May 27, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Four Notre Dame men’s lacrosse players have earned All-America honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). Seniors Joey Kemp (G), Sean Dougherty (D) and Michael Podgajny (M) along with junior Ryan Hoff (A) all received All-America recognition from the USILA.
Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) became just the second first-team All-American in program history as he received the 2008 Kelly Award for Outstanding Goalie in Division I from the USILA. He becomes the first Notre Dame player to earn a player-of-the-year award for his position. The senior co-captain started all 17 games in goal for the Irish and ranked third nationally with a .635 save percentage and fourth with a 6.69 goals-against average. This was the third All-America accolade for Kemp, who garnered honorable mention distinction the past two seasons.
Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep), a defenseman, copped third-team honors as he helped anchor a Fighting Irish defense that ranked fifth among all NCAA Division I squads by allowing just 7.04 goals per game. The senior started all 17 games this season and was part of a defense that held opponents to six goals or fewer on eight occasions throughout the campaign. In addition, Dougherty picked up 38 ground balls on the year.
Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley), a midfielder, tallied 34 points on 25 goals and nine assists en route to being named an honorable mention All-American for the second straight season. The senior started all 16 games in which he played and he notched at least one point in 14 of the contests. Podgajny was an instrumental part in the Irish offense ranking fifth nationally by averaging 12.09 goals per game.
Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney), an attackman, received his first All-America accolade as he joined Podgajny as an honorable mention pick. The junior led Notre Dame in goals scored for the second straight season as he posted 41 tallies. Hoff, who notched 40 goals last season, became the first player in school history to record back-to-back 40 goal campaigns. Hoff started every game during the 2008 season and he will carry a team-best 14-game goal streak into the 2009 campaign.
The four All-America honorees is one off a program record of five, which was achieved in 2001 and 2007. The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program has now had at least one student-athlete claim All-America honors in every season dating back to 1993, a string of 16 years. Kemp joins former Fighting Irish attackman Tom Glatzel as the only first-team All-Americans in program history. Glatzel was a first-team pick in 2001.
The Kelly Award that Kemp received is named in honor of Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Ensign Kelly, was a native of Baltimore and a standout goalie for the University of Maryland. He was reported missing in action after escorting bombers at the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. The Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Memorial Foundation provides several grants for lacrosse awards, youth programs and civic groups.
Notre Dame concluded the 2008 campaign with a 14-3 record after falling to eventual national champion Syracuse, 11-9, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship on May 18.