Neal Hicks

Irish And Blue Devils To Square Off On Monday For NCAA Title

May 30, 2010

Sunday Press Conference Quotes Get Acrobat Reader



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#14 NOTRE DAME (10-6) vs. #5 DUKE (15-4)
NCAA Championship Final
Monday, May 31 – 3:30 p.m. (ET)
M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, Md.

Play-by-Play: Sean McDonough
Analyst: Quint Kessenich
Sideline: Eamon McAnaney and Bob Holtzman
Gametracker on

SETTING THE STAGE … Notre Dame will face Duke at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Monday, May 31 in the title game of the 2010 NCAA Championship at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. The Fighting Irish are making their first appearance in the championship game. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN HD and Sean McDonough will handle play-by-play duties, while Quint Kessenich will serve as the analyst. Eamon McAnaney and Bob Holtzman are the sideline reporters. Duke is the tournament’s No. 5 seed, while the Irish are unseeded. This will be the seventh meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and the Blue Devils.

HOW THEY GOT HERE … Notre Dame downed sixth-seeded Princeton 8-5 in the first round and followed that up with a 7-5 triumph of No. 3 seed Maryland in the quarterfinals … the Irish topped No. 7 seed Cornell 12-7 in the semifinals … Duke bested Johns Hopkins 18-5 in the first round and took down fourth-seeded North Carolina 17-9 in the quarterfinals … the Blue Devils captured a 14-13 decision over top seed Virginia in the semifinals.

NOTRE DAME IN NCAA PLAY … The Fighting Irish are making their 15th trip to the NCAA Championship in the 30-year history of the program … all of the appearances have occurred since the 1990 season under head coach Kevin Corrigan … this is the Notre Dame’s fifth straight trip to the NCAAs … the Fighting Irish are 8-14 all-time in the NCAA Championship … this is Notre Dame’s first appearance in the title game … the Irish have made two Final Fours (2001 & 2010) … the Fighting Irish have reached the NCAA quarterfinals five times (1995, 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2010).

ND-DUKE SERIES NOTES … This will be the seventh meeting between the Fighting Irish and Blue Devils … all six previous encounters have taken place in Durham, N.C. … Duke holds a 4-2 edge in the series, yet the Irish have won the past two meetings … Notre Dame defeated Duke 11-7 earlier this season (Feb. 20) … this will be the second meeting between the two schools in the NCAA Championship … Notre Dame defeated Duke 12-10 during the first round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament … that was Notre Dame’s first-ever win in the NCAA Championship … the first matchup between the two schools occurred in 1983 and Duke claimed that contest 13-5 … the other meetings took place in 1984 (8-5), 1985 (18-4) and 1993 (13-7).

Duke leads series 4-2Date     Site            Result3-19-83     Durham, NC      L, 5-133-21-84     Durham, NC      L, 5-83-21-85     Durham, NC      L, 4-184-9-03      Durham, NC      L, 7-135-13-95*    Durham, NC      W, 12-102-20-10     Durham, NC      W, 11-7* - NCAA Championship (first round)

ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame will bring a 10-6 record into Monday’s contest … the Fighting Irish defense ranks second nationally by allowing just 7.62 goals per game … the Notre Dame offense averages 9.38 goals per game … the Fighting Irish posted a 2-4 record in the inaugural season of BIG EAST play … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman has team-high totals in goals (26) and points (39) … senior attackman Neal Hicks leads the Irish in assists with 14 … senior goalie Scott Rodgers carries a 9-4 record between the pipes … he ranks third nationally in goals-against average (7.68) and he is second in save percentage (.596) … Rodgers boasts a 24-5 career record.

SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS … Duke is 15-4 this season … the Blue Devils went 1-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play … Duke is averaging 13.84 goals per game this season, while surrendering 9.21 per contest … senior attackman Max Quinzani has a team-best 68 goals, while fellow senior attackman Ned Crotty leads Duke in assists (62) and total points (85) … freshman Dan Wigrizer has started 15 games in goal and carries an 11-4 record with a 9.71 goals-against average and a .509 save percentage … junior Mike Rock is 3-0 in goal with a 5.79 goals-against average and a .444 save percentage … the Blue Devils went 15-4 one season ago and fell to Syracuse, 17-7, in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament … Duke returned seven starters and 31 letterwinners from that squad … head coach John Danowski is in his fourth season at Duke.

THE LAST TIME … Notre Dame topped Duke 11-7 earlier this season (Feb. 20) in Durham, N.C. … it was the first game of the season for the Fighting Irish, who never trailed in the contest … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman paced the Irish offense with three goals … senior attackmen Neal Hicks and Colin Igoe along with freshman midfielder Steve Murphy all scored two goals apiece for the Irish … senior goalie Scott Rodgers made 15 saves … the Fighting Irish led 4-2 after the first quarter and 6-5 at halftime … Notre Dame held a 9-7 edge after three periods of play before out scoring the Blue Devils 2-0 in the fourth quarter … Max Quinzani led Duke with three goals … Fighting Irish senior Trever Sipperly went 10-for-19 in faceoff attempts … Notre Dame was 10-21 in faceoffs overall … Dan Wigrizer played all 60 minutes in goal and made 15 saves for Duke.

IRISH AGAINST THE ACC … The Fighting Irish are 2-0 against ACC teams season … Notre Dame beat Duke 11-7 on Feb. 20 and took care of Maryland, 7-5, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship … the ACC is 45-2 in out-of-conference games this season with the lone losses being Notre Dame’s wins over Duke and Maryland … Notre Dame is 8-18 all-time against ACC teams, including a 2-5 mark in NCAA Championship play.

A TALE OF TWO TEAMS … The Notre Dame defense is surrendering just 5.7 goals per game during this season’s NCAA Championship, while the Duke offense is averaging 16.3 goals per game during this season’s tournament.

STINGY DEFENSE … The Notre Dame defense has surrendered just 17 goals (5.7 per game) so far in the 2010 NCAA Championship … the Irish held Princeton to five goals in an 8-5 win in the first round … Notre Dame limited a potent Maryland attack to five tallies in a 7-5 victory in the quarterfinals … the five goals allowed are the fewest for an NCAA Tournament game in Irish history.

STAYING ON TOP … Notre Dame has only trailed for 10:39 out of the past 140:23 of game action … that dates back to when the Irish tied the Princeton contest 5-5 with 5:23 left in the third quarter during the NCAA Tournament’s first round … Notre Dame did not trail the rest of that game or at any point against Maryland in the quarterfinals … the only time the Irish have been down in this season’s NCAA Championship was for 10:39 in the first quarter against Cornell in the semifinals.

SOMEBODY DIFFERENT STEPPING UP … Three different players have led Notre Dame in goal scoring during the first three rounds of the NCAA Championship … against Princeton in the first round, junior midfielder David Earl tallied five goals … sophomore attackman Sean Rogers netted three goals against Maryland in the quarterfinals … senior attackman Neal Hicks produced a four-goal effort against Cornell in the semifinals.

A NICE MARGIN … Notre Dame’s five-goal victory (12-7) over Cornell on Saturday matched the highest victory margin in Fighting Irish history for an NCAA Tournament game … Notre Dame topped Bucknell 12-7 in the first round of the 2001 tournament.

NO SEED, NO PROBLEM … Notre Dame is the fifth unseeded team to reach the title game of the NCAA Championship and the first since Massachusetts in 2006 … the others were Cornell (1988), Towson (1991) and Maryland (1997) … no unseeded men’s lacrosse team ever has won the NCAA crown.

HICKS GETTING HOT … Senior attackman Neal Hicks tied a career-high total with four goals in the semifinal win over Cornell on Saturday … Hicks also had four goals against Penn State last season.

M&T MAGIC … Zach Brenneman’s hat trick against Cornell in the semifinals marked his second hat trick at M&T Bank Stadium this season … Brenneman netted three goals in an 11-9 win over Loyola during the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on March 6.

RODGERS A ROCK IN THE CAGE … Senior goalie Scott Rodgers has made 38 saves, while allowing just 17 goals, during the first three rounds of the NCAA Championship … he stopped 14 shots against Princeton in the first round … against Maryland in the quarterfinals, the fifth-year senior made eight saves … Rodgers had a season-high 16 saves against Cornell in the semifinals … that marked the ninth time this season that he has reached double-digits in saves in a single game … Rodgers boasts a career record of 24-5 with a 6.79 goals-against average and a .639 save percentage.

FAMILY CONNECTION … Gene Corrigan, the father of Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan, played his collegiate lacrosse at Duke from 1948-51 … Gene was Notre Dame’s athletic director from 1981-87 … Kevin’s younger brother, Boo, currently is the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs at Duke.

BOUNCING THE BIG RED … After Cornell grabbed a 1-0 lead with 13:33 left in the first quarter during the semifinal game on Saturday, the Notre Dame defense held the Big Red scoreless for the next 15:44 … during that span, the Fighting Irish scored four unanswered goals to take the lead for good … after Cornell got to within two (7-5) with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter, Notre Dame did not allow another goal until the 6:08 mark of the fourth period, a span of 16:16.

HOLDING THE LEAD … Notre Dame is 9-1 this season when leading at halftime … the only setback was at Georgetown … the Irish led the Hoyas 8-6 at the intermission before falling 11-8.

PLAYING FOR A TITLE … The last Notre Dame squad to win an NCAA title was the fencing team in 2005 … the last Fighting Irish squad to compete for an NCAA title was the women’s soccer team in 2008 (lost to North Carolina, 2-1) … Notre Dame has won 26 national championships, covering seven sports (football, men’s tennis, men’s golf, men’s cross country, fencing, women’s soccer, women’s basketball).

TAKING CARE OF THE TERPS … Notre Dame’s defense allowed just five goals to a Maryland offense that entered the contest averaging 11.71 goals per game this season heading into the quarterfinals on May 22 … Grant Catalino, Maryland’s team-leader in goals (34) and points (54), was held pointless by the stifling Irish defense … Notre Dame held Maryland without a goal during stretches of 18:01 (parts of second and third quarters), 16:24 (parts of first and second quarters) and 12:15 (fourth quarter).

IRISH TAME THE TIGERS … The Fighting Irish defense allowed just one second-half goal en route to the 8-5 win over Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Championship on May 16 … Notre Dame held Princeton scoreless for the final 22:13 of the contest … earlier in the game, the Irish held the Tigers without a goal for a stretch of 19:35, which spanned parts of the first and second quarters.

FIRST TIME … Prior to this season’s NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame had been a combined 0-10 against Princeton, Maryland and Cornell … the Irish were 0-1 against Princeton before topping the Tigers 8-5 in the first round … Notre Dame was 0-4 versus Maryland before downing the Terrapins, 7-5, in the quarterfinals … the Fighting Irish were 0-5 against Cornell before beating the Big Red 12-7 in the semifinals on Saturday.

CAREER DAY FOR EARL … Junior midfielder David Earl deposited a career-high five goals in Notre Dame’s 8-5 win over Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Championship … the five goals matched the most goals ever scored by a Notre Dame player in an NCAA Tournament game … Randy Colley had five goals in a 12-10 victory over Duke in the first round of the 1995 NCAA Championship.

ALL-AROUND EFFORTS FOR IRVING … Junior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving aided the Irish effort in several ways during the 8-5 triumph of Princeton in the NCAA first round … in addition to helping the Irish defense limit the Tigers to just five goals, Irving posted game-high totals with four caused turnovers and five ground balls along with scoring a goal that knotted the game (4-4) in the opening minutes of the second half … against Maryland in the quarterfinals, Irving had game-high totals in ground balls (7) and caused turnovers (3) … Irving scored a goal and picked up three ground balls in the win over Cornell in the semifinals.

MIDFIELD PRODUCTION … Notre Dame midfielders Zach Brenneman (Jr.), Grant Krebs (Sr.) and David Earl (Jr.) are three of Notre Dame’s top four goal scorers this season … Brenneman leads the team with 26 goals, while Krebs is second with 24 … Earl ranks fourth with 21 tallies.

TAKING DOWN A TOP-10 FOE … Notre Dame has defeated five top-10 teams this season … that marks the first time the Irish ever have downed five top-10 squads in the same season … the Irish knocked off No. 2 Duke, 11-7, in the season opener … that was the first time the Irish had ever bested a team ranked in the top-two of the national polls … Notre Dame took down No. 10 Loyola, 11-9, on March 6 … the Fighting Irish topped No. 6 Princeton, 8-5, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and followed that up with a 7-5 win over No. 3 Maryland in the quarterfinals … Notre Dame bested No. 7 Cornell, 12-7, in the semifinals on Saturday.

THE FIGHTING IRISH AND THE FIELD … During the regular season Notre Dame faced four teams that made the 16-team NCAA Championship field … the Irish went 3-1 against those squads … Notre Dame captured victories over fifth-seeded Duke (11-7), Loyola (11-9) and Denver (14-7) … the Fighting Irish fell to No. 2 seed Syracuse, 12-6.

FIVE IRISH PLAYERS EARN ALL-AMERICA HONORS … Five Notre Dame players garnered All-America accolades from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) … Zach Brenneman (Jr./M), Scott Rodgers (Sr./G), David Earl (Jr./M), Grant Krebs (Sr./M) and Kevin Ridgway (Jr./D) all received honorable mention distinction.

LOCKING DOWN … Notre Dame ranks second nationally in overall team defense by surrendering just 7.62 goals per game … the Fighting Irish boast the nation’s ninth-best man-down defense (.743) … since the beginning of the 2007 season, the Fighting Irish defense has only allowed 10 or more goals eight times in the 64 games played during that span.

QUALITY QUARTER … Notre Dame has out-scored its opponents 46-29 in the second quarter of play this season.

KREBS NETS ANOTHER 20 … Senior midfielder Grant Krebs has scored 24 goals this season … that marks the third straight season that he has tallied at least 20 goals … Krebs scored 26 as a sophomore and followed that up with 29 goals last season.

BREAKOUT YEAR FOR BRENNEMAN … Junior midfielder Zach Brenneman has posted single-season career-high numbers in goals (26), assists (13) and points (39) this season … entering the 2010 campaign, Brenneman had compiled 36 points on 27 goals and nine assists.

HAT TRICKS … Six Notre Dame players have registered hat tricks this season … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman has a team-best five hat tricks, including one against Cornell in the semifinals on Saturday … senior midfielder Grant Krebs has four hat tricks, including a four-goal effort against Georgetown (April 11) … David Earl (Jr./M) and Neal Hicks (Sr./A) both have three hat tricks … one of Earl’s hat tricks was a five-goal effort against Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Championship, while Hicks produced four goals against Cornell in the semifinals … Sean Rogers (So./A) has two hat tricks, including one against Maryland in the quarterfinals … Max Pfeifer (So./M) has one hat trick, which was a four-goal effort against Drexel.

SPREADING THE WEALTH … The Fighting Irish have had 13 different players score a goal this season … Notre Dame boasts seven players with double-digit goal totals … Zach Brenneman (Jr./M) has a team-high 26 goals, while Grant Krebs (Sr./M) is second with 24 … Neal Hicks (Sr./A) has 23 tallies, while David Earl (Jr./M) has 21 goals … Sean Rogers (So./A) has 13 goals, followed by Nicholas Beattie (So./A) with 11 and Max Pfeifer (So./M) with 10.

STREAKING … Senior midfielder Grant Krebs has scored a goal in a team-best nine straight contests … Krebs has netted 15 goals during that stretch.

FACING OFF … Senior midfielder Trever Sipperly ranks 21st nationally this season with a .558 winning percentage (173-137) … last season, Sipperly ranked 13th nationally with a .559 percentage (85-67).

QUALITY COMPETITION … The Fighting Irish played seven teams during the regular season that appear in the latest USILA coaches poll … Notre Dame opened the campaign with an 11-7 victory over current No. 5 Duke … the Blue Devils were ranked second at the time of the contest … Notre Dame took down current No. 11 Loyola, 11-9, on March 6 … Notre Dame topped No. 9 Denver, 14-7, on March 16 … the Irish fell at current No. 13 Drexel, 7-6 in overtime, on March 9 … the Fighting Irish were defeated by current No. 17 Villanova, 9-8, on April 3 … Notre Dame lost at No. 10 Georgetown, 11-8, on April 11 … the Irish were upended by No. 2 Syracuse, 12-6, on May 1 … Notre Dame is ranked 20th in the USILA poll.

A COACHING MILESTONE … Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan earned his 200th victory at Notre Dame with the win over Denver on March 16 … Corrigan, who is in his 22nd season at Notre Dame, has a 206-102 (.669) record at the helm of the Fighting Irish program.

HOME SWEET HOME … Notre Dame has won 29 of its last 32 home games … the 10-8 setback to Rutgers on March 27 snapped Notre Dame’s 27-game regular-season home win streak … prior to the loss to the Scarlet Knights, the Irish had not dropped a regular-season home tilt since a 9-6 loss to Denver during the 2005 season.

QUITE A CROWD … The Notre Dame-Syracuse showdown on May 1 drew 4,063 fans to Arlotta Stadium … that signified the most fans to ever witness a Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse game at home.

GETTING OFFENSIVE … The Notre Dame offense has been one of the best in the nation over the past few seasons … last season, the Irish tied for 10th nationally by averaging 11.00 goals per-game … in 2008, the Irish averaged 12.04 goals per game and that placed them fifth among all NCAA Division I teams … Notre Dame ranked fourth in 2007 with an 11.65 goals per-game average … the Irish are averaging 9.38 goals per game this season.

A GOOD CAUSE … The Notre Dame-Fairfield contest on March 13 in Houston, Texas was part of the inaugural `Beating Cancer With a Stick Lacrosse Classic’ … the event, which was presented by Lacrosse 4 All, helped raise money for The Children’s Cancer Hospital at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center … it was the first NCAA Division I lacrosse game in Houston since 1970, when Johns Hopkins played Navy … it signified the second straight season that Notre Dame played a game in the state of Texas … last year, the Fighting Irish topped Vermont, 13-7, in Dallas … that contest was part of the Patriot Cup.

DEFENDING THE CAGE … Notre Dame currently ranks second nationally with a 7.62 goals-against average … Notre Dame boasted the nation’s top defense in 2009 by producing a school-record 6.19 goals-against average, which shattered the program standard of 6.66 from the 2007 season … in his first season as a starter, Scott Rodgers led all NCAA Division I goalies with a 6.14 goals-against average and a .663 save percentage en route to earning third-team All-America honors in 2009 … his 15 victories also established a Fighting Irish record … the Irish had the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game … in 2007, Notre Dame ranked fourth nationally with the 6.66 mark.

ARLOTTA STADIUM … Arlotta Stadium is the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse programs … construction of the facility began in August of 2008 and it held its first event on October 16, 2009 as the Notre Dame men’s team played the Iroquois National Team in an exhibition contest … the official stadium dedication was held on October 17, 2009 … Notre Dame defeated Denver 14-7 on March 16 in its first regular-season game in the facility … the stadium features over 2,000 permanent seats, lights, an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, player lounges, restrooms and concession areas … the state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc. … he and his wife Bobbie pledged the lead gift toward the stadium, which was built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University’s new athletics quadrangle … the Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project … in addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the lacrosse programs donated over two million dollars.

BIG STAGE … Notre Dame has played in some big venues over the past few seasons … on March 6, the Irish defeated Loyola, 11-9, in front of 19,742 fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. during the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic … last season, Notre Dame topped Ohio State 14-8 in front of an NCAA regular-season record crowd of 30,192 fans at Ohio Stadium … the game was played prior to Ohio State’s spring football game … the Fighting Irish bested Denver, 10-8, at Invesco Field at Mile High one season ago … in 2008, Notre Dame faced Denver at Toyota Park, which is home to the Chicago Machine (MLL) and Chicago Fire (MLS).

DELIGHTFUL DEBUT … Notre Dame freshman midfielder Steve Murphy netted two goals in his collegiate debut against Duke on Feb. 20 … the last time a Fighting Irish freshman scored at least two goals in their Notre Dame debut was when Ryan Hoff and Peter Christman deposited two goals each in an 8-4 win over Penn State in 2006.

FIVE IRISH PLAYERS EARN ALL-LEAGUE HONORS … Five Irish players garnered all-league honors as the BIG EAST Conference selected its inaugural men’s lacrosse major award winners and all-conference teams … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman was a first-team selection, while Scott Rodgers (Sr./G), David Earl (Jr./M), Grant Krebs (Sr./M) and Kevin Ridgway (Jr./D) were second-team picks.

BIG EAST DEBUT … The 2010 campaign marked the first season of BIG EAST men’s lacrosse … the seven conference schools that participating in the newly-formed league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova … the teams played a six-game single round-robin regular-season schedule … men’s lacrosse is the BIG EAST’s 11th men’s sport while the Conference conducts 13 women’s sports … Notre Dame already is a member of the BIG EAST in 23 other sports … Notre Dame was a member of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1994-2009 … the Fighting Irish captured 12 GWLL regular-season titles in addition to winning the only two GWLL Tournaments (2008 & 2009).

RODGERS A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST … Notre Dame goalie Scott Rodgers has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 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 – classroom, character, community and competition.

WINNING WAYS … In 2009, Notre Dame’s 15-1 mark established program records for wins and winning percentage in a single season … the Fighting Irish compiled the first undefeated regular season in program history and it marked the fourth straight season that the Irish have reached double figures in wins … Notre Dame’s 15-game win streak was a program best.

SUSTAINED SUCCESS … Notre Dame has earned five straight appearances to the NCAA Championship … the Irish garnered one of the tournament’s eight national seeds in 2008 and 2009 … Notre Dame has made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1990 … Notre Dame is competing in its 30th season of varsity lacrosse … the Fighting Irish have an all-time record of 270-144 (.652) … Kevin Corrigan is in his 22nd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish … he has a record of 206-102 (.669) during his Notre Dame tenure.