May 10, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team was the big winner when the annual Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) honors were announced on Thursday by Commissioner Jon Hind. Junior goaltender Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) was tabbed as the Player of the Year, while freshman Will Yeatman (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) copped Newcomer of the Year honors. Kevin Corrigan was also named the league’s Coach of the Year for the fourth time. In all, the Irish, who won the 2007 conference title, had four first-team and four second-team selections.
Earning first-team all-GWLL accolades from Notre Dame were Kemp, Yeatman, sophomore attackman Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) and junior defenseman Sean Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep). The league’s second team featured three Notre Dame midfielders. Seniors Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton) and Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans) along with junior Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley) comprised the second-team midfield line. Junior defenseman Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice) was also a second-team pick for the Irish, who posted a perfect 5-0 mark in league play this season.
Notre Dame’s eight all-GWLL selections were the most of any school in the league. Ohio State was second with seven, including four first-team members.
Kemp becomes the fifth student-athlete from Notre Dame to earn the GWLL Player of the Year award. Defenseman Mike Iorio and attackman Randy Colley won the award in 1994 and 1995, respectively. In 1998, defenseman Todd Rassas copped the honor and attackman David Ulrich did the same in 2001.
Kemp garnered first-team all-GWLL honors for the second straight season in 2007. He has started all 14 games in goal, posting an 11-3 record. The junior carries a .630 save percentage and a 6.47 goals-against average. Those marks rank third and fifth, respectively, among all Division I goaltenders. Kemp and the Irish defense have held opponents to five goals or fewer on six occasions, including five times during the Irish’s current eight-game winning streak. The All-American has been named GWLL Player of the Week on two occasions this season along with posting a career-long scoreless stretch of 55:08, which spanned parts of the Denver and Lehigh games.
Prior to this season’s selection of Yeatman as the GWLL Newcomer of the Year, the last Irish player to win the award was Kemp in 2005. The only other Notre Dame player to receive the honor was attackman Pat Walsh in 2003.
Yeatman leads the Irish in both points with 44 and assists with 23 en route to earning Newcomer of the Year and first-team honors from the league. His 21 goals rank fourth on the team. The rookie has started every game this season and has notched at least one point in each contest. Yeatman recorded a 10-game goal streak to start the season. He scored a season-high three goals against Bellarmine and Brown along with registering a season-best six points against No. 19 Drexel on two goals and a season-high four assists.
Joining Yeatman as a first-team all-GWLL attackman is his teammate Hoff. The sophomore has started all 14 games and leads the Irish in goals with 38, which is tied for eighth in school history for a single season. His 42 points are the second-most on the team. Hoff’s breakout game this season occurred against Drexel as he tied a school record with seven goals en route to a 16-5 Irish victory. He also notched six goals in the regular-season finale against Quinnipiac to extend his goal streak to eight games.
Dougherty earned his first all-league honor by helping the Irish boast the nation’s fourth-best defense. The Irish are surrendering just 6.36 goals per game. Dougherty has started all 14 games and has picked up 32 ground balls, which ranks fourth on the team. He netted the first goal of his career in an 11-3 win over Brown.
Hubschmann, a first-team all-GWLL pick last season as an attackman, is second on the team with 24 goals along with notching 10 assists. A starter in all 14 games, he has been a valuable member of the Fighting Irish midfield unit. The senior co-captain scored a career-high tying four goals against Drexel and matched a career-high total with four assists against Denver. Hubschmann scored a goal in each of the first six contests this season and has notched three five-point games. He was named the GWLL Player of the Week on one occasion this season.
Polk makes his first appearance as an all-GWLL member after a breakout season that saw him post career-high totals in points (27), goals (18) and assists (9). He registered a career-high four goals against Denver and No. 20 Ohio State, which were both key GWLL wins for the Irish. Polk collected a career-high three assists against Air Force and currently has a career-best eight-game point streak. He was named GWLL Player of the Week on April 30 following his performance against the Buckeyes.
Rounding out the second-team all-GWLL midfield unit is Podgajny. The junior is the only Notre Dame player to have scored a goal in every game this season. He is third on the team with 22 goals to go along with 13 assists for a total of 35 points, which is the third-highest total on the squad. Podgajny is also tied for the team lead with 57 ground balls. The midfielder netted a career-high four goals against Penn State and dished out a career-high four assists against Villanova. He leads the team with nine man-up goals, which are a key factor in Notre Dame ranking second nationally with a .509 man-up conversion percentage.
Zimmerman becomes the sixth Irish player to earn his first all-GWLL accolade this season. He has started all 14 games and is another major contributor to the Fighting Irish defensive unit that is surrendering just 4.75 goals per game during the current eight-game winning streak. Zimmerman collected his first career point with an assist against Quinnipiac. He ranks fifth on the team with 31 ground balls.
Corrigan has steered the Irish to an 11-3 mark this season. He copped US Lacrosse National Coach of the Week honors on April 30 after Notre Dame’s 12-6 win at Ohio State, which gave the Fighting Irish their 10th GWLL title under Corrigan. The win also ensured the Irish of making their 12th NCAA Tournament appearance during Corrigan’s 19-year tenure at Notre Dame. He has an overall record of 167-91 (.647) at the University. His other GWLL Coach of the Year honors came in 1994, 1996 and 2001.
No. 9 Notre Dame will face No. 5 Johns Hopkins (9-4) in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Saturday (May 12) at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Baltimore, Md. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.
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