 82-42 record (.661) 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 11-plus seasons as a head coach is 92-57 (.617).

    Series Record vs. Air Force: This is the 11th meeting between the two teams. Notre Dame has won nine straight over the Falcons and lead the series 9-1. Air Force won the first game of the series in 1988, 14-8, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Notre Dame owns a 3-1 record at Air Force. Under head coach Kevin Corrigan, the Irish are 9-0 versus the Falcons.

    Series Record vs. Denver: This will be just the second-ever meeting between the two teams. This is the second time Notre Dame has played Denver on road as the Irish earned a 25-4 victory during the 1992 season in the only game ever played between the two teams.

    No Time For a Letdown: In recent years, the Irish have played a tough schedule, and in 1998, that trend continues as eight of their 12 opponents -- including three in the Top 10 -- are ranked in the Top 20 of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Poll. The three teams ranked in the top half of the rankings are Loyola (#4), Georgetown (#6) and Butler (#10). The other four Notre Dame opponents in the rankings are Massachusetts (#11), Hofstra (#15), Harvard (#18), Penn State (#19) and Rutgers (#20).

    Soaring High: Following its 14-9 win over Penn State on Sunday, Notre Dame made its debut at #9 in the first USILA Poll of the 1998 campaign. It is the highest ranking for the Irish this early in the season. Notre Dame finished the season ninth in the final USILA rankings -- its highest in school history.

    The Captains: Seniors ALEX CADE, BURKE HAYES, JIMMY KEENAN and TODD RASSAS will serve as the four Irish captains this season. CADE and KEENAN also were captains in the junior year.

    Home Sweet Home: For the third time in four campaigns last season, the Irish finished with a perfect 6-0 home 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 10-0 at home during the 1994 and 1995 campaigns. Over the past four-plus seasons, Notre Dame is 19-3 (.864) at home.

    Elite Company: Notre Dame's sixth straight appearance in the '97 NCAA tournament put the Irish in rather elite company. Only five other schools in last year's NCAA field -- Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Princeton 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.

    Seeing Double: Freshmen DAVE and TODD ULRICH (Baltimore, Md.), are the first twin brothers to play on the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team. Dave plays at attack, while Todd is in the midfield. They are one of four Irish players who played at Boys' Latin in Baltimore -- the other two are NED WEBTER and freshman TOM GLATZEL (Ellicott City, Md.).

    Family Ties: Two members of this year's Irish lacrosse team have close connections to the program. Sophomore BRIAN ERICKSON (Wilton, Conn.) and freshman CONNOR PETT (Ellicott City, Md.) have had brothers who have played for head coach Kevin Corrigan. ERICKSON's brother Brian (1993-96) was a four-year letterwinner, while PETT's brother Jason is a '95 graduate. Both Brian and Jason played on the '95 squad which won the school's first-ever NCAA tournament game by defeating Duke in the first round and advancing to the quarterfinals.

    The Wilton Connection: The Notre Dame lacrosse team always has had strong connections with Wilton, Conn., and Wilton High School. This season is no different with six Wilton graduates on the Notre Dame roster -- MIKE ADAMS, RAY CROSS, SEAN ERICKSON, KEVIN HIGGINS, MIKE PFEFFER and MIKE SHULOF.

    Finlay Joins Irish Coaching Staff: JIM FINLAY, who spent three seasons as an assistant at Springfield College, is in his first year on the Notre Dame coaching staff and joins second-year assistant KEVIN ANDERSON on head coach KEVIN CORRIGAN'S staff. FINLAY, a member of Gettysburg College's lacrosse team from 1990-92, will work primarily with the Irish defensemen.

    Irish in Season Openers: Since becoming a varsity sport in 1981, Notre Dame is 13-5 all-time in its season openers, while under CORRIGAN, the Irish have produced a 7-3 record.

    Familiar Foes: Notre Dame will play nine teams it faced on its 1997 schedule. CORRIGAN's squad posted a 7-3 record against those teams, which included two matchups with Loyola (one during the regular season and one in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The three teams who were not on the Irish slate a year ago are Denver, Georgetown and Rutgers.

    Travelin' Men: Notre Dame's 12-game slate includes seven road contests. The Irish will be on the road for their next three outings and four times in their next five games. Notre Dame travels to Colorado this weekend where they are scheduled to face Air Force on March 7 and Denver on March 8 and then face Loyola in Hempstead, N.Y. on March 14.

    What a Debut: DAVID ULRICH certainly had a strong showing in his collegiate debut as he scored five goals and dished off two assists. The seven points are the most ever scored by a Notre Dame freshman in his first NCAA Division I game in the 18-year history of the program. The previous freshman record was held by Robby Synder who scored four goals in the 1991 opener versus Canisius, a 14-8 Notre Dame win. As a sophomore, in his first outing, Randy Colley, Notre Dame's all-time leading scorer, had four goals and four assists in his first game with the Irish,a 23-4 win over St. Bonaventure in 1992. Colley missed the entire 1991 campaign due to injury.

    Four Earn First Collegiate Starts: Four Irish players made their first career starts against Penn State on Sunday -- juniors BEN SAVAGE (Ellicott City, MD), LAURENCE GALLI (Garden City, NY) and DAVID BIDDISON (Baltimore, MD) and sophomore STEDMAN OAKEY (Charlottesville, VA). SAVAGE scored his first collegiate goal along with junior REVERE LA NOUE (Baltimore, MD).

    Freshmen Contribute: Five freshman saw action for the Irish in the season opener against Penn State -- MIKE ADAMS (Wilton, Conn.), STEVE BISHKO (West Islip, N.Y.), CONNOR PETT (Ellicott City, MD), CHRIS YOUNG (Camillus, N.Y.) and DAVID ULRICH. Along with ULRICH, BISHKO recorded his first collegiate point in the game when he assisted on ULRICH's third goal of the game.

    Starting Midfield Unit Returns: Notre Dame's three starters in the midfield a year ago -- JIMMY KEENAN, BURKE HAYES and BRAD OWEN were all in the starting lineup against Penn State in the season opener. The trio accounted for 51 of Notre Dame's 135 goals in 1997.

    1998 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Poll
    (Week of March 2)

        1.   Princeton (1-0)        11.  Massachusetts (1-0)*
        2.   Syracuse (1-0)         12.  North Carolina (1-1)
        3.   Maryland (2-0)         13.  Brown (0-1)
        4.   Loyola (1-0)*          14.  Army (2-0)
        5.   Virginia (0-1)         15.  Hofstra (0-1)*
        6.   Georgetown (1-0)*      16.  Towson (1-0)
        7.   Johns Hopkins (0-1)    17.  Navy (1-1)
        8.   Duke (0-1)             18.  Harvard (0-0)*
        9.   NOTRE DAME (1-0)       19.  Penn State (0-1)*
        10. Butler (2-0)*           20.  Rutgers (1-0)*
                                         Delaware (1-0)
    *indicates 1998 Notre Dame opponent
    
    IRISH LACROSSE NOTES OF THE WEEK

    * Freshman David Ulrich (Balimore, MD) scored five goals and dished off two assists in his collegiate debut against Penn State. His seven points are the most ever by a Notre Dame freshman in his first Division I game in the 18-year history of the Irish lacrosse program.

    * Four Irish players -- juniors David Biddison (Baltimore, MD), Laurence Galli (Garden City, NY) and Ben Savage (Ellicott City, MD) and sophomore Stedman Oakey (Charlottesville, VA) earned their first collegiate starts in the season opener versus the Nittany Lions.

    * Notre Dame is 13-5 in season openers.

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