March 4, 2010
#3 NOTRE DAME (2-0) vs. #10 LOYOLA (3-0)
Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic
Saturday, March 6 – 4:00 p.m. (ET)
M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, Md.
Gametracker on und.com
SETTING THE STAGE … The No. 3 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will face No. 10 Loyola on Saturday, March 6 in the fourth annual Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Game time is slated for 4:00 p.m. (ET). This is Notre Dame’s first appearance in the Face-Off Classic. This will be the 19th all-time meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Greyhounds. Notre Dame has taken the past three decisions, yet Loyola leads the series, 13-5.
FACE-OFF CLASSIC … This year marks the first time that the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic will feature a triple-header … Maryland and Duke will get things underway at 11:00 a.m. (ET) … Princeton and Johns Hopkins will follow at 1:30 p.m. … the Irish and Greyhounds will play the final game of the day at 4:00 p.m. … all six teams are ranked in the top-10 nationally … lacrosse fans interested in ticket information can call the Baltimore Ravens box office at 410-261-RAVE … fans can also visit FaceOffClassic.com to get the latest news on the event and download a ticket order form.
ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame is looking to move to 3-0 for the third straight season … the Irish opened the season with wins at Duke (11-7) and home against Penn State (12-8) … senior attackman Neal Hicks leads the Irish in goals (5) and points (6) … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman has a team-high three assists … Notre Dame has had nine different players score a goal this season … senior goalie Scott Rodgers boasts a 7.50 goals-against average and a .634 save percentage … he is 2-0 this season and carries a 17-1 career record … Notre Dame is competing in its 30th season of varsity lacrosse … the Fighting Irish boast an all-time record of 262-138 (.655) … Notre Dame has made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including four straight trips … Notre Dame returned six starters and 16 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 15-1 record … Kevin Corrigan is in his 22nd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish … he has a record of 198-96 (.673) during his Notre Dame tenure.
ND-LOYOLA SERIES NOTES … This will be the 19th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Loyola, with the Greyhounds owning a 13-5 advantage in the series … the Irish have won the past three matchups, including last year’s 10-9 decision in Powder Springs, Ga. … this will mark the fourth straight season that both teams have met … the first meeting between the two schools took place in 1982 … the Irish and Greyhounds squared off nine straight seasons from 1996-2004 … there also were two NCAA Tournament first-round games between Notre Dame and Loyola in that span … Loyola won the postseason tilt in 1997 (21-5), while Notre Dame came out on top in the 2000 tournament (15-13) … this will mark the 15th straight time that both teams have been ranked at the time of their contest.
THE LAST TIME … Notre Dame topped Loyola, 10-9, in the 2009 season opener in Powder Springs, Ga. … the Irish were ranked seventh, while the Greyhounds were 17th … Neal Hicks and Grant Krebs tallied three goals apiece for the Fighting Irish … Notre Dame goalie Scott Rodgers, who was making his first career start, came up with key saves down the stretch to preserve the victory … he made 11 saves on the day … Collin Finnerty had a game-high four goals for Loyola.
ABOUT LOYOLA … Loyola will carry a 3-0 record into Saturday’s game against the Irish … the Greyhounds are coming off a 14-8 win at Bellarmine on Wednesday … Loyola opened the season with an 8-7 overtime victory at Navy and followed that up with an 11-5 win at Quinnipiac … Cooper MacDonnell has a team-high eight goals, while Collin Finnerty has six … Matt Langan leads the Greyhounds in assists (7) and points (10) … Jake Hagelin has played every minute in goal and has a 6.53 goals-against average to go along with a .535 save percentage … Loyola went 9-5 in 2009 … the Greyhounds returned four starters and 32 letterwinners from last season’s squad … head coach Charley Toomey is in his fifth season at Loyola … he has a 32-24 record at the school.
BIG STAGE … Playing in a venue like M&T Bank Stadium will be nothing new for the Fighting Irish … 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 Fighting Irish downed 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).
FAST STARTS … Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 8-3 in the first quarter of play this season.
STARTING STRONG … With the 12-8 win over Penn State on Sunday, Notre Dame improved to 2-0 for the fourth straight season.
ALWAYS AHEAD … Notre Dame has yet to trail at any point during its first two games this season.
HAT TRICKS … Notre Dame boasts three players with hat tricks this season … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman notched one in the season-opening win over Duke, while seniors Grant Krebs, a midfielder, and Neal Hicks, an attackman, both had three-goal efforts in Sunday’s win over Penn State.
SPREADING THE WEALTH … The Fighting Irish already have had nine players score a goal this season … Neal Hicks has a team-high five goals, followed by Zach Brenneman, who has four … Grant Krebs, Colin Igoe and Nicholas Beattie all have three goals.
PLAYING BOTH ENDS OF THE FIELD … Notre Dame has scored 10-plus goals in seven straight regular-season games dating back to last season … the Fighting Irish defense has not surrendered more than nine goals in the past 18 contests (regular season and postseason).
STREAKING … Senior attackman Neal Hicks boasts a team-best 20-game point streak … his point streak ranks in a tie for ninth nationally … Hicks has tallied 51 points on 31 goals and 20 assists during the current stretch.
A FANTASTIC 400 … The Penn State contest on Sunday marked the 400th game in the history of men’s varsity lacrosse at Notre Dame … the Fighting Irish carry an all-time record of 262-138 (.655).
GRAND OPENING … Notre Dame’s 11-7 season-opening win over No. 2 Duke on Feb. 20 marked the program’s first victory over a team ranked in the top-two of the national polls … Notre Dame is 23-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 17-5 record in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish have won a program-record eight straight season-openers … the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent for 17 consecutive seasons.
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.
BACK IN THE ATTACK … Senior attackman Colin Igoe netted two goals in the season-opening win over Duke … that marked Igoe’s first game since March 4, 2008 … he was injured in the fourth game of the 2008 campaign (Villanova) and missed the remainder of that season … Igoe missed all of last season … Igoe has three goals and an assist so far during the 2010 campaign.
BIG EAST HONORS ABUNDANT … Senior goalie Scott Rodgers and junior midfielder Zach Brenneman received recognition as the first-ever BIG EAST men’s lacrosse weekly honors were announced on Feb. 22 … Rodgers was selected as the league’s defensive player of the week, while Brenneman was named to the weekly honor roll … senior midfielder Grant Krebs was named to the weekly honor roll on March 1.
DEFENDING THE CAGE … 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 … Notre Dame did not surrender more than nine goals in a game all season long, while limiting foes to six goals or fewer six times … 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 … 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 … Arlotta Stadium is slated to host its first regular-season game when the Irish face Denver on March 16 … the stadium features over 2,000 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.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS … Five Notre Dame players have garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse … Scott Rodgers (Sr., G) was named to the first team, while Grant Krebs (Sr., M) and Sam Barnes (Sr., D) were second-team selections … Trever Sipperly (Sr., M/FO) and Andrew Irving (Jr., LSM) were honorable mention picks.
BIG EAST DEBUT … The 2010 campaign marks the first season of BIG EAST men’s lacrosse … the seven conference schools that will participate in the newly-formed league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova … the teams will play 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).
IRISH TABBED TO FINISH SECOND IN BIG EAST … Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the inaugural season of the BIG EAST men’s lacrosse league … the conference’s head coaches casted the votes and were not permitted to vote for their own teams … Syracuse was tabbed to win the league with six first-place votes, while Notre Dame received one first-place nod … rounding out the order of finish was Georgetown, Villanova, Rutgers, St. John’s and Providence.
IRISH EARN PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE HONORS … Four Notre Dame student-athletes were named to the 2010 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team … senior Scott Rodgers was the lone goalie selected to the 15-man squad … fellow seniors Sam Barnes (D), Neal Hicks (A) and Grant Krebs (M) also were chosen for the all-conference team.
RODGERS NAMED A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE … Notre Dame goalie Scott Rodgers has been named one of 20 candidates 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 … an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities … Rodgers, a third-team All-American last season, carries a 3.077 cumulative grade-point average as a sociology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
QUALITY COMPETITION … The Fighting Irish have four teams on their 2010 slate that appear in the latest USILA coaches poll … Notre Dame currently is ranked third in the poll … Notre Dame opened the campaign with an 11-7 victory over current No. 9 Duke … the Blue Devils were ranked second at the time of the contest … the Irish also will face top-ranked Syracuse (May 1), No. 10 Loyola (March 6) and No. 14 Georgetown (April 11).
IRISH NAME CAPTAINS … Seniors Mike Creighton (D), Neal Hicks (A) and Kelly McKenna (M) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish, while Scott Rodgers (G), a fifth-year senior, will be serving as a team captain for the second straight season.
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 11.50 goals per game after the first two games of the 2010 season.
FACING OFF … Notre Dame ranked ninth nationally in faceoff winning percentage one season ago … the Irish went 184-147 (.556) in the faceoff X … Trever Sipperly ranked 13th nationally with a .559 percentage (85-67), while Jake Marmul went 97-78 for a .554 winning percentage to rank 19th in the country … Marmul will not be able to play this season due to a knee injury.
A QUICK LOOK BACK … In 2009, Notre Dame posted the first undefeated regular season in program history … the Fighting Irish went 13-0 overall in the regular season, including a 5-0 mark in Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play … Notre Dame notched two more wins to take its second straight GWLL Tournament title … the Irish concluded the season with a 15-1 record after falling to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament … Notre Dame garnered the No. 7 seed for the NCAAs … the win total and winning percentage (.938) established program records … the Fighting Irish defense led the nation in 2009 with a 6.19 goals-against average, while the offense was tied for 10th by scoring 11.0 goals per game … five Notre Dame players garnered All-America honors in 2009 … Scott Rodgers (G), Ryan Hoff (A) and Regis McDermott (D) were third-team selections, while Sam Barnes (D) and Grant Krebs (M) were honorable-mention picks … Rodgers, Barnes and Krebs are back for the Irish in 2010 … Rodgers was named the 2009 GWLL Player of the Year, while Kevin Corrigan was named the league’s coach of the year for the fifth time … Rodgers led the nation in goals-against average (6.14) and save percentage (.663) … attackman Neal Hicks led the Irish with 43 points on 25 goals and 18 assists … Hoff scored a team-best 32 goals.
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 four straight appearances to the NCAA Championship … over the past two seasons, the Irish have garnered one of the tournament’s eight national seeds and have posted a first-round contest … last season, the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the tournament’s first round … Notre Dame has made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1990.
KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE … Log onto und.com for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program … und.com, the official athletics web site for the University of Notre Dame, features press releases, game stories, feature stories, video interviews, stats, rosters and more … fans also can sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame … Irish men’s lacrosse fans can sign up to receive scores following each quarter … 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 Carroll.email@example.com or (574) 631-2664 … 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.