Sophomore midfielder David Earl scored a career-high two goals in the 10-9 season-opening victory over Loyola.

Irish To Face Annual Rival Penn State On Sunday

Feb. 20, 2009

#8 Notre Dame at Penn State
Sunday, Feb. 22 • 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Holuba Hall • University Park, Pa.

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SETTING THE STAGE: The No. 8 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will travel to University Park, Pa. to face Penn State on Sunday, Feb. 22. The game is slated for a 1:00 p.m. (ET) start inside Holuba Hall. Notre Dame is coming off a 10-9 victory over Loyola College in the season opener on Feb. 14 in Powder Springs, Ga. Penn State opened the season with a 12-11 double-overtime loss to Robert Morris on Feb. 14.

ABOUT THE IRISH:Notre Dame produced a 10-9 victory over Loyola College on Saturday, Feb. 14 at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga. … junior midfielder Grant Krebs notched a team-best four points on three goals and an assist … fellow junior Neal Hicks scored a career-best three goals in a return to his home state … senior Ryan Hoff and sophomore David Earl both tallied two goals, while senior Duncan Swezey dished off three assists … senior goalie Scott Rodgers made 11 saves, including two huge stops in the final minute, in his first collegiate start and victory … Notre Dame returned five starters and 18 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 14-3 record and won the GWLL title before advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals … Kevin Corrigan is in his 21st season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 182-95 (.657) during his Fighting Irish tenure.

ND-PENN STATE SERIES NOTES: Sunday will be the 16th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Penn State, with the Fighting Irish holding an 11-4 advantage in the series … the Irish have won the past six contests in the series, including last season’s 15-9 victory at home … the last Nittany Lion win against the Irish was a 10-9 overtime decision at Notre Dame in 2002 … Notre Dame is 5-3 all-time at Penn State … in the last meeting at Penn State, the Fighting Irish captured an 11-8 victory in 2007.

BACK IN THE ATTACK: The Fighting Irish return a bulk of their high-scoring offense that ended the 2008 season ranked fifth nationally by averaging 12.09 goals per game … senior Ryan Hoff followed a 40-goal sophomore campaign with 41 tallies last season en route to garnering honorable mention All-America honors … he is the first player in program history to notch back-to-back 40-goal seasons … Hoff also earned All-GWLL first-team accolades … fellow senior attackman Duncan Swezey tallied 22 goals and 17 assists one season ago … junior Neal Hicks played primarily in the midfield last season and notched 12 goals and six assists … he will occupy the third attack spot this season … in the season-opener against Loyola, Hicks scored a career-high three goals, while Hoff had two tallies and Swezey handed out three assists … junior midfielder Grant Krebs registered 35 points (26g, 9a) last season and posted three goals and an assist against Loyola.

HOFF MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Senior attackman Ryan Hoff ranks fifth all-time in program history with 104 career goals … as a rookie, he tallied 21 goals before becoming the first Fighting Irish player to register back-to-back 40-goal campaigns with 40 in 2007 and 41 in 2008 … Hoff needs three goals to move past Tom Glatzel (1998-2001) and into fourth place … Randy Colley (1992-95) is the program record holder with 173 career goals.

HOFF ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Ryan Hoff has been named to the 60-man watch list for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy … the award is presented annually to the nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse player … Hoff started this season off on the right track by scoring the game winner in Notre Dame’s 10-9 season-opening victory over Loyola College on Feb. 14 … Hoff, a USILA All-America honoree last season after scoring 41 goals, tallied two goals overall against the Greyhounds … the ninth annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at the University Club of Washington, D.C.

ABOUT PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions suffered a 12-11 double-overtime setback at Robert Morris in the season opener on Feb. 14 … sophomore Chris Hogan scored four goals for Penn State in the loss … freshman Jack Forster contributed a goal and three assists … senior goalie Drew Adams made 11 saves on the day … Penn State returned eight starters and 32 letterwinners from last year’s squad that posted a 7-7 record, including a 2-5 mark in the ECAC … Adams earned honorable mention All-America accolades last season … head coach Glenn Thiel is in his 32nd season at the helm of the Nittany Lion program … he carries a 225-171 record at Penn State.

THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame topped Penn State 15-9 last season (Feb. 24, 2008) inside the Loftus Sports Center … the Fighting Irish were ranked fifth at the time of the meeting, while the Nittany Lions were unranked … Ryan Hoff led the way for the Irish with six goals, which was one off the school record he shares … Duncan Swezey chipped in two scores … Notre Dame opened the contest with seven straight goals before Penn State countered early in the second quarter … the Irish led 10-3 at halftime and 13-6 at the end of three quarters … Will Donley had a team-high two goals for the Nittany Lions.

IRISH AGAINST THE ECAC: With last Saturday’s 10-9 win over Loyola, Notre Dame is now 33-31 all-time against the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) … the Fighting Irish will look to improve that mark against Penn State on Sunday … St. John’s is the only other ECAC team on Notre Dame’s 2009 schedule … the Irish and Red Storm will square off on April 19 at Notre Dame.

SEASON-OPENERS: With the 10-9 triumph of Loyola, Notre Dame is now 22-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 16-5 mark in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish have won a program-record seven straight season-openers … the Irish last dropped a season-opener in 2002, a 10-9 overtime setback at home against No. 16 Penn State … including this year, the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent for 16 consecutive seasons.

A SHOW FOR THE HOME CROWD: Junior attackman and Atlanta native Neal Hicks returned to his home area and deposited a career-high three goals in Notre Dame’s 10-9 win over Loyola in the season opener … the game against the Greyhounds was played at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga.

OPENING ACT: Senior goalie Scott Rodgers made his first collegiate start in the 10-9 win over Loyola … Rodgers came up with two huge saves in the final minute to preserve the win for the Fighting Irish and collect the first victory of his career … he finished with a career-high 11 saves on the afternoon. STREAKING: Junior midfielder Grant Krebs carries a team-best 17-game point streak into Sunday’s tilt at Penn State … he has notched 39 points on 29 goals and 10 assists during the streak … he opened the 2009 campaign with a four-point effort on three goals and an assist in a 10-9 victory over Loyola … senior attackman Ryan Hoff is riding a team-best 15-game goal streak … he deposited two goals against the Greyhounds in the season opener.

BACK TO GEORGIA: The season-opening tilt against Loyola at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga. marked the second time in as many seasons that Notre Dame has played in the Atlanta area as part of the `Southern Showdown’ … the Fighting Irish are 2-0 in their treks to the Peachtree State … last March, the Irish topped Dartmouth, 19-7, at The Lovett School in Atlanta … that was the first-ever NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game played in the state of Georgia.

IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame currently ranks in the top 10 in three of the major collegiate lacrosse polls … the Fighting Irish peak at No. 8 in both the USILA and the Lacrosse Magazine rankings … Notre Dame is 10th according to Inside Lacrosse.

QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish have four teams on their 2009 slate that appear in the most recent Inside Lacrosse media poll … Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 10-9 win over No. 16 Loyola … the Irish will host No. 5 North Carolina on March 8 … Notre Dame will travel to No. 18 Denver for a GWLL showdown on April 11 … another key GWLL tilt will take place at No. 19 Ohio State on April 25.

IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame has been picked to win the 2009 Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title according to a preseason poll done by the conference’s head coaches … the Irish were tri-champions of the league’s regular season in 2008 before winning the inaugural GWLL tournament … the poll, which was published in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook, had Denver in the No. 2 slot followed by Ohio State … Air Force, Bellarmine and Quinnipiac round out the poll, respectively … the GWLL enjoyed unprecedented success last season as three teams qualified for the NCAA Championship for the first time ever … Notre Dame, Ohio State and Denver all were among the 16-team NCAA field … the Irish and Buckeyes both advanced to the quarterfinals, making it the first time the league ever had two teams among the final eight.

IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Two Fighting Irish players were named to the 2009 All-Great Western Lacrosse League preseason team, which was selected by the league’s head coaches … seniors Ryan Hoff (A) and Regis McDermott (D) were selected to the 13-man squad.

IRISH NAME ’09 CAPTAINS: Seniors Peter Christman, Regis McDermott, Davey Melera and Scott Rodgers all are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish during the 2009 campaign … Christman, a midfielder, started all 17 games last season and posted career-high numbers in goals (14), assists (20) and points (34) … overall, he has played in 48 career games, including 21 starts, and totaled 54 points on 25 goals and 29 assists … McDermott will be looked upon to anchor the Fighting Irish defense … last season, he started all 17 games and picked up 37 ground balls and was a key force behind one of the nation’s top defenses … Melera, a defensive midfielder, has played in 37 career games, totaling 10 points on five goals and five assists along with picking up 38 ground balls … in 2008, he appeared in 16 games and matched a career-best total with five points on two goals and three assists … Rodgers will be looked upon to fill the shoes of graduated All-American Joey Kemp in goal … Rodgers has played in eight career games and carries a 7.20 goals-against average in 133:20 of play … he has made 34 saves, while allowing 16 goals for a .680 save percentage.

IRISH DEFENSE AMONG THE NATION’S BEST: Notre Dame boasted the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game … in 2007, the Fighting Irish ranked fourth nationally by surrendering a program-record 6.66 goals per game.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: As the Notre Dame defense has been one of the best in the nation over the past two seasons, so has the Fighting Irish offense … in 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked fourth in the nation … the Irish averaged 12.09 goals per game last season and that placed them fifth among NCAA Division I teams.

MANNING UP: Last season, the Fighting Irish ranked fourth nationally in man-up offense by converting on 44.6 percent (29-65) of their chances … Ryan Hoff had a team-best seven man-up goals, while current juniors Grant Krebs and Matt Ciambella both notched four man-up tallies … the Irish were 2-for-5 in man-up opportunities in the 2009 season-opening win against Loyola on Feb. 14 … Krebs had both man-up goals in the 10-9 victory.

FACING OFF: Notre Dame won 241 of 384 faceoff opportunities last season … the .628 winning percentage ranked the Fighting Irish second nationally … as a senior last season, Taylor Clagett produced a .619 percentage (203-328) … the Irish will have a hole to fill with the graduation of Clagett, yet head coach Kevin Corrigan sees potential with junior Trever Sipperly and sophomore Jake Marmul sharing faceoff duties.

RECAPPING ’08: Notre Dame produced a 14-3 record during the 2008 season … the Fighting Irish won the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title by capturing the inaugural GWLL tournament … that marked the 11th GWLL crown for the program … Notre Dame garnered the No. 6 seed for the NCAA Championship and topped Colgate, 8-7, in overtime before falling to eventual national champion Syracuse, 11-9, during the quarterfinals … that was the fourth time the Irish had advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals … it was Notre Dame’s 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament and the second time the Irish had earned a seed … Notre Dame has been eliminated from the tournament by the eventual national champion in each of the past three seasons (Virginia, 14-10, in ’06 and Johns Hopkins, 11-10 in overtime, in ’07) … the Irish offense and defense both concluded the ’08 season ranked fifth nationally … the offense averaged 12.09 goals per game, while the defense surrendered just 7.04 per contest … the Irish finished the season ranked fifth in the final USILA poll and sixth according to Inside Lacrosse.

BIG EAST AWAITS: The 2009 season will be the last for Notre Dame in the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) … the Fighting Irish will begin play in the BIG EAST Conference in 2010 … the six other conference schools that will participate in the newly-formed league are Georgetown, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova … the teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular season schedule … the BIG EAST will apply for an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Championship field … men’s lacrosse will be 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 has been a member of the GWLL since 1994 … the Fighting Irish have captured 11 regular-season GWLL titles in addition to winning the inaugural GWLL Tournament in 2008.

ARLOTTA STADIUM: Arlotta Stadium will become the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse programs upon completion, which is scheduled for June of 2009 … construction of the facility began in August of 2008 … conceptual plans suggest a 2,000-seat, lighted stadium that would include an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, 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 to be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University’s new athletics quadrangle … the Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – also have 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 have donated over two million dollars.

WATCH ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All Notre Dame home games will feature a live broadcast on, the school’s offical athletics web site … simply go to the front page of and click on the `Live Events’ tab and select the game to view the broadcast … live stats will be available through Gametracker via by going to the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse page and clicking on `Schedule’ to select the game to follow.

SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to to 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.

KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE: Log onto for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program …, 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 call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 … the hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports … 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 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.