May 25, 2014
#6 NOTRE DAME (12-5)
#1 DUKE (16-3)
NCAA Championship Final
Monday, May 26 1 p.m. (ET)
M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Md.
Sirius/XM Ch. 91
SETTING THE STAGE
Sixth-seeded Notre Dame (12-5) will face top-seeded Duke (16-3) Monday in the title game of the NCAA Championship. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
The game will be aired on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play), Quint Kessenich (analyst) and Paul Carcaterra (reporter) will be on the call.
WestwoodOne will cover the game on SiriusXM Radio and WestwoodOneSports.com. Jason Benetti (play-by-play), Mark Dixon (analyst) and Jason Horowitz (reporter) will call the action.
Duke topped Notre Dame 15-7 on April 5 in South Bend. The Irish are 8-1 since that contest, including a current six-game winning streak.
This will be a rematch of the 2010 national title game when the Blue Devils clipped the Irish 6-5 in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium.
ANOTHER DATE WITH DUKE
Monday will be the 14th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Duke and the ninth encounter in the last five seasons. This will be the fourth time the two teams have met in the NCAA Championship since 2010.
The Irish are 4-4 against the Blue Devils since the beginning of the 2010 season. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 in the regular-season meetings in that time, while they have dropped the three NCAA tournament matchups. Duke bested Notre Dame in the 2010 national title game (6-5 in OT), the 2011 quarterfinals (7-5) and the 2013 quarterfinals (12-11).
Notre Dame's first-ever NCAA Championship victory came at Duke, a 12-10 triumph in the first round of the 1995 tournament.
Duke leads the all-time series 8-5.
Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan is 10-11 against a John Danowski-coached team. Corrigan went 6-7 versus Danowski's Hofstra teams and the Irish head coach is 4-4 against Danowski during his Duke tenure.
The Fighting Irish are 10-4 in the NCAA tournament over the last five seasons.
Notre Dame and Duke are the only two schools to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship in each of the last five campaigns.
Notre Dame and Maryland are the only two programs to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship field in each of the last nine seasons.
IRISH RETURN TO CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND
This is the third Championship Weekend appearance in the last five seasons for Notre Dame and the fourth trip overall in program history. The Irish were semifinalists in 2001 and 2012 and they were the national runner-up in 2010.
Matt Kavanagh has 17 goals and eight assists in five career NCAA tournament games. He has four hat tricks in tournament play and has registered at least three points in all five contests.
Kavanagh's goal (5) and point (7) totals on Saturday versus Maryland tied program records for an NCAA tournament game.
KAVANAGH CLOSING IN ON IRISH RECORDS
Matt Kavanagh's 72 points (40g, 32a) are the second-most in Notre Dame history for a single season. He is two points shy of catching Randy Colley's record of 74 (49g, 25a) that was established in 1995.
Kavanagh's 32 assists this season are tied for the school record that is shared by four others: Mike Sullivan (1990), David Ulrich (2000), Pat Walsh (2003) and Alex Wharton (2008).
Kavanagh is the first Fighting Irish player with 40 goals in a season since Ryan Hoff had 41 in 2008.
Kavanagh is the first Notre Dame player to register 30 goals and 30 assists in a season.
Kavanagh has 11 multiple-goal games this season (eight hat tricks) and he has 22 multiple-goal games during his career (12 hat tricks).
Kavanagh matched a school record with seven goals in the win at Ohio State on March 25. The seven tallies tied the program standard held by Colley (1993 vs. New Hampshire) and Ryan Hoff (2007 vs. Drexel).
FIGHTING IRISH ON FIRE
Notre Dame's 6-5 win over Maryland in the semifinals of the ACC Championship ignited a current six-game winning streak. All six of those Irish opponents were ranked at the time of the meeting and its the first time in program history that Notre Dame has captured six straight wins over ranked teams.
QUITE A COMEBACK IN THE QUARTERFINALS
Notre Dame trailed Albany by five goals (12-7) with just over eight minutes left in the NCAA quarterfinal showdown on May 17. The Irish responded with four goals in a span of 1:52 to slice the deficit to one. Following a Great Dane goal, Notre Dame scored twice in 1:41 to tie things up (13-13) with just over three minutes left to play. Matt Kavanagh netted the winner 1:31 into overtime.
The Fighting Irish forced seven turnovers in the final nine minutes of regulation.
It was the second time this season that Notre Dame overcame a five-goal deficit in the second half. The Fighting Irish were down 8-3 at North Carolina (March 1) early in the third quarter before scoring five straight times to tie the game less than 30 seconds into the final period. Notre Dame went on to top the Tar Heels, 11-10.
KAVANAGH IS CLUTCH
Matt Kavanagh's overtime goal versus Albany was his third career overtime game winner. Last season, he scored in overtime against Penn State and North Carolina (3ot).
Kavanagh scored the final goal with 6.5 seconds left in the 6-5 win over Maryland in this season's ACC semifinals.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Four of Notre Dame's last six games have been decided by one goal and the Irish have won them all.
Notre Dame's two wins at the ACC Tournament came down to the final seconds. Matt Kavanagh scored the game winner against Maryland with seven seconds left and Conor Kelly's save off a Kevin Rice shot with two seconds remaining sealed the victory over Syracuse.
Against Army, Notre Dame's ride forced a turnover that led to Conor Doyle's game winner with 20 seconds left in the regular-season finale.
Versus Albany in the NCAA quarterfinals, Kelly saved a Ty Thompson shot with four seconds left in regulation and Kavanagh netted the game winner as the Irish topped the Great Danes in overtime, 14-13.
The Fighting Irish are 5-2 in one-goal games this season.
Notre Dame is averaging 12.0 goals per game this season, which is on pace to be the highest average for the Irish since they had a 12.1 mark in 2008.
The Irish have scored at least 11 goals in each of the last five games. That is the longest such stretch for Notre Dame since a run of eight straight games with at least 11 goals scored in 2007.
Notre Dame has combined to score 71 goals in the last five contests. Those are the most goals in five straight outings for the Irish since the 2007 season when they also had 71 goals in five games.
Matt Kavanagh (40) and Conor Doyle (31) are the first pair of Irish teammates to score 30 goals in a single season since 2001 when Tom Glatzel (40) and John Harvey (30) accomplished that feat.
In the NCAA tournament, Notre Dame has converted on 48 of its 51 (.941) clearing opportunities, while Irish opponents have gone just 48-of-60 (.800).
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Notre Dame has six players with a double-digit goal total - Matt Kavanagh (40), Conor Doyle (31), John Scioscia (29), Sergio Perkovic (23), Jim Marlatt (13) and Nick Ossello (13).
HIGHS AND LOWS
Notre Dame has averaged 13.8 goals per game in its 12 wins, while the Irish have been limited to 7.8 goals per game in their five setbacks.
The Fighting Irish are allowing 8.8 goals per game in their victories and 11.2 in the losses.
SCIOSCIA ON A SCORING BINGE
John Scioscia (Sr./A) has combined to score 14 goals in the last four games. He tied a career-best mark with six goals versus Army in addition to assisting on two scores. Arguably his biggest play of the game occurred in the final minute when he forced an Army turnover, picked up the ground ball and assisted on Conor Doyle's game winner.
Scioscia tallied four goals against Harvard and two versus both Albany and Maryland. He has eight multiple-goal games this season.
Conor Doyle IS CONSISTENT
Conor Doyle (Jr./A) is the only Fighting Irish player to notch a point in all 17 games this season. His overall point streak stands at 20 games and he has scored a goal in 19 straight contests, which is tied for seventh-longest streak in the nation.
Doyle has dished out three assists in each of the last two games (Albany & Maryland). He has five goals and six assists in the NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame boasts the nation's second-best man-up offense. The Fighting Irish have scored on 35 of their 66 man-up opportunities this season (.530).
John Scioscia has a team-best 10 man-up goals, while Sergio Perkovic has nine. Conor Doyle and Eddy Lubowicki both have five man-up tallies.
The Irish also have three man-down goals this season. Matt Kavanagh and Liam O'Connor scored seven seconds apart in a man-down situation against Ohio State, while Scioscia netted a man-down tally versus Duke.
NEAR COMING UP BIG FOR NOTRE DAME
Jack Near (Jr./SSDM) currently has a career-best seven-game point streak.
He had two assists, including the one on Matt Kavanagh's game winner with seven seconds left, in the 6-5 win over Maryland in the ACC semifinals. He scored what proved to be the game winner in Notre Dame's 15-14 victory over Syracuse in the ACC title game.
Near tallied a career-high two goals against Army in the regular-season finale. He scored one goal versus Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament and had an assist against both Albany and Maryland.
Near has nine goals, six assists and 27 ground balls this season.
KELLY IN THE CAGE
Conor Kelly (Jr./G) has started each of the last seven contests. He has a 6-1 record in that span to go along with a 10.3 goals-against average and a .529 save percentage.
Kelly made a career-high 17 saves against Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament. He has registered a double-digit save total five times in the last seven games, including a 14-save effort on Saturday versus Maryland.
Kelly played a major role in Notre Dame winning the ACC title. He stopped 12 Maryland shots in the semifinals and had eight saves against Syracuse in the final.
Overall this season, Kelly is 7-2 with a 10.2 goals-against average and a .503 save percentage.
Freshman Shane Doss has started seven contests and carries a 5-3 record with an 8.5 goals-against average and a .479 save percentage. He stopped a season-best 11 shots at Syracuse on March 29.
IRISH IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
This is Notre Dame's ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Championship (a program record) and 19th trip overall. Notre Dame owns a 15-18 record in the tournament. Every appearance has occurred under head coach Kevin Corrigan.
Last season, the Irish earned the tournament's No. 2 seed (a program best) and defeated Detroit (9-7) in the first round. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke (12-11) in the quarterfinals in Indianapolis.
Notre Dame's best performance in the NCAAs was a finalist finish in 2010. The Irish have been to Championship Weekend four times (2001, 2010, 2012, 2014).
This is the seventh time overall - and sixth time in the last seven seasons - the Fighting Irish have earned one of the eight national seeds for the NCAA Championship. The Irish also were seeded for the 2001 (5th), 2008 (6th), 2009 (7th), 2011 (4th), 2012 (4th) and 2013 (2nd) tournaments.
Notre Dame is 5-1 at home (4-0 at Arlotta Stadium) in the NCAA tournament.
FIGHTING IRISH CLAIM ACC TITLE
Notre Dame bested Syracuse 15-14 to claim the ACC Tournament title in its inaugural appearance. The Irish exploded with a 6-0 run in the third quarter to claim a 13-8 lead. Notre Dame survived a late rally from the Orange and the game was sealed when Irish goalie Conor Kelly saved a close-range shot from Kevin Rice in the final seconds.
Matt Kavanagh, the tournament MVP, paced the Irish with four goals and two assists. Jim Marlatt had three goals and one assist, while Conor Doyle posted two goals and three assists.
The Irish had six different players score all six of their goals in the 6-5 win over Maryland in the semifinals.
It was the third conference tournament title for the Irish in their fifth appearance in such an event. Notre Dame won the only two Great Western Lacrosse League Tournaments ever held (2008 & 2009).
STATE OF AFFAIRS
Maryland is the ninth different state Notre Dame has played in this season (California, Florida, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the others). The Irish competed in seven different states during their first nine games of the season.