April 11, 2002
THE WEEK AHEAD – After three consecutive victories, the 20th-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (4-5, 3-0 in the GWLL) looks to extend its current win streak to four games when the Irish travel to West Point, N.Y. to face the Cadets of Army on Sat., April 13 at 1:30 p.m. (EST). This will be the fourth straight year that Notre Dame and Army will be squaring off on the lacrosse field.
RECAPPING THE WEEK – Notre Dame pushed its win streak to three straight with a 12-8 victory over Butler on the road. The Irish used a five-goal first-quarter outburst to secure the win as Notre Dame defeated Butler for the fourth consecutive year and ninth time in 10 meetings between the two teams. Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.) scored in his ninth straight contest as he tallied three goals for the second straight game to lead the Irish. Junior Kyle Frigon (Salem, Mass.) added a pair of goals and two assists, while junior Travis Wells (Severna Park, Md.) scored two goals and dished off an assist. Senior Devin Ryan (Kesington, Md.) netted two goals, while freshman Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) had a goal and dished off two assists. Butler jumped out to an early 1-0 lead 48 seconds into the contest, but then Notre Dame answered with five answered goal, with two of the scores coming from Berger. Notre Dame led 7-2 with 3:17 remaining in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs scored the final two goals before the half. The Irish’s lead was trimmed to one goal (7-6) less than four minutes into the third quarter, but Berger, Frigon and Steve Clagett (Chesapeake, Va.) scored consecutive goals in a span of 26 seconds to push the to push the Irish lead 10-6 with 9:32 remaining in the third-period stanza. The two teams traded goals from that point on in the contest. Goalie Nick Antol (Baldwin, Md.) made 12 saves in goal.
SERIES RECORD VS. ARMY – The Irish and Cadets will meet for the fourth consecutive year. Notre Dame has won all three previous matchups which began in 1999. Last season, the Irish tallied four goals in the final quarter for a 17-13 victory. During the 2000 campaign, Notre Dame earned a 10-5 victory at West Point and a 15-7 win at home in 1999. The Irish are playing at Shea Stadium for the second consecutive year. Last year, they opened up NCAA tournament play last year against Bucknell at West Point and recorded a 12-7 victory over the Bison in the first round.
COMMON OPPONENTS – Common to both the Notre Dame and Army schedules are four opponents – Denver, Ohio State, Hofstra and Rutgers. The Cadets have played all four teams and registered a 2-2 record. Army defeated Denver 12-11 in overtime and Rutgers 13-12 and lost to Ohio State 14-13 and to Hofstra 16-9. The Irish own a 2-1 record against those same opponents with victories over Rutgers (11-6) and Denver (15-8) and a loss (15-5) to Hofstra. Notre Dame faces Ohio State at home in the final game of the regular season on Sat., May 4.
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 132-81 (.620) overall ledger and an 122-66 (.649) 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 – Notre Dame is playing is fourth straight road, its longest stretch away from home this season. The Irish have not played a home since March 23. Notre Dame will play two of its final three games at home, beginning next weekend when the Irish face Great Western Lacrosse League foe Fairfield on Sun., April 21 at 1:00 p.m.
BALANCED SCORING – Notre Dame has received scoring help from 13 different players have scored a goal this season. Three players – Dan Berger (17 goals), Devin Ryan (12 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), but is offensive in the last three games has picked up significantly as the Irish have averaged 12.0 goals per game. Coach Corrigan’s squad had a season-high 15 goal scorers in the 15-8 win over Denver with three players recording hat tricks in the contest.
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 12.0 goals per game in their last three 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.
FACING THE BEST – Six 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 five ranked opponents – Penn State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Loyola and Hofstra. 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 2nd 2nd Loyola 5th 6th Hofstra 10th 12th Ohio State 13th 13th Penn State 17th 17th Pennsylvania 18th 19th
BERGER BITES – Irish sophomore Dan Berger leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and three assists (17 points) and has started all nine games for Notre Dame at attack. Last season, he played in just six games as a freshman and scored one goal. He has had five 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 nine 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 five goals and a team-leading 12 assists. 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 a week ago after scoring three goals and dishing off three assists in Notre Dame’s 15-8 win over Denver.
IRONMEN – Seniors Chad DeBolt (Waterloo, N.Y.) and John Flandina are the only fourth-year players who have played in all 53 games during their Notre Dame careers. DeBolt has been Notre Dame’s face-off leader in each of the last three seasons, while Flandina has been a two-year starter for the Irish.
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 7.77 goals per game. Simon has started all six games he has played and has collected 24 ground balls (third-best on the team). In his first two seasons, he had played in 19 career games and collected 12 ground balls. Simon has missed the last three games – Denver, Air Force and Butler 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 14 goals (second most on the team) and dished off three assists (17 points) while starting all nine contests. Ryan has had three hat tricks this season (Penn State, Loyola and Denver) and has recorded a goal in six of nine contests.
CLOSE CALLS – Notre Dame’s first losses this season have been by a combined five goals. Two of the five 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 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 been in the starting lineup in eight and five games, respectively. Giordano has contributed seven goals and seven assists (14 points), while Malakoff has scored three goals and dished off five assists. Giordano has had three goals and five assists (eight points) in the last three 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 two games (Loyola and Hofstra).
BETWEEN THE PIPES – Junior Nick Antol has started the last seven games for the Irish in goal and owns a 4-3 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 nine against Loyola. Antol has a goals against average of 7.31 and a save percentage of .610.
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.