May 2, 2002
THE WEEK AHEAD – Notre Dame (4-8, 3-1) concludes the 2002 campaign at home this weekend when the Irish play host to Great Western Lacrosse League rival Ohio State (9-4, 3-1) on Sat., May 4 at 1:00 p.m. at Moose Krause Stadium. The Notre Dame will be looking to snap its three-game losing streak as Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad has dropped consecutive decisions to Army (11-8), Fairfield (11-10) and Harvard (7-6).
RECAPPING THE WEEK – Notre Dame suffered its third overtime setback of the season and fifth one-goal decision as the Irish dropped a 7-6 overtime decision to Harvard. The Crimson netted the game-winning goal 57 seconds into overtime and handed Corrigan’s squad its second straight one-goal loss. Harvard sent the game into overtime with the game-tying score with 15.6 seconds remaining. That score came 28 seconds after Irish freshman Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) had given Notre Dame the lead with 43.6 seconds left in regulation. Both Giordano and senior Devin Ryan (Kensington Md.) tallied two goals each in the game, while another Irish fourth-year player, John Flandina (West Islip, N.Y.) added a goal and an assist. Junior goalkeeper Nick Antol (Baldwin, Md.) recorded 16 saves in the game, one shy of his career best. The first produced very little scoring as the two teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after 30 minutes. Eric Simon (Huntington, N.J.) scored his first collegiate goal as he put the Irish up 1-0 2:11 into the contest. Flandina gave the Irish a 2-0 lead at the 10:16 mark of the second quarter, but Harvard responded with two goals in less than three minutes. Harvard struck first in the second half with a goal 2:48 into the contest, but Ryan knotted the score at 3-3 off an assist from rookie Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y.) with 5.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Irish went up 4-3 on Giordano’s second goal of the game, but Harvard came back with two unanswered goals just 10 seconds part. Ryan’s second score of the game tied the contest for the fifth time at 5-5 with 6:16 left to play in regulation.
SERIES RECORD VS. OHIO STATE – Saturday’s contest will mark the 25th meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame leads the series 17-7 and has won 11 of the last 12 games played between the two teams. Since 1990, the Irish have lost to the Buckeyes once – 5-4 in 1999 in Columbus, Ohio. Notre Dame owns a 9-2 record playing Ohio State at home. The last Buckeye victory at Notre Dame was on March 30, 1988 as Ohio State defeated the Irish 6-4. In the last two meetings (2001 and 2000), the Irish have been 13-4 winners on both occasions.
HEAD COACH KEVIN CORRIGAN – Kevin Corrigan is in his 14th season at Notre Dame and 16th in the collegiate ranks. The four-time Great Western Lacrosse League coach of the year owns a 132-84 (.611) overall ledger and an 122-69 (.639) mark with the Irish. Corrigan has led Notre Dame to 10 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 12 years (including six straight from 1992-97) and 10 (either outright or shared) conference titles. Last season, he guided the Irish to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship national semifinals. Under Corrigan, Notre Dame has been victorious in the first round of the NCAA tournament on three occasions. In 1995, Notre Dame won its first-ever NCAA tournament game with a 12-10 victory over Duke which propelled the Irish into the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. In 2000, his squad upset fifth-seeded Loyola (Md.)15-13 in the first round for the school’s first-ever win over the Greyhounds. Last season, Notre Dame defeated Bucknell 12-7 in first round action and Johns Hopkins 13-9 in the quarterfinals. Previous to his tenure at Notre Dame, Corrigan served as head coach at Randolph-Macon during the 1985 and 1986 campaign where his teams compiled a 10-15 mark.
AN IRISH RARITY – With just one game remaining in the regular season and a 4-8 record, Notre Dame will end the campaign with a losing record. It will mark just the third time the 21-year history of the program that an Irish team has suffered a losing season – 6-7 in 1983 and 5-7 in 1998. Notre Dame has also finished with a .500 record on two other occasions – 1981 (6-6) and 1991 (7-7). In five other seasons, an Irish team has suffered seven losses – 1983 (6-7), 1985 (9-7), 1990 (9-7), 1991 (7-7) and 1998 (5-8). Notre Dame’s eight losses this season are the most in the 22-year history of the program.
BALANCED SCORING – Notre Dame has received scoring help from 16 different players this season. Four players – Dan Berger (Phoenix Md.) Devin Ryan, Kyle Frigon (Salem, Mass.) and John Flandina – have each scored 10 or more goals this season. Berger leads the team with 20 goals, while Ryan is second on the squad with 17 goals. Frigon has 11 goals to his credit and Flandina has 10. As a team, Notre Dame has only scored 10 or more goals four times this season – vs. Rutgers (11 goals), Denver (15 goals), Butler (12 goals) and Fairfield (11-10). Corrigan’s squad had a season-high 15 goals against Denver in a 15-8 win with three players recording hat tricks in the contest.
PROTECTING THE HOME TURF – Notre Dame is just 1-4 this season, the fewest wins at home since the 1996 campaign when that Irish squad finished just 2-3. Only three times in 21-plus seasons has Notre Dame lost four home games – 1981, 1991 and 2002. Both the 1981 and 1991 squad finished with 2-4 home records.
THE “10-10” CLUB – John Flandina is tied for first in the Irish scoring column with 24 points. He has scored 10 goals and dished off a team-high 14 assists and is the only player with 10-plus goals and assists this season. This is the first time in Flandina’s career that he has scored 10 or more goals and dished off 10 or more assists in the same season. His 14 assists are a career best.
FACING THE BEST – Seven of Notre Dame’s 13 opponents this season are ranked in both the USILA and Inside Lacrosse.com rankings this week. Notre Dame has already played six of those teams – Penn State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Loyola, Hofstra and Fairfield. The Irish face Ohio State in the final game of the regular season on Saturday. 2002 Irish opponents in the polls this week are: USILA Inside Lacrosse.com Virginia 5th 4th Hofstra 6th 6th Loyola 11th T8th Penn State 13th 14th Pennsylvania 17th 29th Ohio State 19th 18th Fairfield 20th 20th
BERGER BITES – Irish sophomore Dan Berger leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and four assists (20 points) and has started all 12 games for Notre Dame at attack. Last season, he played in just six games as a freshman and scored one goal. He has had six multiple-goal games this season, including a personal best four goals in a 7-6 loss at Pennsylvania on March 2. Prior to the Fairfield game (the 11th game of the season), Berger had scored a goal in all 10 previous outings. Against the Stags he did manage to dish off an assist to keep his streak alive of contributing either a goal or an assist in all 11 games. In the loss to Harvard, however, Berger was held without a goal or an assist. He is one of just four Irish players who has started all 12 contests.
FLANDINA FOLLIES – After somewhat of a slow start to the season, John Flandina has picked up his game. The senior midfielder is tied scoring honors with with 10 goals and a team-leading 14 assists (24 points). Last season, Flandina finished with 20 goals and seven assists in 16 contests and was the Irish’s top returning scorer heading into this season. He was named the Great Western Lacrosse Player of the Week once this season after scoring three goals and dishing off three assists in Notre Dame’s 15-8 win over Denver. His hat trick against Fairfield on Sunday was his second of the season.
IRONMAN – Senior John Flandina is the only fourth-year Irish player who have played in all 56 games during his Notre Dame career. Another senior, Chad DeBolt (Waterloo, N.Y.), had played in every game of his career prior except one – versus Army on April 13. Prior to that game, he had played in 53 consecutive games, but an injury against Butler in Notre Dame’s win the previous week forced him to miss the contest against the Cadets.
SIMON SAYS – Junior Eric Simon (Flemington, N.J.) was back in the lineup against Fairfield after missing the previous four outings with a broken hand. He has started all eight games he has played. Simon recorded his first collegiate score last Saturday in the loss at Harvard as he tallied the contest’s opening goal in the first quarter. Prior to the injury, he had been a mainstay for the Irish on defense. Simon has started all seven games he has played and has collected 33 ground balls. In his first two seasons, he had played in 19 career games and collected 12 ground balls. Simon missed the Denver, Air Force, Butler and Army contests with a broken hand.
RYAN STEPPING UP – Senior Devin Ryan has proven to be one of the team’s top offensive threats this season. The Irish captain has scored 17 goals (second most on the team) and dished off four assists (21 points) while starting all 12 contests. Ryan has had three hat tricks this season (Penn State, Loyola and Denver) and has recorded at least one goal in eight of 12 contests.
CLOSE CALLS – Notre Dame’s first four losses of the 2002 season were by a combined five goals. Three of the team’s eight setbacks this year have been decided in overtime. The Irish lost 10-9 in overtime to Penn State at home in the season opener and then dropped a 7-6 double overtime decision to Loyola at home, which marked the first-ever double overtime game in the program’s 22-year history. In its most recent outing, Corrigan’s squad lost to Harvard in overtime by a 7-6 count. This is the first time in school history that a Notre Dame team has played three overtime contests in a single season. Notre Dame has played two overtime contests in a single season on three other occasions – 1981, 1994 and 1996. Notre Dame is 0-5 in one-goal games in ’02.
HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame was undefeated at home last season and finished with a 6-0 mark. This season, the Irish have struggled and are just 1-3 at home this season. The three losses are the most suffered by a Notre Dame team at home since the 1996 season when it finished with a 2-3 mark. Since back-to-back 5-0 campaigns at home in 1994 and 1995, Irish teams own a 38-11 record for a winning percentage of 77.6 percent. Notre Dame has an all-time 91-30 (75.2 percent) home record since the program’s inaugural season in 1981. Since the ’94 campaign, Notre Dame has been undefeated at home four times.
LOOKS FAMILIAR – Notre Dame’s 2002 schedule will feature the same 13 opponents it did a year ago. The Irish finished with a 12-1 record during the regular season; its only blemish was an 11-10 overtime loss to Hofstra.
ALL IN THE FAMILY – Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y.), a freshman midfielder on this year’s Irish lacrosse team, is the brother of former Notre Dame standout Steve Bishko, a 2001 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) third-team All-America selection and three-year starter. The Bishkos are the fourth brother tandem to play lacrosse at Notre Dame. The others are Todd (1992-96) and Joe Bialous, Jason (1992-94, ’95) and Connor (’98) Pett and David (1998-2001) and Todd (1998-2001) Ulrich.
ALL IN THE FAMILY II – Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are represented by members of both the Simon and Shearer families. Junior defenseman Eric Simon’s sister, Meredith, is a sophomore on the women’s lacrosse team, while freshman midfielder Will Shearer’s (Hampstead, Md.) sister, Danielle, also plays for head coach Tracy Coyne’s squad.