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Men's Lacrosse Hosts #12 Hofstra

March 22, 2002

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THE WEEK AHEAD – The 18th-ranked Notre Dame lacrosse team will play its fourth home game of the 2002 campaign when the Irish host 12th-ranked Hofstra on Sat., March 23 at 1:00 p.m. Notre Dame is 1-4 following back-to-back losses to fourth-ranked Virginia (7-5) and third-ranked Loyola (7-6) in double overtime.

RECAPPING THE WEEK – Notre Dame was 0-2 in its two games last week as the Irish suffered a two-goal loss (7-5) to fourth-ranked Virginia and dropped a one-goal decision (7-6) to third-ranked Loyola in double overtime. The loss to the Greyhounds marked the second overtime setback the Irish have suffered this season. Notre Dame’s four losses are by a combined five goals, three of the setbacks have been by one goal. Three of Notre Dame’s five opponents thus far have been ranked.

VIRGINIA – Notre Dame lost a two-goal decision to the fourth-ranked Cavaliers on the road as the Irish travelled to Charlottesville for the second straight year and the fourth-ever meeting between the two teams. Last season, Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad earned its first-ever win against Virginia with an 11-8 victory. The Irish and Cavaliers were locked in a 5-5 deadlock before junior Billy Gladling scored his second goal of the game with 1:45 remaining and Brenndan Mohler added the insurance goal with 52 second left, giving the Cavaliers a 7-5 victory.

Virginia jumped out to an early two-goal lead in the first quarter, the Irish tied the game at 2-2 with 9:35 remaining in the second period on scores by freshman Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) and sophomore Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.). Virginia scored two unanswered goals in the next 2:35, but the Irish were able to cut the deficit to 4-3 before the intermission on Berger’s second goal of the game. The Cavaliers opened with a goal 32 seconds into the second half and held the Irish scoreless throughout the entire third quarter. Notre Dame trimmed the deficit to 5-4 on Kyle Frigon’s (Salem, Mass.) goal and then tied the game on Giordano’s second score of the contest with 3:24 remaining. Junior Nick Antol (Baldwin, Md.) came up with a personal best 17 saves in goal.

LOYOLA – The Irish had their two-game win streak against the Greyhounds snapped as Notre Dame lost its second overtime decision of the season in suffering a 7-6 double overtime loss to third-ranked Loyola. Michael Sullivan scored his third goal of the game 1:21 into the second overtime session to give the Greyhounds the win. Notre Dame tied the game at 6-6 on senior Owen Asplundh’s (Bryn Athyn, Pa.) tally with 2:34 remaining in the contest. The Irish fought back from a two-goal deficit in the third quarter. Devin Ryan (Kensington, Md.), who had three goals and an assist in the contest, tallied back-to-back scores which knotted the game at 5-5 with 9:57 left in regulation. Ryan cut the lead to 5-4 with 1:24 left in the third quarter and then tied the game with 6:52 left in regulation. Kyle Frigon added a goal and an assist for the Irish.

SERIES RECORD VS. HOFSTRA – This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with the series knotted at 4-4. The two teams have played each other each of the last five seasons dating back to the 1997 campaign. The Irish will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak to the Pride. Two of the last three meetings between the two teams has been decided in overtime and each of the last three contests have been decided by a single goal. Notre Dame is 2-1 versus Hofstra at home, the victory came two years ago in 2000 as the Pride defeated the Irish 8-7. Prior to losing three straight to Hofstra, Irish teams had won four straight during the 1992, ’93, ’97 and ’98 campaigns.

COMMON OPPONENTS – The common opponent on each team’s 2002 schedule thus far has been Loyola. Both teams have dropped one-goal decisions at home to the Greyhounds. Notre Dame suffered a 7-6 setback in double overtime last Saturday and Hofstra lost 8-7 on March 2. Both teams also will face Fairfield and Army during the 2002 campaign. The Pride beat the Stags at home in their last outing 11-8 and entertains the Cadets on March 30. Notre Dame plays at home on April 13 and entertains Fairfield on April 21.

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 128-76 (.627) overall ledger and an 118-61 (.659) mark with the Irish. Corrigan has guided 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 its 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.) in 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. Notre Dame’s game against Fairfield on Apr. 22 marked the 200th of Corrigan’s collegiate tenure.

FACING THE BEST – Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan has never been one to back away from a tough schedule, his Notre Dame teams have always played a very demanding schedule. Corrigan’s squad has already faced three ranked opponents this season (Penn State, Virginia and Loyola), Saturday’s matchup with Loyola will mark the fourth time this Irish have gone up against a ranked opponent in 2002. Future Irish opponent Ohio State is ranked 19th in this week’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll, while Harvard is ranked 20th. The Irish and Buckeyes, members of the Great Western Lacrosse League, are slated to play each other in the regular season finale for both teams on Sat., May 4. Notre Dame faces the Crimson in Cambridge, Mass., on Sat., April 27.

BERGER BITES – Irish sophomore Dan Berger leads the team in scorng with 10 goals and eights assists and has started all five games for Notre Dame at attack. Last season, he played in just six games as a freshman and scored one goal. He has had three multiple-goal games this season, including a personal best four in 7-6 loss at Pennsylvania on March 2. He also has dished off two assists for a total of 12 points.

SIMON SAYS – Junior Eric Simon (Flemington, N.J.) has been a mainstay for the Irish on defense this season. In addition to help anchoring a defense which has allowed just 7.40 goals per game. Simon has started all five games and leads the team with 21 ground balls. In his first two seasons, he had played in 19 career games and collected 12 ground balls.

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 eight goals and dished off two assists (10 points) while starting all five contests. Ryan has had two hat tricks this season (Penn State and Loyola) and has recorded a goal in three of five contests. He had two goals in Notre Dame’s 11-6 win over Rutgers.

CLOSE CALLS – Notre Dame’s four losses this season have been by a combined five goals. Two of the four setback have been decided in overtime. The Irish’s 7-6 loss to Loyola marked the first-ever double overtime game in the program’s 21-year history. Notre Dame has played two overtime contests in a single season on three occasions – 1981, 1994 and 1996.

FRESHMEN IN THE FOLD – Irish freshmen attack Brian Giordano and midfielder Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y.) have each been in the starting lineup in four games this season. Giordano has contributed four goals and two assists, while Malakoff has scored three goals. Malakoff netted a goal in each of Notre Dame’s first three games, while Giordano scored two goals in both the Rutgers and Virginia contests. In addition, he had two assists in the win over the Scarlet Knights.

BETWEEN THE PIPES – Junior Nick Antol has started the last three games for the Irish in goal. He made his first career start against Rutgers and was also Notre Dame’s starting goalkeeper against No. 4 Virginia and No. 3 Loyola. He had a career-high 17 saves against the Cavaliers and registered nine saves versus the Greyhounds. He has a goals against average of 6.11 and a save percentage of .621.

HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame was undefeated at home last season and finished with a 6-0 mark. Since back-to-back 5-0 campaigns at home in 1994 and 1995, Irish teams own a 38-10 record for a winning percentage of 79.2 percent. Notre Dame has an all-time 91-29 (75.8 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. The Irish will look to avenge that loss to the Pride this season when Hofstra pays a visit to Moose Krause Stadium on March 23.

ALL IN THE FAMILY – Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y.), a freshman midfield 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 midfield Will Shearer’s (Hampstead, Md.) sister, Danielle, also plays for head coach Tracy Coyne’s squad.