March 18, 2009
Vermont (3-2) vs. #3 Notre Dame (5-0)
Saturday, March 21 â€¢ 12:00 p.m. (CT)
Ford Stadium â€¢ Dallas, Texas
SETTING THE STAGE: The third-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will face Vermont in the 2009 Patriot Cup in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, March 21. Game time is slated for 12:00 p.m. (CT) at Ford Stadium on the SMU campus. This will be the first ever game for the Fighting Irish in the state of Texas. Notre Dame and Vermont will be meeting for just the second time ever. The Irish are 5-0 this season and coming off a 10-6 win over Bucknell on March 12. The Catamounts are 3-2 this season following a 7-5 loss to Penn State on March 15.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame improved to 5-0 with a 10-6 win over Bucknell on March 12 … sophomore midfielder Zach Brenneman led the way with the first hat trick of his career … junior attackman Neal Hicks notched a game-high four points on two goals and two assists … senior goalie Scott Rodgers moved to 5-0 by making 11 saves … Rodgers ranks second among all NCAA Division I goalies with a .647 save percentage to go along with a 7.43 goals-against average, which ranks seventh nationally … Hicks has a team-high 18 points (11g, 7a) … Hicks, Ryan Hoff (Sr., A) and Grant Krebs (Jr., M) all have a team-best 11 goals … Hicks, Duncan Swezey (Sr., A) and Peter Christman (Sr., M) lead the Irish with seven assists apiece … the Fighting Irish are averaging 12.20 goals per game … that mark ranks seventh nationally … the Irish boast the nation’s 10th-best defense by surrendering just 7.40 goals per contest … 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 186-95 (.662) record during his Fighting Irish tenure.
ND-VERMONT SERIES NOTES: This will be just the second meeting ever between Notre Dame and Vermont … the Irish won the only other encounter, 8-6, during the 1985 season in Burlington, Vt.
ABOUT VERMONT: Vermont carries a 3-2 record into Saturday’s showdown with the Irish … the Catamounts opened the campaign with back-to-back wins over Marist (8-7) and Dartmouth (11-9) before falling to top-ranked Virginia (16-4) … Vermont topped Bellarmine (11-4) and most recently lost to Penn State (7-5) … the Catamounts are averaging 7.80 goals per game, while allowing 8.60 per contest … Andrew Kelleher (Sr., A) leads the team in goals (16) and total points (20) … Geoff Worley (Fr., A) has a team-high eight assists … Justin Lubas (Sr.) has played the majority of the minutes in goal and possesses an 8.22 goals-against average and a .612 save percentage … Vermont went 5-11 in 2008 and returned five starters and 27 letterwinners from that squad … head coach Ryan Curtis is in his third season at the helm of the Catamount program.
COMMON OPPONENTS: Notre Dame and Vermont share two common opponents this season, Dartmouth and Penn State … the Irish topped Dartmouth 19-7, while Vermont bested the Greyhounds 11-9 … Notre Dame defeated the Nittany Lions, 13-8, while the Catamounts fell to Penn State, 7-5.
IRISH AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST: Notre Dame is 8-3 all-time against the America East Conference … the Catamounts are the only America East school on Notre Dame’s 2009 schedule … last season, the Irish topped America East foe Albany, 7-6.
THE PATRIOT CUP: College lacrosse returns to Dallas on Saturday, March 21st for the third annual Patriot Cup … the two NCAA Division I games slated for this year’s event are Notre Dame taking on Vermont at 12 noon (CT) followed by Air Force against Bucknell at 2:30 p.m. (CT) … the Wounded Warrior Project is again the beneficiary of the proceeds from the event.
COVERING THE NATION: The trip to the Patriot Cup will mark Notre Dame’s first-ever game in the state of Texas … over the past few seasons, the Irish have helped bring the sport to new locations … last season, the Fighting Irish took on Dartmouth in Atlanta, Ga. … that marked the first-ever NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game in the state of Georgia … the Irish returned to Georgia for this season’s opener against Loyola … in 2006, Notre Dame faced Cornell in the first Division I men’s lacrosse game in the state of Illinois as the two schools met in Lisle … the Irish battled Denver in Bridgeview, Ill. last season.
GOING FOR SIX: With a win against Vermont on Saturday, Notre Dame will start a season 6-0 for just the second time in program history … the other 6-0 start came in 1993 when the Fighting Irish produced a program-best 8-0 record to begin a season … this season marks the third 5-0 start in school history (1993, 2001, 2009).
MOVING UP IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame currently is No. 3 in the Inside Lacrosse, USILA and Lacrosse Magazine polls … that marks the second-highest ranking in program history … the Fighting Irish were ranked second nationally in 2001 after starting the campaign 5-0 … the Irish advanced to the final four that season.
BIG DAY FOR BRENNEMAN: Sophomore midfielder Zach Brenneman notched the first hat trick of his Fighting Irish career in the 10-6 win over Bucknell on March 12 … Brenneman’s first goal cut the Irish deficit to one (3-2) late in the first half … he gave Notre Dame its first lead of the contest (5-4) midway through the third quarter with his second goal … Brenneman produced the game’s final goal in the last minute of play.
TOPPING THE HIGHLY-RANKED: Notre Dame’s 9-7 win over No. 3 North Carolina on March 8 marked the second time in program history that the Irish had defeated a team ranked in the top three of the national polls … the Fighting Irish took down third-ranked Johns Hopkins, 13-9, during the quarterfinals of the 2001 NCAA Championship.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame upped its program-record home win streak to 21 games with the 9-7 win over North Carolina on March 8 … the Irish are 2-0 at home this season … the Fighting Irish went 6-0 at home last season … the Irish have gone three-plus seasons without losing a home contest … 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 … six 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 former home of Irish lacrosse … one victory last season took place at School Field in South Bend and the last two during the ’08 campaign occurred at Alumni Field … the Fighting Irish have taken down seven ranked opponents during the streak … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 122-35 (.777) during the 28-plus years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
THIRD QUARTER SHUTDOWN: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 15-5 in the third quarter of play this season … the Irish held No. 3 North Carolina scoreless during the third stanza in Notre Dame’s 9-7 win over the Tar Heels on March 8.
HALTING THE HEELS: Notre Dame held North Carolina scoreless for a stretch of 29:57 from the second quarter to the fourth quarter in the Irish win on March 8 … the third-ranked Tar Heels entered the contest averaging nearly 15 goals per game, which ranked fifth nationally … North Carolina scored with 4:19 remaining the first half to take a 4-3 lead … the Tar Heels did not notch another goal until the 4:22 mark of the fourth quarter … Notre Dame out scored North Carolina 4-0 during that stretch en route to the 9-7 victory.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Irish have had 14 different players score a goal this season … in the 19-7 win over Dartmouth, Notre Dame had a season-high 10 players notch a goal … Ryan Hoff, Grant Krebs and Neal Hicks all lead the Irish with 11 goals apiece.
HAT TRICK FOR HOFF: Senior attackman Ryan Hoff netted his first hat trick of the season in helping the Irish to a 9-7 win over North Carolina on March 8 … Hoff has scored three or more goals in 16 games during his stellar collegiate career.
BALANCED ATTACK: The Fighting Irish used six goal scorers in their 10-6 triumph of Bucknell on March 12 … among those who scored were sophomore midfielder Zach Brenneman, who netted the first hat trick of his career … his classmate Andrew Irving, a long-stick midfielder, scored his first collegiate goal in the contest.
HOFF MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Senior attackman Ryan Hoff ranks fourth all-time in program history with 113 career goals … as a rookie, he tallied 21 goals before becoming the first Fighting Irish player ever to register back-to-back 40-goal campaigns with 40 in 2007 and 41 in 2008 … Hoff is tied for the team lead in goals this season with 11 … the senior needs three goals to move past Chris Dusseau (1996-1999) and into third 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, a USILA All-America honoree last season after scoring 41 goals, has scored 11 goals this season in helping the Irish to a 5-0 start … the ninth annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at the University Club of Washington, D.C.
SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATES: Notre Dame’s Peter Christman and Ryan Hoff are among a list of 30 NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse players who have been selected as candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award … 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 … Christman has been a starter in all five games this season and has 11 points on four goals and seven assists … the team captain boasts a 3.622 cumulative grade-point average as a political science major in the College of Arts and Letters … Christman was named to the dean’s list in the fall of 2008 with a 3.883 semester GPA … Hoff has deposited 11 goals this season … the senior carries a 3.230 cumulative grade-point average as a marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business … Hoff was a dean’s list member in the fall of 2008 as he posted a 3.883 semester GPA.
LEAGUE HONORS: Notre Dame has produced three recipients of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) player-of-the-week award this season … goalie Scott Rodgers earned the distinction on March 10, while midfielder Grant Krebs and attackman Neal Hicks received the honor on Feb. 17 and 24, respectively … Krebs garnered the award after notching a team-best four points on three goals and an assist in the 10-9 season-opening win over Loyola on Feb. 14 … Hicks produced career-best single-game numbers in goals (4), assists (4) and points (8) in Notre Dame’s 13-8 victory at Penn State on Feb. 22 … Rodgers made 16 saves in a 9-7 win over No. 3 North Carolina on March 8 … these were the first-ever GWLL player-of-the-week honors for all three student-athletes.
NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Notre Dame’s Sam Barnes, Grant Krebs and Scott Rodgers all have been named to the Inside Lacrosse team of the week this season … Barnes earned the honor after helping the Fighting Irish shut down Dartmouth in Notre Dame’s 19-7 victory in its home opener on Feb. 28 … Krebs was named to the first Inside Lacrosse team of the week (Feb. 17) after notching four points on three goals and an assist in the 10-9 season-opening win over Loyola … the junior midfielder was selected to squad as the `EMO Sniper’ after he scored two man-up tallies in the second half against the Greyhounds … Rodgers, a senior goalie, was named to the IL team of the week on Feb. 24 after notching a career-high 20 saves in a 13-8 victory at Penn State.
HICKS OFF TO HOT START: Junior attackman Neal Hicks is off to a stellar start this season … Hicks leads the Irish with 18 total points and is tied for the team lead in goals with 11 … the Atlanta native returned to his home state and registered the first hat trick of his career in a 10-9 win over Loyola in the season opener … Hicks followed that up with an eight-point performance on four goals and four assists in a 13-8 win at Penn State … all of those numbers were single-game career-high marks for the junior … the eight points were one off the program record of nine … Hicks produced a game-high four points on two goals and two assists in a 10-6 win over Bucknell (March 12).
WORTH THE WAIT: Entering the 2009 season, senior goalie Scott Rodgers had only appeared in seven career games while backing up three-time All-American Joey Kemp … after not playing at all last season, Rodgers made his first collegiate start in the 10-9 win over Loyola on Feb. 14 … 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 … the senior followed that performance up with a career-high 20 saves in a 13-8 win over Penn State on Feb. 22 … that effort earned him a spot on the Inside Lacrosse team of the week … Rodgers improved to 3-0 by making eight saves in 50:42 in a 19-7 win over Dartmouth … the Long Island native came up big in the 9-7 triumph of No. 3 North Carolina as he made 16 saves and was named the Great Western Lacrosse League player of the week for his effort … he made 11 stops in a 10-6 win over Bucknell … he currently ranks second among all NCAA goalies with a .647 save percentage … he also boasts a 7.43 goals-against average, which ranks seventh nationally.
STREAKING: Junior midfielder Grant Krebs carries a team-best 21-game point streak into Saturday’s tilt against Vermont … the streak ranks in a tie for eighth nationally … he has notched 61 points on 37 goals and 14 assists during the streak … Krebs has tallied 16 points on 11 goals and five assists this season … senior attackman Ryan Hoff is riding a team-best 19-game goal streak … he has 11 goals on the season.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame ranks seventh among all NCAA Division I teams by averaging 12.20 goals per game this season … the Irish have scored at least nine goals in every game this season and scored a season-high 19 times against Dartmouth (Feb. 28) … the Irish averaged 12.09 goals per game last season and that placed them fifth nationally … in 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked fourth in the nation.
BACK IN THE ATTACK: The Fighting Irish returned 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 is occupying the third attack spot this season … junior midfielder Grant Krebs tallied 35 points (26g, 9a) last season … Hoff, Krebs and Hicks all have a team-high 11 goals this season … Hicks has a team-best 18 points … Notre Dame currently ranks seventh in the nation with a 12.20 goals per game average.
MANNING UP: The Fighting Irish rank in a tie for sixth nationally in man-up offense by converting on 50 percent (11-for-22) of their chances … junior midfielder Grant Krebs has a team-high six man-up goals this season … last season, the Fighting Irish ranked fourth nationally in man-up offense with a 44.6 percentage (29-for-65).
IRISH DEFENSE AMONG THE NATION’S BEST: Once again, the Fighting Irish defense ranks in the top 10 nationally … Notre Dame currently ranks 10th with a 7.40 goals-against average … the Irish boasted the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game … in 2007, Notre Dame ranked fourth nationally by surrendering a program-record 6.66 goals per game.
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.
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 won the GWLL last season by capturing the league’s inaugural postseason 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.
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.
GIVING BACK: While the support of the South Bend/Michiana community has been a key ingredient to the success of the Fighting Irish at home over the years, the Notre Dame players have routinely given back to the local community … last spring, the Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse team was recognized with The Trophy Award at Notre Dame’s seventh annual O.S.C.A.R.S (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) … established by the Office of Student Welfare and Development at Notre Dame, The Trophy Award annually recognizes an athletic team that has demonstrated its commitment and dedication to the community through unparalleled community service to Notre Dame and South Bend.
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 that are not televised will feature a live broadcast on und.com, the school’s offical athletics web site … simply go to the front page of und.com and click on the `Live Events’ tab and select the game to view the broadcast … live stats will be available through Gametracker via und.com 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 und.com 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 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 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 Carroll.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.