May 1, 2012
ST. JOHN’S (#4 seed)
#2 NOTRE DAME (#1 seed)
BIG EAST Championship Semifinals
Thursday, May 3 – 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Villanova Stadium – Villanova, Pa.
Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)
Paul Carcaterra (analyst)
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#2 IRISH TO FACE ST. JOHN’S IN BIG EAST SEMIFINALS
– Top-seeded Notre Dame (11-1) will face No. 4 seed St. John’s (7-6) on Thursday in the semifinals of the inaugural BIG EAST Championship. Faceoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. (ET) at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa.
– The game will be aired on ESPNU/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.
– Villanova (#2 seed) and Syracuse (#3 seed) will square off in Thursday’s other semifinal. The title game is scheduled for noon on Saturday on ESPNU/ESPN3.
– Notre Dame topped St. John’s, 13-6, earlier this season at the Big City Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.
– The Irish will bring a 10-game win streak into Thursday’s contest. Notre Dame wrapped up the regular season on Saturday with an 8-6 victory over Syracuse.
– Notre Dame’s defense ranks first nationally by allowing just 5.75 goals per game.
– The Fighting Irish are ranked second in this week’s Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and USILA coaches poll.
NOTRE DAME-ST. JOHN’S SERIES HISTORY
– Thursday will be the fifth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and St. John’s. The Fighting Irish have won all four previous encounters, including a 13-6 triumph on April 1 at the Big City Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.
– Notre Dame captured a 10-7 home win last season over St. John’s. The Irish and Red Storm first met in 2009, a 12-2 Notre Dame home win. The Fighting Irish won at St. John’s, 13-6, in 2010 during the first season of BIG EAST play.
A LOOK AT ST. JOHN’S
– St. John’s will bring a 7-6 record into Thursday’s showdown with the Irish. The Red Storm finished BIG EAST play with a 3-3 record. St. John’s defeated Rutgers (7-6), Georgetown (13-12 OT) and Providence (8-4) in league play, while falling to Syracuse (9-8), Notre Dame (13-6) and Villanova (10-8).
– The Red Storm are averaging 9.54 goals scored per game, while allowing 9.69 per contest. Sophomore attackman Kieran McArdle has a team-best 49 points on 23 goals and 26 assists. Fellow sophomore attackman Kevin Cernuto is tied for the team lead with 23 goals. Junior Jeff Lowman has every decision in goal. He has a 9.68 goals-against average and a .552 save percentage.
– St. John’s went 4-10 last season, including 2-4 in the BIG EAST. The Red Storm returned seven starters from last season’s squad.
– Head coach Jason Miller is in his sixth season at St. John’s.
THE LAST TIME
– The Irish bested St. John’s, 13-6, on April 1 at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Notre Dame trailed 4-3 at halftime, yet outscored St. John’s 10-2 in the second half en route to the victory. The 13 goals were a season-high total for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt tallied a career-high three goals and was named the game’s MVP. All three of Marlatt’s 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. Junior goalie John Kemp made 10 saves for the Irish.
IRISH BOAST SUCCESS IN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
– While this is the inaugural BIG EAST Championship, Notre Dame has had recent success in conference tournaments. The Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) held a tournament during the final two seasons of the league (2008 & 2009) and the Irish won both events.
– In 2008, Notre Dame topped Quinnipiac, 10-6, in the semifinals and defeated Ohio State, 9-2, in the final.
– The 2009 GWLL tournament featured the Irish downing Quinnipiac, 7-4, in the semifinals and Ohio State, 16-7, in the title game.
– With Notre Dame capturing the BIG EAST regular-season title, it marks 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 titles from 1981-93.
– Notre Dame’s current 10-game win streak is tied for the second-longest in program history. The Irish opened last season with 10 straight victories.
– The school record is 15 straight wins, which occurred in 2009.
– Notre Dame has overcome four-goal deficits in two recent games. The Irish fell behind Villanova (April 21) 4-0 in the first quarter before scoring eight straight goals en route to the 10-7 victory.
– 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.
SECOND HALF SHUTDOWNS
– The Irish have outscored their opponents 58-36 in the second half this season, including 35-13 in the last five games.
– Notre Dame is 4-0 this season when trailing at halftime.
A PERFORMER BETWEEN THE PIPES
– Junior goalie John Kemp ranks first nationally in goals-against average (5.70) and save percentage (.655). He is 12th in saves per game (10.92).
– Kemp is one of 25 nominees up for the Tewaaraton Award.
– Kemp made a career-high 18 saves in the 4-3 overtime setback to Penn State (Feb. 26). He has made 10 or more saves in a game seven times this season.
– He finished the 2011 campaign ranked second nationally in goals-against average (6.61) and fourth in save percentage (.602).
– Kemp boasts a 23-6 (.793) career record at Notre Dame.
A DOMINATING DEFENSE
– Notre Dame’s defense ranks first nationally by surrendering just 5.75 goals per game this season. That mark is on pace to eclipse 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 two goals in 28 chances (.929).
– 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 Saturday’s contest.
– 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.
BIG EAST BEST
– Junior goalie John Kemp was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for his 11-save effort in Saturday’s 8-6 win over Syracuse. Kemp and the Irish defense kept the Orange off the scoreboard for the first 37:53 of the game.
– Junior midfielder Ryan Foley also garnered league honors as he was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for tallying two goals and one assist against the Orange.
– Kemp is the only BIG EAST player to be named a player of the week (either offensive or defensive) three times this season. Notre Dame senior attackman Sean Rogers is the only two-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week this season.
IRISH GET OFFENSIVE
– The Notre Dame offense is averaging 10.2 goals in the last six games after averaging 6.7 goals in the first six contests of the season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Nineteen different Notre Dame players have scored a goal this season.
– The Fighting Irish used a season-high nine goal scorers in the 13-6 win over St. John’s (April 1).
– The Irish had eight different goal scorers in wins over Denver (10-9 in 3OT), Rutgers (12-9), Georgetown (9-7) and Villanova (10-7).
– 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.
– A different Irish player has led the team in goals in each of the last five games.
MARLATT MAKING AN IMPACT
– Sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt has a team-best nine assists and he is tied for the team lead in points with 24. His 15 goals rank second among all Irish players. Marlatt did not play last season due to injury.
– Marlatt has totaled three points or more in a game six times this season. His three assists against Villanova (April 21) were the most for any Notre Dame player this season.
– Marlatt was named the MVP of the Notre Dame-St. John’s game at the Big City Classic. Marlatt scored a game-high – and career-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.
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame is 39-4 (.907) at home since the beginning of the 2006 season.
CAPTURING THE CLOSE ONES
– Notre Dame’s five road wins this season have come by a combined seven goals.
– Notre Dame has played five one-goal games this season. All five of those contests were in succession. The Irish went 4-1 in those games, including two overtime victories. Notre Dame’s lone loss this season was a 4-3 overtime setback to Penn State.
– 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 was the first triple-overtime game in Fighting Irish history.
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 91 games), the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 64 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 once in the last 30 games. That occurred in last season’s 11-8 setback at Syracuse.
– Notre Dame is 8-1 against teams currently in the top 25 of the RPI. The Fighting Irish boast the nation’s top 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 61-15 (.803) since the beginning of the 2008 season. That is tied for the second-best winning percentage nationally during that time.
– The Fighting Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals three times in the last four seasons, including the program’s first-ever NCAA title game appearance in 2010.
– Last season, the Irish reached No. 1 in the national polls on April 18 for the first time in program history.
– Since the beginning of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame has gone 25-5 (.833), with three of those losses coming in overtime.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST
– Notre Dame has a 13-5 (.722) record all-time in BIG EAST 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 season’s regular-season league title with a perfect 6-0 record.
PLAYING ON THE BIG STAGE
– Playing in MetLife Stadium for the Big City Classic against St. John’s was Notre Dame’s latest chance to compete in a major venue.
– The Irish opened the 2011 campaign against Duke at Everbank Field, which is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Notre Dame faced Duke in the 2011 NCAA quarterfinals at the home venue of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium.
– 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).