March 27, 2008
#7 Notre Dame (6-1) at Bellarmine (6-2)
The No. 7 Notre Dame men's lacrosse team opens Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play this Saturday (March 29) at Bellarmine. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Owsley B. Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The Fighting Irish were scheduled to begin conference action last weekend, yet their game at Air Force was postponed due to weather-related travel issues. Notre Dame improved to 6-1 this season with a 13-6 victory over #11 Drexel on Tuesday (March 25). Bellarmine is 6-2 on the season.
HOW TO FOLLOW: Live stats of Saturday's contest will be available through the Knights' official athletic web site at http://www.bellarmine.edu/athletics/teams/stats/0708/lax/xlive.htm ... you can also sign up for `Irish Alert', a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
ND-BELLARMINE SERIES NOTES: Saturday will mark the third meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Bellarmine ... the Fighting Irish topped the Knights, 11-3, last season at Moose Krause Stadium ... in the first-ever meeting, Notre Dame captured an 8-2 victory at Bellarmine during the 2006 campaign.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame carries a 6-1 record into Saturday's contest ... the Fighting Irish are currently ranked seventh in both the USILA coaches poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings ... Notre Dame is coming off a 13-6 victory over #11 Drexel on Tuesday (March 25) ... junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads Notre Dame with 18 goals ... senior attackman Alex Wharton has team-high totals in points (23) and assists (13), both career-best marks ... junior Duncan Swezey has a career-high 14 goals ... Notre Dame has defeated three ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6; #13 Albany, 7-6; #11 Drexel, 13-6) ... the Irish have had 17 different players score at least one goal ... Notre Dame is averaging 11.86 goals per game, while holding opponents to just 6.86 goals a game ... senior goaltender Joey Kemp has played 402:32 of a possible 420:00 minutes between the pipes ... the two-time All-America honoree, carries a .636 save percentage ... Notre Dame returned seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's team that posted an 11-4 record and captured the GWLL title with a perfect 5-0 conference mark ... that was the 10th GWLL crown for the Irish since the league was founded in 1994 ... in 2007, Notre Dame made its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 12th trip in program history ... the Irish fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in overtime during the tournament's first round ... Kevin Corrigan is in his 20th season as the head coach of Notre Dame ... he has a record of 173-93 (.650) during his Fighting Irish tenure ... Corrigan was named the 2007 GWLL coach of the year ... that marked the fourth time he has received that honor.
ABOUT BELLARMINE: The Knights fell to 6-2 with a 9-7 loss at Vermont on March 23 ... prior to that contest, Bellarmine had won six straight games after suffering a 15-2 loss at No. 10 North Carolina in the season opener ... the Knights are 5-0 at home this season ... Bellarmine is averaging 9.92 goals per game, while surrendering 7.81 per game ... senior attackman Adam Gardner has a team-best 12 goals, while sophomore attackman Shane Andersen leads the Knights with 18 points on 10 goals and eight assists ... the assist total ties him for the team lead along with senior midfielder Matt Holland ... Bellarmine has used four different goaltenders this season, with junior David Haas seeing the most minutes ... he has played 210 minutes of a possible 484 and possesses a 3-1 record with a 7.71 goals-against average and a .597 save percentage ... the Knights returned four starters and 26 letterwinners from last season's squad that went 3-10, including a 1-4 mark in the GWLL ... head coach Jack McGetrick is in his fourth season at Bellarmine.
COMMON OPPONENTS: Notre Dame and Bellarmine have played one common opponent this season ... the Knights fell to North Carolina, 15-2, on Feb. 16, while the Tar Heels topped the Irish, 8-6, on March 8.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame claimed an 11-3 home victory over Bellarmine last season ... the Knights held a 1-0 lead after the first quarter, yet Notre Dame came back with 11 combined goals in the second and third quarters to take the win ... Ryan Hoff and Will Yeatman led the Irish charge with three goals apiece ... Joey Kemp made nine saves in claiming the victory.
NOTRE DAME IN THE GWLL: Notre Dame is 51-9 (.850) all-time in GWLL play with 10 league titles ... this is the 15th season for the GWLL ... Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions, including last season's 5-0 mark.
IRISH IN GWLL OPENERS: The Fighting Irish have a 13-1 mark in GWLL openers ... Notre Dame defeated Bellarmine, 11-3, in last season's GWLL lid-lifter ... Notre Dame's only loss in a GWLL opener was a 9-8 decision against Ohio State during the 2004 campaign.
RECAPPING DREXEL: Hat tricks from Alex Wharton and Duncan Swezey helped propel No. 7 Notre Dame past No. 11 Drexel, 13-6, on Tuesday, March 25 at Moose Krause Stadium ... the victory moved the Irish's program-record home win streak to 16 games and ended Drexel's season win streak at seven games ... midfielder Michael Podgajny aided the Notre Dame offense as he collected five points on one goal and a career-high tying four assists ... the five points also matched a career-best output for the senior ... Swezey, a junior, also tied his career-high for points with five on three goals and two assists ... Drexel jumped ahead with the first goal of the game as Andrew Chapman scored with 9:36 remaining in the first quarter ... that marked just the third time this season that the Fighting Irish have surrendered a first-quarter goal ... the Irish did not stay down for long as they notched a goal 21 seconds later when Grant Krebs took a pass from Wharton and put it into the back of the net ... tallies from Ryan Hoff and Dan Gibson gave Notre Dame a 3-1 lead by the 11:17 mark of the second quarter ... a score from Brian Neary sliced Drexel's deficit to one with 10 minutes left in the opening half ... however, that would be as close as the Dragons would get the rest of the contest ... the Irish scored the game's next six goals to take a commanding seven-goal advantage (9-2) with 8:13 remaining in the third quarter ... the Notre Dame surge began with a Peter Christman goal followed by consecutive scores from Swezey to give the hosts a 6-2 halftime lead ... Krebs notched his second goal of the game to open the second-half scoring ... Wharton then capped the Fighting Irish barrage with back-to-back tallies ... the Dragons answered with three straight goals ... Scott Perri scored with 6:09 left in the third period to make it 9-3 ... his teammate Greg Casey deposited consecutive man-up goals to trim the Notre Dame lead to four (9-5) with 3:15 remaining in the third ... the Irish responded as a Podgajny goal made it 10-5 after three quarters of play ... Notre Dame would go up by six (11-5) when Wharton collected his third goal of the afternoon ... following a tally from the Dragons' Adam Dennis, Swezey and Hoff scored for Notre Dame to produce the final outcome ... Notre Dame held a 44-21 advantage in shots and won 13-of-22 faceoffs led by senior Taylor Clagett, who went 12-for-20 in the X ... senior goaltender Joey Kemp notched the win by making nine saves ... Drexel's Bruce Bickford made 20 saves.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 16 straight games at home ... the Irish are 3-0 at home this season ... the current streak stems back to a 14-13 overtime win against Air Force on April 10, 2005 ... Notre Dame's last loss at home was a 9-6 setback to Denver on April 7, 2005 ... the Irish went a perfect 6-0 at home during the 2006 campaign and followed it up with a 6-0 mark in 2007 ... four of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while the other 12 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium ... Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 118-35 (.771) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
NO MORE MOOSE: The win over Drexel on March 25 marked the final game at Moose Krause Stadium for the Notre Dame men's lacrosse program ... the stadium is being torn down to make room for the state-of-the-art Arlotta Stadium that will be the new home for Irish ... Notre Dame still has two regular-season home dates for the 2008 season ... the Quinnipiac tilt will take place at School Field in South Bend, Ind. on April 18, while the Ohio State game will be played at Alumni Field on the Notre Dame campus on April 27.
RECORD-SETTING CAREER: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp notched his 32nd career victory in the 13-6 victory over #11 Drexel on Tuesday, March 25 ... that mark ties him for the program record along with Kirk Howell (1998-2001) and Alex Cade (1995-98) ... Kemp is 32-12 overall ... in addition, Kemp is currently first in Irish history with a 7.30 goals-against average ... the two-time All-American currently ranks among the top three in three other Notre Dame goaltender career categories, minutes played (2nd, 2614:12), games started (2nd, 46) and saves (3rd, 520).
KEMP AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Joey Kemp ranks in the top 10 nationally in both save percentage (5th, .642) and goals-against average (10th, 6.66) this season according to the NCAA rankings released on March 23 ... last season, he ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) en route to being named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year and an honorable-mention All-American
STREAKING: Junior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-best seven-game goal streak ... senior midfielder Michael Podgajny has scored at least one goal in the past 21 games in which he has played ... the only game he missed during that stretch was this season's opener against Loyola ... Podgajny missed the contest due to an injury ... Ryan Hoff has notched a goal in 15 of the last 16 games dating back to last season ... the junior attackman was held without a goal in a 7-6 win over Albany on March 1 ... that snapped an 11-game goal streak.
OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: Notre Dame's 19-goal performance against Dartmouth on March 15 marked the most goals for the Irish since a 19-7 victory over Quinnipiac on May 6, 2006.
CAREER DAYS: Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny collected five points on one goal and a career-high tying four assists in the 13-6 victory over Drexel on March 25th ... junior Duncan Swezey also tied his career-high for points with five on three goals and two assists against the Dragons ... senior Alex Wharton posted his second career hat trick in the win over Drexel.
FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 25-4 during the first quarter of play this season ... the Fighting Irish have held opponents scoreless in the first quarter on four occasions this season (Loyola, Penn State, Albany, Dartmouth).
HOFF STAYING HOT: Ryan Hoff's six goals against Penn State (Feb. 24) were just one shy of the school record that he shares with Randy Colley (class of 1995) ... Hoff, a junior attackman, netted seven goals in a 16-5 win over Drexel last season ... Hoff also notched a five-goal game this season in a 16-6 triumph of Villanova (March 4) ... he leads the Irish with 18 goals after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago ... as of March 23, Hoff ranked seventh nationally by averaging 2.67 goals per game.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 17 different players notch at least one goal this season ... in the season-opener, Notre Dame produced seven goals from seven different players in a 7-6 win over Loyola ... the Irish used nine different goalscorers in a 15-9 triumph of Penn State on Feb. 24 ... Notre Dame had 10 players score a goal in a 16-6 victory over Villanova on March 4 ... the season-high total was 12 goalscorers in a 19-7 win against Dartmouth on March 15 ... last season, the Irish had 18 players score a goal.
LOCKING DOWN: The Irish are surrendering just 6.86 goals per game this season, which ranks ninth nationally ... the Irish have held opponents to six goals on four occasions ... Notre Dame boasted the nation's fourth-best scoring defense in 2007 by allowing a school-record 6.66 goals per game ... several key components to the Irish defense are back this season, including goaltender Joey Kemp in goal and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: In 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked the Irish fourth in the nation ... so far this season, the Fighting Irish are averaging 11.86 goals a game, which ranks 10th nationally ... Notre Dame's scoring margin of +5.00 is the fifth-best mark among all NCAA Division I squads.
MAN-UP: Notre Dame ranks ninth nationally in man-up offense ... the Irish have converted on 13-of-31 (.419) man-up opportunities this season ... last season, the Fighting Irish converted on 50-percent (29-of-58) of their man-up opportunities ... that conversion percentage ranked Notre Dame second among all NCAA Division I teams.
FACING OFF: As a team, Notre Dame boasts the nation's top faceoff percentage (.647) ... senior midfielder Taylor Clagett ranks third nationally in that category with a .625 win percentage ... Clagett has been a valuable asset for the Irish during his Notre Dame career as he has won nearly 60-percent of his faceoff opportunities ... injuries have hampered Clagett over the past two seasons, yet he has kept Notre Dame among the nation's best in faceoffs ... last season, Clagett ranked 16th nationally as he won 164 of 189 faceoff attempts ... in 2006, he won 126 of 205 attempts for a .615 percentage, which would have ranked him sixth in the country had he appeared in enough games.
SUCCESSFUL START: Notre Dame has notched six victories through its first seven games of the season for the first time since 2001 ... that was the same season the Irish made the program's only visit to the final four.
NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is currently seventh in both the USILA coaches poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings ... the Irish have been as high as fifth in the USILA poll this season ... that happened on two occasions, in the March 3rd and March 17th polls ... Notre Dame's highest Inside Lacrosse ranking was sixth on March 17.
QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish are 3-1 against ranked opponents this season ... Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory against No. 17 Loyola ... the Irish topped then No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 ... Notre Dame fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 ... Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Drexel, 13-6, on March 25 ... a GWLL showdown against No. 19 Ohio State will take place at home on April 27.
KEMP ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp was named to the 51-man watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top player ... this marks the second straight season that Kemp has been named to the award's watch list.
IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Seven Notre Dame players earned preseason All-America recognition from Inside Lacrosse Magazine and its Face-Off Yearbook ... headlining the group for the Fighting Irish were second-team honorees Taylor Clagett (M/FO), Sean Dougherty (D), Joey Kemp (G) and Will Yeatman (A) ... joining the quartet of second-team picks for the Irish were third-team member Michael Podgajny (M) and honorable mention selections Ryan Hoff (A) and Ross Zimmerman (D).
IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame was selected to win its second straight GWLL title according to the league's head coaches ... Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting, which appeared in Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook.
FOUR IRISH PLAYERS AMONG IL TOP 50: Four Irish athletes were named to the Inside Lacrosse top-50 players list for the 2008 season ... senior goaltender Joey Kemp was the highest-ranked Fighting Irish player as he was 13th overall and the second-ranked goaltender on the list ... sophomore attackman Will Yeatman was 15th, while senior defenseman Sean Dougherty and senior midfielder Michael Podgajny were 35th and 37th, respectively.
KEMP AND WHARTON NAMED `08 IRISH CAPTAINS: Seniors Joey Kemp (G) and Alex Wharton (A) are the Fighting Irish team captains for the 2008 season ... Kemp was one of three captains for the Fighting Irish last season, while this will mark Wharton's first year as a co-captain.
FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All five of Notre Dame's true home games will feature livestats available through und.com, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University ... simply go to the men's lacrosse page and click on `Schedule' at the top of the page and find the game that is being played that day and click on `Gametracker' to follow the game for free.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to und.com and sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
KEEPING UP WITH FIGHTING IRISH MEN'S LACROSSE: For results of Notre Dame men's lacrosse games, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #5 and #1 ... the hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the match recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website, www.und.com ... in addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting assistant sports information director Sean Carroll at Carroll.email@example.com ... all requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men's lacrosse should similarly be directed to Carroll ... credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.