April 30, 2013
#5 NOTRE DAME (10-3)
#3 SYRACUSE (11-3)
BIG EAST Championship Semifinal
Thursday, May 2 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Villanova Stadium Villanova, Pa.
Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)
Irish Alert! text messaging
SETTING THE STAGE
No. 5 Notre Dame (10-3) will face No. 3 Syracuse (11-3) Thursday in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The game is slated for 4:30 p.m. (ET) at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa.
The Fighting Irish are the tournament's No. 3 seed, while the Orange are the No. 2 seed. Top-seeded Villanova will face fourth-seeded Georgetown at 7 p.m. in the second semifinal. The winners will meet for the title at noon (ET) on Saturday.
This will be the second meeting in six days between the Fighting Irish and Orange. Notre Dame fell to Syracuse, 10-4, on Saturday at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Notre Dame-Syracuse clash will be broadcast live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.com. Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play) and Quint Kessenich (analyst) will be on the call. Live stats will be available on bigeastlacrosse.com, which will also feature game highlights and a live stream of all postgame press conferences.
IRISH-ORANGE SERIES NOTES
Thursday will be the eighth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Syracuse. The Orange lead the series 6-1.
The Fighting Irish held a 3-1 halftime lead during Saturday's showdown, yet the Orange outscored the Irish 7-1 in the second half, including 6-0 in the fourth quarter. Freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh scored a team-high two goals for the Irish.
Notre Dame bested Syracuse, 8-6, last season at Arlotta Stadium.
A LOOK AT THE ORANGE
Syracuse is 11-3 overall and tied Villanova for the BIG EAST regular-season title with a 5-1 league mark.
The Orange offense is averaging 12.1 goals per game, while the defense is allowing 9.3 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 (47). Dominic Lamolinara (Jr.) and Bobby Wardwell (So.) have split time in goal. Lamolinara, who was in goal during Saturday's game against the Irish, is 8-2 with an 8.97 goals-against average and a .521 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.
IRISH #1 IN THE RPI
Notre Dame is No. 1 in the latest RPI. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 against teams currently ranked in the top 10 of the RPI. The wins have come against #2 Denver (13-12 OT), #3 North Carolina (10-9 3 OT), #5 Penn State (10-9 OT) and #10 Ohio State (9-4). The loss was to #6 Syracuse (10-4).
ANOTHER 10 FOR NOTRE DAME
The Fighting Irish have notched a double-digit win total for the eighth straight season.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT HISTORY
This is Notre Dame's fourth appearance in a conference tournament. Notre Dame was the top seed for last season's inaugural BIG EAST Championship and fell to St. John's, 8-7, in the semifinals.
The Fighting Irish won the only two Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) tournaments ever held (2008 & 2009). Notre Dame was the top seed for both GWLL tournaments.
Prior to Saturday's loss to Syracuse, the Irish had scored 10 or more goals in five straight games for the first time since the 2009 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).
John Kemp A TEWAARATON AWARD NOMINEE
Senior goalie John Kemp has been named a nominee for the Tewaaraton Award. Kemp, who also was a nominee last season, is among 25 players up for the prestigious honor.
Five finalists will be selected in mid-May. The finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. for the 13th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony, May 30 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.
Kemp joins attackman Pat Walsh as the only two-time Tewaaraton Award nominees in Notre Dame history. Walsh earned the distinction in 2004 and 2005. Kemp will look to become the program's first Tewaaraton Award finalist.
Notre Dame ranks ninth nationally in scoring defense. The Irish are allowing just 8.08 goals per game.
Senior goalie John Kemp has the nation's ninth-best goals-against average (7.93).
Notre Dame's man-down defense ranks ninth nationally. The Irish have allowed just nine goals in 35 man-down opportunities (.257).
The Irish rank 23rd nationally in faceoff winning percentage (.523).
All three of Notre Dame's faceoff specialists have won at least 50 percent of their attempts. Freshman Trevor Brosco is 22-41 (.537), while junior Liam O'Connor is 80-150 (.533) and sophomore Nick Ossello is 48-95 (.505).
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.
PLAYING ON THE BIG STAGE
Saturday's game against Syracuse was Notre Dame's 10th game in an NFL stadium in the last five seasons. The Irish are 6-4 all-time in NFL venues.
Notre Dame is 2-0 in Denver (Broncos). The Irish have posted a 2-1 record in Baltimore (Ravens) and a 1-1 mark in East Rutherford, N.J. (Giants & Jets). Notre Dame is 1-0 in Jacksonville, Fla. (Jaguars) and 0-2 in Foxborough, Mass. (Patriots).
SCIOSCIA STEPPING UP
Junior attackman John Scioscia entered this season with no career goals, but has tallied 14 this season, including 12 in the last five games.
His breakout performance came against Marquette (April 2) when he notched six goals and one assist. The six goals were the most for a Notre Dame player since Ryan Hoff had six against Ohio State during the 2009 campaign.
Scioscia was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on April 22 after tallying four goals and one assist in a 13-9 win over Villanova (April 20).
ROGERS REACHES 100-POINT PLATEAU
Senior attackman Sean Rogers recently reached the 100-point mark for his career. 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 25, 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 17-7 (.708) record all-time in BIG EAST regular-season play. The Fighting Irish finished third in the league this season with a 4-2 mark.
The 2010 campaign was 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 (25) and assists (13). He has tallied four or more points in six games this season. Kavanagh has nine multiple-goal games, including two-goal efforts in seven of the last eight contests.
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.
A PERFORMER BETWEEN THE PIPES
Senior goalie John Kemp boasts a 35-11 (.761) career record to go along with a 6.92 goals-against average and a .591 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 73-20 (.785) 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 37-10 (.787), with three of those losses coming in overtime.