Feb. 24, 2006
NOTRE DAME MEN’S LACROSSE WEEKLY NOTES PACKET
#12 Notre Dame vs. #14 Penn State
Sunday, Feb. 26, 1:00 p.m. (EST)
Loftus Sports Center – Notre Dame, Ind.
The No. 12 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will open the 2006 season versus No. 14 Penn State on Sunday in the Loftus Sports Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Game time between the Fighting Irish and the Nittany Lions is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET). The Irish are ready to embark on the 27th season of men’s lacrosse as a varsity sport at Notre Dame. The Penn State contest will be one of six `true’ home games for the Irish this season. Notre Dame will `host’ Cornell next Saturday (March 4) in Lisle, Ill. at Benedictine University. The Fighting Irish finished last season with a 7-4 mark (3-2 GWLL), while the Nittany Lions had a record of 9-6 (5-1 ECAC) and made their second appearance in the NCAA tournament.
ND-PSU SERIES NOTES: Sunday will be the 13th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Penn State on the lacrosse field, with the Fighting Irish holding an 8-4 advantage in the previous 12 contests … this will mark the 10th-straight year, and the 12th overall, that Notre Dame has opened up its season by facing the Nittany Lions … the only time that the two teams met without it being a season-opener was back in 1989, which marked the first-ever meeting between the two schools – a 9-1 Penn State victory … the Irish have won the past three contests in the series … that is the longest winning streak for either team in the history of the series … Notre Dame is 4-1 all-time on its home turf against Penn State.
ABOUT PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions return 24 letterwinners from the 2005 squad that went 9-6 and made the program’s second trip to the NCAA tournament … Penn State, under the guidance of veteran head coach Glenn Thiel, will be led by co-captain Greg Gurenlian, Nate Whitaker and Keith Benjamin … Gurenlian sported a .636 face-off percentage last season and led the Nittany Lions with 111 ground balls … Whitaker was the team’s leading scorer, notching 44 points off team-highs in goals (31) and assists (13) … he also tallied three goals versus Notre Dame in last year’s contest … Benjamin started all 15 games last year and was the anchor on Penn State’s defense.
LAST YEAR’S MEETING: In a battle between No. 10 Notre Dame and No. 21 Penn State, the Irish prevailed with a 14-6 victory in University Park, Pa. on Feb. 27, 2005 … the margin of victory was the largest-ever for an Irish team on the road versus a nationally-ranked opponent … Pat Walsh, Matt Karweck and Jim Morrison all registered hat tricks for the Irish … Walsh made it a six-point day as he also dished out three assists, while Matt Ryan had two goals to go along with two assists.
IRISH IN SEASON-OPENERS: Notre Dame is 18-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 12-5 mark in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish have won the last three season-openers, which were all against Penn State … last season, Notre Dame won its lid-lifter 14-6 over the 21st-ranked Nittany Lions … the Irish last loss a season-opener in 2002, a 10-9 overtime setback at home against No. 16 Penn State … including this year, the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent for 13 consecutive seasons, with 12 of those contests coming against the Nittany Lions … Notre Dame’s longest win streak in season-openers occurred from 1990-1994 as the Irish won five straight.
OPENING ACT: Seniors Pat Walsh and Matt Karweck have enjoyed much success in their three season-openers at Notre Dame … Walsh, an attackman, has registered 13 points on seven goals and six assists, while the midfielder Karweck has produced 10 points on eight goals and two assists over the past three season-openers, which were all wins against Penn State … Walsh has notched three goals apiece in the last two encounters with the Nittany Lions, while Karweck scored four goals in the 2004 contest and three more last season.
IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Four Fighting Irish players received preseason All-America honors by Inside Lacrosse and Face-Off Yearbook with senior Pat Walsh (A) leading the way as he was tabbed as a second-team selection … fellow senior D.J. Driscoll (D) was selected to the third-team, while sophomores Taylor Clagett (M) and Joey Kemp (G) received honorable mention distinction … Walsh is a three-time All-America honoree … last year, he earned STX/USILA honorable mention All-America honors along with Driscoll … Driscoll was tabbed as the 2005 Great Western Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, while Kemp was named the GWLL Rookie of the Year … Clagett led the Irish with a .612 face-off percentage last season.
WALSH NAMED TO TEWAARATON AWARD WATCH LIST: For the third year in a row, senior attackman Pat Walsh has been listed among the 53 players on the Watch List for the Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the top player in college lacrosse at the end of the season … Walsh is the only Irish player ever named the to watch list for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is in its sixth year, though A Tom Glatzel was a finalist for the award in 2001 … Walsh has gone on to be listed as a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee the past two seasons. NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame debuted in the Lacrosse magazine preseason rankings at No. 10, while the Irish were No. 12 in the Inside Lacrosse/Faceoff Yearbook preseason poll … the Irish stayed at No. 12 for the most recent Inside Lacrosse media poll, which was released on Feb. 20 … the USILA rankings do not begin until later in the season.
PLAYING THE BEST: Notre Dame faced defending NCAA champion Johns Hopkins to conclude fall ball and then opened spring exhibition play versus national runner-up Duke and Bucknell in Durham, N.C. … the Fighting Irish will face five teams that appear in the latest Inside Lacrosse poll … Notre Dame opens the season with three straight home games that are all against ranked foes … No. 14 Penn State comes to the Loftus Center for a season-opening showdown on Feb. 26, while ninth-ranked Cornell and 13th-ranked North Carolina will battle the Irish on March 4 and March 11, respectively … the Cornell contest will take place in Lisle, Ill., yet is considered an Irish home game … the Irish will also host No. 17 Dartmouth on Apr. 2 and No. 25 Ohio State on Apr. 29 … Notre Dame will have road games at No. 18 Hofstra on March 25 and No. 20 Denver on Apr. 14.
DRISCOLL AND PETERS NAMED `06 IRISH CAPTAINS: Seniors D.J. Driscoll and Drew Peters have been selected as co-captains for this year’s Fighting Irish squad … Driscoll was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year and was tabbed as a STX/USILA honorable mention All-American last season … he was also selected as a 2006 Inside Lacrosse preseason third team All-American … Peters, a three-time monogram winner, has played in all 37 games during his Notre Dame career … he will help to anchor the Fighting Irish midfield again this season.
HUBSCHMANN RETURNS: Senior attackman Brian Hubschmann will be a welcomed sight in the Irish lineup as he returns after missing all of last season with a knee injury … Hubschmann was a 2005 Inside Lacrosse preseason honorable mention All-America selection … as a sophomore in 2004, he totaled 29 points on 18 goals and 11 assists and copped all-GWLL second team honors.
IRISH OFFENSE: Notre Dame boasted the nation’s fourth highest-scoring offense last season (11.91 goals-per-game) and this year’s squad hopes to duplicate that success … All-American attackman Pat Walsh is back for his senior season after leading the Irish in scoring his first three campaigns … last year, Walsh posted 43 points on 21 goals and 22 assists … ND did lose leading goal-scorer Jim Morrison (25 G) to graduation, yet the return of senior attackman Brian Hubschmann from an injury that kept him out all of last season should help to pick up the scoring slack … Hubschmann notched 29 points (18 G, 11 A) as a sophomore in 2004 … other factors in the Irish offense will be seniors Matt Karweck (26 pts. in ’05) and Matt Ryan (21 pts. in ’05).
SAVING THE DAY: Notre Dame sophomore goaltender Joey Kemp made his collegiate debut against Penn State last season in relief of Stewart Crosland … Kemp played nearly five minutes, making one save and not allowing a goal … he would go on to start nine games on the year, posting a 5-2 record, and lead the nation with a .652 save percentage en route to being tabbed the Great Western Lacrosse League Rookie of the Year.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Senior attackman Pat Walsh is currently fourth all-time in school history with 80 assists … he is eight assists shy from the third spot, 20 away from second and is 30 assists away from tying David Ulrich’s (1998-2001) program record of 110 … Walsh is also tied for eighth in program history with 142 points coming on 62 goals and 80 assists … he is 38 points away from making it into the top-three all-time in school history … Randy Colley (1991-95) is the school record holder with 273 career points (173 G, 100 A).
FINE LINE: Close losses past two seasons have kept Notre Dame out of NCAA tournament … five of Notre Dame’s last six losses over the course of the past two seasons have been by one goal, including three in overtime … the Irish hope a stronger and more seasoned defense will make the difference this season and return them to the field of 16 … Notre Dame’s last NCAA tournament berth back in 2001 culminated with the program’s first-ever appearance in the national semifinals.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend:
– ND has won two consecutive overtime games (last loss: 9-8 in 2OT at #3 Maryland, 5/1/04)
– Senior M Matt Karweck has at least one point in eight consecutive games (last pointless: 3/12/05 vs. #10 North Carolina)
– Seniors Matt Karweck (M) and Pat Walsh (A) have scored at least one goal in all three of their season-openers at Notre Dame
IRISH ADD NINE FOR NEXT SEASON: Head coach Kevin Corrigan has announced the commitment of nine student-athletes who will join the program next season. The Irish will finalize their 2005-06 recruiting class during the late signing period in April. Log onto und.com for more information.
NAME POSITION HIGH SCHOOL
Sean Callinan Defense Deerfield Academy (Mass.)Matt Ciambella Attack Orchard Park (N.Y.)Mike Creighton Defense Malvern Prep (Pa.)Adam Felicetti Midfield Central Bucks East (Pa.)Neal Hicks Attack Lovett School (Ga.)Grant Krebs Midfield St. Mary's (Md.)Chip Lanser Defense Dulaney (Md.)Kelly McKenna Midfield Penfield (N.Y.)Brett Vecchio Midfield Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)
ND ON THE TUBE: The Irish will appear on television four times during the 2006 regular season … Notre Dame’s contest at Hofstra on March 25 will be aired by College Sports Television (CSTV) as will the Irish home match against Dartmouth on April 2 … the Notre Dame-Brown contest at Moose Krause Stadium on March 29 along with a road contest at Butler on April 8 will both be carried by Comcast Local.
FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All six of Notre Dame’s true home games will feature livestats available through und.com, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University … simply go to the men’s lacrosse page and click on `Schedule’ at the top of the page and find the game that is being played that day and click on `Gametracker’ to follow the game for free.
KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE: For the fastest results of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse games, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #5 and #1. The hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the match recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website, www.und.com.
In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting sports information assistant Sean Carroll at Carroll.firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Carroll. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.