March 9, 2005
#14 Notre Dame (1-1) vs. #10 North Carolina (1-1)
The First 4 â€¢ Saturday, March 12, 5 p.m. (PST)
Carson, California â€¢ Home Depot Center
– Live Television: College Sports Television
– Real-Time Stats: www.collegesports.com (also linked on und.com)
#14 IRISH HEAD TO CALIFORNIA TO TAKE ON #10 NORTH CAROLINA IN THE FIRST 4: The 14th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (1-1) will make its second-ever trip to the state of California this weekend to participate in The First 4 invitational. The Irish, concluding a three-city, 10-day spring-break trip, will take on #10 North Carolina (1-1) on Saturday at 5 p.m. (PST/8 p.m. in South Bend) in a contest that will be shown live by College Sports Television (CSTV).
THE TV PLANS: Both games in The First 4 — Notre Dame and North Carolina at 5 p.m. (PST/8 p.m. in South Bend) and Syracuse and Georgetown at 7:30 p.m. — will be shown live to a national audience by College Sports Television (CSTV), with Joe Beninati (play-by-play), Quint Kessenich (analysis), and Sheehan Stanwick (sideline) calling the action. CSTV is available on most cable systems nationwide, as well as via DirecTV (channel 610).
REAL-TIME STATS: Live in-game statistics, courtesy of College Sports Online’s GameTracker, will be made available for The First 4 and will be linked via the Notre Dame athletics web site, www.und.com.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS NOTES PACKAGE: Below are some of the top points from this notes package. For more details on any topic, consult the remainder of this release.
* Notre Dame currently stands 1-1 on the season, having won 14-6 at #21 Penn State and lost 11-10 at #10 Cornell. The Irish, who also had a scheduled road game vs. #20 Villanova postponed, are ranked 14th in the Geico/STX Coaches Poll, presented by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, and 14th in the Inside Lacrosse media poll (down five spots from last week).
* Notre Dame opened the season with a 14-6 victory at #21 Penn State on Feb. 27. The Irish held the Nittany Lions scoreless in the final 25:17 of the contest, scoring the game’s final six goals. Fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) led the defensive effort with 17 saves (.739), while junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) had three goals and three asissts, and senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) and junior A Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) added three goals apiece.
* The Irish led 6-3 early in the second quarter at #10 Cornell on March 5, but then saw the Big Red score seven consecutive goals over the next 29:43 to take control of the game. Notre Dame scored four times in the final 11 minutes, with the last — a goal from senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) — making it 11-10 with 44 seconds left. The Irish won the faceoff, and Morrison, who had a team-high four points (3 G, 1 A), got off a shot that sailed wide. Cornell then picked up the ground ball and ran out the clock for the victory.
* Notre Dame is coming off a 2004 season in which it was 7-5, finished second in the Great Western Lacrosse League (4-1 record, behind Ohio State), and was 12th in the final USILA national rankings and 11th in the Inside Lacrosse media poll, but narrowly missed an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
* The Irish returned 17 monogram winners, including six starters, from last year’s team. Among those are junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), a USILA third-team All-American in 2004 after being honorable mention as a rookie. After being one of the 15 nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy (awarded to the top player in college lacrosse) last season, he is again among the 37 selected for the watch list for this year’s award.
* Other returning starters for the Irish are fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), and juniors D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School), A Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Hun School), and M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.). Hubschmann will miss the entire season, though, after suffering a knee injury last month.
* Notre Dame was scheduled to play at #20 Villanova on Tuesday, March 8, but the contest was postponed until March 28 due to inclement weather in the Philadelphia area.
* The Irish will make just their second-ever trip to the state of California, having beaten Air Force and San Diego State to win a tournament in San Diego in 1990 in their only prior visit.
* Notre Dame will play eight of 11 games on the road this season, including six of its first seven. This concludes a 10-day, three-city, 5,644-mile spring-break road trip for the Irish.
* North Carolina — ninth in the Inside Lacrosse media poll and 10th in the USILA listing — opened the season with an 18-12 home victory against #17 Denver and then fell 9-6 at #5 Navy (now ranked #2). The Tar Heels have seven starters back from last year’s squad that was 10-5, finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference (2-1 record), and seventh in the final Inside Lacrosse rankings after beating Great Western Lacrosse League champion Ohio State 13-6 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and then losing 15-9 to Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals.
* ND and UNC will meet for the third year in a row and fifth time overall, with the Tar Heels having won three of the four previous meetings. The Irish victory was a 10-8 decision in Chapel Hill in 2003.
* Last year, #9 North Carolina went up 5-1 in the first quarter and never allowed #5 Notre Dame to cut the lead to less than two en route to a 14-11 victory on March 14 in the Loftus Sports Center. Current senior A Jed Prossner scored four times in the opening period for the Heels and then added two more goals after the Irish had cut the lead to two. Current senior A Bryan Will also had three goals for UNC. Notre Dame was led by current junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who posted three goals and three assists.
* Notre Dame had four players mentioned on the Inside Lacrosse preseason All-America lists, with junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) on the second team, junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) on the third team, and senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) and junior A Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) as honorable-mention selections.
* The Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook also listed Notre Dame as the favorite to win the Great Western Lacrosse League this season, ahead of Denver, defending champion Ohio State, Air Force, Fairfield, and Butler.
* The Irish have back five of their top seven scorers from last year’s squad that finished second in Division I in scoring offense (12.50 goals per game), first in assists per game (7.9), and 14th in man-up offense (.358).
* Senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) leads the Irish in goals this season, having scored three in both of the first two games. He missed all of the 2004 season with injuries and had played in just five games in his career prior to that contest, scoring only one goal.
* All three of Notre Dame’s starting attackmen — senior Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) and juniors Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) and Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) — scored three goals against Penn State.
* Fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) was the Great Western Lacrosse League’s first Player of the Week after having 17 saves (.739) in helping the Irish win 14-6 at #21 Penn State.
* After winning just 44.0% of faceoffs last season (and more than half just twice in 12 games), Notre Dame has won 55.3% or draws this season, including more than half in both games. Leading the way is freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) — the brother of 2004 graduate and four-year contributor M Steve Clagett — who has won 61.5% (24-39) of his attempts.
SNAPSHOT OF THE IRISH: Notre Dame’s men’s lacrosse program has experienced a wealth of success since the arrival of head coach Kevin Corrigan in 1989. In his 15 seasons, Corrigan has guided Notre Dame to a winning record 13 times, including 10 seasons with nine or more victories, compiling a 140-80 (.636) mark. The Irish have earned 10 berths to the NCAA Championship, including quarterfinal apperances in 1995 and 2000 and a Final Four trip in 2001. Notre Dame has 36 victories over ranked opponents, including eight vs. top-10 teams and holds a 72-23 (.758) overall record at home. Notre Dame has won 12 conference titles (9 Great Western Lacrosse League, 3 Midwest Lacrosse Association Great Lakes Conference) in that span. Since the formation of the GWLL in 1994, the Irish are 41-5 (.891) in conference play — including 22-2 (.917) at home — winning at least a share of the league championship in every season except 1998 and 2004. Notre Dame has had at least one player earn All-America honors in each of the last 12 seasons, a total of 23 honorees since 1994. In addition, the Irish have garnered 85 all-conference honors, highlighted by four GWLL player-of-the-year awards.
The 2005 Irish team returned 17 monogram winners and six starters from last year’s squad that was 7-5, finished second to Ohio State in the GWLL (4-1 record), and finished 12th in the final USILA national rankings, just missing a bid to the NCAA Championship.
Notre Dame had one of the top offenses in all of college lacrosse last year, finishing second in Division I in scoring offense (12.50 goals per game) and first in assists per game (7.9). Back from that team are five of the top seven — and three of the top four — scorers. Headlining that group is junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who was a third-team All-American and one of 15 nominees (seven attackmen, five of whom are back in `05) for the Tewaaraton Trophy (awarded to the top player in collegiate lacrosse). He finished seventh in the nation in scoring in 2004 (3.92 points per game) and narrowly missed being the first Notre Dame sophomore ever to hit the 100-career-point-plateau, a milestone he achieved with a six-point (3 G, 3 A) performance in the `05 season opener against Penn State. He leads the Irish with nine points (4 G, 5 A) this season. The Irish were slated to have another starter back at attack, as junior A Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) — who was preseason honorable mention All-America by Inside Lacrosse — made the move back to his prep position after being a starting midfielder in 2004 (and finishing third on the team in scoring, with 18 goals and 11 assists), but a season-ending knee injury suffered last month will preclude him from seeing action in 2005. As a result, Notre Dame has moved junior A Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) from being a starting midfielder to a starter on attack. He was a starter in the midfield for the Irish in 2003 and last year ran on the second midfield, mostly in an offensive role. He notched three goals and an assist in the opener vs. Penn State. The final starting slot on attack is filled by senior co-captain A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.), a former walk-on who is Notre Dame’s top creaseman. He was earning major minutes in fall ball as a junior, but then missed all of last season due to injuries. He had played in only five games (1 G) prior to this year, but is Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer this season, with six. Senior A Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore H.S.), who has been a contributor throughout his career, is Notre Dame’s top reserve at attack.
In the midfield, Notre Dame is led by its most-experienced player, senior co-captain M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), who is back for his fourth year as a starter. He has 42 goals, 21 assists, and 49 ground balls in his career, which has seen him be named first-team all-GWLL in each of the last two campaigns. Giordano, who had multiple goals in six of 10 games in which he played in 2004, was named preseason honorable mention All-America by Inside Lacrosse this season. Also back in a starting role is junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.), who has been a major contributor in each of the last two seasons. Last year, he led non-seniors in ground balls with 39, and he has seven points (4 G, 3 A) this season. The final spot on Notre Dame’s top midfield — vacated by Karweck — is filled by freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.), a strong all-around player who was a prep All-American at Ridley High School. He scored his first career goal against Cornell and had assists in both of the games this spring. On Notre Dame’s second midfield are senior M Colin Fatti (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles H.S.), junior M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.), and sophomore M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Prep School), all who have played key roles for the Irish in the past. Others who contribute in the midfield are senior M Tyler Krummenacher (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS H.S.), sophomores M Ryan Cunn (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) and M Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans H.S.), and freshman M Anson Fraser (Summit, N.J./Summit H.S.). Freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.), whose brother Steve graduated last year after being a four-year contributor in the Irish midfield, has emerged as Notre Dame’s top faceoff man, winning 61.5% (24-39) thus far. Seniors M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) and M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.) also have seen spot time there, after sharing the duties in 2004.
Defense will be a key factor in Notre Dame’s fortunes this year, as it is a relatively-inexperienced unit. Junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) is the lone returning starter, but he figures to be one of the top defensemen in the nation this year. He set a Notre Dame freshman record for ground balls (61) in 2003 and last year developed into the team’s top on-ball defender. He is joined down low by sophomore D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) — who was the top Irish reserve defenseman in 2004 — and talented freshman D Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice H.S.), a big, athletic player who was an All-American at Brother Rice High School. Freshman D Sean Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep School) is Notre Dame’s top reserve at close defense. Senior co-captain LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.) is back for the second year as Notre Dame’s top longstick midfielder after switching from shortstick middie midway through his career. He is backed up by junior LSM Brandon Schultheis (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.).
The final line of defense figures to be a strength for the Irish, with fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) manning the cage again for the third consecutive season. He has started 29 consecutive games, finished in the top 11 in Division I in save percentage in each of the last two seasons, and ranks among the top six on seven different Irish career goaltending lists. Freshman G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School), who is expected to be a future star, figures to push Crosland for time in the cage, having earned his first major minutes against Cornell, playing the final 18:26 (2 goals allowed, 2 saves).
LAST TIME ON THE FIELD: Notre Dame jumped out to a 6-3 advantage after 20 minutes of play, but then saw #10 Cornell score seven consecutive goals en route to edging the Irish 11-10 Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. Notre Dame cut the lead to one in the final minute and won the ensuing faceoff, but could not send the game to overtime. The final goal of the game came with just 44 seconds remaining, and it was scored by Irish senior co-captain Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.). Senior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.), who had taken just one other faceoff (winning it) in the game, then outdueled Cornell senior J.D. Nelson on the draw, giving the Irish a chance to tie the score. Again they went to Morrison, who shot wide from the left wing. Big Red junior LSM Cameron Marchant picked up the ball, icing the victory for Cornell. Initially, Notre Dame appeared to have the advantage, taking a 4-3 advantage after one quarter and then scoring two more times early in the second to build a three-goal advantage with 10:33 to go before halftime. The Cornell defense would then take over, holding the Irish scoreless for the next 29:43, scoring seven times to go ahead 10-6. The last of those goals was the fifth of the game for senior A Sean Greenhalgh, and it gave Cornell a four-goal cushion with 13:53 left in the contest. The Irish made a fourth-quarter push — instigated by two goals from junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) — scoring four of the final five goals of the contest. Freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.), who had a game-high six ground balls, helped the Irish win the majority of faceoffs for the second game in a row, going 12-21 (ND won 14 of 24). The Irish also had a 35-32 advantage in ground balls, with sophomore D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) picking up a career-high five. Morrison delivered a career-best four points (3 G, 1 A), while Ryan (2 G, 1 A) and junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) (1 G, 2 A) had three apiece, and freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) had an assist, as well as his first collegiate goal. Rookie G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School) played the final 18:26 in goal, making two saves and allowing a pair of goals in relief of senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School). He took the loss, making 13 saves (.591) and giving up nine goals in 41:34 of action. Cornell outshot Notre Dame 43-32, including 23-11 in the middle two quarters.
HEAD COACH Kevin Corrigan: Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is in his 17th season at the helm of the Notre Dame program. He has led the Irish to a 140-80 (.636) mark, while holding a 150-95 (.612) overall record in 18+ seasons. Corrigan’s Notre Dame teams have earned 10 NCAA tournament berths since 1990, highlighted by quarterfinal appearances in 1995 and 2000 and a Final Four trip in 2001. Only six other Division I schools have as many postseason appearances in that span, while Corrigan and Princeton’s Bill Tierney are the only two mentors in the country to have led their current teams to 10 NCAA tournaments since `90. Corrigan’s teams have had 13 winning seasons, including 10 with nine or more victories. He has had at least one player earn All-America honors in each of the last 12 seasons for a total of 23 honorees since 1994. In addition, 85 players have garnered all-conference mention under Corrigan. The Irish also have claimed at least a share of 12 league titles (9 Great Western Lacrosse League, 3 Midwest Lacrosse Association Great Lakes Conference). In a three-year playing career as a midfielder at Virginia, Corrigan helped the Cavaliers to the NCAA final in 1979. He previously was an assistant at Notre Dame in 1983 and served as head coach of Randolph-Macon College for two years (1985-86).
IRISH DEBUT AT 14TH IN USILA GEICO/STX COACHES POLL: The first 2005 edition of the Geico/STX Coaches Poll, presented by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA), was released on Monday, and it saw Notre Dame listed 14th, just one point behind #13 Massachusetts. The Irish are sixth among teams that already have a loss this season, behind #5 Syracuse, #T6 Maryland, #8 Princeton, #10 North Carolina, and #11 Georgetown. Notre Dame finished 12th in the final 2004 poll, which was released prior to the NCAA Championship. After losing 11-10 to #10 Cornell, the Irish tumbled five spots to 14th (being passed by Duke, Cornell, Towson, Massachusetts, and Rutgers) in the latest Inside Lacrosse media poll, also released on Monday. In the early-season version of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), they are sixth, while their strength of schedule ranks fifth. Of Notre Dame’s 11 opponents, five of them — #T6 Cornell, #10 North Carolina, #T17 Penn State, #19 Ohio State, and #20 Villanova — are in the USILA poll, while Dartmouth (listed 21st) and Denver (listed 26th) are receiving votes.
THE FIRST 4: Pantheon International — which also was responsible for the Alogonquin Cup, which Notre Dame took part in during the fall of 2003 in Boston and beat Syracuse to win the inaugural event’s championship — has organized The First 4, an elite lacrosse invitational, to take place on Saturday, March 12 in the Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, Calif. It is an all-day event that will feature a total of seven lacrosse contests, culminating with a pair of NCAA Division I top-15 clashes: #14 Notre Dame vs. #10 North Carolina at 5 p.m. (PST) and #5 Syracuse vs. #11 Georgetown at 7:30 p.m. It will be some of the top lacrosse ever played in the state of California (there are no Division I varsity teams in the state and other invitationals have been rare). Both of those games will be shown live to a national audience by College Sports Television. The First 4 kicks off with a quartet of top California high school matchups: #18 Malibu vs. #7 Foothill at 11 a.m. in the track stadium; #2 La Costa Canyon vs. #4 Berkeley at Noon on turf field #5; #1 Torrey Pines vs. #3 Monte Vista Danville at 1 p.m. in the track stadium; and #5 Coronado vs. #3 St. Ignatius at 2 p.m. on turf field #5. At 3 p.m. in the track stadium, there will be a matchup of the top two collegiate club teams in the nation: #1 UC Santa Barbara vs. #2 Colorado State. For more information on the event, see www.thefirst4.com.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina heads into the weekend with a 1-1 record and ranked 10th by the USILA and ninth in the Inside Lacrosse media poll. The Tar Heels opened the season with an 18-12 home victory against #17 Denver before losing 9-6 at #5 Navy last weekend. Seniors A Jed Prossner and A Mike McCall lead the Heels in scoring with 10 points (8 G, 2 A) apiece, while junior A Ryan Blair is tops in assists with five (six points). Senior G Paul Spellman is 1-1 with a 10.11 goals-against average and .556 save percentage. The Tar Heels returned 30 letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s squad that was 10-5, finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference (2-1 record), and lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament. UNC was seventh in the final USILA and Inside Lacrosse rankings after beating Great Western Lacrosse League champion Ohio State 13-6 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and then losing 15-9 to Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals. Gone from that team are first-team All-American D Ronnie Staines and honorable-mention All-America selection M Kevin Frew. Back are first-team All-American Prossner, as well as senior M Bryan Will, who was a second-team All-American, and honorable-mention picks Spellman and junior M Stephen McElduff. Prossner and Will are on the Tewaaraton watch list. John Haus is in his fifth year leading UNC, having compiled a 32-23 (.582) record there and a 99-51 (.660) overall mark in 10+ seasons as a head coach.
IRISH-TAR HEELS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and North Carolina will meet for the third year in a row and fifth time overall, with the Tar Heels having won three of the four previous meetings. The teams first played in 1995, with UNC claiming an 11-8 home victory against the Irish. After another Carolina victory (11-10) the following season, the schools did not play again until 2003, when Notre Dame claimed its first win over the Heels in a 10-8 decision in Chapel Hill. A year ago, UNC returned the favor, 14-11 in the Loftus Sports Center. All four previous contests between the schools have been decided by three goals or fewer. This also will be the fifth time in as many meetings that both teams are nationally-ranked heading into the game, but it will be the first time since 1996 that UNC holds the higher ranking.
LAST YEAR’S ND-UNC GAME: Fifth-ranked Notre Dame fell behind 5-1 in the first quarter and could not recover, losing 14-11 to #9 North Carolina on March 14, 2004, in the Loftus Sports Center. After the initial spurt, the Irish cut the lead to two goals on four occasions, but could never come closer than that. Sophomore All-America A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) led Notre Dame offensively with three goals and three assists. North Carolina junior A Jed Prossner finished with six goals — four in the first period and two to extend the Tar Heel lead back to three after Notre Dame had cut it down. He added a pair of assists, while junior M Bryant Will also was effective offensively, ending up with three goals on four shots to go with a trio of assists. Junior G Paul Spellman stopped 17 shots for a .607 save percentage. North Carolina held a 36-28 advantage in ground balls, while the Irish actually outshot the Tar Heels 46-39, including 16-7 in the final period.
NOTRE DAME-NORTH CAROLINA CONNECTIONS: Notre Dame has one player on its all-time roster that hailed from the state of North Carolina. Attackman Mike Richtsmeier played for the Irish in 2000 and `01, seeing action in nine games and failing to earn a monogram. He was a native of Durham and graduate of Durham Academy.
IRISH TO MAKE SECOND-EVER TRIP TO CALIFORNIA: The First 4 will mark Notre Dame’s second trip to play in the state of California since becoming a varsity program in 1981. In 1990 — a season that would eventually see the Irish earn their first-ever NCAA Championship invitation — Notre Dame played in the four-team San Diego Tournament over the weekend of March 30-31. The Irish ended up as the champions in the event, which also featured Air Force, Texas Tech, and host San Diego State. In the opening round, the Irish trailed the Falcons 6-1 in the first quarter, but came all the way back, getting scores from senior A Brian McHugh (finished with 4 G) and junior A Mike Sullivan (4 G, 1 A) in the final two minutes en route to a 12-11 victory. In the title game, Notre Dame beat San Diego State 18-10, with junior A Chris Rowley leading the way with two goals and two assists. McHugh was named the tournament’s MVP, while he was joined on the all-tournament team by Sullivan, senior M Dave Carey, and senior D Mike Stevens.
CALIFORNIA CONNECTION: Notre Dame does have one California native represented on its all-time roster. Midfielder Joe Minutoli played for the Irish in 1990 and `91, seeing action in three games and failing to earn a monogram. He was a native of San Rafael and a graduate of San Marin High School, both in Bay area. He was a member of the only other Irish team to play in California.
ND-VILLANOVA GAME POSTPONED: The game between #14 Notre Dame and #20 Villanova, originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 at Villanova Stadium, was postponed due to inclement weather in the Philadelphia area, which was experiencing snow and winds of greater than 25 miles per hour. The contest was rescheduled for Monday, March 28 at a time to be determined.
IRISH CAN’T COMPLETE COMEBACK AGAINST CORNELL: Notre Dame, which held a 6-3 second-quarter lead but then gave up seven straight goals to trail #10 Cornell by four with 11 minutes remaining, nearly came all the way back to beat the Big Red, scoring four of the game’s final five tallies in an 11-10 road loss on March 5. The Irish comeback began with back-to-back goals by junior M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) to make the score 10-8 with 8:40 left. Cornell won the faceoff and ran nearly three minutes off the clock before getting a goal from sophomore A David Mitchell to make the margin three again. Notre Dame then converted on a man-up opportunity, as senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) scored off an assist from junior All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) with 2:43 left. The Cornell lead was shaved to only one, when senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) scored what would prove to be the final goal of the game, again off a Walsh pass, with 44 seconds remaining. Notre Dame senior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.) won the ensuing faceoff, and Morrison had a shot to tie the score, but his effort sailed wide, and the Big Red picked up the ground ball and ran out the clock.
MORRISON’S THE MAN: Senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.), who had played in only five games in his career (scoring one goal) prior to the 2005 season, has been Notre Dame’s top goal scorer early in this campaign. He scored the first three Irish goals of the season at #21 Penn State (all coming in the first six minutes) and then led the team with four points (3 G, 1 A) at #10 Cornell, including a goal with 44 seconds left that brought Notre Dame to within one. Morrison, a former walk-on who now is one of the team’s co-captains, played in one game as a freshman and then started in all four of his appearances in his sophomore season (2003), scoring his first career goal against Butler. He was poised to be a regular contributor last season, but then missed the spring due to injuries. Prior to this season, he had just eight career shots and two points, while through two games in 2005, Morrison has managed seven points (6 G, 1 A) on nine shots, as well as six ground balls.
RYAN RAISING HIS OFFENSIVE GAME: After starting all 11 games in which he appeared and finishing with 17 points (7 G, 10 A) in 2004, junior Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) has become more of an offensive threat early this season, as he is tied for second on the team in scoring, with seven points. After having just one multiple-goal game in his first two collegiate seasons (25 games played), Ryan has scored twice in both of Notre Dame’s first two contests in 2004. He had a pair of assists against #21 Penn State and then added another at #10 Cornell. Ryan’s scores against the Big Red came in a 2:10 span in the fourth quarter, igniting an Irish rally.
CLAGETT GETTING FACEOFF WINS: Freshman M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) has established himself as Notre Dame’s top faceoff man and turned the area into a strength for the Irish, reversing a recent trend. The rookie — the brother of four-year regular in the Irish midfield and 2004 graduate Steve Clagett — has won 61.5% (24-39) of the faceoffs he has taken, helping Notre Dame — which has not won more than half of the faceoffs in a season since 2001 and won just .440 in `04 — to a .553 (26-47) team success rate. The Irish have won more than half of the faceoffs in both games this season, after doing that just twice in all of 2004. Clagett also leads the Irish in ground balls this season, with 11 (5.50 per game).
CROSLAND TABBED FIRST GWLL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week by the conference after helping Notre Dame to a season-opening 14-6 win at #21 Penn State on Feb. 27. The third-year starter stopped 73.9% of the shots he faced, making 17 saves to help the Irish to their largest-ever margin of victory in a road game against a nationally-ranked opponent. Crosland anchored an outstanding defensive performance that held the Nittany Lions scoreless in the final 25:17 of the contest, opening the door for Notre Dame’s high-octane offense – second in Division I in scoring offense (12.50 goals per game) in 2004 – to put the game out of reach with six unanswered goals.
WALSH’S SIX POINTS IN OPENER MAKE HIM SECOND-FASTEST TO 100 CAREER POINTS: Junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) opened up the second half of his career with six points (3 G, 3 A) against #21 Penn State on Feb. 27. That brought his career point total to 105, making him the second-fastest Irish player ever to reach 100 career points, doing it in his 27th game. The quickest was all-time leading scorer Randy Colley (1991-95), who did it in 21 games en route to finishingwith 273 points (173 G, 100 A). The previous second-fastest to 100 was John Olmstead, who did it in 34 games and finished his career in 1989 with 146 points.
LIVA, PODGAJNY SCORE FIRST CAREER GOALS: Two Notre Dame midfielders — sophomore Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Prep School) and freshman Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) — have scored their first collegiate goals this season. Liva, who did not even take a shot playing in every game in a defensive role in 2004, found the net on his second collegiate shot, off a pass from senior M Colin Fatti (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles H.S.) with 8:08 remaining in the first half at #21 Penn State to put the Irish ahead 7-4. Podgajny, who has stepped immediately into a starting role, took a pass from senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) and scored with 3:55 left in the opening period at #10 Cornell to put Notre Dame ahead 4-2.
IRISH REGISTER LARGEST-EVER VICTORY MARGIN IN ROAD GAME AGAINST RANKED FOE: Notre Dame’s eight-goal (14-6) win at #21 Penn State in the season opener marked the largest-ever margin of victory for the Irish in a road contest against a nationally-ranked opponent. Previously, the largest margin for Notre Dame in that situation was five, done against #17 Army in 2000 (10-5) and #18 Rutgers in 2001 (9-4). The Irish also notched a five-goal victory (12-7) in a neutral-site game against #10 Bucknell in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA tournament.
DEFENSE BLANKS PENN STATE IN FINAL 25:17: Notre Dame led just 8-6 when Penn State junior A Nate Whitaker netted his third goal of the game 4:43 into the second half on Feb. 27. But that would mark the end of the success of the Nittany Lions offense, as the Irish held PSU scoreless for the final 25:17, keeping the Lions to only 12 shots (just five on goal). That defensive effort – keyed by fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), senior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School), sophomore D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), and freshman D Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice H.S.) – was nothing new for Notre Dame, which in 2004 held opponents scoreless for 25 minutes or more on four occasions. This streak allowed Notre Dame to end the game with six unanswered goals en route to a 14-6 triumph.
ALL THREE IRISH ATTACKMEN NOTCH HAT TRICKS vs. PENN STATE: Notre Dame’s starting attack unit, which lost two starters to graduation after last season, began the 2005 season in a big way, as all three attackmen — senior Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) and juniors Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) and Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) — registered hat tricks in Notre Dame’s 14-6 victory at #21 Penn State. Walsh tallied a game-high six points, also adding three assists, while Karweck had four points in his first collegiate game at the position (he moved there less than two weeks before the season following two seasons in the midfield). Morrison, who missed all of the 2004 campaign and had seen action in just five career games beforehand (1 goal), scored each of Notre Dame’s first three goals of the contest.
NOTRE DAME LOOKS TO BE OFFENSIVE JUGGERNAUT AGAIN IN 2005: Notre Dame — which returned five of its top seven scorers from last year’s team that finished second in Division I in scoring offense (12.50 goals per game) — opened the 2005 campaign with a strong offensive performance, scoring 14 goals against Penn State, which allowed more than 11 goals just twice in 2004 (once was in a 17-7 loss to ND). The Irish, which led the nation in assists per game (7.9) last season, had seven different goal scorers against the Nittany Lions and also registered eight assists. Notre Dame followed that up with a 10-goal performance at #10 Cornell that featured five more assists. Through two games this year, the Irish are averageing 12.00 goals and 6.50 assists per game.
DEBUTS, ETC.: The season opener at #21 Penn State on Feb. 27 saw various firsts for Irish players. M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) and D Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice H.S.) both earned starting assignments in their first collegiate contests, while six other Notre Dame freshmen — M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.), D Sean Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep School), M Anson Fraser (Summit, N.J./Summit H.S.), G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School), A/M Sloan Smith (Concord, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy), and A Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School) — also made their collegiate debuts. In addition, sophomore M Ryan Cunn (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) — who missed all of last season with a knee injury — made his collegiate debut, as did sophomore LSM Brannon Halvorsen (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge H.S.). Junior A Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) played at attack for the first time as a collegian, after moving from the midfield less than two weeks prior to the season. Senior A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.) also returned to action after missing the entire 2004 campaign.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into The First 4:
– ND has won four consecutive road games in Great Western Lacrosse League play (last loss: 11-5 at #19 Ohio State, 4/6/03)
– ND has lost five consecutive games when not outscoring the opponent in the first quarter (last win: 13-4 vs. Air Force, 4/12/03, after trailing 2-1)
– ND has lost 20 consecutive games when trailing after three quarters (last win: 9-8 vs. Harvard, 5/1/99, after trailing 8-6)
– ND has lost nine consecutive games against top-10 opponents (last win: 13-9 vs. #3 Johns Hopkins, 5/20/01, NCAA quarterfinals)
– ND has lost seven consecutive games against top-five opponents (last win: 13-9 vs. #3 Johns Hopkins, 5/20/01, NCAA quarterfinals)
– ND has lost six consecutive overtime games (last win: 10-9 vs. #12 Hobart, 3/29/97)
– Junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) has at least one point in 14 consecutive games (last pointless: 5/3/03 vs. #4 Maryland)
– Senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) has had at least one goal in five consecutive games in which he has played (last goalless: vs. Dartmouth, 4/4/04)
IRISH LOSE PRESEASON HONORABLE-MENTION ALL-AMERICAN HUBSCHMANN FOR SEASON: Junior A Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), tabbed preseason honorable-mention All-America by Inside Lacrosse, will miss the entire 2005 campaign after suffering a season-ending knee injury in practice on Feb. 16, just nine days prior to the opening game. He was slated to be a starter at attack — where he played while helping Delbarton High School win the 2002 New Jersey state championship — after being a regular in the Irish midfield in his first two collegiate seasons. Hubschmann started all 11 games in which he played in 2004, finishing third on the team in scoring wiith 29 points (18 G, 11 A). Hubschmann, a second-team all-conference pick, led Notre Dame in both shots (88) and shots on goal (48) and ranked fifth in the Great Western Lacrosse League (T-48th nationally) in points per game (2.64) and seventh in assists per game (1.00; 50th in Division I). In response to the injury, the Irish moved junior Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) from midfield to attack and inserted freshman M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) into the first midfield.
WALSH ON TEWAARATON TROPHY WATCH LIST: Junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was one of 37 players named to the watch list for the 2005 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player at the conclusion of the season. The award will be presented at a banquet in Washington, D.C. on June 3. Walsh, who was one of 15 nominees for the award last year, is the only Irish player ever named the to watch list for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is in just its fifth year, though A Tom Glatzel was a finalist for the award in 2001.
FOUR EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA MENTION: Four Irish players were mentioned on the Inside Lacrosse preseason All-America lists. Junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) led the way as a second-team selection, while junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) was on the third team, and senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) and junior A Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) were honorable-mention selections.
GOOD D: Dating back to last year, Notre Dame’s defense has held its opponents to fewer than 10 goals in seven of the last nine games, allowing just 7.11 goals per game over that span, while posting a 7-3 record. The lone exceptions were on April 11, 2004, when the Irish won 14-12 at #17 Denver and last weekend at #10 Cornell, an 11-10 defeat. Notre Dame’s other losses during that stretch both came by 9-8 scores, against #17 Ohio State and at #3 Maryland (double overtime).
TOUGH SLATE: Notre Dame will face a difficult road to the 2005 NCAA Championship. This year’s Irish schedule features 11 games, with eight of those opponents listed in the Inside Lacrosse preseason coaches’ top 25, while the other three were receiving votes. Additionally, Notre Dame will have just three home games in 2005.
LONG TRIP: Notre Dame’s 10-day spring-break trip has seen the Irish visit three cities and cover 5,644 miles. The Irish — who last week wrapped up midterm exams — left campus early Friday morning (March 4) to fly to Syracuse, N.Y., and then make the hour-long bus ride south to Ithaca in preparation for their March 5 game against Cornell. On Saturday evening, the travel party bused toward Philadelphia, a four-hour jaunt that ended with them arriving in the suburb of Villanova to prepare for Tuesday’s contest against the Wildcats, that was postponed due to inclement weather. Wednesday saw the Irish fly from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and then bus to the suburb of Carson, which plays host to The First 4, an elite invitational tournament that will see Notre Dame and North Carolina play on Saturday.
ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame will play eight of its 11 games away from home this season. The Irish will have just three home dates (March 19 vs. Butler, April 7 vs. Denver, April 10 vs. Air Force), in matching the 1987 season for the fewest home tilts in a campaign since the varsity program was established in 1981. Notre Dame begins the year with away contests against Penn State and Cornell and then will take on North Carolina in Carson, Calif., in The First 4. The last time the Irish opened the season with four straight games away from home was 1989, when they lost at Stony Brook and against Georgetown in Hempstead, N.Y., before falling at Penn State and then beating Lehigh in University Park, Pa. The home opener that season was a 17-4 win over Hartford on March 25.
ALL OF NOTRE DAME’S HOME GAMES TO BE TELEVISED IN 2005: The 2005 season will be one of the most-televised campaigns in Notre Dame men’s lacrosse history, as the Irish will have more than 35 percent of their regular-season contests on TV, including all of their home games. Comcast SportsNet Local, which originates in Detroit, plans to televise all three of Notre Dame’s home contests: March 19 vs. Butler, April 7 vs. Denver, and April 10 vs. Air Force. In addition, the Irish matchup with North Carolina in The First 4 invitational on March 12 in Carson, Calif., will be shown live to a national audience via College Sports Television. It is the second year in a row that the Irish have appeared on CSTV, as the 2004 contest with Ohio State at Moose Krause Stadium was also shown by the network.
IRISH WELL REPRESENTED IN INSIDE LACROSSE SEASON PREVIEW ISSUE: Notre Dame was mentioned on numerous occasions in the season preview issue (Dec. 15, 2004) of Inside Lacrosse. The Irish were picked ninth in its Division I listing of the top 16 squads, as well as listed as one of four “Dark Horses” to reach the NCAA semifinals (along with Duke, UMass, and Army). Notre Dame’s game at GWLL rival Ohio State on April 29 also tabbed one of the six “Prime Time” games of the 2005 season. In addition to the Irish midfield being ranked #7 among Division I teams, junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was one of four listed in the “Next in Line” category of IL’s Tewaaraton Trophy preview, which listed five favorites, meaning Walsh is among the magazine’s top nine candidates for the award given to the top player in the country. Walsh also was on the magazine’s list of both “Wheels” and “Anklebreakers”.
WALSH ON PACE TO BREAK IRISH RECORD FOR CAREER ASSISTS PER GAME: Though he still has nearly half of his career left, junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) has an excellent chance to break the Notre Dame record for assists per game. Thus far, he has notched 63 assists in 28 career games, an average of 2.25 per game. The top mark in Irish history is 1.96, done by all-time assist leader Dave Ulrich (1998-2001), who had 110 in 56 contests.
GWLL DOMINANCE: For the 12th year in a row, the Irish will compete in the Great Western Lacrosse League, along with Air Force, Butler, Denver, Fairfield, and Ohio State. Notre Dame has won nine GWLL titles and holds a 41-5 (.891) all-time record in league play, including 22-2 (.917) at home. Last year, the Irish lost 9-8 to the Buckeyes and finished 4-1 in conference action, second in the standings behind OSU.
CROSLAND AMONG THE TOP GOALTENDERS IN IRISH HISTORY: Fifth-year senior Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), in his third year as Notre Dame’s starting goaltender, has established himself as one of the best in school history at that position, as evidenced by his high placing on a number of Irish career statistical lists. See pdf for a summary of his positions
WALSH CLIMBING IRISH CAREER CHARTS: Even though he is just two games into the second half of his career, junior A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) already is climbing Notre Dame’s career offensive charts. See pdf for a summary of his positions:
2004 IN REVIEW: The 2004 season began with tremendous promise, but things did not play out as planned. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Irish stood 7-5 and ranked 11th by Inside Lacrosse and 12th by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, but they were left out of the 16-team NCAA Championship. There turned out to be two seminal games during the 2004 campaign, and both ended in similar heartbreaking fashion. In both instances, Notre Dame scored late goals, but then gave up even later scores and lost by a 9-8 score. A win in either game – the late-March Great Western Lacrosse League showdown with Ohio State at Moose Krause Stadium or the May 1 season finale at #3 Maryland – would have assured the Irish a spot in the NCAA tournament. The contest against the Buckeyes was the GWLL opener for both schools, but it would prove to be decisive in determining the conference’s champion, as none of the other league squads were able to top either OSU or the Irish. Notre Dame appeared to be in control of the contest with a minute left in the third period, holding a 7-3 advantage, but Ohio State would rally, scoring five consecutive goals to go up 8-7 with 4:27 left in the contest. Sophomore M Brian Hubschmann then knotted the score with Notre Dame’s fourth man-up tally of the game with just 28 seconds left. OSU senior Josh Lesko and Irish junior Craig Bishko faced off. The ball squirted towards the Buckeyes’ box, and both teams were battling for it when Notre Dame was called for a loose-ball push, thus awarding possession to Ohio State. The Buckeyes brought the ball down the right side and senior middie Ryan Laffey deked away from a defender and found attackman Ben Wolff open in front of the goal. The sophomore then scored from a yard away to hand OSU a 9-8 victory.
Having run off five wins since the Ohio State game and ranked 12th, Notre Dame made its first-ever regular-season trip to Byrd Stadium to take on the 10-2 Terrapins, who began the season with eight consecutive victories and rose to the #1 ranking before losing to Navy and Johns Hopkins. A win would have virtually assured the Irish one of the at-large bids to the NCAA tournament, the first-ever for a GWLL squad. Notre Dame’s defense and strong goaltending from Bethesda, Md., native Stewart Crosland – who had 10 saves in the first half – allowed the Irish to stifle the Terps’ offense, which had been averaging nearly 12 goals per game, early on. Maryland managed just a single goal and trailed 3-1 at the intermission. The Terps scored four of the first five goals of the third quarter to go up 5-4. That advantage would last just 1:23, and it would be Maryland’s only lead until the end of the game. Two goals by senior midfielder Steve Clagett – a native of Chesapeake Beach, Md., and DeMatha Catholic High School graduate – put Notre Dame back on top, 7-6, heading into the final period. Sophomore Bill McGlone tied the game with just under 12 minutes left in the game, and the defenses would take control for most of the remainder of the affair. That ended when Irish sophomore All-America attackman Pat Walsh found junior midfielder Brian Giordano, who in turn found the back of the net to give Notre Dame – on the verge of registering its biggest regular-season win (in terms of national rankings) in program history – an 8-7 advantage with 1:23 remaining in the contest. The Terps won the ensuing faceoff, but then turned the ball over, and Bishko corralled it to give his team possession and a chance to run out the clock, which had just one minute left on it. Maryland’s defense came through when it needed to, though, getting a turnover with 40 seconds remaining. Irish senior defenseman Brennan Creaney momentarily regained control of the ball, but he had it knocked out of his possession, and Terp J.R. Bordley scooped up the ball on a scramble and fired it into the goal with 19 seconds remaining to tie the score at 8-8. After a fairly even first overtime (ND held a 4-3 advantage in shots), Maryland won the opening faceoff in the second extra session and, after a timeout, saw Brendan Healy cut past an Irish defender to the front of the net and bounce the ball in to give the Terps a victory and send Notre Dame to its sixth consecutive overtime defeat and the end of its season.
Coming off a 2003 campaign in which Notre Dame was 9-5 and just missed a trip to the NCAAs, hopes were high for the Irish – returning eight starters from that team – at the beginning of `04. After trailing 5-4 in the second quarter of the season opener against #17 Penn State, the Irish exploded – scoring on six straight extra-man opportunities – on the way to a 17-7 victory. That win, as well as some early-season upsets, vaulted Notre Dame all the way to #5 in the USILA national rankings, making the ’04 group just the second Irish team to crack the top five. Up next for the team was Notre Dame’s first-ever trip to the Carrier Dome to face #3 and eventual national champion Syracuse. The Irish held a 10-7 third-quarter lead before the Orangemen went on a 9-1 run en route to a 19-13 victory. Just two days later, Notre Dame lost to another top-10 team, #9 North Carolina, falling behind 5-1 in the first quarter and losing 14-11. After a road loss (13-7 at # 16 Loyola) in their first outdoor game of the season, the Irish got back on track with a 19-11 upset of #11 Hofstra before opening league play.
Included in the five-game winning streak were the top back-to-back defensive performances in school history, coming in wins against Dartmouth (10-3) and Air Force (12-2), as well rallying from a 9-6 deficit with 20 minutes to play for a 14-12 road victory against #17 Denver. The final home game of the campaign saw senior attackman Matt Howell go out in style, scoring five goals and assisting on three others vs. Fairfield to fall just one shy of the Irish record for points in a game.
Notre Dame faced an extremely difficult schedule, as eight of 12 opponents were nationally-ranked at the time of the game and just two were not at least receiving votes when playing the Irish. Four of Notre Dame’s five defeats came against squads that finished in the top six of the USILA rankings.
Walsh led a quartet of first-team all-GWLL honorees (also Howell, Giordano, and sophomore defenseman D.J. Driscoll), while also becoming just the second Irish attackman to be named to one of the USILA All-America teams, as a third-team pick. Walsh, who fell just one point shy of becoming the first Notre Dame sophomore ever to reach 100 career points, also was one of 15 nominees (seven of them attackmen) for the Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the top player in college lacrosse. He led the GWLL in both scoring (3.92 points per game) and assists (2.17) and ranked seventh and sixth, respectively, in the nation. Walsh was the top performer for an offensive unit that finished second (behind Syracuse) in scoring offense with an average of 12.50 goals per game.
IRISH IN OVERTIME: Should the game be tied at the end of regulation, Notre Dame will try to snap a six-game losing streak in overtime affairs after having won six in a row prior to that. The Irish last took part in an overtime game in the 2004 season finale, falling 9-8 in double overtime at #3 Maryland on May 1. Prior to that, Notre Dame lost three overtime contests in `02, one in `01, and one in `99. The last Irish overtime win was a 10-9 result at home against #12 Hobart on March 29, 1997. Notre Dame has an 8-8 all-time record in overtime games in the 25-year varsity history of the program. The Irish have played just two double-overtime games, with the first a 7-6 defeat at home against Loyola on March 16, 2002.
Notre Dame has played overtime games against three teams on the 2005 schedule. The Irish lost to Penn State 10-9 at home in the 2002 season opener, beat Ohio State 11-10 in 1983 in Columbus, and have lost a pair at Hofstra (10-9, 1999; 11-10, 2001).
IRISH ADD SEVEN FOR NEXT SEASON: Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan recently announced that seven players have signed national letters of intent to join his squad for the 2006 season. Below are the newest members of the Irish. For more information, see www.und.com.
Name Pos. Hometown High School
Peter Christman A Simsbury, CT Westminster H.S.
Dan Gibson A/M Germantown, TN Memphis University School
Ryan Hoff A Baldwin, MD Dulaney H.S.
Regis McDermott D Amityville, NY Chaminade H.S.
Davey Melera M Lutherville, MD Boys’ Latin H.S.
Scott Rodgers G Wantagh, NY MacArthur H.S.
Duncan Swezey A Ambler, PA Hatboro Horsham H.S.
MEN’S LAX GOLD GAME TO BE APRIL 7 vs. GWLL RIVAL DENVER: On Thursday, April 7, at 4 p.m., the two teams picked by Inside Lacrosse to be the best in the Great Western Lacrosse League this year will face off at Moose Krause Stadium. It will be the men’s lacrosse “Gold Game” this season. That distinction was created by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend designated contests, each determined to be the most significant home event of the season for the respective team. The contest also will be televised by Comcast Sports Local.
KEVIN WHITE RADIO SHOW: A weekly radio show featuring Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White airs at 7 p.m. (Central time) each Thursday on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago (1000 AM in Chicago, www.espnradio1000.com). Now in its fifth season, “The Kevin White Show” can be heard in 35 states. White welcomes to the show a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.
KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE: For the fastest results of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse games, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #5 and #1. The hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the match recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website, www.und.com. The hotline is the first medium updated with results of each Notre Dame men’s lacrosse game. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting assistant sports information director Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Rottenborn. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.