March 2, 2012
#9 NOTRE DAME (1-1)
#18 DREXEL (1-2)
Saturday, March 3 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Vidas Field Philadelphia, Pa.
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SETTING THE STAGE
No. 9 Notre Dame (1-1) will hit the road for the first time this season when the Irish take on No. 18 Drexel at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday at Vidas Field in Philadelphia, Pa.
This will be the first of a two-game road swing for the Irish. Notre Dame plays at Hofstra next Saturday.
Notre Dame had its 15-game winning streak in the month of February snapped last Sunday with a 4-3 overtime loss to Penn State.
NOTRE DAME-DREXEL SERIES HISTORY
Saturday will be the fifth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Drexel. The Irish lead the series 3-1, which includes an 11-7 home victory over the Dragons last season.
The Fighting Irish are 1-1 all-time at Drexel. The Dragons topped the Irish, 7-6 in overtime, during the 2010 season in Philadelphia, Pa.
A LOOK AT DREXEL
Drexel will bring a 1-2 record into Saturday's showdown with the Irish. The Dragons are coming off a 14-9 setback at No. 8 Villanova on Tuesday. Drexel opened the season with a 9-8 home loss to No. 1 Virginia before winning at Albany, 13-8.
Junior attackman Robert Church has a team-high seven goals, while senior midfielder Kyle Bergman leads the Dragons in assists (6) and points (11).
Senior goalie Mark Manos has all three decisions in goal. He carries a 10.36 goals-against average and a .483 save percentage.
SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE
The Notre Dame defense enters Saturday with a 3.5 goals-against average, while the Drexel offense is averaging 10.0 goals per game.
Notre Dame is in the middle of a three-game stretch all against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Irish fell to CAA foe Penn State, 4-3 in overtime, last Saturday and will face Hofstra next Saturday in Hempstead, N.Y.
Notre Dame holds a 21-13 all-time record against teams from the CAA.
The Irish went 2-0 against CAA foes last season. Notre Dame defeated both Penn State (6-2) and Drexel (11-7).
THE LAST TIME
Notre Dame bested Drexel, 11-7, last season in a back-and-forth affair inside the Loftus Sports Center. The Irish fell behind 3-0 in the contest, yet responded with five unanswered goals. Drexel grabbed a 6-5 lead on three consecutive scores before Notre Dame rattled off four straight tallies en route to the victory.
Irish attackmen Sean Rogers and Westy Hopkins both scored two goals. Goalie John Kemp made nine saves in the win.
A LOW-SCORING AFFAIR
Notre Dame's three goals against Penn State last Saturday were the fewest for the Irish since a 7-3 loss to Maryland in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The seven total goals were the fewest ever in a Notre Dame game. The previous low was eight from last season's 6-2 win at Penn State.
DEFENSE DOMINANT OUT OF THE GATE
The seven goals allowed by the Fighting Irish defense are the fewest in program history through the first two games of a season.
Notre Dame opponents are 0-for-4 in man-up situations this season.
KEMP A FORCE IN THE CAGE
Junior goalie John Kemp made a career-high 18 saves in Sunday's 4-3 overtime setback to Penn State. In the 7-3 season-opening win over Duke, he tied a then career-high total with 14 saves. Kemp boasts a 3.39 goals-against average and a .821 save percentage this season.
The Fighting Irish defense posted a scoreless streak of 40:24 in the 7-3 season-opening win over Duke. That streak began at the 10:42 mark of the second quarter and ended with 18 seconds left in the contest.
The Irish defense held Penn State scoreless for the first 20:59 of last Saturday's contest. Notre Dame also produced a 24:50 scoreless stretch later in the game.
IRISH DOWN THE DEVILS
Notre Dame scored seven unanswered goals en route to a 7-3 season-opening victory over No. 2 Duke at Arlotta Stadium.
Senior midfielder Max Pfeifer tallied two goals and two assists for the Irish, while sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt scored two goals in his collegiate debut. Junior goalie John Kemp matched a then career-high total with 14 saves for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame had two first-time starters in the close defense in junior Matt Miller and sophomore Stephen O'Hara. Senior captain Kevin Randall made his 32nd consecutive start in the Irish defense.
The three goals allowed by the Irish defense marked the fewest against a ranked opponent since Notre Dame held No. 10 Ohio State to two scores in a 9-2 win on May 4, 2008.
Notre Dame sophomores Jim Marlatt and Ryan Mix made their collegiate debuts in the Duke contest and they both found the back of the net. Marlatt, a midfielder, scored two goals, while Mix, an attackman, had one tally.
HOME SWEET HOME
Saturday's loss to Penn State snapped Notre Dame's seven-game home win streak. Notre Dame was a perfect 6-0 at home last season. Notre Dame is 35-4 (.897) at home since the beginning of the 2006 season.
CONSISTENCY ON D
Over the last five seasons, the Notre Dame defense has been one of the best in the nation. The Irish are the only team in NCAA Division I to finish in the top five nationally in scoring defense in each of those five campaigns. Notre Dame produced the nation's top defense in 2009 by allowing a program-record 6.19 goals per game. The Irish were second in 2010 (7.53) and 2011 (6.57), fourth in 2007 (6.66) and fifth in 2008 (7.04).
Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 81 games), the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 56 times. Notre Dame has held foes to four goals or fewer 15 times during that stretch.
Notre Dame has surrendered 10 goals or more in a game just 10 times since the beginning of the `07 season.
FOUR IRISH PLAYERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA ACCOLADES
Four members of the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Junior goalie John Kemp was named to the preseason All-America third team, while seniors Kevin Randall (D) and Sean Rogers (A) along with sophomore Liam O'Connor (M/FO) were honorable mention selections.
KEMP ON TEWAARATON AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior goalie John Kemp has been named to the watch list for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award. He is one of 73 student-athletes up for the award, which is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate lacrosse player.
RANDALL TABBED AS A LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
Notre Dame defenseman Kevin Randall has been named one of 20 candidates for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the men's lacrosse division. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
IRISH PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN BIG EAST
Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST according to the league's 2012 preseason coaches poll. Syracuse was selected to win the league with four first-place votes, while Notre Dame received one first-place nod. Rounding out the order of finish was Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, Rutgers and Providence. Villanova had two first-place votes. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
FOUR IRISH PLAYERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE HONORS
Fighting Irish junior goalie John Kemp was selected as the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Fellow Irish players joining Kemp on the 2012 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team were seniors Kevin Randall (D) and Sean Rogers (A) along with sophomore Liam O'Connor (M/FO). Kemp and Randall both were unanimous picks. Notre Dame and Syracuse both had a league-best four players selected to the squad.
SENIOR TRIO TO CAPTAIN IRISH DURING 2012 CAMPAIGN
Seniors Nicholas Beattie (A), Max Pfeifer (M) and Kevin Randall (D) will serve as team captains for the Fighting Irish during the 2012 campaign. All three are first-time captains for Notre Dame.
RANDALL SELECTED IN MLL DRAFT
Notre Dame senior defenseman Kevin Randall was selected by the Charlotte Hounds in January's Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft. Randall was the first pick in the seventh round (49th overall selection).
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
The Notre Dame men's lacrosse program has achieved unprecedented success over the past few seasons. The Fighting Irish are 51-15 (.773) since the beginning of the 2008 season. That is the fourth-best winning percentage nationally during that time.
In 2008, the Fighting Irish hosted an NCAA tournament game for the first time in program history. Notre Dame defeated Colgate 8-7 in overtime.
The 2009 campaign featured the Irish posting the first undefeated regular season (13-0) in program history before extending their record to a school-best 15-0 in the Great Western Lacrosse League tournament. Notre Dame fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
In 2010, Notre Dame reached the title game of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke, 6-5, in overtime.
Last season, the Irish reached No. 1 in the national polls for the first time in program history.
Notre Dame's Gerry Byrne was named the 2011 Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year for NCAA Division I. The award was presented during IMLCA Convention in Baltimore, Md.
Byrne instructed a Fighting Irish defense that finished the 2011 season ranked second nationally by allowing just 6.57 goals per game. The Irish held their opponents to seven goals or fewer 10 times during the 2011 campaign.
IRISH TO FACE ST. JOHN'S IN BIG CITY CLASSIC
Notre Dame will face BIG EAST foe St. John's in the 2012 Konica Minolta Big City Classic on April 1 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The contest is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) and will be the first game of a tripleheader.
Duke and Syracuse will meet in the day's second game, while North Carolina and Johns Hopkins will square off in the third and final game at MetLife Stadium, which is home to the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets. This will be Notre Dame's first-ever appearance in the Big City Classic.
PLAYING ON THE BIG STAGE
Playing in MetLife Stadium for the Big City Classic on April 1 will be Notre Dame's latest chance to compete in a major venue.
The Irish opened the 2011 campaign against Duke at Everbank Field, which is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Notre Dame faced Duke in the 2011 NCAA quarterfinals at the home venue of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium.
Not only did the Irish compete at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore during the 2010 final four, they also played Loyola in the venue during that season's Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.
In 2009, Notre Dame played Ohio State at Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe) in Columbus, Ohio. Two weeks prior, the Irish faced Denver at Invesco Field, which is home to the Denver Broncos.
In 2008, Notre Dame and Denver met at Toyota Park, home to the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer (MLS) and former residence of Major League Lacrosse's Chicago Machine, in Bridgeview, Ill.
Notre Dame and North Carolina met at the Home Depot Center, which houses the MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy, during the 2005 First Four Invitational in Carson, Calif.
Notre Dame will appear on ESPNU four times during the 2012 regular season.
Three of the four television appearances will be Fighting Irish home contests, including the season opener against Duke. Notre Dame's home tilt versus Denver on March 18 at Arlotta Stadium also will be televised. The lone Notre Dame road game that will be televised is the trip to Villanova on April 21. The regular-season finale between Notre Dame and Syracuse on April 28 at Arlotta Stadium also will be aired on the network.
Eight teams on Notre Dame's 2012 schedule appear in this week's Nike/Inside Lacrosse rankings. Syracuse (#6), Duke (#8) and Villanova (#9) join Notre Dame (#10) in the top 10 of the poll. Denver (#12), Penn State (#13), Ohio State (#16), Drexel (#19) and Hofstra (#20) also are Irish opponents listed in the rankings.