Feb. 15, 2014
#5 NOTRE DAME (0-0)
Moe's Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic
Sunday, Feb. 16 7 p.m. (ET)
EverBank Field Jacksonville, Fla.
NBC Sports Network
Mike Corey (play-by-play)
Mark Dixon (analyst)
SETTING THE STAGE
No. 5 Notre Dame (0-0) will open its 2014 campaign Sunday at Jacksonville (0-1) during the Moe's Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at EverBank Field.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the Fighting Irish and Dolphins.
The Notre Dame-Jacksonville tilt will be the first game of a double-header. Massachusetts and Ohio State will play the final contest of the Moe's Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic.
Both games will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network. Mike Corey (play-by-play) and Mark Dixon (analyst) will be on the call.
Live stats will be available at JUDolphins.com.
IRISH IN SEASON-OPENERS
Notre Dame is 26-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 20-5 record in the Kevin Corrigan era.
The Irish have won a program-record 11 straight season-openers.
Notre Dame opened last season with a 13-5 win at Duke.
The Irish last dropped a season-opener in 2002, a 10-9 overtime setback at home against Penn State.
IRISH RETURN TO JACKSONVILLE
Even though this will be the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and Jacksonville, it will be the second trip to Jacksonville for the Irish. Notre Dame opened the 2011 season with a 12-7 win over Duke.
FANTASTIC FEBRUARYS FOR THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame is 17-1 in its last 18 games played in February. Fighting Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is 22-4 in the month of February during his Notre Dame tenure.
Notre Dame went 11-5 overall last season and finished third in the BIG EAST with a 4-2 mark. The Fighting Irish finished the 2013 regular season with the nation's top RPI and earned a program-best No. 2 seed for the NCAA Championship before advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth straight season.
Attackman Matt Kavanagh led the Irish in goals (32) and assists (16). The 32 goals established a program record for a freshman. Jim Marlatt was the leading midfielder scorer with 20 goals to go along with 12 assists.
Notre Dame returns two starting close defensemen in seniors Brian Buglione and Stephen O'Hara. The Fighting Irish finished the 2013 season ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense with an 8.31 goals-against average.
A GLIMPSE AT THE DOLPHINS
Jacksonville opened its 2014 season last Saturday with a 16-10 setback at Duke.
The Dolphins posted an 8-5 record last season, including a 5-1 mark in the MAAC.
Junior attackman Ari Waffle is the leading returning scorer for the Dolphins. He tallied 18 goals and 12 assists last season.
Senior Pete DeLuca returns in goal after posting an 8-4 record and a 9.28 goals-against average en route to being named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Head coach Guy Van Arsdale is in his third season at the helm of the Jacksonville program. He was an assistant coach at Notre Dame during the 2004 campaign.
FIGHTING IRISH ENTER THE ACC
Notre Dame is entering its first season of Atlantic Coast Conference play.
The Fighting Irish have defeated every other ACC member at least once in the last four seasons and the Irish have an 8-8 record against its ACC counterparts (including Syracuse) since the beginning of the 2010 campaign.
The ACC will be Notre Dame's third different league in the last six seasons. The Irish left the Great Western Lacrosse League following the 2009 campaign to join the BIG EAST.
Nearly every Notre Dame game this season can be seen on TV or the Internet. The Fighting Irish will have five contests on ESPNU (vs. Virginia, at Syracuse, vs. Duke, vs. Maryland, vs. Army), one game on ESPN3 (at North Carolina) and Sunday's season opener at Jacksonville will be on the NBC Sports Network.
WatchND.tv will air the remainder of Notre Dame's home games that are played outside at Arlotta Stadium. Those streaming broadcasts are free of charge.
A QUARTET OF PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Four Fighting Irish players received preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Stephen O'Hara (Sr./D) was a first-team pick, while Jim Marlatt (Sr./M) appeared on the second team and Matt Kavanagh (So./A) was a third-team selection. Matt Landis (So./D) garnered honorable mention accolades.
POLLING THE IRISH
Notre Dame will enter the 2014 campaign as a consensus top-five team nationally. The Fighting Irish are ranked fifth in the Warrior, Lacrosse Magazine and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason polls. Notre Dame checked in at No. 4 in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook rankings.
Notre Dame will face the other top-nine squads of the Warrior media poll during the 2014 regular season. The Irish are the only team in the nation to have eight top-10 squads from the Warrior poll on their regular-season docket.
The Fighting Irish are entering their first season of ACC play and all six of the league members appear in the top-10 of the Warrior poll. Duke, Syracuse and North Carolina occupy the top three spots, respectively, while Maryland is sixth and Virginia is eighth.
Notre Dame's non-conference ledger features three other top-10 foes - No. 4 Denver, No. 7 Penn State and No. 9 Ohio State.
KAVANAGH COMING OFF SOLID ROOKIE SEASON
Attackman Matt Kavanagh is coming off an impressive rookie campaign that saw him lead the Irish in goals (32) and assists (16). The goal tally was a program record for a freshman.
He tallied four or more points in eight games last season. Kavanagh had 11 multiple-goal games, including three four-goal efforts.
Kavanagh posted seven goals and three assists in Notre Dame's two NCAA tournament contests. He netted four goals in the 9-7 first-round win over Detroit and then registered three goals and three assists in the 12-11 loss to Duke in the quarterfinals.
Kavanagh netted an overtime game winner twice during the 2013 campaign. He scored 15 seconds into the third overtime period in a 10-9 victory over North Carolina and scored with 1:34 remaining in the first extra period in the 10-9 win at Penn State.
O'HARA PICKED IN MLL DRAFT
Senior defenseman Stephen O'Hara was selected by the Ohio Machine with the first pick of the sixth round (41st overall) of January's 2014 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Draft.
O'Hara has started every game over the last two seasons in Notre Dame's close defense, which has been one of the best in the nation over that time. The Fighting Irish allowed just 8.31 goals per game last season. That mark ranked 10th nationally and the Irish were first in 2012 after notching a 6.31 goals-against average. O'Hara, a Fighting Irish team captain, was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team last season.
Junior attackman Conor Doyle is joined by his older brother Jack Doyle on this season's roster. Jack, a midfielder, graduated from Harvard and was on the Crimson squad for four seasons. He combined to play in 28 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons, but was limited to just one contest over the last two years due to injury. He tallied 14 goals and eight assists at Harvard.
Conor Kelly LOOKS TO KEEP CAGE CONSISTENCY GOING FOR IRISH
Junior Conor Kelly is entering his first season as Notre Dame's starting goalie. Kelly has played a total of 12:35 in cage. All of those minutes came in last season's 17-5 win over Marquette. He made one save and allowed two goals in that contest.
Kelly is looking to become the latest in a long line of outstanding goalies for the Fighting Irish. Kelly is taking over for John Kemp, who earned All-America honors three times with the Irish. Kemp was named to the USILA All-America First Team in 2012 and earned honorable mention citations in 2011 and 2013.
Kemp was the third straight Notre Dame goalie to receive All-America honors. Scott Rodgers earned third team All-America honors in 2009 and was an honorable mention pick in 2010. He also was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 NCAA Championship.
Joey Kemp, John's older brother, was a three-time All-America honoree at Notre Dame. He copped first-team honors in 2008 in addition to honorable mention accolades in 2006 and 2007.
Two other Notre Dame goalies have garnered All-America honors. Alex Cade was an honorable mention pick in 1996 and Kirk Howell was on the USILA Second Team in 2001.
Notre Dame and Maryland are the only two programs to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship field in each of the last eight seasons.
Notre Dame and Duke are the only two schools to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship in each of the last four seasons.
TAKING DOWN TOP-10 TEAMS
Notre Dame defeated five teams last season that were ranked in the top 10 of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll at the time of the contest.
The Irish defeated (in chronological order) #6 Duke (13-5), #8 Penn State (10-9 OT), #9 North Carolina (10-9 3OT), #5 Denver (13-12 OT) and #8 Ohio State (9-4).
It was the first time ever the Irish had five wins over top-10 teams during the regular season.
ANOTHER 10 FOR NOTRE DAME
The Fighting Irish have notched a double-digit win total in each of the last eight seasons.
HOME SWEET HOME
Notre Dame is 45-6 (.882) at home since the beginning of the 2006 season.