March 26, 2015
#1 SYRACUSE (7-0, 2-0 ACC)
#2 NOTRE DAME (5-1, 1-0 ACC)
Saturday, March 28, 2015 – Noon (ET)
Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Indiana
SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 2 Notre Dame (5-1, 1-0 ACC) will play host to No. 1 Syracuse (7-0, 2-0 ACC) Saturday in a key Atlantic Coast Conference showdown. Faceoff is slated for noon (ET) at Arlotta Stadium.
– The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and WatchESPN with Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play) and Paul Carcaterra (analyst) on the call. Live stats will be available via Gametracker on UND.com.
– The Fighting Irish opened ACC action March 14 with an 11-9 victory at Virginia. Syracuse has defeated Virginia (15-9) and Duke (19-7) in conference play.
– Notre Dame boasts the ACC’s top defensive unit (7.5 goals per game), while Syracuse has the league’s top offense (15.4 goals per game).
– This will be the first time Notre Dame has been part of a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup.
THE SYRACUSE SERIES
– Notre Dame and Syracuse split two meetings last season. The Orange won the regular-season clash, 11-10, inside the Carrier Dome, while Notre Dame produced a 15-14 victory in the title game of the ACC Tournament.
– The Orange own an 8-2 advantage in the series. Syracuse is 1-1 all-time at Notre Dame. The last meeting in South Bend occurred in 2012 and the Irish won 8-6 to clinch the BIG EAST regular-season title.
A LOOK AT THE ORANGE
– Syracuse is 7-0 overall and 2-0 in ACC play. The Orange is averaging 15.4 goals per game, while allowing 7.7 per contest.
– Junior attackman Dylan Donahue has a team-high 22 goals, while senior attackman Kevin Rice leads the Orange in assists (20) and points (35).
– Senior goalie Bobby Wardwell has all seven decisions and he carries a 7.23 goals-against average and a .574 save percentage.
– Last season, Syracuse posted an 11-5 mark (2-3 ACC) and fell to Bryant, 10-9, in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
– Head coach John Desko is in his 17th season at the helm of the Syracuse program.
THE LAST TIME
– Notre Dame upended Syracuse 15-14 in the thrilling title game of the 2015 ACC Tournament.
– The Orange jumped out to a 6-3 lead, but the Irish evened things up, 7-7, by halftime. Notre Dame led 14-9 at the end of the third quarter and the Irish withstood a fourth-quarter surge from the Orange before holding on for the victory.
– Notre Dame’s Matt Kavanagh, the tournament MVP, had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists. Jim Marlatt had three goals and one assist for the Irish. Notre Dame goalie Conor Kelly made eight saves in the win. Randy Staats led Syracuse with five goals.
NOTRE DAME BLANKS THE BUCKEYES
– Notre Dame’s stifling defense and outstanding goaltending play combined to post the second shutout in program history with last Saturday’s 9-0 blanking of No. 15 Ohio State at Arlotta Stadium.
– Notre Dame sophomore Shane Doss started between the pipes and stopped 11 Buckeye shots, while senior Conor Kelly came off the bench to play the final 4:25 of the game and made two saves to preserve the shutout. Notre Dame’s only other clean sheet in program history came in a 15-0 win over Mt. Union on April 10, 1984.
– Notre Dame’s man-down defensive unit halted all five of Ohio State’s man-up chances.
– Offensively, senior midfielder Nick Ossello paced the Fighting Irish with three goals, which matched a career-high total. Senior attackman Conor Doyle had two goals and one assist for the Irish.
DOSS EARNS NATIONAL AND ACC HONORS
– For his performance in last Saturday’s shutout win over Ohio State, Notre Dame sophomore goalie Shane Doss was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division I Defensive Player of the Week and the ACC Defensive Player of the Week.
– Doss started and played all but 4:25 in Notre Dame’s 9-0 blanking of the 15th-ranked Buckeyes. The sophomore stopped 11 shots and helped the Fighting Irish defense negate four man-up opportunities during his time in the game.
– The victory improved Doss’ record to 4-1 on the campaign. He has made 10 or more saves in four of his five starts this season.
– It was the third ACC weekly honor for Notre Dame in the past two weeks. Mikey Wynne (Fr./A) and Matt Landis (Jr./D) swept the offensive and defensive awards, respectively, last week.
NOTRE DAME IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
– The Fighting Irish boast the nation’s top man-up offensive unit (.667), and they rank eighth nationally in both scoring offense (13.5 gpg.) and scoring defense (7.5 gpg.).
– Shane Doss (So./G) is third nationally in goals-against average (6.95) and fourth in save percentage (.611).
– Mikey Wynne (Fr./A) has the nation’s eighth-best goals-per-game mark (3.2).
FIGHTING IRISH IN THE POLLS
– Notre Dame is No. 2 in this week’s USILA coaches poll and the Cascade/Maverik media poll.
– Nine of Notre Dame’s 11 regular-season opponents are ranked in the top-20 of both polls.
IRISH AGAINST NO. 1
– The Fighting Irish are 0-4 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in either the USILA coaches poll or the media poll.
– Notre Dame’s last encounter with a top-ranked team was a 7-5 setback to Loyola in the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Championship.
– This will be the first time the Irish have played host to a No. 1-ranked team.
KAVANAGH PRODUCING POINTS
– Matt Kavanagh has produced multiple points in every game this season, including three contests with six or more points.
– The junior attackman has notched six or more points in a game 11 times during his career.
– Kavanagh’s career 3.75 points-per-game average is fourth among all active Division I players.
– Kavanagh currently has a team-best 15-game goal streak, which is the longest of his career.
– Notre Dame boasts the nation’s top man-up offense (.667). The Fighting Irish are 10-of-15 in extra-man opportunities this season. Mikey Wynne has a team-best four man-advantage goals, while Matt Kavanagh and Sergio Perkovic both have two man-up tallies.
FIGHTING IRISH SPURTS
– Notre Dame has produced significant scoring spurts in each of the last five games.
– Notre Dame scored every goal in last Saturday’s 9-0 win over Ohio State.
– The Fighting Irish scored the first seven goals in the 11-9 victory at Virginia.
– Notre Dame surrendered the first goal to Denver before scoring five straight times, but the Irish would suffer an 11-10 overtime setback.
– After Dartmouth tied Notre Dame, 2-2, the Fighting Irish rattled off 14 consecutive tallies in the 20-5 victory.
– The Irish overturned a 1-0 deficit at Michigan with nine straight goals en route to the 17-8 victory.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Fifteen different Notre Dame players have scored a goal this season. Four Fighting Irish players have a double-digit goal total (Mikey Wynne 19, Matt Kavanagh 13, Sergio Perkovic 12, Conor Doyle 10).
WHAT A START FOR WYNNE
– Freshman attackman Mikey Wynne has a team-high 19 goals this season.
– He has posted three or more goals in four of six games this season. Wynne produced six goals against Georgetown in the season opener and followed that with four goals at Michigan. He scored three times versus Dartmouth and had five goals in the ACC opener at Virginia.
– Wynne was held without a goal for the first time this season in last Saturday’s win over Ohio State.
PERKOVIC A PLAYMAKER
– Sophomore Sergio Perkovic is Notre Dame’s leading midfield scorer this season with 12 goals and four assists.
– He tied a career-high mark of five points with three goals and two assists against Georgetown in the season opener.
– Perkovic has 13 multiple-goal games during his career, including four games of three-plus tallies.
– Perkovic netted 28 goals last season, including five in the national title game. The 28 goals were the most ever for a freshman midfielder at Notre Dame.
CONSISTENCY FROM Conor Doyle
– Senior attackman Conor Doyle has a 27-game point streak, which ranks 15th nationally and is the longest on the team.
– Doyle has produced 71 points (46g, 25a) during the streak.
KAVANAGH IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOK
– Junior attackman Matt Kavanagh’s 150 career points (87g, 63a) rank seventh in the Notre Dame record book.
– Kavanagh’s 87 goals are the eighth-most in school history and the 63 assists are tied for fifth.
– Kavanagh produced Fighting Irish single-season records for points (75) and assists (33) in 2014.
– Kavanagh’s 42 goals last season were the most for a Notre Dame player since Randy Colley netted a school-record 49 goals in 1995.
– Kavanagh is the only player in Notre Dame history to register 30 goals and 30 assists in the same season (42g, 33a in 2014).
– He has 27 multiple-goal games during his career (14 with three-plus goals).
– Kavanagh matched a school record with seven goals in last season’s win at Ohio State.
FOUR ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST
– Matt Kavanagh (Jr./A), Matt Landis (Jr./D), Jack Near (Sr./M) and Sergio Perkovic (So./M) are among 50 players who recently were named to the 2015 Tewaaraton Award Watch List.
– Kavanagh was a Tewaaraton Award nominee last season.
FIVE PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
– Five Notre Dame players garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Junior attackman Matt Kavanagh was selected to the first team, while sophomore midfielder Sergio Perkovic was placed on the second team. Junior defenseman Matt Landis earned a third-team citation and Garrett Epple (So./D) and Jack Near (Sr./M) both were honorable-mention picks.
VETERAN TRIO TO CAPTAIN THE IRISH
– Seniors Jim Marlatt, Conor Doyle and Jack Near have been named team captains for the 2015 campaign. Marlatt, a fifth-year senior, is a two-time team captain, while Doyle and Near are in their first year in the leadership position.
KAVANAGH IS CLUTCH
– Matt Kavanagh has three overtime game-winning goals during his career. He netted the deciding goal in last season’s triumph over Albany in the NCAA quarterfinals. During his freshman campaign, he scored in overtime against Penn State and North Carolina (3ot).
THREE IRISH PLAYERS PICKED IN MLL DRAFT
– Three Notre Dame seniors – Jack Near (M), Conor Doyle (A) and Nick Ossello (M) – were selected in the 2015 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft.
– The Rochester Rattlers picked Near in the first round with the seventh overall selection. Doyle went to the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the sixth round (43rd overall), while the Denver Outlaws picked Ossello in the eighth round (60th overall).
GAME CHANGERS AWARD
– Members of the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team have been recognized as Atlantic Coast Conference/United Way “Game Changers” and were honored during the 2015 New York Life ACC Tournament. The “Game Changers” initiative was introduced this year as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s unique and longstanding partnership with United Way. It seeks to recognize and highlight specific ACC team involvement with its local United Way chapter.
– 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.
– The Fighting Irish are 10-5 in the NCAA tournament over the last five seasons.
IRISH ATHLETICS TO HONOR FATHER HESBURGH
– The University of Notre Dame athletics department will commemorate the legacy of long-time University president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., in a number of ways. Father Hesburgh died February 26 at age 97. He served as University president from 1952-87.
– Notre Dame athletic teams will wear “Fr. Ted” patches or stickers on some combination of their uniforms, warm-ups or helmets.
– Moments of silence will be observed prior to home events in each of Notre Dame’s 26 varsity sports.
– In the near future, there will be commemorative signage created for each Notre Dame home athletic venue–to be featured either on the field or court itself or displayed elsewhere at the facility.