March 23, 2012
#6 NOTRE DAME (5-1)
Sunday, March 25 – 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
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SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 6 Notre Dame (5-1, 0-0) will open BIG EAST Conference play on Sunday with a home showdown against Rutgers (4-4, 0-1). Faceoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Arlotta Stadium.
– The Fighting Irish will bring a four-game win streak into Sunday’s contest. Notre Dame’s last five games all have been decided by one goal. The Irish captured an 8-7 victory at Ohio State on Wednesday.
– Sunday’s game will be streamed live on UND.com. The broadcast is free of charge. Live stats also will be available via GameTracker on UND.com.
NOTRE DAME-RUTGERS SERIES HISTORY
– Sunday will be the seventh meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Rutgers. The Fighting Irish lead the series 4-2, which includes an 8-3 Irish victory last season at Rutgers.
– Rutgers captured a 10-8 win at Notre Dame in 2010, which was the first season of BIG EAST competition. Prior to that meeting, the Irish and Scarlet Knights had not met since the 2002 campaign.
– Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan is 4-2 all-time against Rutgers.
A LOOK AT RUTGERS
– Rutgers will bring a 4-4 record into Sunday’s game. The Scarlet Knights dropped their BIG EAST opener to St. John’s, 7-6, last Saturday.
– The Scarlet Knights are averaging 8.50 goals scored per game, while they are allowing 9.12 goals against per game. Senior midfielder Will Mangan leads Rutgers in goals (20) and points (25). Sophomore attackman Nick DePaolera has a team-best nine assists. Junior Rudy Butler has a 3-2 record in goal and carries a 9.60 goals-against average with a .484 save percentage.
– Rutgers went 6-9 last season, including a 1-5 mark in BIG EAST play. The Scarlet Knights returned four starters from last season’s squad.
– Head coach Brian Brecht is in his first season at Rutgers.
THE LAST TIME
– Notre Dame notched an 8-3 victory over Rutgers last season in Piscataway, N.J. Current Irish senior Sean Rogers posted a game-high four points on one goal and three assists. Irish goalie John Kemp made 10 saves.
– Notre Dame led 4-2 after the first quarter and neither team scored in the second quarter. The Fighting Irish tallied four of the game’s last five goals en route to the victory.
– Notre Dame and Rutgers have one common opponent so far this season. The Fighting Irish topped Duke, 7-3, in their season opener, while the Scarlet Knights opened their campaign with a 16-8 setback against the Blue Devils.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST
– Notre Dame has a 7-5 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.
CAPTURING THE CLOSE ONES
– Notre Dame’s last five games all have been decided by one goal. The Irish are 4-1 in those contests, including two overtime victories. Notre Dame’s lone loss this season was a 4-3 overtime setback to Penn State.
– This is the first time in program history that Notre Dame has played five straight one-goal games. It also is the first time the Fighting Irish have ever captured four straight one-goal decisions.
– Last Sunday’s Denver contest was the first triple-overtime game in Fighting Irish history.
– Three different Notre Dame players scored their first career goal in Wednesday’s 8-7 win at Ohio State. Junior long-stick midfielder Tyler Andersen gave the Irish a 2-1 lead in the first quarter. Sophomore midfielder Tyler Brenneman put Notre Dame up 7-4 in the fourth quarter with his first career tally. Sophomore faceoff specialist Liam O’Connor deposited the first goal of his Irish career late in the fourth quarter to give the Irish an 8-6 advantage.
IRISH GET OFFENSIVE
– Notre Dame used eight different goal scorers in last Sunday’s 10-9 triple-overtime victory against Denver.
– The Irish exploded for five second-quarter goals versus the Pioneers. That was the largest goal output in a single quarter by the Irish since they tallied seven second-quarter goals last season against Providence (April 23, 2011). That game versus the Friars also was the last time the Irish had eight different goal scorers prior to Sunday.
– Sixteen different Irish players have scored at least one goal this season.
CALL HIM CLUTCH
– Senior attackman Sean Rogers has scored three game-winning goals this season, including two overtime tallies.
– Last Sunday, he deposited the game winner in the 10-9 triple-overtime triumph against Denver.
– Rogers also produced the overtime game winner at Hofstra (March 10) in Notre Dame’s 6-5 victory.
– He deposited the deciding goal with 4:42 left in regulation in the 6-5 win at Drexel.
– Rogers has a team-high eight goals this season.
MARLATT MAKING AN IMPACT
– Sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt, who did not play at all last season due to injury, leads Notre Dame in points with 10. His seven goals are the second-most on the Irish squad.
– Marlatt was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on March 12 following a career-high four-point effort at Hofstra. He tallied two goals and two assists against the Pride.
– Marlatt has three two-goal games this season.
BIG EAST HONORS
– Notre Dame has earned three BIG EAST player-of-the-week honors this season. Senior attackman Sean Rogers (March 5) and sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt (March 12) have been tabbed as the league’s offensive player of the week, while junior goalie John Kemp was named the defensive player of the week on Feb. 20.
– Notre Dame’s first five opponents this season all were ranked at the time of the game. The Irish went 4-1 against those teams. There currently are seven squads on Notre Dame’s 2012 schedule that appear in this week’s USILA poll.
A DOMINATING DEFENSE
– Notre Dame’s defense ranks first nationally by surrendering just 5.5 goals per game this season.
– Notre Dame held its first four opponents this season to five goals or fewer. That was the first time the Irish limited opponents to five goals or fewer in four consecutive games since the 2007 campaign.
– Notre Dame’s man-down defense ranks third nationally (.857). That unit has given up just two goals in 14 chances.
– Senior Kevin Randall has made 37 straight starts in the Irish close defense, while junior Matt Miller and sophomore Stephen O’Hara are first-time starters this season.
– The Notre Dame defense has posted a scoreless streak totaling 20 minutes or longer six times this season.
– The Fighting Irish posted a season-best 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.
– The Irish defense held Penn State scoreless for the first 20:59 of the contest on Feb. 26. Notre Dame also produced a 24:50 scoreless stretch later in the game.
– At Drexel (March 3), Notre Dame held the Dragons scoreless for 33:27 from midway through the first quarter to the 3:33 mark of the third quarter.
– At Hofstra (March 10), the Irish posted a scoreless stretch that reached 24:19. It began with 3:28 left in the first quarter and ended with 9:09 remaining in the third period.
– At Ohio State (March 21), Notre Dame held the Buckeyes without a goal from the 1:03 mark of the first quarter until the 7:32 mark of the third quarter, a span of 23:35.
A PERFORMER BETWEEN THE PIPES
– Entering this week, junior goalie John Kemp ranked first nationally in goals-against average (4.97) and save percentage (.683). He also ranked 10th in saves per game (11.2).
– Kemp made 17 saves in Wednesday’s 8-7 win at Ohio State. He made a career-high 18 saves in the 4-3 overtime setback to Penn State (Feb. 26). In the 7-3 season-opening win over Duke, he tied a then career-high total with 14 saves. He was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Blue Devils.
– Kemp boasts a 17-6 (.739) career record at Notre Dame.
– Kemp is one of 73 student-athletes up for the Tewaaraton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse player.
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 85 games), the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 59 times. Notre Dame has held foes to four goals or fewer 15 times during that stretch.
– Notre Dame has surrendered 10 goals or more in a game just 10 times since the beginning of the `07 season.
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame is 36-4 (.900) at home since the beginning of the 2006 season.
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.
RANDALL TABBED AS A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
– Notre Dame defenseman Kevin Randall has been named one of 20 candidates 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.
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).
A SUCCESSFUL STRETCH
– The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program has achieved unprecedented success over the past few seasons. The Fighting Irish are 55-15 (.786) since the beginning of the 2008 season. That is the third-best winning percentage nationally during that time.
– In 2008, the Fighting Irish hosted an NCAA tournament game for the first time in program history. Notre Dame defeated Colgate 8-7 in overtime.
– The 2009 campaign featured the Irish posting the first undefeated regular season (13-0) in program history before extending their record to a school-best 15-0 in the Great Western Lacrosse League tournament. Notre Dame fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament.
– In 2010, Notre Dame reached the title game of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke, 6-5, in overtime.
– Last season, the Irish reached No. 1 in the national polls for the first time in program history.
– Notre Dame’s Gerry Byrne was named the 2011 Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year for NCAA Division I.
– Byrne instructed a Fighting Irish defense that finished the 2011 season ranked second nationally by allowing just 6.57 goals per game. The Irish held their opponents to seven goals or fewer 10 times during the 2011 campaign.
IRISH TO FACE ST. JOHN’S IN BIG CITY CLASSIC
– Notre Dame will face BIG EAST foe St. John’s in the 2012 Konica Minolta Big City Classic on April 1 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The contest is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) and will be the first game of a tripleheader.
– Duke and Syracuse will meet in the day’s second game, while North Carolina and Johns Hopkins will square off in the third and final game at MetLife Stadium, which is home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets. This will be Notre Dame’s first-ever appearance in the Big City Classic.
PLAYING ON THE BIG STAGE
– Playing in MetLife Stadium for the Big City Classic on April 1 will be 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, in Bridgeview, Ill.
– 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.