Senior Taylor Clagett ranks fourth nationally with a .630 faceoff win percentage.

Fifth-Ranked Irish To Open GWLL Play At Air Force On Saturday

March 20, 2008

#5 Notre Dame at Air Force
Saturday, March 22 • 12:00 p.m. (MT)
Cadet Lacrosse Stadium • USAFA, Colo.

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The fifth-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will open Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play at Air Force this Saturday. The tilt between the Fighting Irish and Falcons is set for 12:00 p.m. (MT) at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. Notre Dame enters the contest with a 5-1 mark, while Air Force is 1-4. The Irish went a perfect 5-0 in league action last season to capture the program’s 10th GWLL title.

ND-AIR FORCE SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame is 18-2 all-time against Air Force … the Fighting Irish topped the Falcons, 16-4, last season at Moose Krause Stadium … Air Force won the first game in the series, 14-8, back in 1988 … the Irish then captured 17 in a row before falling to the Falcons, 9-8, in 2006 at Air Force … that was the last meeting at Air Force … Notre Dame is 7-2 all-time against the Falcons in Colorado Springs … the Fighting Irish hold a 252-135 scoring advantage in the series.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame carries a 5-1 record into Saturday’s contest … the Irish are coming off a 19-7 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday (March 15) at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Ga. … junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads Notre Dame with 16 goals … senior attackman Alex Wharton has team-high totals in points (19) and assists (12), both career-best marks … junior Duncan Swezey has a career-high 11 goals … Notre Dame has defeated two ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6 & #13 Albany, 7-6) … the Irish have used 17 different goalscorers … Notre Dame is averaging 11.67 goals per game, while holding opponents to just 7.00 goals a game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp has played 342:32 of a possible 360 minutes between the pipes … Kemp, a two-time All-America honoree, carries a .642 save percentage … the Irish are currently ranked fifth in the USILA coaches poll and sixth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … Notre Dame returned seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted an 11-4 record and captured the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title with a perfect 5-0 conference mark … that was the 10th GWLL crown for the Irish since the league was founded in 1994 … in 2007, Notre Dame made its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 12th trip in program history … the Irish fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in overtime during the tournament’s first round … Kevin Corrigan is in his 20th season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 172-93 (.649) during his Fighting Irish tenure … Corrigan was named the 2007 GWLL coach of the year … that marked the fourth time he has received that honor.

ABOUT AIR FORCE: The Falcons are 1-4 this season … Air Force opened the campaign with an 8-7 overtime win against Providence … the Falcons then fell to Army (12-4), Penn (13-10), Brown (13-7) and No. 6 Maryland (16-4) … Air Force is averaging 6.53 goals per game, while allowing 12.07 … Griffin Nevitt has team-high totals in points (11) and goals (8) … his three assists tie him for the team lead along with Jack Parchman … Woody Johnson and Brian Wilson have seen the majority of time in goal … Johnson has a 12.70 goals-against average, while Wilson has a 12.73 average … the Falcons returned five starters and 28 letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 2-10, including a 1-4 mark in the GWLL … head coach Fred Acee is in his 11th season at the helm of the Air Force program.

THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame defeated Air Force, 16-4, last season at Moose Krause Stadium … Alex Wharton netted a career-high three goals to help the Irish to victory … Brian Hubschmann, a departed senior, also tallied three goals, while Michael Podgajny, Ryan Hoff and Will Yeatman all scored twice … Air Force used four different goalscorers … Taylor Clagett went 14-for-17 in faceoff attempts for Notre Dame … Joey Kemp picked up the win by playing 51:19 and making 12 saves, while allowing four goals … Scott Rodgers played the remainder of the contest and made two stops.

NOTRE DAME IN THE GWLL: Notre Dame is 51-9 (.850) all-time in GWLL play with 10 league titles … this is the 15th season for the GWLL … Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions, including last season’s 5-0 mark.

IRISH IN GWLL OPENERS:The Fighting Irish have a 13-1 mark in GWLL openers … Notre Dame defeated Bellarmine, 11-3, in last season’s GWLL lid-lifter … Notre Dame’s only loss in a GWLL opener was a 9-8 decision against Ohio State during the 2004 campaign … the Irish have opened the GWLL ledger against Air Force on three other occasions, 1994, 1996 and 1998.

ON THE ROAD: The Air Force tilt will mark the end of Notre Dame’s four-game trip away from home … the Irish began the trek with a 16-6 victory at Villanova on March 4 … Notre Dame fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … the Irish then topped Dartmouth, 19-7, in Atlanta, Ga. on March 15.

RECAPPING DARTMOUTH: Notre Dame used a well-balanced offensive attack that featured 12 different goalscorers to capture a 19-7 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday, March 15 in front of 5,180 fans at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Ga. … the contest was the first NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game in the state of Georgia … Michael Podgajny scored four goals to pace the Irish in that category … Alex Wharton notched six-points, which included four assists … Duncan Swezey also chipped in four assists on the day … Notre Dame jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the first quarter … Hoff put the Irish on the board with just 18 seconds elapsed in the game and Podgajny followed with a goal three minutes later … Hoff, Grant Krebs and Podgajny deposited the final three goals of the quarter … Dartmouth struck back with a 3-0 run beginning with a man-up goal from Josh Gillam … Jonathan Livadas and Rhett Miller then scored to slice the Irish lead to two (5-3) … Notre Dame came back with goals from Wharton and Dan Gibson to take a 7-3 lead with 4:08 left in the first half … the Big Green used a score from Christopher Root to make it a 7-4 game at the intermission … it was all Notre Dame in the second half as the Irish scored 12 of the stanza’s 15 goals … an early 3-0 run behind scores from Podgajny, Hoff and Taylor Clagett made it 10-4 with 9:33 remaining in the third quarter … the goal from Clagett was his first of the season … in addition, the senior midfielder went 17-for-24 in faceoff attempts on the afternoon … a Dartmouth goal from Livadas was answered with a man-up score from Swezey … Krebs connected on his second goal of the game before the Big Green countered with a goal from Brian Koch to make it 12-6 in favor of the Irish after three quarters of play … Podgajny and David Earl opened the scoring in the fourth quarter to give Notre Dame an eight-goal advantage (14-6) with 12:19 left on the clock … a goal from Koch with 11:43 left in regulation would signify the final Dartmouth score of the game … Notre Dame ended the contest with a 5-0 spurt that began with goals from Davey Malera and Matt Ciambella … Wharton would then find the back of the net for his second goal of the game, which put a cap on his six-point effort … Neal Hicks then scored to make it 18-7 with 6:38 left … Peter Christman tallied the final goal of the day with 4:39 remaining … Joey Kemp made 12 stops and allowed six goals in his 53 minutes between the pipes for the Irish … Brendan Moore came in to relieve Kemp and collected one save … Pat Marshall made five saves and surrendered seven goals while playing the first half for the Big Green … Michael Novosel had 11 stops and gave up 12 goals in the second half.

STREAKING: Junior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-best six-game goal streak … senior midfielder Michael Podgajny has scored at least one goal in the past 20 games in which he has played … the only game he missed during that stretch was this season’s opener against Loyola … Podgajny missed the contest due to an injury … Ryan Hoff has notched a goal in 14 of the last 15 games dating back to last season … the junior attackman was held without a goal in a 7-6 win over Albany on March 1 … that snapped his team-best 11-game goal streak.

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: Notre Dame’s 19-goal performance against Dartmouth marked the most goals for the Irish since a 19-7 victory over Quinnipiac on May 6, 2006.

CAREER DAYS: Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny tied a career-high output with four goals to pace the Irish in that category during a 19-7 win over Dartmouth on March 15 … fellow senior Alex Wharton notched a career-best six-points, which included a career-high tying four assists … Duncan Swezey, a junior attackman, also chipped in a career-high four assists on the day.

WHARTON EARNS GWLL HONORS: Notre Dame senior attackman Alex Wharton was named the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) player of the week for the week of March 10-16 … Wharton registered a career-best six-point game on two goals and four assists in a 19-7 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday (March 15) … the four assists from Wharton matched a career-best mark, which he established earlier this season against Penn State … Wharton leads the Irish in points (19) and assists (12) with career-high totals in both categories … this marked the first conference player of the week accolade for Wharton … he became the third Fighting Irish player to be named the GWLL player of the week so far this season … senior goaltender Joey Kemp earned those honors on Feb. 18, while junior attackman Ryan Hoff copped them on Feb. 27.

RETURNING HOME: Notre Dame sophomore Neal Hicks had a successful return to his alma mater, The Lovett School, in the 19-7 Irish victory over Dartmouth on March 15 in Atlanta, Ga. … the attackman collected three points on one goal and two assists on the afternoon.

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 15 straight games at home … the Irish are 2-0 at home this season … the current streak stems back to a 14-13 overtime win against Air Force on April 10, 2005 … Notre Dame’s last loss at home was a 9-6 setback to Denver on April 7, 2005 … the Irish went a perfect 6-0 at home during the 2006 campaign and followed it up with a 6-0 mark at home during the 2007 season … four of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while the other 11 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 117-35 (.770) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.

FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 23-3 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish have held opponents scoreless in the first quarter on four occasions this season (Loyola, Penn State, Albany, Dartmouth).

HOFF STAYING HOT: Ryan Hoff’s six goals against Penn State (Feb. 24) were just one shy of the school record that he shares with Randy Colley (class of 1995) … Hoff, a junior attackman, netted seven goals in a 16-5 win over Drexel last season … Hoff also notched a five-goal game this season in a 16-6 triumph of Villanova (March 4) … he leads the Irish with 16 goals after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago … Hoff currently ranks ninth nationally by averaging 2.67 goals per game.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 17 different players notch at least one goal this season … in the season-opener, Notre Dame produced seven goals from seven different players in a 7-6 win over Loyola … the Irish used nine different goalscorers in a 15-9 triumph of Penn State on Feb. 24 … Notre Dame had 10 players score a goal in a 16-6 victory over Villanova on March 4 … the season-high total was 12 goalscorers in a 19-7 win against Dartmouth on March 15 … last season, the Irish had 18 players score a goal.

IRISH DEFENSE: The Irish are surrendering just 7.00 goals per game this season … the Irish have held opponents to six goals on three occasions … Notre Dame boasted the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense in 2007 by allowing a school-record 6.66 goals per game … several key components to the Irish defense are back this season, including goaltender Joey Kemp in goal and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.

SAVING THE DAY: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp ranks third in Notre Dame history with 31 career victories … he is one win shy of tying the program record of 32 established by Kirk Howell (1998-2001) and Alex Cade (1995-98) … Kemp, a two-time All-America honoree, carries an overall record of 31-12 … he is currently first in school history with a 7.33 goals-against average … Kemp ranks in the top 10 nationally in both save percentage (.642, 7th) and goals-against average (6.66, 10th) this season … last season, he ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) en route to being named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: In 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked the Irish fourth in the nation … so far this season, the Fighting Irish are averaging 11.67 goals a game, which ranks ninth nationally … Notre Dame’s scoring margin of +4.67 is the fifth-best mark among all NCAA Division I squads.

MAN-UP: Notre Dame ranks ninth nationally in man-up offense … the Irish have converted on 13-of-29 (.448) man-up opportunities this season … last season, the Fighting Irish converted on 50-percent (29-of-58) of their man-up opportunities … that conversion percentage ranked Notre Dame second among all NCAA Division I teams.

FACING OFF: As a team, Notre Dame boasts the nation’s second-best faceoff percentage (.656) … senior midfielder Taylor Clagett ranks in a tie for fourth nationally in that category with a .630 win percentage … Clagett has been a valuable asset for the Irish during his Notre Dame career as he has won nearly 60-percent of his faceoff opportunities … injuries have hampered Clagett over the past two seasons, yet he has kept Notre Dame among the nation’s best in faceoffs … last season, Clagett ranked 16th nationally as he won 164 of 189 faceoff attempts … in 2006, he won 126 of 205 attempts for a .615 percentage, which would have ranked him sixth in the country had he appeared in enough games.

SUCCESSFUL START: The Fighting Irish started a season 4-0 for just the third time in program history before they fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … Notre Dame has five victories through its first six games of the season for the first time since the 2005 campaign.

NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is currently fifth in the USILA coaches poll and sixth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … that marks the highpoint for the Irish in both polls this season … Notre Dame was also fifth according to the USILA on March 3.

QUALITY COMPETITION: Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory against No. 17 Loyola … the Irish topped then No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 … Notre Dame fell at current No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … Notre Dame will host No. 14 Drexel on March 25 … a Great Western Lacrosse League showdown against No. 20 Denver will take place on April 5 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.

KEMP ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp was named to the 51-man watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player … this marks the second straight season that Kemp has been named to the award’s watch list.

IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Seven Notre Dame players earned preseason All-America recognition from Inside Lacrosse Magazine and its Face-Off Yearbook … headlining the group for the Fighting Irish were second-team honorees Taylor Clagett (M/FO), Sean Dougherty (D), Joey Kemp (G) and Will Yeatman (A) … joining the quartet of second-team picks for the Irish were third-team member Michael Podgajny (M) and honorable mention selections Ryan Hoff (A) and Ross Zimmerman (D).

IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame was selected to win its second straight Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title according to the league’s head coaches … Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting, which appeared in Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook.

FOUR IRISH PLAYERS AMONG IL TOP 50: Four Irish athletes were named to the Inside Lacrosse top-50 players list for the 2008 season … senior goaltender Joey Kemp was the highest-ranked Fighting Irish player as he was 13th overall and the second-ranked goaltender on the list … sophomore attackman Will Yeatman was 15th, while senior defenseman Sean Dougherty and senior midfielder Michael Podgajny were 35th and 37th, respectively.

KEMP AND WHARTON NAMED `08 IRISH CAPTAINS: Seniors Joey Kemp (G) and Alex Wharton (A) are the Fighting Irish team captains for the 2008 season … Kemp was one of three captains for the Fighting Irish last season, while this will mark Wharton’s first year as a co-captain.

FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All five of Notre Dame’s true home games will feature livestats available through, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University … simply go to the men’s lacrosse page and click on `Schedule’ at the top of the page and find the game that is being played that day and click on `Gametracker’ to follow the game for free.

SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to and sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.

KEEPING UP WITH FIGHTING IRISH MEN’S LACROSSE:For 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, … in addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting assistant sports information director Sean Carroll at … all requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Carroll … credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.