Senior Mike Creighton and the rest of the Irish defense has allowed just 10 goals during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Irish To Clash With No. 7 Cornell On Saturday In Final Four

May 26, 2010

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
NCAA Championship Central

#14 NOTRE DAME (9-6) vs. #7 CORNELL (12-5)
NCAA Championship Semifinals
Saturday, May 29 – 4:00 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 Cornell at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, May 29 in the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Championship at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. The Fighting Irish are making their second appearance in the Final Four. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 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. Cornell is the tournament’s No. 7 seed, while the Irish are unseeded. This will be the sixth meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and the Big Red.

HOW THEY GOT HERE … Notre Dame downed sixth-seeded Princeton 8-5 in the first round on May 16 and followed that up with a 7-5 triumph of No. 3 seed Maryland in the quarterfinals on May 22 … Cornell defeated Loyola, 11-10 in triple overtime, in the NCAA first round on May 15 … the Big Red topped Army, 14-5, in the quarterfinals on May 23.

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 … this is the Notre Dame’s fifth straight trip to the NCAAs … the Fighting Irish are 7-14 all-time in the NCAA Championship … this is Notre Dame’s second appearance in the national semifinals … the first semifinal trip came in 2001 when the Irish lost to Syracuse, 12-5, in Piscataway, N.J. … the Fighting Irish have reached the NCAA quarterfinals five times (1995, 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2010).

ND-CORNEL SERIES NOTES … Saturday will be the sixth meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and Big Red … Cornell has won the previous five encounters … the last contest took place in 2007 at Hewlitt High School on Long Island … Cornell prevailed 13-8 in that matchup … the two schools have never met in the NCAA Championship.

ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame will bring a 9-6 record into Saturday’s contest against Cornell … the Fighting Irish defense ranks second nationally by allowing just 7.67 goals per game … the Notre Dame offense averages 9.20 goals per game … the Fighting Irish posted a 2-4 record in the inaugural season of BIG EAST play … the Irish have limited their first two NCAA Tournament opponents (Princeton and Maryland) to five goals each … sophomore attackman Sean Rogers paced the Irish offense against Maryland with his second hat trick of the season … midfielders Grant Krebs (Sr.) and Zach Brenneman (Jr.) lead the team with 23 goals apiece … Brenneman has 13 assists for a team-best 36 points … senior attackman Neal Hicks leads the Irish in assists with 14 … senior goalie Scott Rodgers carries an 8-4 record between the pipes … he ranks third nationally in goals-against average (7.74) and sixth in save percentage (.586) … Rodgers boasts a 23-5 career record.

SCOUTING THE BIG RED … Cornell is 12-5 on the season … the Big Red finished among a four-way tie for the Ivy League regular-season title with a 4-2 mark in conference play … the Cornell offense averages 11.18 goals per game, while the defense allows 8.53 per contest … sophomore attackman Rob Pannell has team-high totals in points (78) and assists (49) … senior attackman Ryan Hurley has a team-best 45 goals … freshman goalie AJ Fiore is 11-5 in net and carries an 8.46 goals-against average and a .552 save percentage … the Big Red went 13-4 last season and fell to Syracuse, 10-9 in overtime, in the title game of the NCAA Championship … Cornell returned four starters and 15 letterwinners from that squad … head coach Jeff Tambroni is in his 10th season at the helm of the Big Red program.

THE LAST TIME … Cornell defeated Notre Dame 13-8 on March 3, 2007 at Hewlitt High School in Hewlitt, N.Y. … the Irish were ranked eighth at the time of the game, while the Big Red were fourth … three current members of the Notre Dame squad played in that contest … current seniors Grant Krebs, Kelly McKenna and Neal Hicks all saw time in the game.

IRISH AGAINST THE IVY … Notre Dame is 18-14 all-time against teams from the Ivy League … the Fighting Irish are 1-1 against the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament … … Notre Dame topped Ivy League foe Princeton, 8-5, in the first round of this season’s NCAA Championship … Notre Dame fell at Harvard, 9-3, in the first round of the 1990 NCAA Championship.

COMMON OPPONENTS … Notre Dame and Cornell have three common opponents this season (Syracuse, Princeton, Loyola) … the Irish are 2-1 against those squads, while the Big Red went 2-2 in those meetings … Notre Dame defeated Loyola (11-9) and Princeton (8-5) and fell to Syracuse (12-6) … Cornell topped Loyola (11-10 in triple overtime) and Princeton (10-9 during the regular season) and were defeated by Syracuse (8-7) and Princeton (10-9 in overtime during the Ivy League Tournament).

NO SEED, NO PROBLEM … Notre Dame is the first unseeded team to reach the semifinals of the NCAA Championship since Delaware did so in 2007 … the last unseeded team to reach the title game of the NCAA Championship was Massachusetts in 2006.

STINGY DEFENSE … The Notre Dame defense has surrendered just 10 goals 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.

MR. EFFICIENCY … Sophomore attackman Sean Rogers scored on all three shots that he attempted against Maryland last Saturday in the quarterfinals … it marked the second hat trick of his career … Rogers netted three goals earlier this season in a 14-7 win over Denver (March 16).

SCORELESS STRETCHES … 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) during Saturday’s quarterfinal victory.

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 … Grant Catalino, Maryland’s team-leader in goals (34) and points (54), was held pointless by the stifling Irish defense.

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 the 7-5 quarterfinal victory last Saturday, Notre Dame had been 0-4 all-time against Maryland … the Irish were 0-1 against Princeton before topping the Tigers 8-5 in the first round … Notre Dame is 0-5 all-time against its semifinal opponent, Cornell.

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).

MIDFIELD PRODUCTION … Notre Dame midfielders Zach Brenneman (Jr.), Grant Krebs (Sr.) and David Earl (Jr.) are the top three goal scorers for the Irish this season … Brenneman and Krebs both have a team-best 23 goals, while Earl has 21 tallies.

TAKING DOWN A TOP-10 FOE … Notre Dame has defeated four top-10 teams this 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 … prior to this season, the last time the Irish defeated four top-10 teams in the same season was 2001 when the Irish made their first appearance in the NCAA semifinals.

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-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.

UP NEXT … The winner of the Notre Dame-Cornell contest will take on the victor of the Virginia-Duke tilt in the NCAA title game at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Monday, May 31 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. … Virginia is the tournament’s top seed, while Duke is the fifth seed.

LOCKING DOWN … Notre Dame ranks second nationally in overall team defense by surrendering just 7.67 goals per game … the Fighting Irish boast the nation’s sixth-best man-down defense (.750) … since the beginning of the 2007 season, the Fighting Irish defense has only allowed 10 or more goals eight times in the 63 games played during that span.

QUALITY QUARTER … Notre Dame has out-scored its opponents 43-27 in the second quarter of play this season.

KREBS NETS ANOTHER 20 … Senior midfielder Grant Krebs has scored 23 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 (23), assists (13) and points (36) 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 … midfielders Grant Krebs (Sr.) and Zach Brenneman (Jr.) both have four hat tricks … one of Krebs’ hat tricks was a four-goal performance against Georgetown … David Earl (Jr./M) has three hat tricks, including a five-goal effort against Princeton … Neal Hicks (Sr./A) and Sean Rogers (So./A) both have two hat tricks … Max Pfeifer (So./M) has one hat trick, which was a four-goal effort against Drexel.

SPREADING THE WEALTH … The Fighting Irish have had 12 different players score a goal this season … Notre Dame boasts seven players with double-digit goal totals … Zach Brenneman (Jr./M) and Grant Krebs (Sr./M) both have a team-best 23 goals … David Earl (Jr./M) has 21 goals, while Neal Hicks (Sr./A) has 19 tallies … Sean Rogers (So./A) has 12 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 eight straight contests … Krebs has netted 14 goals during that stretch.

FACING OFF … Senior midfielder Trever Sipperly won 10 of 15 faceoff attempts against Maryland last Saturday … he ranks 16th nationally this season with a .564 winning percentage (163-126) … 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 205-102 (.668) 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 9.20 goals per game this season … that ranks 37th nationally.

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 7.67 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.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS … Five Notre Dame players 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 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 269-144 (.651) … Kevin Corrigan is in his 22nd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish … he has a record of 205-102 (.668) during his Notre Dame tenure.