March 18, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. –
THE WEEK AHEAD – The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will look to snap a two-game losing streak with two games this weekend in Hempstead, N.Y. The Irish, currently 3-2 on the season, are ranked 11th in both the USILA and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse polls this week. They will face the Hofstra Pride on Friday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. and then will meet the Hartford Hawks on Sunday, March 23 at noon. Notre Dame will be facing its sixth straight ranked opponent when the Irish meet the Pride on Friday night. Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad has played one of the nation’s toughest schedules as the Irish have played five ranked opponents to date. Hofstra enters Friday’s contest with a 2-2 record and is ranked , while Harford is 2-1. Both the Pride and Hawks are members of the America East Conference.
SCOUTING THE IRISH – After starting the season 3-0, Notre Dame has dropped its last two contests. The Irish’s most recent setback was a 9-8 loss at home to Loyola. Notre Dame has posted two road wins this season – at Penn State (10-9) and at North Carolina (10-8). The Irish are led in scoring by junior Matt Howell’s (Huntington, N.Y.) 11 goals and 11 assists. Howell has become an offensive threat for Notre Dame every time he handles the ball. He played in just three games last season because of an injury. Freshman Patrick Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y.) stands second in the scoring colum with seven goals and seven assists, while last season’s top scorer, junior Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.) has scored 11 gaols. Another rookie, Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y.) is also among the team’s scoring leaders with six goals and one assists (seven points). Notre Dame’s defensive unit has been solid this season with a 9.00 goals against average. The Irish boasts great experience with two-year starter Eric Simon (Flemington, N.J.) and Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y.). Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md.) has started all five games in goal. He has played all but two of a possible 300 minutes and owns a 9.06 goals against average and .609 save percentage.
SCOUTING HOFSTRA AND HARTFORD – Hostra is 2-2 on the season and is coming off of an 18-5 loss to Princeton. The Pride is tied for 15th in this week’s USILA poll and is ranked 14th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse ranking. Hofstra opened up the season with a 10-4 loss against Loyola in the season opener and then came back to post wins over Binghamton (15-5) and Cornell (13-5). Hartford owns a 2-1 record following its most recent outing as it posted a 15-9 victory over Holy Cross. The Hawks earned a 6-5 win against Marist in its season opener and dropped a 9-3 decision on the road at Harvard.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS HOFSTRA – Hofstra leads the series 5-4 and has won the the last five meetings between the two schools. The Pride earned a 15-5 victory over the Irish last year at Moose Krause Stadium. It presented the most lopsided win by any team in the nine games of the series. Prior to that game last year, the last three contests had been decided by a single goal. Notre Dame’s last win in the series was an 8-4 decision at Notre Dame on May 2, 1998. Irish teams are 1-3 against the Pride in Hempstead, N.Y., with its lone win coming in a 9-8 decision on March 6, 1993. The last two times the Irish have played at Hofstra, they have dropped one-goal decisions – 10-9 in overtime in 1999 and 8-7 in 2001. The loss in 2001 represented the only setback the Irish suffered during the regular season en route to the 2001 NCAA national semifinals.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS HARTFORD – The only previous meeting between the two schools was on March 25, 1989 with Notre Dame earning a 17-4 victory.
IRISH HEAD COACH KEVIN CORRIGAN – Kevin Corrigan is his 15th season at Notre Dame and 17th in the collegiate ranks. The four-time Great Western Lacrosse League Coach of the Year owns a 136-87 (.610) overall ledger and an 126-71 (.640) mark with the Irish. Corrigan has led Notre Dame to 10 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 14 years (including six straight from 1992-97) and 11 (either outright or shared) conference titles. In 2001, 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. He has had 12 different players earn USILA All-America honors. 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.
IN THE POLLS – Notre Dame is currently ranked 11th both the USILA and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse polls after beginning the season ranked 17th. Ten of Notre Dame’s 14 opponents began the season in the top 25 – Virginia (#4), Maryland (#5), North Carolina (#9), Hofstra (#10), Loyola (#12), Penn State (#16), Ohio State (#19), Harvard (#21), Fairfield (#22) and Pennsylvania (#23). Since the start of the season Virginia has moved to #1 in both polls, while Maryland is ranked second in the USILA ranking and third in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse poll.
RANKING FILE – After posting a 1-4 record against ranked teams in 2002, Notre Dame has turned it around in 2003 with a 3-2 record. Notre Dame is 10-7 against ranked opponents over the past two-plus seasons.
WHO MAKES THE SCHEDULE? – Notre Dame will open the season by playing six ranked opponents – Penn State, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Loyola and Hofstra. Certainly, the Irish’s schedule ranks as one of the toughest in the country.
ROAD WARRIORS – Making the first six games of the season even more difficult is the fact the Irish play four of those games are on the road. Notre Dame has had much success on the road lately posting a 16-8 record the last three-plus seasons away from home and has a 2-1 road mark in 2003.
11s ARE LUCKY – Matt Howell’s return to the lineup in 2003 has certainly paid off for the Irish. The junkior attack missed all but three games of the ’02 campaign with an injury after scoring scoring four gaols and dishing off an assist. This season, he leads the team with 11 goals and 11 assists (22 points) to bring his career totals to 16 goals and 12 assists. Although the season is just five games old, it is worthy to note that the last Notre Dame player to lead his team in goals and assists in the same season was Randy Colley in 1995 as he tallied 49 goals and dished off 25 assists.
BERGER KING – Sophomore Dan Berger started the season where he left off a year ago as Notre Dame’s leading scorer (21 goals, 4 assists). Berger has 11 goals and and has started all five games. In 2002, Berger started 13 games after playing in just six games during his freshman year in which he scored just one goal. He had six multiple-goal games in 2002, 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 in 2002), Berger had scored a goal in the first 10 games of the season. 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. That streak ended though the next game in a loss to Harvard. Overall, Berger has scored in 17 of his last 18 games for the Irish (12 of 13 in 2002 and all five in 2003).
HOWELL YOU DO MR. BERGER – Dan Berger and Matt Howell have figured in the scoring in 28 of Notre Dame’s 50 goals in 2003. Against Penn State, the duo combined for five of Notre Dame’s 10 goals and for five of its seven assists. In a win against Penn, Howell and Berger figured in six goals, while versus North Carolina it was six and Virginia is was five. In the loss to Loyola, Berger had had tthere goals, while Howell had a goal and two assists.
FORE: LOOKOUT FOR HOWELL AND BERGER: Junior Matt Howell and sophomore Dan Berger have both had four-goal games for the Irish this season. Howell recorded a career-high four goals against North Carolina last Saturday, after scoring a hat trick against Penn in the home opener. Howell also had five assists vs. Penn State and has scored at least three points in all four games this season. He has also recorded at least one goal in each game and had a season-high six points vs. Penn State. Berger scored his second career four bagger against Penn State in the season opener and has scored at least one goal in each game this season.
HOLD YOUR HATS: Besides the four-goal performances of Matt Howell and Dan Berger this season, Notre Dame scorers have also recorded three hat tricks in 2003. Howell had three goals in Notre Dame’s win over Penn, while freshman Matt Karweck also recorded three tallies against the Quakers in his first game at the Loftus Sports Complex. Berger registered a hat trick in the loss to Loyola.
GETTING SOME MATT-I-TUDE: The Irish scoring punch has been coming from guys named Matt this season as junior Matt Howell leads the team with 11 goals and 22 points this season, while freshman Matt Karweck has six goals and an assist and freshman Matt Ryan has two goals and two assists. Sophomore Matt Malakoff also has a shot but no points for the Irish in 2003.
FRESHMAN FINESSE: The freshman class has made an immediate impact for the Irish in 2003 as D.J. Driscoll, Brian Hubschmann, Matt Karweck, Drew Peters, Matt Ryan and Patrick Walsh have all seen valuable minutes for Notre Dame. In fact, Walsh is the second-leading scorer for the Irish this season with 14 points in his first five games. In his first game in an Irish uniform, Walsh recorded a goal and an assist and then followed that with two goals and two assists against Penn. He has scored at least one goal in all four games this season, including scoring two goals against top-ranked Virginia. Karweck has six goals and one assist on the season and is foruth on the Irish in scoring while Ryan has four points and Hubschmann has two points.
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS: Irish goalie Stewart Crosland has been impressive in goal this season in helping the Irish to a 3-2 start this season. Crosland has given up 45 goals in five games this season for a 9.06 goals-against average.
PRESEASON HONORS – Senior longstick midfielder John Souch and senior defensman Eric Simon were both tabbed as preseason honorable mention selections by Inside Lacrosse Face Off Yearbook. So far in 2003, Souch has played in all four games, starting zero, while Simon has started every game and had nine ground balls in his first two contests.
HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame owns a 93-32 (.744) mark in home games since 1981 and is 1-0 in 2003. Since back-to-back 5-0 campaigns at home in 1994 and 1995, Irish teams own a 41-16 record for a winning percentage of 71.9 percent. Since ’94, Notre Dame has been undefeated at home four times.
LOOKS FAMILIAR – Notre Dame’s 2003 schedule features 11 opponents the Irish faced a year ago – Penn State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Loyola, Hofstra, Denver, Ohio State, Butler, Air Force, Fairfield and Harvard.
ALL IN THE FAMILY – Craig Bishko, 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 the Simon family as defenseman Eric Simon’s sister, Meredith, is a junior on the women’s lacrosse team.