March 15, 2012
#9 DENVER (4-1)
#7 NOTRE DAME (3-1)
Sunday, March 18 – 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Arlotta Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Joe Beninati (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)
Paul Carcaterra (analyst)
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SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 7 Notre Dame (3-1) returns home following a two-game road swing to face No. 9 Denver (4-1) at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday at Arlotta Stadium. The game will be aired on ESPNU with Joe Beninati (play-by-play), Quint Kessenich (analyst) and Paul Carcaterra (analyst) calling the action.
– The Pioneers will be the fifth straight ranked opponent that the Fighting Irish have played this season.
– Notre Dame is coming off a 6-5 overtime win at Hofstra last Saturday.
– Notre Dame’s last three games all have been decided by one goal.
NOTRE DAME-DENVER SERIES HISTORY
– Sunday will be the 16th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Denver. The Irish hold a 12-3 advantage in the series. The Fighting Irish have won the last three showdowns against the Pioneers, including a 10-9 triumph last season in Denver.
– Denver’s last win over the Irish was a 9-8 decision during the 2008 season in Bridgeview, Ill.
– Notre Dame is 6-1 all-time in home showdowns versus Denver. The lone Pioneer win at Notre Dame was a 9-6 victory in 2005.
– The two teams have met every season since 1998. Notre Dame and Denver were together in the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1998-2009.
– Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is 11-3 all-time versus Denver.
A LOOK AT DENVER
– Denver is 4-1 this season. Following a 10-9 season-opening loss to Ohio State, the Pioneers have won four straight games. Those wins have come against Michigan (17-5), Robert Morris (21-8), Hartford (11-10) and Penn State (14-6).
– The Denver offense is averaging 14.4 goals-per game, while the defense is surrendering 7.8 goals per contest. Senior attackman Mark Matthews and junior attackman Eric Law lead the team in goals with 15 apiece. Matthews has a team-best 22 points. Senior attackman Alex Demopoulos has a team-high 11 assists. Sophomore goalie Jamie Faus has a 3-1 record and carries a 8.24 goals-against average and a .516 save percentage.
– The Pioneers went 15-3 last season and fell to Virginia, 14-8, in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. Denver returned six starters from its 2011 squad.
– Head coach Bill Tierney is in his third season at Denver.
A BATTLE OF STRENGTHS
– Notre Dame’s defense ranks first nationally by allowing just 4.25 goals per game this season. Denver’s offense is second in the country with a 14.4 goals-per-game average.
– The Irish have only allowed 17 goals this season (in four games), while the Pioneers have scored 72 goals (in five games).
– Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan is 2-1 all-time against Denver’s Bill Tierney. Corrigan and the Irish have won the two meetings with the Pioneers since Tierney came to Denver in 2010. Tierney’s Princeton squad bested Notre Dame, 6-4, in 1995.
IRISH AGAINST THE ECAC
– Denver will be the first of two straight opponents from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame will play at ECAC foe Ohio State on Wednesday.
– The Irish are 79-31 (.718) all-time against current members of the ECAC. Notre Dame went 2-0 against ECAC teams last season. The Irish bested Denver (10-9) and Ohio State (8-7).
WHAT A FINISH
– There were three goals scored in the final 1:02 of regulation in Notre Dame’s 6-5 overtime win at Hofstra last Saturday. Notre Dame trailed 4-3 when Jim Marlatt evened the game with 1:02 remaining. Senior attackman Sean Rogers gave the Irish a 5-4 lead with just 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Hofstra forced overtime when Torin Varn scored with four seconds left in regulation.
– Notre Dame negated Hofstra’s possession in overtime and Rogers tallied the game winner with 1:19 elapsed in the extra session.
ROGERS IN THE CLUTCH
– Senior attackman Sean Rogers has scored the game-winning goal in each of the past two games. Along with the overtime tally in the 6-5 triumph at Hofstra, he deposited the deciding goal with 4:42 left in regulation in the 6-5 win at Drexel.
MARLATT THE LATEST TO EARN BIG EAST HONORS
– Sophomore midfielder Jim Marlatt was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Marlatt registered two goals and two assists in the 6-5 overtime win at No. 19 Hofstra.
– The four points were a career-high total for Marlatt. His second goal tied the contest, 4-4, with 1:02 left in regulation. He then assisted on Sean Rogers’ game winner in overtime. Marlatt’s first goal gave the Irish a 1-0 lead and his first assist put Notre Dame back on top, 2-1.
– Marlatt leads the Irish with seven points this season on five goals and two assists. The goal and assist total are both tied for the team lead.
– Marlatt is the third Fighting Irish player to receive a BIG EAST player-of-the-week award this season. Last week, Rogers, a senior attackman, was tabbed as the offensive player of the week, while junior goalie John Kemp was named the defensive player of the week on Feb. 20.
A DOMINATING DEFENSE
– Notre Dame’s defense ranks first nationally by surrendering just 4.25 goals per game this season.
– The Fighting Irish have only allowed 17 goals in their first four games of the season. That is the fewest amount of goals the Irish have ever surrendered through their first four games of a season.
– Notre Dame has held all four opponents to five goals or fewer this season. That is the first time the Irish have limited opponents to five goals or fewer in four consecutive games since the 2007 campaign.
– Notre Dame’s man-down defense ranks second nationally (.889). That unit has given up just one goal in nine chances.
– Senior Kevin Randall has made 35 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 of at least 24 minutes in all four games this season.
– The Fighting Irish defense 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), the Notre Dame defense held the Dragons scoreless for 33:27 from midway through the first quarter to the 3:33 mark of the third quarter.
– Last Saturday at Hofstra, 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.
KEMP A FORCE IN THE CAGE
– Junior goalie John Kemp ranks first nationally in goals-against average (4.16) and save percentage (.742). He also ranks fifth in saves per game (12.25).
– Kemp 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 15-6 (.714) 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 83 games), the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 58 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.
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.
FOUR IRISH PLAYERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE HONORS
– Fighting Irish junior goalie John Kemp was selected as the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Fellow Irish players joining Kemp on the 2012 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team were seniors Kevin Randall (D) and Sean Rogers (A) along with sophomore Liam O’Connor (M/FO). Kemp and Randall both were unanimous picks. Notre Dame and Syracuse both had a league-best four players selected to the squad.
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).
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
– The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program has achieved unprecedented success over the past few seasons. The Fighting Irish are 53-15 (.779) since the beginning of the 2008 season. That is the fourth-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.