April 5, 2002
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THE WEEK AHEAD - The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team (2-5) will play its third consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) road game when it travels to Indianapolis, Ind., to face Butler on Sun., April 7 at 1:00 p.m. The Irish are in the midst of a four-game road stretch. Coach Kevin Corrigan's squad opened the season by playing four of its first six games at home. Next Saturday (April 13), Notre Dame travels to West Point, N.Y., to take on Army at 1:30 p.m. The Irish are ranked 18th in this week's Inside Lacrosse.com Media Poll and are unranked in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) ranking.
RECAPPING THE WEEK - Notre Dame ended its three-game slide, its longest since the 1999 campaign, as the Irish won their first two GWLL tests. Senior midfield John Flandina (West Islip, N.Y.) scored three goals and dished off five assists to lead the Irish in the two games. Flandina recorded a hat trick in Notre Dame's win over Denver as did senior Devin Ryan (Kensington, Md.) and junior Travis Wells (Severna Park, Md.). Freshman Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y.) also registered a hat trick for the Irish as he scored three goals in Notre Dame win over Air Force.
DENVER - Notre Dame jumped out to a 9-2 halftime advantage and then traded goals with Denver in the second half as the Irish opened up GWLL play with a 15-8 victory on the road. Coach Kevin Corrigan's squad won its sixth straight over the Pioneers in as many meetings between the two teams. John Flandina scored three goals and three assists, while Devin Ryan and Travis Wells also tallied three goals in the victory. Eight different Irish players scored in the contest. Sophomore Steve Clagett (Chesapeake, Md.) registered his first multiple-goal game as he tallied two goals, while junior Kyle Frigon (Salem, Mass.) and freshman Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) added a goal and two assists to lead the scoring for the Irish. Junior goalie Nick Antol (Baldwin. Md.) finished with 14 saves, the third time this season that he has registered 10-plus saves in a contest.
AIR FORCE - Notre Dame wrapped up its two-game Colorado road trip with a 9-3 victory over Air Force as the Irish defeated the Falcons for the 14 straight time in the 15-game series. Notre Dame has outscored Air Force 60-19 in its last five meetings between the two teams. The three goals were the fewest allowed by an Irish team since last season's 13-2 victory against the Falcons. Chris Richez recorded his first career hat trick in leading Notre Dame to the victory as he scored three of Notre Dame's first four goals. Sophomore Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.) extended his scoring streak to eight games as he scored twice in the contest as he added a goal and an assist. The Irish held the Falcons scoreless in the first and third quarters. Brian Giordano had a goal and an assist, while John Flandina dished off two assists.
SERIES RECORD VS. BUTLER - Notre Dame leads the series 8-1 and has won three straight against the Bulldogs. Last seasons, the Irish handed the Butler a 12-3 setback. Prior to that nine-goal victory, the three previous meetings between the two schools had been decided by a single point. The Irish's only loss in the series ws in 1998 as they dropped a 6-5 decision in Indianapolis. Notre Dame is 3-1 against the Bulldogs on the road.
HEAD COACH KEVIN CORRIGAN - Kevin Corrigan is in his 14th season at Notre Dame and 16th in the collegiate ranks. The four-time Great Western Lacrosse League coach of the year owns a 130-77 (.628) overall ledger and an 120-62 (.659) mark with the Irish. Corrigan has guided Notre Dame to 10 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 12 years (including six straight from 1992-97) and 10 (either outright or shared) conference titles. Last season, he guided the Irish to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship national semifinals. Under Corrigan, Notre Dame has been victorious in the first round of the NCAA tournament on three occasions. In 1995, Notre Dame won its first-ever NCAA tournament game with a 12-10 victory over Duke which propelled the Irish into the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. In 2000, his squad upset fifth-seeded Loyola (Md.) in 15-13 in the first round for the school's first-ever win over the Greyhounds. Last season, Notre Dame defeated Bucknell 12-7 in first round action and Johns Hopkins 13-9 in the quarterfinals. Previous to his tenure at Notre Dame, Corrigan served as head coach at Randolph-Macon during the 1985 and 1986 campaign where his teams compiled a 10-15 mark.
FLANDINA EARNS GWLL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS - John Flandina became the first Irish player to earn Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week honors this season as he copped the honor for the first time in his career by scoring three goals and dishing off three assists against Denver. Flandina stands second in the Irish scoring column this season with four goals and a team-leading 12 assists (16 points). He has played in 52 career games in three-plus seasons and scored 38 goals, while dishing off 29 assists for 67 points.
FACING THE BEST - Seven of Notre Dame's 13 opponents this season are ranked in both the USILA and Inside Lacrosse.com rankings. Notre Dame has already played four ranked opponents - Penn State, Virginia, Loyola and Hofstra - in its first eight games. Currently two upcoming opponents - Harvard and Ohio State - are both ranked in this week's polls.
2002 Irish opponents in the polls this week are:
USILA Inside Lacrosse.com
Virginia 2nd 1st
Loyola 3rd 3rd
Hofstra 11th 12th
Ohio State 15th 15th
Pennsylvania 17th 19th
Penn State 18th 17th
Harvard 19th NR
BALANCED SCORING - Notre Dame has received scoring help from 13 different players have scored a goal this season. Only two players - Dan Berger (14 goals) and Devin Ryan (12 goals) - have scored 10 or more goals. Notre Dame has only scored 10 or more goals twice this season - vs. Rutgers (11 goals) and Denver (15 goals), but is offensive in the last two games has picked up significantly as the Irish have averaged 12.0 goals per game. Coach Corrigan's squad had a season-high eight goal scorers in the 15-8 win over Denver with three players recording hat tricks in the contest.
BERGER BITES - Irish sophomore Dan Berger leads the team in scoring with 14 goals and three assists (17 points) and has started all eight games for Notre Dame at attack. Last season, he played in just six games as a freshman and scored one goal. He has had four multiple-goal games this season, including a personal best four in 7-6 loss at Pennsylvania on March 2. Berger has scored at least one goal in each of the Irish's eight games.
RICHEZ ROLLS - Freshman Chris Richez recorded his first career hat trick when he scored three goals in Notre Dame's 9-3 victory over Air Force. He became the first freshman since David Ulrich netted three goals in an 8-4 Irish home victory on May 2, 1998.
SIMON SAYS - Junior Eric Simon (Flemington, N.J.) has been a mainstay for the Irish on defense this season. In addition to help anchoring a defense which has allowed 8.25 goals per game. Simon has started all six games he has played and is second on the team with 24 ground balls. In his first two seasons, he had played in 19 career games and collected 12 ground balls. Simon missed the Denver and Air Force contests with a broken hand.
RYAN STEPPING UP - Senior Devin Ryan has proven to be one of the team's top offensive threats this season. The Irish captain has scored 12 goals and dished off three assists (15 points) while starting all eight contests. Ryan has had three hat tricks this season (Penn State, Loyola and Denver) and has recorded a goal in five of eight contests.
CLOSE CALLS - Notre Dame's first losses this season have been by a combined five goals. Two of the five setback have been decided in overtime. The Irish's 7-6 loss to Loyola marked the first-ever double overtime game in the program's 21-year history. Notre Dame has played two overtime contests in a single season on three other occasions - 1981, 1994 and 1996.
FRESHMEN IN THE FOLD - Irish freshmen attack Brian Giordano and midfielder Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y.) have each been in the starting lineup in seven and five games, respectively. Giordano has contributed six goals and five assists, while Malakoff has scored three goals. Malakoff netted a goal in the Penn State, Rutgers and Air Force games, while Giordano scored two goals in both the Rutgers and Virginia contests and also had a goal against the Pioneers and Falcons. In addition, he had two assists wins over the Scarlet Knights and Denver and had an assist versus Air Force.
BETWEEN THE PIPES - Junior Nick Antol has started the last six games for the Irish in goal and has played in seven contests overall this season. He made his first career start against Rutgers and also was Notre Dame's starting goalkeeper against No. 4 Virginia and No. 3 Loyola. He has had 10-plus saves in four games - Virginia (17), Hofstra (11), Denver (14) and Air Force (13). In addition, he had eight saves versus Rutgers and nine against Loyola. Antol has a goals against average of 7.21 and a save percentage of .612.
HOME SWEET HOME - Notre Dame was undefeated at home last season and finished with a 6-0 mark. This season, the Irish have struggled and are just 1-3 at home this season. The three losses are the most suffered by a Notre Dame team at home since the 1996 season when it finished with a 2-3 mark. Since back-to-back 5-0 campaigns at home in 1994 and 1995, Irish teams own a 38-11 record for a winning percentage of 77.6 percent. Notre Dame has an all-time 91-30 (75.2 percent) home record since the program's inaugural season in 1981. Since the '94 campaign, Notre Dame has been undefeated at home four times.
LOOKS FAMILIAR - Notre Dame's 2002 schedule will feature the same 13 opponents it did a year ago. The Irish finished with a 12-1 record during the regular season, its only blemish was an 11-10 overtime loss to Hofstra.
ALL IN THE FAMILY - Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y.), a freshman midfield on this year's Irish lacrosse team, is the brother of former Notre Dame standout Steve Bishko, a 2001 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) third-team All-America selection and three-year starter. The Bishkos are the fourth brother tandem to play lacrosse at Notre Dame. The others are Todd (1992-96) and Joe Bialous, Jason (1992-94, '95) and Connor ('98) Pett and David (1998-2001) and Todd (1998-2001) Ulrich.
ALL IN THE FAMILY II - Notre Dame's men's and women's lacrosse teams are represented by members of both the Simon and Shearer families. Junior defenseman Eric Simon's sister, Meredith, is a sophomore on the women's lacrosse team, while freshman midfield Will Shearer's (Hampstead, Md.) sister, Danielle, also plays for head coach Tracy Coyne's squad.