April 3, 2009
Air Force (3-5, 1-0) vs. #3 Notre Dame (8-0, 1-0)
Saturday, April 4 â€¢ 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Field â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
Live broadcast on und.com
Gametracker on und.com
SETTING THE STAGE: The third-ranked Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse team will put their 8-0 record on the line when they play host to Air Force in a Great Western Lacrosse League showdown on Saturday, April 4. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field. Notre Dame upped its program-record home win streak to 23 games with a 9-7 victory over Villanova on Tuesday. Air Force is 3-5 on the season following a 9-8 loss at Manhattan on March 24. Both the Fighting Irish and Falcons are 1-0 in GWLL play this season.
HOW TO FOLLOW: Saturday’s clash between Notre Dame and Air Force can be viewed via live broadcast and live stats on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, und.com … simply go to und.com and find the `Men’s Lacrosse’ page and click on `Schedule’ … once there, find the Air Force game and there will be links to both `Gametracker’ for live stats and a `Watch’ link that will show the game for free … you can also sign up for `Irish Alert’, a text messaging service designed to give fans game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame improved its record to 8-0 with a 9-7 win over Villanova on Tuesday … senior Peter Christman completed his hat trick with a goal that snapped a 7-7 tie with 2:54 left in regulation … junior Neal Hicks posted three points on two goals and an assist … senior goalie Scott Rodgers made two key saves down the stretch to seal the victory … entering the week, Rodgers ranked second among all NCAA Division I goalies with a .637 save percentage to go along with a 7.16 goals-against average, which ranks sixth nationally … Ryan Hoff has a team-best 17 goals, while Hicks has a team-high 24 points (16g, 8a) … Christman leads the team in assists with 10 … the Fighting Irish are averaging 11.75 goals per game … that mark ranks seventh nationally … the Irish defense also ranks seventh in the country by surrendering just 7.12 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 189-95 (.665) record during his Fighting Irish tenure.
ND-AIR FORCE SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame is 19-2 all-time against Air Force … the Fighting Irish bested the Falcons, 13-5, last season at Air Force … Air Force won the first game in the series, 14-8, back in 1988 … the Fighting Irish then captured 17 in a row before falling to the Falcons, 9-8, in 2006 at Air Force … Air Force is 0-10 all-time at Notre Dame … the Fighting Irish hold a 265-140 scoring advantage in the series.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame topped Air Force 13-5 last season in USAFA, Colo. … the Irish jumped out to a 7-0 lead by the 7:21 mark of the second quarter and led 9-2 at halftime … Notre Dame scored the first four goals of the second half en route to the victory … the Falcons did not score in the first and third quarters … Ryan Hoff, Neal Hicks and Alex Wharton all netted two goals for the Irish … Notre Dame used 10 goal scorers in the win.
SCOUTING AIR FORCE: Air Force brings a 3-5 record into Saturday’s meeting with Notre Dame … the Falcons are 1-0 in GWLL play following a 14-8 win over Quinnipiac on March 14 … Air Force also has defeated Sacred Heart (15-5) and Presbyterian (12-8) this season … the Falcons have fallen to Maryland (15-4), Towson (11-9), Army (14-9), Bucknell (9-2) and Manhattan (9-8) … Air Force is averaging 9.12 goals per game, while surrendering 9.88 per game … sophomore Vinny Sandtorv has a team-high 15 goals … junior Ridge Flick leads the team in assists (8) and total points (17) … the Falcons have started five different goalies this season … freshman Matt Sanders has seen the most minutes between the pipes … Sanders has started three games and carries a 9.19 goals-against average and a .479 save percentage … he is 1-2, while Dan Gnazzo (1-1), Woody Johnson (1-0), Brian Wilson (0-1) and Josh Kimm (0-1) also have claimed decisions … Air Force posted a 3-9 record last season, including a 1-4 mark in GWLL play … head coach Eric Seremet is in his first season at the helm of the Falcon program.
IRISH IN THE GWLL: Notre Dame is 56-10 (.848) all-time in Great Western Lacrosse League regular-season play … this is the 16th season for the GWLL … Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions … the last unblemished league mark for the Irish came in 2007 when they went 5-0 … Notre Dame has won 11 GWLL regular-season titles … the Irish have won the title outright seven times, while earning a share of the crown four times … last season, Notre Dame captured the inaugural GWLL tournament.
HOT START: Notre Dame’s 8-0 record matches the best start in program history … the Fighting Irish also started the 1993 campaign with eight straight victories.
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO: At 8-0, Notre Dame is one of two undefeated teams remaining in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse … Virginia is the other unblemished squad with an 11-0 mark.
MOVING UP IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame has been ranked third in the Inside Lacrosse media poll over the past three weeks … 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.
CHRISTMAN IN THE CLUTCH: Peter Christman’s goal that snapped a 7-7 tie with 2:54 left in regulation in the win over Villanova was not the first clutch tally of his career … last season, Christman netted the game winner in an 8-7 overtime triumph of Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament … earlier that season, the midfielder scored the game winner with 23 seconds left in a 7-6 victory over Albany.
STREAKING: Junior midfielder Grant Krebs carries a team-best 24-game point streak into Saturday’s showdown with Air Force … the streak ranks eighth nationally … he has notched 58 points on 42 goals and 16 assists during the streak … Krebs has tallied 23 points on 16 goals and seven assists this season … Krebs also owns the team’s longest goal-scoring streak … he has deposited a goal in 20 straight games.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame will bring a program-record 23-game home winning streak into Saturday’s game against Air Force … the Irish are 4-0 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 … four have been played at Alumni Field, while one victory last season took place at School Field in South Bend … the Fighting Irish have taken down seven ranked opponents during the streak … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 124-35 (.780) during the 28-plus years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
FAST STARTS: The Fighting Irish have out scored their opponents 27-13 in the first quarter of play this season.
THIRD QUARTER SHUTDOWN: Notre Dame has surrendered just nine third-quarter goals this season … that is an average of 1.13 per game … the Fighting Irish own a 22-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter.
IRISH DEFENSE AMONG THE NATION’S BEST: Once again, the Fighting Irish defense ranks in the top 10 nationally … Notre Dame currently ranks seventh with a 7.12 goals-against average … the Fighting Irish have held opponents to seven goals or fewer in six straight games … 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.
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 in 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 … the win over the third-ranked Tar Hells 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.
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 leads the Irish with 17 goals this season … Grant Krebs (16), Neal Hicks (16) and Duncan Swezey (13) are the other double-figure goal scorers for the Irish.
HOFF MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Senior attackman Ryan Hoff ranks in a tie for second all-time in program history with 119 career goals … as a rookie, he tallied 21 goals before becoming the second Fighting Irish player ever to register back-to-back 40-goal campaigns with 40 in 2007 and 41 in 2008 … Hoff leads the team with 17 goals this season … 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 a team-high 17 goals this season in helping the Irish to an 8-0 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 FINALIST: Notre Dame attackman Ryan Hoff is among a list of 10 NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse players who have been selected as finalists 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 … Hoff has deposited a team-best 17 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 … those 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 the 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 STAYING HOT: Junior attackman Neal Hicks is producing a career-best season … Hicks has a team-high 24 points … he is tied for second on the squad in goals (16) and assists (8) … all of those offensive numbers are single-season career-high figures for the junior … entering this season, Hicks had totaled 13 goals and seven assists for his career … in the 2009 season opener, the Atlanta native returned to his home state and registered the first hat trick of his career in a 10-9 win over Loyola … 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.
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 … 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 … another solid effort was needed in a 9-7 win over Villanova as he made two key saves down the stretch, including one in the final 30 seconds, to keep the Irish perfect on the season … he currently ranks second among all NCAA Division I goalies with a .629 save percentage … he also boasts a 7.14 goals-against average, which ranks sixth nationally.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame ranks seventh among all NCAA Division I teams by averaging 11.75 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 … 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 has a team-high 17 goals this season followed by Krebs (16) and Hicks (16) … Hicks has a team-best 24 points … Notre Dame currently ranks seventh nationally with an 11.75 goals per game average.
COVERING THE NATION: The trip to the Patriot Cup on March 21 marked 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.
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.email@example.com 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.