April 2, 2008
#7 Notre Dame (7-1) vs. #19 Denver (6-4)
Saturday, April 5 â€¢ 3:00 p.m. (CT)
Toyota Park â€¢ Bridgeview, Ill.
The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will square off against Denver in a Great Western Lacrosse League showdown on Saturday (April 5) at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Game time is slated for 3:00 p.m. (CT). The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish opened league play with a 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29, while Denver is coming off a 10-9 overtime win against Harvard.
VENUE/TICKETS: Toyota Park is home to the Chicago Machine of Major League Lacrosse and the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer … the stadium opened in 2006 … tickets for Saturday’s game are available by calling the Chicago Machine ticket line at (312) 255-1540 … advance ticket prices are $5 for youth and $12 per adult … day-of prices will be $10 per youth and $18 per adult, while all Notre Dame student admissions are $5.
HOW TO FOLLOW: Saturday’s contest can be followed via live stats on the Internet … simply go to und.com and find the `Men’s Lacrosse’ page and click on `Schedule’ … once there, find the Denver game and there will be links to `Gametracker’ … you can also sign up for `Irish Alert’, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
ND-DENVER SERIES NOTES: Saturday will mark the 12th meeting between the Fighting Irish and Pioneers … Notre Dame holds a 9-2 advantage in the series … the Irish topped Denver, 14-6, last season at Moose Krause Stadium … prior to that victory, Notre Dame had dropped the previous two meetings in the series … the Fighting Irish won the first eight encounters with the Pioneers … this will mark the third time that both teams have been ranked at the time of the game … the first meeting occurred in 1992, a 25-4 Irish victory at Denver.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame boasts a 7-1 record, including a 1-0 mark in the GWLL … the Fighting Irish are currently ranked seventh in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings and eighth according to the USILA … Notre Dame topped Bellarmine, 19-7, in the conference opener on March 29 … the Irish used a season-high 13 goalscorers in the victory … junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads Notre Dame with 19 goals … senior attackman Alex Wharton has team-high totals in points (27) and assists (16), both career-best marks … junior Duncan Swezey has a career-high 15 goals, while senior midfielder Michael Podgajny has 14 goals … Notre Dame has defeated three ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6; #13 Albany, 7-6; #11 Drexel, 13-6) … the Irish have had 20 different players score at least one goal … Notre Dame has the nation’s fifth-best scoring offense by notching 12.75 goals per game … the Irish defense ranks in a tie for eighth nationally as they surrender just 6.88 goals per game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp has played 455:24 of a possible 480:00 minutes between the pipes … the two-time All-America honoree, ranks third nationally with a .640 save percentage and he is sixth with a 6.46 goals-against average … Notre Dame returned seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted an 11-4 record and captured the GWLL title with a perfect 5-0 conference mark … that was the 10th GWLL crown for the Irish since the league was founded in 1994 … in 2007, Notre Dame made its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 12th trip in program history … the Irish fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in overtime during the tournament’s first round … Kevin Corrigan is in his 20th season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 174-93 (.652) during his Fighting Irish tenure … Corrigan was named the 2007 GWLL coach of the year … that marked the fourth time he has received that honor.
BACK TO CHICAGO: For the second time in three seasons, the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will play a game in the Chicagoland area when the Irish face Denver on Saturday … in 2006, Notre Dame took on Cornell at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. … that marked the first NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game in the Chicagoland area … the Big Red won the contest, 9-6.
ABOUT DENVER: The Pioneers are 6-4 (0-0 GWLL) this season … Denver has won its last three games, including a 10-9 overtime decision over Harvard on March 29 … the Pioneers are 0-3 against ranked opponents this season (#9 North Carolina 6-5, #20 Towson 10-9, #7 Cornell 20-7) … Jamie Lincoln has team-high totals in goals (23) and points (25) … Charley Dickenson has a team-best 11 assists … Jon Paulson is second on the squad with 13 goals, while Cliff Smith has 12 … Austin Konkel has a 5-4 record in goal … he carries a 9.40 goals-against average and a .515 save percentage … the Pioneers returned five starters and 16 letterwinners from last season’s team that went 9-7 overall, including a 3-2 mark in the GWLL, which placed them third in the league … head coach Jamie Munro is in his 10th season at Denver.
COMMON OPPONENTS: Notre Dame and Denver have faced one common opponent this season (North Carolina) … Denver fell to the Tar Heels, 6-5, on Feb. 23, while the Irish were topped by North Carolina, 9-6, on March 8.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame topped Denver 14-6 last season at Moose Krause Stadium … the Irish were ranked 11th at the time of the meeting, while Denver was unranked … the game was knotted (5-5) at halftime and Notre Dame out scored the Pioneers 9-1 in the second half, including shutting out Denver in the final quarter … Notre Dame was led by four-goal efforts from Ryan Hoff and Lucius Polk … Michael Podgajny and Alex Wharton also chipped in two goals apiece … Joey Kemp earned the win by making 11 saves … Joey Murray and Ilija Gajic both scored twice for the Pioneers.
NOTRE DAME IN THE GWLL: The Fighting Irish are riding an eight-game GWLL win streak … the last loss in conference play came at Air Force (9-8) during the 2006 season … Notre Dame is 52-9 (.852) all-time in GWLL play with 10 league titles … this is the 15th season for the GWLL … Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions, including last season’s 5-0 mark.
IRISH IN GWLL OPENERS: The Fighting Irish have a 14-1 mark in GWLL openers … Notre Dame defeated Bellarmine, 19-7, in this season’s GWLL lid-lifter on March 29 … Notre Dame’s only loss in a GWLL opener was a 9-8 decision against Ohio State during the 2004 campaign.
CAREER DAYS: Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny matched a career-high output with four goals in the 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29 … sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs notched the first hat trick of his career against the Knights, while senior midfielder/faceoff specialist Taylor Clagett recorded a career-best two points on one goal and one assist.
RECAPPING BELLARMINE: A 15-goal outburst in the first half helped the seventh-ranked Notre Dame to a 19-7 victory at Bellarmine on Saturday, March 29 at Owsley B. Stadium … the contest was the Great Western Lacrosse League opener for both teams … senior midfielder Michael Podgajny paced the Fighting Irish with a career-high tying four goals … Notre Dame used a total of 13 goalscorers in the game to improve to 14-1 all-time in GWLL openers … sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs notched the first hat trick of his Irish career, while junior midfielder Peter Christman matched a career-best total with two goals … the 19 goals tied a season-high output for the Fighting Irish, who have reached double-figures in scoring in five games this season … Notre Dame’s defense has held opponents to seven goals or fewer in six contests … Joey Kemp picked up the win and is now the school’s record holder in that category with 33 career victories … Bellarmine got on the board first as Andrew Wolford scored with 12:46 remaining in the first quarter … Wolford and Adam Gardner led the Knights with two goals apiece … the Irish used goals from Neal Hicks and Krebs to take a 2-1 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the opening period … Bellarmine struck back with a tally from Gardner to even things up before Notre Dame scored the game’s next five goals … Podgajny began the run as he collected his first score of the game with 6:59 remaining on the clock in the period and Krebs followed with a man-up goal to give the Irish a 4-2 lead after the first quarter … back-to-back goals from Podgajny kept the surge going in the second quarter … Alex Wharton, who had a team-high three assists on the afternoon, capped off the run with a score at the 12:49 mark of the period … the Knights cut the deficit to four (7-3) with a tally from Gardner, yet the Irish would end the first half on an 8-0 run to take a commanding 15-3 lead into halftime … Taylor Clagett began the streak as he recorded his second goal of the season with 9:49 left in the half … Clagett also went 15-for-25 in the faceoff X against the Knights … a man-up goal from Christman and scores from freshman Zach Brenneman and Krebs gave Notre Dame an 11-3 advantage with just under six minutes remaining in the stanza … the final four goals of the first half came from Christman, sophomore Matt Ciambella, freshman Andrew Irving and junior Ryan Hoff … Bellarmine netted the first two goals of the second half before junior attackman Duncan Swezey got into the scoring column to give the Irish a 16-5 lead after three quarters of play … Podgajny collected his fourth goal of the game to put the Fighting Irish up by eight (17-5) in the early stages of the fourth period … following two goals from the Knights, Irish freshmen Tom Connor and Patrick Maloney both scored their first goal of the season to make it a 19-7 final in favor of Notre Dame … Fighting Irish held a 37-32 advantage in shots … Kemp made 10 saves on the day and surrendered five goals, while sophomore Brendan Moore played the final 7:08 in goal and made three stops and allowed two goals … David Hass was one of three goaltenders used by the Knights … he picked up the loss by giving up nine goals, while making four saves in 22 minutes of action.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 16 straight games at home … the Irish are 3-0 at home this season … the current streak stems back to a 14-13 overtime win against Air Force on April 10, 2005 … Notre Dame’s last loss at home was a 9-6 setback to Denver on April 7, 2005 … the Irish went a perfect 6-0 at home during the 2006 campaign and followed it up with a 6-0 mark in 2007 … four of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while the other 12 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 118-35 (.771) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
NO MORE MOOSE: The win over Drexel on March 25 marked the final game at Moose Krause Stadium for the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program … the stadium is being torn down to make room for the state-of-the-art Arlotta Stadium that will be the new home for Irish … Notre Dame still has two regular-season home dates for the 2008 season … the Quinnipiac tilt will take place at School Field in South Bend, Ind. on April 18, while the Ohio State game will be played at Alumni Field on the Notre Dame campus on April 27.
RECORD-SETTING CAREER: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp notched his school-record 33rd career victory in the 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29 … Kemp is 33-12 overall during his Irish career … in addition, Kemp is currently first in Irish history with a 7.27 goals-against average … the two-time All-American currently ranks among the top three in three other Notre Dame goaltender career categories, minutes played (2nd, 2667:04), games started (2nd, 47) and saves (3rd, 530).
KEMP AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Joey Kemp ranks in the top 10 nationally in both save percentage (3rd, .640) and goals-against average (6th, 6.46) this season … last season, he ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) en route to being named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year and an honorable-mention All-American
STREAKING: Junior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-best eight-game goal streak … senior midfielder Michael Podgajny has scored at least one goal in the past 22 games in which he has played … the only game he missed during that stretch was this season’s opener against Loyola … Podgajny missed the contest due to an injury … Ryan Hoff has notched a goal in 16 of the last 17 games dating back to last season … the junior attackman was held without a goal in a 7-6 win over Albany on March 1 … that snapped an 11-game goal streak.
OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: Notre Dame’s 19-goal performance in a 19-7 win over Bellarmine on March 29 matched a season-high total that was also achieved in a 19-7 victory against Dartmouth on March 15 … this marked the first time since 1994 that the Irish have produced two games with 19-plus goals in one season.
FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 29-6 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish have held opponents scoreless in the first quarter on four occasions this season (Loyola, Penn State, Albany, Dartmouth).
HOFF STAYING HOT: Ryan Hoff’s six goals against Penn State (Feb. 24) were just one shy of the school record that he shares with Randy Colley (class of 1995) … Hoff, a junior attackman, netted seven goals in a 16-5 win over Drexel last season … Hoff also notched a five-goal game this season in a 16-6 triumph of Villanova (March 4) … he leads the Irish with 19 goals after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 20 different players notch at least one goal this season … in the season-opener, Notre Dame produced seven goals from seven different players in a 7-6 win over Loyola … the Irish used nine different goalscorers in a 15-9 triumph of Penn State on Feb. 24 … Notre Dame had 10 players score a goal in a 16-6 victory over Villanova on March 4 … the Irish used 12 goalscorers in a 19-7 win against Dartmouth on March 15 … the season-high total was 13 players with a goal in a 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29 … last season, the Irish had 18 players score a goal.
LOCKING DOWN: The Irish are surrendering just 6.88 goals per game this season, which ranks in a tie for eighth nationally … the Irish have held opponents to six goals on four occasions … Notre Dame boasted the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense in 2007 by allowing a school-record 6.66 goals per game … several key components to the Irish defense are back this season, including goaltender Joey Kemp in goal and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: In 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked the Irish fourth in the nation … so far this season, the Fighting Irish are averaging 12.75 goals a game, which ranks fifth nationally … Notre Dame’s scoring margin of +5.88 is the second-best mark among all NCAA Division I squads.
MAN-UP: Notre Dame ranks eighth nationally in man-up offense … the Irish have converted on 16-of-37 (.432) man-up opportunities this season … last season, the Fighting Irish converted on 50-percent (29-of-58) of their man-up opportunities … that conversion percentage ranked Notre Dame second among all NCAA Division I teams … Ryan Hoff has a team-high four man-up goals.
FACING OFF: As a team, Notre Dame boasts the nation’s second-best faceoff percentage (.632) … senior midfielder Taylor Clagett ranks fourth nationally in that category with a .621 win percentage … Clagett has been a valuable asset for the Irish during his Notre Dame career as he has won nearly 60-percent of his faceoff opportunities … injuries have hampered Clagett over the past two seasons, yet he has kept Notre Dame among the nation’s best in faceoffs … last season, Clagett ranked 16th nationally as he won 164 of 189 faceoff attempts … in 2006, he won 126 of 205 attempts for a .615 percentage, which would have ranked him sixth in the country had he appeared in enough games.
SUCCESSFUL START: Notre Dame has notched seven victories through its first eight games of the season for the first time since 2001 … that was the same season the Irish made the program’s only visit to the final four.
NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is currently seventh in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings and eighth in the USILA coaches poll … the Irish have been as high as fifth in the USILA poll this season … that happened on two occasions, in the March 3rd and March 17th polls … Notre Dame’s highest Inside Lacrosse ranking was sixth on March 17.
QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish are 3-1 against ranked opponents this season … Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory against No. 17 Loyola … the Irish topped then No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 … Notre Dame fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Drexel, 13-6, on March 25 … GWLL showdowns against No. 19 Denver on April 5 and No. 17 Ohio State on April 27 still await the Irish.
KEMP ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp was named to the 51-man watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player … this marks the second straight season that Kemp has been named to the award’s watch list.
IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Seven Notre Dame players earned preseason All-America recognition from Inside Lacrosse Magazine and its Face-Off Yearbook … headlining the group for the Fighting Irish were second-team honorees Taylor Clagett (M/FO), Sean Dougherty (D), Joey Kemp (G) and Will Yeatman (A) … joining the quartet of second-team picks for the Irish were third-team member Michael Podgajny (M) and honorable mention selections Ryan Hoff (A) and Ross Zimmerman (D).
IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame was selected to win its second straight GWLL title according to the league’s head coaches … Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting, which appeared in Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook.
FOUR IRISH PLAYERS AMONG IL TOP 50: Four Irish athletes were named to the Inside Lacrosse top-50 players list for the 2008 season … senior goaltender Joey Kemp was the highest-ranked Fighting Irish player as he was 13th overall and the second-ranked goaltender on the list … sophomore attackman Will Yeatman was 15th, while senior defenseman Sean Dougherty and senior midfielder Michael Podgajny were 35th and 37th, respectively.
KEMP AND WHARTON NAMED `08 IRISH CAPTAINS: Seniors Joey Kemp (G) and Alex Wharton (A) are the Fighting Irish team captains for the 2008 season … Kemp was one of three captains for the Fighting Irish last season, while this will mark Wharton’s first year as a co-captain.
FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All five of Notre Dame’s true home games will feature livestats available through und.com, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University … simply go to the men’s lacrosse page and click on `Schedule’ at the top of the page and find the game that is being played that day and click on `Gametracker’ to follow the game for free.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to und.com and sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
KEEPING UP WITH FIGHTING IRISH MEN’S LACROSSE: For results of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse games, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #5 and #1 … the hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the match recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website, www.und.com … 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 … 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.