April 18, 2002
THE WEEK AHEAD – Notre Dame returns home to the friendly confines of Moose Krause Stadium for the first time since March 23 when Coach Kevin Corrigan’s Irish play host to Great Western Lacrosse League foe Fairfield on Sun., April 21 at 1:00 p.m. (EST). Notre Dame heads into the contest with a 4-6 overall record and 3-0 conference mark, while Fairfield is 5-4 and 3-1 in league play.
RECAPPING THE WEEK – Notre Dame had its three-game win streak snapped as the Irish dropped an 11-8 decision to Army. Sophomore Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.) extended his goal-scoring streak to 10 games as he tallied a game-high three goals in the contest. Senior Owen Asplundh (Bryn Athyn, Pa.) scored three goals, while seniors John Flandina (West Islip, N.Y.) and Devin Ryan (Kensington, Md.) and junior Travis Wells (Severna Park, Md.) each scored a goal and dished off an assist. The Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the contest, before the Cadets scored three unaswered goals to end the first quarter. Notre Dame tied the game at 3-3 and pushed the lead to 5-3 with 6:34 remaining before halftime on Berger’s first goal of the game. Following that score. Army went on to score eight of the game’s next nine goals, including five straight to end the second quarter in a span of 5:13 as the Cadets led 8-5 at the intermission. Notre Dame trimmed the deficit to 8-6 5:04 into the third quarter, but that would be the Irish’s only score of the quarter. Army responded with three unanswered goals following that score and led 11-6 following 45 minutes of action. Notre Dame held Cadets the scoreless in the final 15-minute stanza, but managed just two scores of its own. The Irish outshot the Cadets 36-30, but won just two of the game’s 22 face-off attempts.
SERIES RECORD VS. FAIRFIELD – This will be the third meeting ever between the two schools. The Irish have won both previous matchups – 20-12 at Notre Dame in 2000 and 12-5 at Fairfield in 2001.
GWLL TITLE ON THE LINE – The Great Western Lacrosse League title and subsequent automatic berth in the NCAA tournament will be on the line when the Irish and Stags square off on Sunday. A win by Notre Dame keeps Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad in contention for the league championship with one GWLL game remaining against Ohio State on Sat., May 4. A win by the Fairfield would guarentee the Stags of their first league championship.
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 132-82 (.617) overall ledger and an 122-67 (.646) 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.
ROAD WARRIORS RETURN HOME – Notre Dame is playing at home for the first time since March 23 when the Irish suffered a 15-5 setback to Hofstra. Since that loss, Corrigan’s squad has gone 3-1 while playing four consecutive road games, the Irish picked up wins against Denver (15-8), Air Force (9-3) and Butler (12-8).
BALANCED SCORING – Notre Dame has received scoring help from 13 different players have scored a goal this season. Three players – Dan Berger (20 goals), Devin Ryan (15 goals) and Kyle Frigon (10 goals) – have scored 10 or more goals. As a team, Notre Dame has only scored 10 or more goals three times this season – vs. Rutgers (11 goals), Denver (15 goals) and Butler (12 goals). It’s offensive production has picked up significantly in the last four games games as the Irish have averaged 11.0 goals per game. Coach 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.
GWLL DOMINANCE – Since the inception of the Great Western Lacrosse League in 1994, Notre Dame has won 94.3 percent of its games as Irish teams have posted a 33-2 record in eight-plus seasons. Under Coach Kevin Corrigan, Notre Dame has either won outright or shared seven conference championship titles. The only time that the Irish have failed to win the league crown was in 1998. Notre Dame’s two league losses have been to Butler (6-5 in 1998) and Ohio State (5-4 in 1999).
GETTING OFFENSIVE – Notre Dame averaged just 7.0 goals per game in its first six games, but since a 15-5 loss to Hofstra, the Irish are aveaging 11.0 goals per game in their last four outings. Prior to the Denver contest, in which they scored a season-high 15 goals, Notre Dame had scored 10-plus goals in just one other contest (11 in a 11-6 win over Rutgers). In four of the first six games, Notre Dame scored fewer than 10 goal in five of those contests. In a three-game stretch against Virginia, Loyola and Hofstra, the Irish averaged just 5.33 goals per game.
LOOKING TO PROTECT THE HOME TURF – Notre Dame has already lost three of its four home games this season. Only twice in the 21-year history of the program have Irish teams suffered four homes losses in both 1981 and 1991 as both of those Irish teams finished with a 2-4 home record.
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 the teams currently ranked – Penn State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Loyola, Hofstra and Army. The Irish face Ohio State in the final game of the regular season on Sat., May 4. 2002 Irish opponents in the polls this week are: USILA Inside Lacrosse.com Virginia 1st 1st Hofstra 9th 10th Loyola 10th 9th Pennsylvania 15th 17th Penn State 17th 19th Army T18th 18th Ohio State T18th 19th
BERGER BITES – Irish sophomore Dan Berger leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and three assists (20 points) and has started all 10 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. Berger has scored at least one goal in each of the Irish’s 10 contests.
FLANDINA FOLLIES – After somewhat of a slow start to the season, John Flandina has picked up his game. The senior midfield is tied for second in scoring with six goals and a team-leading 13 assists (19 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 two weeks ago after scoring three goals and dishing off three assists in Notre Dame’s 15-8 win over Denver.
IRONMAN – Senior John Flandina is the only fourth-year Irish player who have played in all 54 games during his Notre Dame career. Another senior, Chad DeBolt (Waterloo, N.Y.), had played in every game of his career prior to last Saturday’s contest at Army. 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.) has missed the last four games because of a broken hand. Prior to the injury, he had been a mainstay for the Irish on defense. Simon has started all six games he has played and has collected 24 ground balls. In his first two seasons, he had played in 19 career games and collected 12 ground balls. Simon has 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 15 goals (second most on the team) and dished off four assists (19 points) while starting all 10 contests. Ryan has had three hat tricks this season (Penn State, Loyola and Denver) and has recorded at least one goal in seven of 10 contests.
CLOSE CALLS – Notre Dame’s first four losses this season were by a combined five goals. Two of the team’s six 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 21-year history. Notre Dame has played two overtime contests in a single season on three other occasions – 1981, 1994 and 1996.
FRESHMEN IN THE FOLD – Irish freshmen attack Brian Giordano and midfielder Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y.) have each played in all 10 games and been in the starting lineup in nine and five games, respectively. Giordano has contributed seven goals and eight assists (15 points), while Malakoff has scored three goals and dished off five assists. Giordano has had three goals and six assists (nine points) in the last four games for the Irish with his best performance coming against Rutgers as he scored two goals and dished off two assists in the 11-6 win over the Scarlet Knights. Meanwhile, Malakoff has had either a goal or an assist in all but three games (Loyola, Hofstra and Army).
BETWEEN THE PIPES – Junior Nick Antol has started the last eight games for the Irish in goal and owns a 4-4 record this season. He made his first career start against Rutgers and has been the Irish starter ever since that game. Antol has had 10-plus saves in five games – Virginia (17), Hofstra (11), Denver (14), Air Force (13) and Butler (12). In addition, he had eight saves versus Rutgers and Army and nine against Loyola. Antol has a goals against average of 7.98 and a save percentage of .588.
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 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.