April 25, 2013
#1 NOTRE DAME (10-2, 4-1)
#7 SYRACUSE (10-3, 4-1)
Konica Minolta Big City Classic
Saturday, April 27 6:30 p.m. (ET)
East Rutherford, N.J.
Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)
Paul Carcaterra (analyst)
Irish Alert! text messaging
SETTING THE STAGE
No. 1 Notre Dame (10-2, 4-1) will face No. 7 Syracuse (10-3, 4-1) Saturday in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. Faceoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. (ET) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Fighting Irish will bring a four-game win streak into Saturday's showdown with the Orange. Notre Dame and Syracuse are tied with Villanova for first place in the BIG EAST standings. All three teams have clinched a spot in next week's BIG EAST Championship.
The Notre Dame-Syracuse tilt will be the second game of Saturday's doubleheader at the Big City Classic. No. 4 Cornell will face No. 12 Princeton at 4 p.m.
Both games will be broadcast live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.com. Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play), Quint Kessenich (analyst) and Paul Carcaterra (analyst) will be on the call. Live stats for the Irish game will be available on suathletics.syr.edu.
NOTRE DAME NO. 1 AGAIN
Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in this week's Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. It is the second time this season the Fighting Irish have earned the top spot. Notre Dame was No. 1 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse and USILA polls from March 25 to April 1.
Notre Dame debuted at No. 1 in both polls on April 18, 2011, and stayed there until April 30 of that year.
IRISH-ORANGE SERIES HISTORY
Saturday will be the seventh meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Syracuse. The Orange lead the series 5-1. Notre Dame bested Syracuse, 8-6, last season at Arlotta Stadium.
A LOOK AT THE ORANGE
Syracuse is 10-3 overall and 4-1 in BIG EAST play. The Orange have defeated St. John's (13-11), Providence (18-9), Rutgers (12-11) and Georgetown (9-8) in league action, while the lone loss was to Villanova (11-10).
The Orange offense is averaging 12.3 goals per game, while the defense is allowing 9.7 per game. Luke Cometti (Sr./M) and Derek Maltz (Jr./A) both have a team-high 24 goals, while JoJo Marasco (Sr./M) leads Syracuse in assists (30) and points (46). Dominic Lamolinara (Jr.) and Bobby Wardwell (So.) have split time in goal. Lamolinara is 7-2 with a 9.61 goals-against average and a .516 save percentage. Wardwell is 3-1 with a 9.22 goals-against average and a .459 save percentage.
Syracuse went 9-8 last season (3-3 BIG EAST) and won the BIG EAST Championship. The Orange fell at Duke, 12-9, in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Head coach John Desko is in his 15th season at the helm of the Syracuse program.
THE LAST TIME
Notre Dame topped Syracuse, 8-6, last season at Arlotta Stadium. The win secured the BIG EAST regular-season title for the Fighting Irish.
The Irish led 4-0 at halftime and held the Orange off the scoreboard for the opening 37:53 of the contest. Syracuse climbed to within one (7-6) at the 7:43 mark of the fourth quarter, but a Will Corrigan goal 33 seconds later produced the final outcome.
Irish midfielder Ryan Foley tallied two goals and one assist, while attackman Sean Rogers had one goal and two assists. John Kemp made 11 saves in the victory.
BACK TO THE BIG CITY
This is the second straight year that Notre Dame has played in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. The Irish defeated St. John's, 13-6, during last season's event. Notre Dame midfielder Jim Marlatt was named the game's MVP as he notched a hat trick. All three goals came in a span of 1:19 in the fourth quarter.
IRISH IN THE RPI
Notre Dame is No. 2 in the latest RPI. The Fighting Irish are 4-0 against teams currently ranked in the top 10 of the RPI (#1 Denver, #4 North Carolina, #6 Penn State, #7 Duke).
ANOTHER 10 FOR NOTRE DAME
The Fighting Irish have reached a double-digit win total for the eighth straight season.
The Irish have scored 10 or more goals in five straight games for the first time since the 2009 season. The last time the Irish netted 10 or more goals in six straight contests was in 2007 when they reached double-digits in the final nine games of the season.
Notre Dame is averaging 12.6 goals per game in the last five contests.
Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 47-28 in the fourth quarter and overtime this season.
TAKING DOWN TOP-10 TEAMS
Notre Dame has defeated five teams this 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 have 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).
This is the first time ever the Irish have five wins over top-10 teams during the same regular season. Notre Dame downed five top-10 opponents during the 2010 campaign (including postseason).
PLAYING ON THE BIG STAGE
Saturday will be Notre Dame's 10th game in an NFL stadium in the last five seasons. The Irish are 6-3 all-time in NFL venues, including a 13-12 overtime win against Denver on March 16 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Notre Dame is 2-0 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Broncos). The Irish have posted a 2-1 record at Baltimore (Ravens), while going 1-0 at both Jacksonville (Jaguars) and East Rutherford, N.J. (Giants & Jets). Notre Dame is 0-2 in Foxborough, Mass. (Patriots).
Notre Dame ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense. The Irish are allowing just 7.92 goals per game.
Senior goalie John Kemp has the nation's eighth-best goals-against average (7.76).
Notre Dame's man-down defense ranks sixth nationally. The Irish have allowed just seven goals in 31 man-down opportunities (.226). Irish opponents are just 1-of-8 in man-up chances in the last four games.
The Irish rank 21st nationally in faceoff winning percentage (.528).
All three of Notre Dame's faceoff specialists have won at least 50 percent of their attempts. Freshman Trevor Brosco is 22-39 (.564), while junior Liam O'Connor is 80-150 (.533) and sophomore Nick Ossello is 41-81 (.506).
That group has also combined for seven goals and five assists. Ossello has four goals and four assists, while O'Connor has tallied three goals and one assist.
SCIOSCIA BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior attackman John Scioscia was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for tallying four goals and one assist in Saturday's 13-9 win over No. 19 Villanova.
Scioscia netted all four goals in the second half during a 9-3 Irish run, which overturned a 6-4 Villanova lead.
Scioscia entered this season with no career goals, but has tallied 14 already this season, including 12 in the last four games.
He notched six goals and one assist against Marquette (April 2). The six goals were the most for a Notre Dame player since Ryan Hoff had six against Ohio State during the 2009 campaign.
ROGERS REACHES 100-POINT PLATEAU
Senior attackman Sean Rogers recently reached the 100-point mark. The fifth-year senior has 105 points on 74 goals and 31 assists during his Irish career. The goal total is tied for 14th in Irish history, while the point mark is tied for 18th.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Five Notre Dame players have a double-digit goal total this season (Matt Kavanagh 23, Sean Rogers 20, Jim Marlatt 18, Conor Doyle 15, John Scioscia 14). All five have scored three or more goals in a game this season.
Matt Miller A SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
Defenseman Matt Miller has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in the men's lacrosse division.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through May 13. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Philadelphia May 25-27.
Miller has started every contest over the past two seasons on Notre Dame's stellar defensive unit. He earned honorable mention All-America honors last season in addition to being named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
BIG EAST BEASTS
Notre Dame has a 17-6 (.739) record all-time in BIG EAST regular-season play. The 2010 campaign marked the first season of BIG EAST men's lacrosse and the Irish posted a 2-4 record. Notre Dame finished second in the league in 2011 with a 5-1 mark. The Fighting Irish won the league's 2012 regular-season title with a perfect 6-0 record.
CAPTURING THE CLOSE ONES
Notre Dame has played five one-goal games, including three overtime affairs, this season. The Irish are 4-1 in those contests and have won all three overtime games.
Over the last two seasons, the Fighting Irish have played in 11 games that have been decided by a single goal. The Irish are 8-3 in those games.
Notre Dame has won its last five overtime contests.
KAVANAGH IN THE CLUTCH
Freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh leads the Irish in goals (23) and assists (13). He has tallied four or more points in six games this season.
Kavanagh has netted an overtime game winner twice this season. He scored 15 seconds into the third overtime period in a 10-9 victory over North Carolina (March 2). Kavanagh scored with 1:34 remaining in the first extra period in the 10-9 win at Penn State (Feb. 24).
Kavanagh assisted on Sean Rogers' goal that tied the Denver game (12-12) with 47 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in an eventual Irish win.
The rookie notched four goals and one assist in his debut at Duke. He had four goals, including the overtime game winner, and two assists versus North Carolina.
HOME SWEET HOME
Notre Dame is 44-6 (.880) at home since the beginning of the 2006 season.
FOUR ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST
John Kemp (Sr./G), Jim Marlatt (Jr./M) and Sean Rogers (Sr./A) were named to the initial 92-man Tewaaraton Award watch list. The award is presented annually to the nation's top player. Freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh recently was added to the list.
The watch list will be narrowed to 25 nominees in late April. Five finalists will be announced in mid-May. Kemp was a Tewaaraton Award nominee last season.
A PERFORMER BETWEEN THE PIPES
Senior goalie John Kemp boasts a 35-10 (.778) career record to go along with a 6.85 goals-against average and a .594 save percentage.
Last season, Kemp led the nation in goals-against average (6.27) and save percentage (.637) and was named to the USILA All-America First Team.
He finished the 2011 campaign ranked second nationally in goals-against average (6.61) and fourth in save percentage (.602) and received honorable mention All-America accolades.
CONSISTENCY IN THE CAGE
John Kemp is the third straight Notre Dame goalie to receive All-America honors. Kemp was named to the USILA All-America First Team last season after earning an honorable mention citation in 2011.
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.
A SUCCESSFUL STRETCH
Notre Dame is 73-19 (.793) since the beginning of the 2008 season. That percentage is the second-best nationally during that time.
The Fighting Irish have been to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship four times in the last five seasons. Notre Dame made the program's first-ever NCAA title game appearance in 2010 and the Irish were a semifinalist in 2012.
Since the beginning of the 2010 NCAA Championship, Notre Dame has gone 37-9 (.804), with three of those losses coming in overtime.