May 23, 2012
#4 NOTRE DAME
NCAA Championship Semifinals
Saturday, May 26 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Gillette Stadium Foxborough, Mass.
Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)
Paul Carcaterra (analyst)
GameTracker on UND.com
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IRISH TO FACE LOYOLA IN NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
No. 4 seed Notre Dame (13-2) will face top-seeded Loyola (16-1) on Saturday in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. The contest is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The game will be aired on ESPN2/ESPN3 with Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play), Quint Kessenich (analyst) and Paul Carcaterra (analyst) calling the action. Live stats will be available via GameTracker on UND.com.
The Fighting Irish are making their third Championship Weekend appearance and the second in the last three seasons. Notre Dame was a national finalist in 2010 and semifinalist in 2001.
Notre Dame defeated Yale, 13-7, in the first round of the NCAA Championship and then defeated No. 5 Virginia, 12-10, on Sunday in the quarterfinals.
The winner of the Notre Dame-Loyola contest will face the winner of the semifinal showdown between Duke and Maryland at 1 p.m. (ET) Monday in the national title game.
Duke is the tournament's No. 3 seed, while Maryland is unseeded.
NOTRE DAME IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
The Fighting Irish are 11-16 in 17 NCAA Championship appearances. Every trip has occurred under head coach Kevin Corrigan.
Notre Dame has advanced to at least the quarterfinals on seven occasions, including four times in the last five seasons. It is the first time the Irish have advanced to the quarterfinals in three consecutive tournaments.
The best finish for the Irish was a title game appearance in 2010. Notre Dame was a semifinalist in 2001.
Last season, Notre Dame also garnered the tournament's No. 4 seed and defeated Penn, 13-6, in the first round before falling to Duke, 7-5, in the quarterfinals.
This is the fifth time that the Fighting Irish have earned one of the eight national seeds for the NCAA Championship. The No. 4 seed matches the highest-ever for Notre Dame. The Irish also were seeded for the 2001 (5th), 2008 (6th), 2009 (7th) and 2011 (4th) tournaments.
A LOOK AT LOYOLA
Loyola will bring a 16-1 record into Saturday's showdown with the Irish. The Greyhounds defeated Canisius, 17-5, in the NCAA first round and knocked off Denver, 10-9, in the quarterfinals.
The Greyhounds hail from the ECAC and posted a 6-0 record in league play and won the conference tournament. Loyola's lone loss this season was a 10-9 overtime setback to Johns Hopkins.
The Loyola offense is averaging 12.53 goals per game, while the defense is holding opponents to 7.59 goals per game.
Junior attackman Mike Sawyer has a team-high 51 goals, while graduate student attackman Eric Lusby has a team-best 61 points on 45 goals and 16 assists. Sophomore attackman Justin Ward leads Loyola in assists with 30.
Sophomore Jack Runkel has a 14-1 record in goal and carries a 7.75 goals-against average and a .536 save percentage.
Loyola went 8-5 last season, which included a 4-2 mark in ECAC play. The Greyhounds returned four starters from last season's squad.
Head coach Charley Toomey is in his seventh season at the helm of the Loyola program.
Notre Dame and Loyola have four common opponents this season (Denver, Duke, Georgetown, Ohio State). The Irish topped Denver, 10-9 in triple-overtime, while the Greyhounds bested the Pioneers three times (12-9, 14-13 in OT, 10-9). Notre Dame topped Duke, 7-3, and Loyola captured a 13-8 victory over the Blue Devils. The Fighting Irish claimed a 9-7 triumph against Georgetown and the Greyhounds defeated the Hoyas 11-6. Both teams produced identical 8-7 wins over Ohio State.
IRISH AGAINST THE GREYHOUNDS
Saturday will be the 20th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Loyola. The Greyhounds lead the series 13-6, yet the Irish have won the last four showdowns, which took place from 2007-10.
The two teams last met at the 2010 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic and Notre Dame came away with an 11-9 victory at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Notre Dame and Loyola have met two other times in the NCAA Championship and the two squads split those battles. Loyola bested Notre Dame, 21-5, during the first round of the 1997 tournament in Towson, Md., while the Irish downed the Greyhounds, 15-13, during the first round of the 2000 tournament in Baltimore.
THE LAST TIME
Notre Dame and Loyola last met during the 2010 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and the Fighting Irish claimed an 11-9 victory. Current Irish players Max Pfeifer and Steve Murphy both netted a goal in the game.
DOUBLE DOBSON Notre Dame senior midfielder Devon Dobson will be playing against a familiar face on Saturday. Devon's younger brother, Phil, is a junior midfielder on the Loyola squad. Neither Devon nor Phil played in the 2010 meeting between Notre Dame and Loyola.
FROM GREYHOUND TO IRISH
Notre Dame volunteer assistant coach Kevin Anderson played at Loyola from 1990-93. He tallied 35 goals and 10 assists as a midfielder. He was a member of the 1990 Greyhound squad that was the national runner-up. Anderson also played forward on the Loyola basketball team. He lettered all four years and finished with 827 points and 257 rebounds.
MANUFACTURING FROM THE MIDFIELD
Notre Dame received eight goals and six assists from its midfielders in Sunday's 12-10 win over Virginia. Every Irish assist in the contest came from the midfield.
Senior midfielder Max Pfeifer tallied three goals and one assist, while Steve Murphy also had four points on two goals and two assists. The four points were a career-high total for Murphy and it matched a career-best total for Pfeifer.
The eight goals from the midfield included one from senior LSM Bobby Smith.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Notre Dame has had at least eight different goal scorers in a game seven times this season.
The Fighting Irish matched season-high totals in goals (13) and goal scorers (9) in the first-round win over Yale. The Irish also achieved those figures in a 13-6 win over St. John's on April 1.
The Irish used eight different goal scorers in Sunday's 12-10 win over Virginia. Notre Dame also had eight goal scorers in victories over Denver (10-9 in 3OT), Rutgers (12-9), Georgetown (9-7) and Villanova (10-7).
Twenty different Irish players have scored a goal this season, while six Notre Dame players have tallied 11 or more goals.
Six different Notre Dame players have posted a team-high goal total in a game this season. Senior attackman Sean Rogers has done it a team-best five times.
IRISH GET OFFENSIVE
The Fighting Irish are averaging 12.5 goals per game during the first two rounds of the NCAA Championship.
The Notre Dame offense is averaging 10.3 goals in the last nine games after averaging 6.7 goals in the first six contests of the season.
MARLATT MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
Sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt tallied a career-high five points on three goals and two assists in Notre Dame's NCAA first-round win over Yale. It was the second career hat trick for Marlatt, who did not play at all last season due to injury.
Marlatt leads the Irish in points with 30 on 18 goals and a team-best 12 assists.
Marlatt was named the MVP of the Notre Dame-St. John's game at the Big City Classic. Marlatt scored a game-high three goals in the Irish victory. All three goals came within a span of 1:19 to increase Notre Dame's lead to five (10-5) by the 11:15 mark of the fourth quarter.
A DOMINATING DEFENSE
Notre Dame's defense ranks first nationally by surrendering just 6.27 goals per game this season. That mark is near the program-record 6.19 goals-against average from the 2009 season.
Notre Dame has held five opponents this season to five goals or fewer for the entire game.
KEEPING THEM DOWN
Notre Dame's man-down defense ranks first nationally. That unit has given up just four goals in 34 chances (.882).
SECOND HALF SHUTDOWNS
The Irish have outscored their opponents 76-48 in the second half this season, including 53-25 in the last eight games.
A PERFORMER BETWEEN THE PIPES
Junior goalie John Kemp ranks first nationally in goals-against average (6.23) and save percentage (.636). He is 12th in saves per game (10.93).
Kemp was one of 25 nominees up for the Tewaaraton Award.
Kemp made 12 saves in Notre Dame's NCAA first-round win over Yale and followed that up with a 14-save performance in Sunday's victory over Virginia. He has made 10 or more saves in a game nine times this season. Kemp made a career-high 18 saves in the 4-3 overtime setback to Penn State on Feb. 26.
He finished the 2011 campaign ranked second nationally in goals-against average (6.61) and fourth in save percentage (.602).
Kemp boasts a 25-7 (.781) career record at Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame defense has posted a scoreless streak totaling 30 minutes or longer six times this season, including two streaks over 40 minutes in length.
Notre Dame held Syracuse off the scoreboard for the first 37:53 of the contest on April 28.
The Irish had a season-best scoreless streak of 41:57 in the 9-1 win over Providence (April 7). After scoring their lone goal with 11:57 left in the second quarter, the Friars did not score for the remainder of the contest.
The Fighting Irish 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.
Notre Dame has overcome a four-goal deficit twice this season. The Irish fell behind Villanova 4-0 in the first quarter before scoring eight straight goals en route to the 10-7 victory on April 21.
The Irish trailed Georgetown by four goals (5-1) at halftime on April 15, yet outscored the Hoyas 8-2 in the second half to secure the 9-7 win. The Irish tallied six straight goals to open the second half.
The four-goal halftime deficit was the largest Notre Dame has ever overcome to win a game in the Kevin Corrigan era, which began in 1989.
Notre Dame is 4-1 this season when trailing at halftime.
FIGHTING IRISH AGAINST THE FIELD
Notre Dame went 3-0 during the regular season against teams that made the NCAA Championship field. The Irish defeated Duke (7-3), Denver (10-9 in 3OT) and Syracuse (8-6).
BIG EAST BEST
Notre Dame garnered three major awards during the BIG EAST Conference men's lacrosse awards banquet. Senior Kevin Randall was named the league's defensive player of the year, while junior John Kemp was selected goalkeeper of the year and Kevin Corrigan received the coach-of-the-year award.
A total of six Irish players were named to the all-BIG EAST first or second team. Joining Randall and Kemp on the all-league first team were Sean Rogers (Sr./A) and Jim Marlatt (So./M). Randall and Rogers were unanimous picks. Max Pfeifer (Sr./M) and Matt Miller (Jr./D) copped second-team honors.
With Notre Dame capturing the BIG EAST regular-season title, it marked the 20th regular-season conference championship in program history.
The Fighting Irish won 12 Great Western Lacrosse League titles during their time in the conference (1994-2009).
Notre Dame won seven Midwest Lacrosse Association/Great Lakes Conference regular-season titles from 1981-93.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Notre Dame has played six one-goal games this season. The Irish are 4-2 in those games, which includes two overtime victories and one overtime setback.
The Fighting Irish played five consecutive one-goal affairs this season. Notre Dame went 4-1 in those contests. It was the first time in program history that Notre Dame played five straight one-goal games. It also was the first time the Fighting Irish had ever captured four straight one-goal decisions.
The 10-9 win over Denver on March 18 was the first triple-overtime game in Fighting Irish history.
Notre Dame's five road wins this season came by a combined seven goals.
HOME SWEET HOME
Notre Dame is 40-4 (.909) at home since the beginning of the 2006 season.
Notre Dame's 13 victories are the fourth-most in program history. The Irish won a school-record 15 games (15-1) in 2009 and captured 14 victories in both 2001 (14-2) and 2008 (14-3). The Fighting Irish have notched a double-digit win total in each of the last seven seasons.
RANDALL A LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
Notre Dame defenseman Kevin Randall is one of 10 finalists up 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.
CONSISTENCY IN THE CAGE
Junior John Kemp is the third straight Notre Dame goalie to receive All-America honors. Kemp was an honorable mention All-America selection by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) last season.
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 DEPENDABLE DEFENSE
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 94 games), the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 65 times. Notre Dame has held foes to four goals or fewer 16 times during that stretch.
The Irish have allowed 10 or more goals just twice in the last 33 games.
Notre Dame went 7-1 against teams that finished the regular season in the top 25 of the RPI. The Fighting Irish ended the regular season with the nation's No. 5 RPI.
CALL HIM CLUTCH
Senior attackman Sean Rogers scored three consecutive game-winning goals earlier this season, including two overtime tallies.
He deposited the game winner in the 10-9 triple-overtime triumph against Denver (March 18).
Rogers also produced the overtime game winner at Hofstra (March 10) in Notre Dame's 6-5 victory. That made it a happy homecoming for the Long Island native.
He deposited the deciding goal with 4:42 left in regulation in the 6-5 win at Drexel (March 3).
Rogers scored a career-high four goals in the 12-9 win over Rutgers (March 25).
A SUCCESSFUL STRETCH
Notre Dame is 63-16 (.797) since the beginning of the 2008 season. That percentage ranks second nationally during that time. Only Syracuse's .812 mark is better.
The Fighting Irish have been to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship four times in the last five seasons, including the program's first-ever NCAA title game appearance in 2010 and this season's semifinal trek.
Since the beginning of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame has gone 27-6 (.818), with three of those losses coming in overtime.
On April 18, 2011, the Irish reached No. 1 in the national polls for the first time in program history.
Notre Dame posted a 15-0 regular-season record in 2009.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST
Notre Dame has a 13-5 (.722) 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 last season with a 5-1 mark. The Fighting Irish won this year's regular-season league title with a perfect 6-0 record.
PLAYING ON THE BIG STAGE
Notre Dame will be competing in Gillette Stadium for the second straight season. Last year, the Irish faced Duke in the NCAA quarterfinals inside the home of the New England Patriots. The Fighting Irish are no strangers to playing in major venues ...
On Sunday, Notre Dame played Virginia at PPL Park, home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS). Earlier this season, the Fighting Irish faced St. John's at MetLife Stadium, which houses the New York Giants and New York Jets, during the Konica Minolta Big City Classic.
The Irish opened the 2011 campaign against Duke at Everbank Field, which is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Not only did the Irish compete at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore during the 2010 final four, they also played Loyola in the facility 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.
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.
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.
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).