May 1, 2008
Quinnipiac (8-4) vs. #6 Notre Dame (11-2)
Friday, May 2 â€¢ 5:00 p.m. (ET)
Seaholm High School â€¢ Birmingham, Mich.
The No. 6 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will face Quinnipiac in the semifinals of the inaugural Great Western Lacrosse League tournament on Friday, May 2 at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m. (ET). The winner of that contest will take on the winner of the other semifinal between Ohio State and Denver at 12 noon on Sunday, May 4. The tournament champion will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
TOURNAMENT DETAILS: Notre Dame enters the GWLL tournament as the top seed, while Quinnipiac is the fourth seed … Ohio State is the No. 2 seed and Denver is the No. 3 seed … Notre Dame will face Quinnipiac at 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday and the Denver-Ohio State tilt will follow at approximately 7:30 p.m. (ET) … the title game is slated for 12 noon (ET) on Sunday, May 4 … a ticket package can be purchased for $20 that is good for all three games … you can purchase tickets through TicketWeb at www.ticketweb.com.
ND-QUINNIPIAC SERIES NOTES: Friday will mark the fourth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Quinnipiac … the Fighting Irish have won all three of the previous encounters against the Bobcats … earlier this season, Notre Dame topped Quinnipiac, 16-6, at School Field in South Bend, Ind. on April 18 … in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, Notre Dame captured a 19-7 home victory over Quinnipiac in 2006 … the Irish followed that up with a 14-9 triumph last season in Hamden, Conn.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame concluded the regular season with an 11-2 record, including a 4-1 mark in the Great Western Lacrosse League to finish among a three-way tie for the conference title with Ohio State and Denver … that marked the 11th GWLL title for Notre Dame since the league was founded in 1994 … the Fighting Irish won their fourth straight game with a 17-12 victory over No. 9 Ohio State on Sunday, April 27 … that improved Notre Dame’s program-record home win streak to 18 games … the Fighting Irish are currently ranked sixth in both the USILA coaches poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads the Fighting Irish with 34 goals this season … senior attackman Alex Wharton has team-high totals in points (44) and assists (27), both career-best marks … junior Duncan Swezey has a career-high 21 goals, while senior midfielder Michael Podgajny and sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs both have 20 tallies … Notre Dame has defeated four ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6; #13 Albany, 7-6; #11 Drexel, 13-6; #9 Ohio State 17-12) … Notre Dame boasts the nation’s fifth-best scoring offense by notching 13.08 goals per game … the Irish defense ranks in a tie for 10th nationally as they surrender just 7.23 goals per game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp ranks fifth nationally with a 6.77 goals-against average and he is sixth with a .623 save percentage … the Irish have the top faceoff unit in the country with a .648 winning percentage … senior Taylor Clagett has won faceoffs at a .638 clip to rank second in the nation … 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 … 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 178-94 (.654) 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.
ABOUT QUINNIPIAC: The Bobcats are 8-4 overall and concluded the regular season with a 2-3 record in the GWLL … Quinnipiac is coming off a 6-5 win over Bellarmine on April 26 … the Bobcats are averaging 8.39 goals per game while allowing 8.97 per game … junior Gary Messina leads the team in scoring with 25 points on 10 goals and a team-high 15 assists … sophomore Garret Kerr has a team-best 16 goals … sophomore Kevin Benzing has earned every decision in goal and carries an 8.64 goals-against average and a .547 save percentage … the Bobcats returned four starters and 26 letterwinners from last season’s team that went 6-7 and finished in a tie for fourth in the GWLL with a 1-4 conference record … head coach Eric Fekete is in his seventh season at Quinnipiac.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame topped Quinnipiac, 16-6, earlier this season … the contest took place on April 18 at School Field in South Bend, Ind. … Ryan Hoff led the Irish with four goals while Duncan Swezey and Alex Wharton chipped in two goals and two assists apiece … Grant Krebs also had a two-goal performance for Notre Dame … Joey Kemp picked up the win by making eight saves … Quinnipiac received two goals from Gary Messina, Ted Dimond and Matt Kusiak … Kevin Benzing made 10 saves in the loss.
GWLL HONORS: Six Fighting Irish players received All-Great Western Lacrosse League honors for the 2008 campaign … Michael Podgajny (Sr., M), Sean Dougherty (Sr., D), Ross Zimmerman (Sr., D) and Joey Kemp (Sr., G) earned first-team accolades, while Ryan Hoff (Jr., A) and Alex Wharton (Sr., A) were named to the second team … this marked the third all-league first-team honor for Kemp and the second for both Dougherty and Zimmerman … Podgajny was a second-team pick last season … Hoff earned a first-team nod last season, while this is Wharton’s first all-conference honor.
NOTRE DAME IN THE GWLL: Notre Dame is 55-10 (.846) all-time in GWLL play with 11 league titles, including this season’s co-championship … the Irish have won the title outright seven times, while earning a share of the crown four times … 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 … the Irish had an eight-game GWLL win streak snapped earlier this season in a 9-8 setback to Denver on April 5.
RECAPPING OHIO STATE: In a showdown between two top-10 teams, No. 7 Notre Dame defeated No. 9 Ohio State, 17-12, on Sunday, April 27 at Alumni Field … the Fighting Irish were led by three-goal efforts from midfielders Michael Podgajny and Grant Krebs … Notre Dame jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind scores from Peter Christman, Adam Felicetti and Ryan Hoff … Ohio State responded with four straight goals, including two from Chris Friel to take a 4-3 lead with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter … Krebs put a halt to the Buckeye surge with his first goal of the game … a goal from Peter Schell put Ohio State on top, 5-4, at the end of the opening period … Podgajny knotted the game (5-5) with a man-up tally at the 10:42 mark of the second quarter … the Buckeyes reclaimed an advantage with a goal from Jeff Ryan less than a minute later, however that would be their last lead of the contest … Notre Dame would score six of the game’s next seven goals to take an 11-7 lead by the 7:56 mark of the third quarter … the uprising started with a goal from Podgajny with 7:39 left in the first half and Duncan Swezey followed to give the Irish the lead back at 7-6 … Podgajny completed his hat trick to give Notre Dame a two-goal edge before Ohio State’s Peet Poillon scored the final goal of the half to make it an 8-7 game in favor of the Irish at the intermission … Notre Dame scored the first three goals of the second half as Neal Hicks, Swezey and Alex Wharton all found the back of the net to expand the lead to four (11-7) … after a score from Poillon, Matt Ciambella deposited a man-up goal to give the Irish a 12-8 lead with 2:54 remaining in the third period … back-to-back goals from Ohio State’s James Green sliced the Fighting Irish lead to two (12-10) with 11:42 left in regulation … Zach Brenneman briefly halted the Buckeye surge with a goal for Notre Dame, yet Green responded with his team-leading third score of the game to make it 13-11 in favor of the Irish with 8:49 on the clock … three unanswered goals from Notre Dame would put the game out of reach for Ohio State … the run featured the second goals of the game for Krebs, Hicks and Hoff … Buchanan scored the final Buckeye goal of the afternoon to make it 16-12 with 3:24 remaining … Krebs then completed his second career hat trick to produce the final result and give the Irish their fourth straight win … Notre Dame dominated the statistical categories by claiming a 47-31 advantage in shots and winning 24-of-32 faceoffs … Taylor Clagett took every faceoff for the Irish … Notre Dame also went 3-for-5 in man-up opportunities … Joey Kemp earned the win by making 12 stops and playing all 60 minutes between the pipes for the Fighting Irish … Stefan Schroder made 18 saves in the loss.
CAREER DAY FOR KREBS: Sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs posted a career-best five points on a career-high tying three goals and a career-high two assists in the 17-12 victory over Ohio State on April 27 … this season, Krebs has 20 goals, which ties him for third on the team … he totaled three goals last season as a freshman.
RECORD-SETTING CAREER: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp notched his school-record 33rd career victory in the 19-7 win over Bellarmine on March 29 … Kemp is now 37-13 overall during his Irish career … in addition, Kemp is currently first in Irish history with a 7.27 goals-against average and with 2947:14 minutes played for a goaltender … he is also first in games started for a goaltender (52) … the two-time All-American currently ranks third in school history in saves (580).
KEMP AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Joey Kemp ranks in the top-six nationally in both goals-against average (5th, 6.77) and save percentage (6th, .623) 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.
LOCKING DOWN: While the Notre Dame offense has reached double digits nine times this season, the Irish defense has only surrendered a double-digit tally on one occasion (12g, Ohio State) … the Fighting Irish are surrendering just 7.23 goals per game this season, which ranks in a tie for 10th nationally … the Irish have held opponents to six goals on five occasions and allowed a season-low five goals against Air Force on April 22 … 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 and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.
FACING OFF: As a team, Notre Dame boasts the nation’s top faceoff percentage (.648) … senior Taylor Clagett ranks second nationally in that category with a .638 win percentage … Clagett has been a valuable asset for the Irish during his Notre Dame career as he has won over 60-percent (.606) 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.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: The Fighting Irish are averaging 13.08 goals a game, which ranks fifth nationally … in 2007, Notre Dame had the nation’s fourth-best offense by averaging 11.65 goals per game … Notre Dame’s scoring margin of +5.85 is the third-best mark among all NCAA Division I squads this season.
FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 48-15 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish have held opponents scoreless in the first quarter on five occasions (Loyola, Penn State, Albany, Dartmouth, Air Force).
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 34 goals after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago … he has notched three or more goals on six occasions this season.
HOFF MOVING UP THE RECORD BOOKS: Junior attackman Ryan Hoff currently ranks in a tie with Robbie Snyder (1991-94) for sixth in the Notre Dame record books with 95 career goals … he is two goals away from moving into the top-five … Randy Colley (1992-95) is the program record-holder with 173 tallies.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 22 different players notch at least one goal this season … the season-high total was 13 players with a goal in a 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29 … the Irish used 12 goalscorers in a 19-7 win against Dartmouth on March 15 … last season, the Irish had 18 players score a goal … Notre Dame has had at least 10 goalscorers in a game on six occasions this season and most recently in a 17-12 win over No. 9 Ohio State … 10 Irish players scored a goal in that contest.
STREAKING: Junior attackman Ryan Hoff has a team-best 10-game goal streak … Hoff has notched a goal in 21 of the last 22 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 … fellow junior attackman Duncan Swezey had his team-best 11-game goal streak end in a 13-5 win at Air Force on April 22.
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 … overall, Notre Dame has reached double figures in nine of 13 games this season … the Irish reached double figures 11 times last season.
NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is currently sixth in both the USILA coaches poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … 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 is sixth on March 17 and in the current poll.
QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish are 4-2 against ranked opponents this season … Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory over No. 17 Loyola … the Irish topped 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 … the Irish fell to No. 19 Denver, 9-8, on April 5 … Notre Dame bested No. 9 Ohio State, 17-12, on April 27.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 18 straight games at home … the Irish are 5-0 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 12 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium … the last two home victories have taken place at School Field and Alumni Field, respectively … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 119-35 (.773) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
NO PLACE TO CALL HOME: This season, Notre Dame has played its five home games at four different locations … the Irish defeated Penn State and Albany inside the Loftus Sports Center … Notre Dame topped Drexel at Moose Krause Stadium … a victory over Quinnipiac occurred at School Field, which is located just south of the Notre Dame campus … the Irish returned to campus to top Ohio State at Alumni Field.
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 the Irish.
ARLOTTA GROUNDBREAKING: The official groundbreaking ceremony for Arlotta Stadium was held on Friday, April 18 … the stadium will be the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse teams … 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 … completion is scheduled for June of 2009.
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.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org … 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.