March 30, 2004
No. 13 IRISH SET FOR TWO HOME GAMES THIS WEEK, BEGINNING WITH WEDNESDAY GOLD GAME vs. No. 17 OHIO STATE: The first Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) game of the 2004 season will feature two of the conference’s tri-champions from a year ago, as #13 Notre Dame (2-3) plays host to #17 Ohio State (5-2) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. (EST) at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish will then welcome Dartmouth (5-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m. The first contest, the men’s lacrosse “Gold Game” for this season, will be televised by College Sports Television (CSTV) on Saturday at 5 p.m. (EST).
The “Gold Game” distinction was created by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend designated contests, each determined to be the most significant home event of the season for the respective team.
NOTRE DAME-OHIO STATE GAME TO BE SHOWN SATURDAY ON CSTV: Wednesday’s contest between the Irish and the Buckeyes will be shown on a tape-delayed basis on College Sports Television. The game will air on Saturday, April 3 at 5 p.m. (EST) and be replayed on Sunday, April 4 at 5 a.m. For other ways to follow the Irish, see “Keeping Up With ND Men’s Lacrosse” at the end of this release.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS NOTES PACKAGE: Below are some of the top points from this notes package. For more details on any topic, consult the remainder of this release.
* Notre Dame beat #13 Hofstra 19-11 at home last Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak. After opening the season with a 17-7 victory over #17 Penn State, the Irish dropped contests at #3 Syracuse (19-13), at home vs. #9 North Carolina (14-11), and at #16 Loyola (13-7).
* The Irish moved up two spots to 13th in this week’s USILA national rankings.
* The Irish returned 20 monogram winners, including eight starters, from last year’s team. Among those are sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who led all Division I freshmen in scoring last season en route to setting a Notre Dame rookie scoring record and becoming the first Irish freshman to earn All-America accolades (honorable mention by USILA). In addition, he was the GWLL Newcomer of the Year.
* Notre Dame will take on a nationally-ranked team for the sixth time in as many games this season.
* Ohio State comes to Moose Krause Stadium carrying a four-game winning streak and with a 5-2 record and No. 17 national ranking. The Buckeyes’ lone losses were one-goal decisions against #15 Penn State (5-4) and #18 UMBC (8-7) in double overtime. OSU has victories over #18 Navy (12-9), Drexel (8-4), Quinnipiac (14-7), Marist (11-3), and Hartford (16-8).
* The Buckeyes lead the GWLL and are third in the nation in scoring defense, surrendering 6.29 goals per contest. They are third in the conference in scoring at 10.29.
* OSU senior G Tony Russo leads the GWLL and ranks third in Division I in goals-against average (6.29). He is third in the conference and eighth nationally in save percentage (.648).
* Notre Dame leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 18-8, including 12 wins in the last 14 meetings.
* After the score was tied 5-5 in the third period, Ohio State scored six unanswered goals to go on to an 11-5 triumph in last year’s meeting in Columbus, which would eventually decide which team garnered the GWLL’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
* The Irish are 10-2 at home against the Buckeyes, including seven consecutive wins, dating back to a 1988 defeat.
* This year’s 17th-ranked OSU squad is the highest-ranked Buckeye team ever to face Notre Dame. Both teams are nationally-ranked heading into the game for the second consecutive season after that had never previously occurred.
* Ohio State is the most-common opponent in the history of the Irish program and the only school to be on Notre Dame’s schedule in all 24 years of varsity lacrosse.
* Dartmouth has won five in a row since dropping its season opener to Rutgers (14-9). The Big Green is receiving votes in the USILA poll. Dartmouth has wins over Colgate (9-4), Hartford (16-2), Sacred Heart (15-10), Quinnipiac (15-6), and Fairfield (12-9).
* Notre Dame and Dartmouth will meet for the first time since 1997 and just the third time overall. The Irish won the previous two meetings, in 1996 (14-13, away) and ’97 (15-5, home).
* Junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) was named the GWLL Player of the Week for his five-goal performance in helping the Irish to a 19-11 upset of #13 Hofstra last Wednesday.
* Notre Dame leads the GWLL and ranks third in the nation in scoring offense (13.40 goals per game).
* Notre Dame is fifth in Division I in converting extra-man opportunities (12-25, .480). The Irish had a streak of nine consecutive goals on EMOs earlier this season (last six chances vs. Penn State and first three at Syracuse).
* Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is the GWLL’s leading scorer (4.60 points per game), ranking fourth in the nation. He has 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points. Walsh also leads the conference in assists (2.40) and is seventh in Division I.
* After being plagued by slow starts in its previous two games, Notre Dame outscored Hofstra 7-0 in the first quarter last week. The Irish outshot the Pride 17-0, not allowing a Hofstra shot until 13:18 remaining in the first half.
* Notre Dame’s 19 goals against Hofstra last week are tied for the second-most by a Division I teams this season. It marked the highest-scoring output for the Irish in nearly four years and the most tallies surrendered by the Pride since 1993.
* In both of Notre Dame’s wins, the Irish have held a double-digit advantage in ground balls. Opponents have had an advantage of eight or more in the three Notre Dame defeats.
* Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was one of 26 players named to the watch list for the 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player at the conclusion of the season.
* Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) earned preseason honorable mention All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse magazine.
* Notre Dame boasts one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the nation. Head coach Kevin Corrigan and assistants Kevin Anderson and Guy Van Arsdale combine for 50 years of college and pro coaching experience heading into 2004. Thirty-two of those years have been as head coaches. Only three Division I teams have more years of combined coaching experience than the Irish, and just four have more previous seasons as head coaches.
* This year’s Irish schedule is highlighted by a pair of road trips to Final Four teams from last year (L, 19-13 at Syracuse; May 1 at Maryland) and four home games against ’03 NCAA participants. In all, nine of the 12 Irish opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s USILA poll.
LAST TIME ON THE FIELD: Notre Dame jumped out to a 7-0 lead en route to a 19-11 victory over #13 Hofstra last Wednesday evening in the Loftus Sports Center. The Irish defense held the Pride without a shot for the first 16 minutes of the game, while three Notre Dame players had five points, highlighted by a five-goal performance from junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School). Notre Dame, playing against a ranked team for the fifth time in as many games this season, snapped a three-game losing skid with the win. The Irish also beat Hofstra for the first time since 1998 after the Pride had won five straight in the series.
Notre Dame, which came into the game leading the GWLL and ranking eighth in the nation in scoring offense, posted its highest goal output in nearly four years, since beating Fairfield 20-12 on April 22, 2000. The 19 goals were the most given up by Hofstra since a 20-8 loss to Syracuse in the 1993 NCAA tournament.
In addition to Giordano, Notre Dame sophomores M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hill, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) and A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) both delivered five points. Hubschmann had a career-high four goals to go along with an assist, while Walsh, the GWLL’s leading scorer, had two goals and three assists.
After getting off to slow starts in back-to-back games and going on to lose, the Irish dominated the affair from the beginning. Notre Dame took 17 shots in the first period, while Hofstra did not manage one until Tim Treubig’s attempt sailed wide right with 13:18 to go in the second quarter. The Irish also held a 9-4 ground ball advantage in the opening period, won four of seven faceoffs, and were successful on all nine of their clear attempts, while allowing the Pride to be successful on just half of their eight tries.
In addition to starting well, Notre Dame improved upon two other previous areas of weakness – faceoffs and ground balls. The Irish came into the game gathering 5.3 fewer ground balls than their opponents on the season, but Notre Dame corralled a season high in piling up a 47-32 advantage in the category. Senior M Steve Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) and junior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.) led the Irish with five each, marking the top performance of the season for both. In all, 21 different players had ground balls for Notre Dame.
The Irish won 20 of the 32 faceoffs, taking a majority for the first time in 2004. Junior M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) had his best game of the season, winning 75 percent of the draws he took (12-16). His classmate, M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.), was 6-13.
Among the other offensive stars for the Irish were senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.), sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.), and senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), who all had at least three points. Ryan registered career highs in assists (three) and points (four), while Berger had a pair of scores (as well as an assist) for the 18th multiple-goal game of his career. Howell, who had a goal and two assists, has had multiple points in every contest in 2004. A pair of Irish veterans, Matarazzo and senior D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.), netted their first career goals on Wednesday. Matarazzo scored off a faceoff, while Blum connected on a three-quarter-field shot at the end of the first quarter. Additionally, Clagett had his second goal in as many games and sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) scored his ninth of the season.
SNAPSHOT OF THE IRISH: Notre Dame’s men’s lacrosse program has experienced a wealth of success since the arrival of head coach Kevin Corrigan in 1989. In his 15 seasons, Corrigan has guided Notre Dame to a winning record 12 times, including 10 seasons with nine or more victories, compiling a 134-77 (.635) mark. The Irish have earned 10 berths to the NCAA Championship, including quarterfinal apperances in 1995 and 2000 and a Final Four trip in 2001. Notre Dame has 34 victories over ranked opponents, including eight vs. top-10 teams and hold a 70-22 (.761) overall record at home. Notre Dame has won 12 conference titles (9 Great Western Lacrosse League, 3 Great Lakes Conference) in that span. Since the formation of the GWLL in 1994, the Irish are 34-4 (.895) in conference play — including 20-1 (.952) at home — winning at least a share of the league championship in every season except 1998. Notre Dame has had at least one All-American in each of the last 11 seasons, a total of 22 honorees since 1994. In addition, the Irish have garnered 79 all-conference honors, highlighted by four GWLL player-of-the-year awards.
The 2004 Irish team returned 20 monogram winners and eight starters from last year’s squad that was 9-5, won a share of a fifth consecutive GWLL title and finished 18th in the final USILA national rankings.
On paper, there are few teams in Division I that can match the offensive firepower Notre Dame boasts this season, as evidenced by the Irish leading the GWLL and ranking third in the nation in scoring (13.40 per game). Headlining that group is sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who was the highest-scoring freshman in the country last season en route to setting a Notre Dame freshman scoring record and becoming the first Irish rookie ever to earn All-America honors. His 32 assists matched the Notre Dame record, led the GWLL, and ranked sixth nationally (2.29 per game), including tops by far among freshmen (the second-best mark was 1.73). Walsh leads the conference and is fourth nationally in scoring this season with 11 goals and 12 assists (4.60 points per game). Junior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) has been Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer in each of the last two seasons, establishing himself as one of the best finishers in Division I. A two-time first-team all-GWLL honoree and preseason honorable mention All-America selection by Inside Lacrosse, he had 32 goals in 2003, which ranked 18th in the nation (2.29 per game). He already has a pair of hat tricks this spring, bringing his career total to 13. Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) entered the season as one of Notre Dame’s top attackmen for the third straight year, but he was plagued by injuries in each of the two previous campaigns. Despite missing five contests in 2003, he ranked ninth in the nation in points per game (3.78) and eighth in assists per game (2.11). He ranks second behind Walsh in scoring (9 goals, 8 assists) this season. Freshman A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) is the only reserve attackman to have played in each of the first five games.
As on attack, Notre Dame’s midfield boasts outstanding depth. Back as a starter for the third consecutive season is junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), who has been Notre Dame’s top offensive middie over the last two-plus seasons. A first-team all-GWLL honoree last season and an All-America candidate in 2004, he had five goals against Hofstra to bring his season point total to 14 (10 goals, 4 assists. Joining Giordano in starting roles are sophomores M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) and M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), who were top reserves a year ago. Hubschmann matched his season total from ’03 with a six-point (two goals, four assists) performance in this year’s season opener and had four goals and an assist against Hofstra, against whom Ryan also had a goal and career highs in assists (3) and points. On the season, Hubschmann is third in scoring with 16 points (10 g, 6 a) and Ryan has 10 (4 g, 6 a). Another sophomore, M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), had four goals against Penn State and has nine on the season. Among the other top reserves are seniors M Steve Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) and M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), who are two of just three players on the Irish roster to have already won three monograms. Both got their first goals of the season at Loyola. Sophomore M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) and freshman M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) also have been key players off the bench. Another rookie, M Ryan Cunn (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.), started in the Irish midfield in fall ball before suffering a season-edning anterior cruciate ligament injury in a scrimmage against the MLL’s Boston Cannons on Feb. 14.
Juniors M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) and M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.) have split time in the faceoff circle for the Irish this spring. Bishko was Notre Dame’s top draw man a year ago and has won 35-74 (.473) this season (12-16 vs. Hofstra), while Matarazzo has been successful on 29-67 (.433) attempts, including a career-high 10 won against Syracuse.
Junior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), senior LSM Chris Masterson (West Hempstead, N.Y./Chaminade H.S.), and sophomore LSM Brandon Schultheis (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) are Notre Dame’s top longstick midfielders. The role is new for Richez, who had 10 goals and seven assists in his first two seasons as a regular middie, and his athleticism and prior experience make him an occasional offensive threat.
Though Notre Dame’s defense is not quite as experienced as the other Irish units, it nonethless boasts a number of battle-tested players. Senior D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.) is in his third year as a starter on the Irish defense, while another senior, D Brennan Creaney (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), also is back after starting the first 10 games of last season before suffering an injury. Sophomore D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) became the first defenseman and just the second freshman ever to lead Notre Dame in ground balls a year ago, with 61. A second-team all-GWLL honoree, he was a large reason the Irish ranked second in the nation in ground balls per game. He leads the team with 20 in 2004.
The final line of defense has senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) manning the cage again in 2004. He got a taste of being the top Notre Dame goalie two seasons ago before establishing himself as not only the best goalkeeper on the Irish, but one of the elite players at the position in the country in 2003. Crosland was fifth in Division I in save percentage (.626) a year ago and ranked 11th in goals-against average (7.49), leading the Great Western Lacrosse League in both categories. In 2004, he has a 12.80 GAA and .508 save percentage.
IRISH vs. BUCKEYES: Ohio State stands 5-2 and ranked 17th in the most recent USILA rankings. The Buckeyes carry a four-game winning streak after dropping a pair of tight, one-goal decisions early in the season. Fifteenth-ranked Penn State beat OSU 5-4 in the season opener in Columbus and #18 UMBC then pulled out an 8-7 double-overtime win in Baltimore on March 7. Ohio State has victories over #18 Navy (12-9), Drexel (8-4), Quinnipiac (14-7), Marist (11-3), and Hartford (16-8).
The Buckeyes are led offensively by leading scorer senior A Anthony Gilardi (6 g, 12 a), who is fourth in the GWLL and 19th nationally in assists (1.71), and sophomore A Ben Wolff (11 g, 3 a), who has scored on more than half of his 21 shots. Other top scorers are senior M Shaun Lyons (12 g, 3 a), junior A Kyle Olson (9 g, 3 a), and junior M Tom Randisi (10 g, 0 a). Senior D Greg Bice leads the Buckeyes with 25 ground balls. The majority of the faceoff duties have been handled by senior M Josh Lesko, who has won 44-88 (.500) and picked up 22 ground balls. Senior G Tony Russo leads the GWLL and ranks third in Division I with a 5.61 goals-against average, while he is third in the conference and eighth nationally in save percentage, at .648.
Ohio State’s defense has been its strength, leading the league and ranking third in Division I in goals allowed per game (6.29). The Buckeyes are third in the GWLL in scoring at 10.29 (18th nationally), while their scoring margin of +4.00 is eighth nationally.
Ohio State returned 26 letterwinners, including six starters, from last year’s squad that was 9-5 (4-1), gained a share of the Great Western Lacrosse League crown, and made its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance, losing 8-5 to Maryland in the opening round. The Buckeyes finished 17th in the final USILA poll. Gone from that team is honorable mention All-American A Curtis Smith, but returning are a pair of players that gained the same accolade a year ago: Bice and Russo. Joe Breschi is in his seventh year leading the OSU program, having compiled a 52-40 (.565) record.
Notre Dame and Ohio State will meet for the 27th time, with the Irish leading the series 18-8. The Buckeyes are the only team to be on the Irish schedule in all 24 years of varsity competition and are the most-common opponent in school history. The teams met twice in 1981 and three times a year later. OSU took both meetings in the first season of Irish varsity lacrosse, winning 9-6 on the road and 10-9 in Columbus. Notre Dame has won 12 of the last 14 games in the series, while head coach Kevin Corrigan holds a 12-3 mark against the Buckeyes. The Irish are 10-2 at home, including seven consecutive wins, dating back to a 6-4 Ohio State triumph in 1988. The Buckeyes snapped a nine-game skid with a 5-4 win in 1999 and followed that up with an 11-5 triumph in 2003. This will be the second year in a row that both teams carry national rankings into the game, after that had never previously happened. This is the highest-ranked OSU squad ever to face the Irish. Notre Dame’s last victory was a 7-3 decision at home in 2002.
Last season’s contest proved to be decisive in determining which GWLL team would garner the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Two eventual league tri-champions met on April 6, 2003, in Columbus, Ohio. After the Irish held an early 3-1 lead, M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) scored early in the third quarter to tie the game for the fourth time, at 5-5, but the Buckeyes then netted six unanswered goals in claiming an 11-5 victory. Curtis Smith, Anthony Gilardi and Tom Randisi all tallied three goals in the victory for Ohio State, which won 16 of 19 faceoffs and held a 37-22 advantage in ground balls. The Buckeyes outshot Notre Dame 27-9 in the second half, including 16-3 in the third quarter. The Irish were led offensively by A Dan Berger’s (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) two goals and A Pat Walsh’s (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) four points (1 g, 3 a). G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) made 18 saves, while G Tony Russo (11 saves, .687 pct.) limited the Irish to their lowest scoring output in more than a year.
IRISH vs. BIG GREEN: Dartmouth comes to Notre Dame with a 5-1 record and receiving votes in the USILA national rankings. The Big Green is on a five-game winning streak after dropping its season opener 13-9 to Rutgers in a neutral-site game. Since then, Dartmouth has victories over Colgate (9-4), Hartford (16-2), Sacred Heart (15-10), Quinnipiac (15-6), and Fairfield (12-9).
The Big Green’s top offensive threat is sophomore A Jamie Coffin, who has has 15 goals and six assists. Junior M Ben Grinnell has 18 points (9 g, 9 a), while senior M Tom Daniels has 15 (7 g, 8 a). Sophomore M/A Brad Heritage is tied for second on the team with nine goals (one assist). Junior G Andrew Goldstein has a 6.90 goals-against average and .598 save percentage, while also leading Dartmouth with 21 ground balls. Junior D Adam White is next with 16 ground balls. Senior M Geoff Colla has taken the majority of the faceoffs, winning 27-55 (.491). Senior M Russell Radebaugh has been most effective, winning 20-31 (.645).
The Big Green is outscoring its opponents by more than five goals per game (12.67-7.33) and outshooting them by nearly nine a contest (33.2-24.8). Dartmouth has been particularly effective both offensively and defensively on the EMO, converting 51.7 percent (14-27) and killing off 82.8 percent (24-29) of man-down situations. The Big Green is corralling 3.2 more ground balls per game (33.7-30.5) than its opponents and winning 51.7 percent of faceoffs (60-114). The Dartmouth defense also is allowing foes to convert on clear opportunities just 58.2 percent of the time (71-122).
Dartmouth returned 32 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last year’s squad that was 11-3 (5-1) and earned its first share of the Ivy League title since 1965. The Big Green also made its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance, losing 13-11 at Syracuse in the opening round to finish 16th in the final USILA poll. The 11 victories were the most for a Dartmouth team since 1948. Among the returnees is junior D Patrick Keeley, who was honorable mention All-America a season ago. Bill Wilson is in his first season as a collegiate head coach after serving as an assistant at Princeton, Hofstra, and most recently Cornell.
Notre Dame and Dartmouth will meet for the first time since 1997 and third time overall. The Irish won both of the previous contests, prevailing 14-13 in Hanover, N.H., in 1996 and 15-5 at home a year later. The first game featured a pair of top-20 teams, as Notre Dame was ranked 11th and Dartmouth 20th. In ’97, the Irish were 14th, and the Big Green was unranked.
IRISH MOVE UP TO 13TH IN USILA RANKINGS: After snapping a three-game losing streak by upsetting #13 Hofstra 19-11 last Wednesday, Notre Dame moved up two spots to 13th in this week’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Associaion (USILA) Geico/STX Coaches Poll. Last week’s top-ranked team, Johns Hopkins, dropped a spot after losing in overtime to defending national champion Virginia on Saturday. Maryland is the new national No. 1, while Syracuse remained third, Georgetown moved up two spots to fourth and North Carolina dropped one to fifth. Ten of Notre Dame’s 12 opponents this season are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll. Notre Dame stayed 15th in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week.
GIORDANO NAMED GWLL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week for his five-goal performance in helping the Irish to a 19-11 upset of #13 Hofstra last Wednesday. He matched his career highs in goals and points and registered the most goals for an Irish player in a contest this season. It is the first time in his career Giordano has earned the accolade.
WALSH LEADS GWLL IN SCORING: Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is the leading scorer in the Great Western Lacrosse League, and he is fourth in the nation in points per game (4.60). Through five contests, he has 11 goals and 12 assists. Butler’s Kyle Tietjen is second in the GWLL in scoring, with 3.86 points per game, while Chris Cara of Bucknell is tops in Division I at 5.50. Walsh also leads the conference in assists (2.40) and is seventh in the country. A year ago, Walsh led Division I freshmen in scoring (3.71) and assists (2.29) and led all GWLL players in the latter category, while being third in the former.
NOTRE DAME TOP OFFENSIVE TEAM IN GWLL, THIRD IN NATION: Notre Dame is averaging 13.40 goals per game this season, making it the highest-scoring team in the Great Western Lacrosse League and the third-highest in Division I. Syracuse leads the nation in scoring offense, averaging 15.00 goals per contest, while Denver is second in the GWLL at 11.67. The Irish were 13th nationally in scoring offense in 2003 with an average of 10.36 goals per game.
IRISH EMO AMONG NATION’S FINEST: Notre Dame has scored 12 goals in 25 extra-man opportunities this season for a .480 percentage that leads the Great Western Lacrosse League and ranks fifth in Division I. Undefeated Brown has the top man-up unit in the country, scoring on .545 of their chances. The Irish converted on nine consecutive EMOs at one point early in the season. After an unsuccessful first-quarter attempt in the season opener against Penn State, the Irish scored on all six of their remaining man-up chances against the Nittany Lions, as well as their first three in the following game, at Syracuse. Since that run, though, the Irish have scored on just three of 15 EMOs. A trio of players — senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.), junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), and sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) — lead the Irish with three man-up goals each. Notre Dame was 19-51 (.373) on EMOs last year, finishing 11th in the nation.
SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE: Wednesday’s matchup will feature one of the top offensive teams in the country taking on one of the top defensive units in Division I. Notre Dame leads the Great Western Lacrosse League and is third nationally in scoring, averaging 13.40 per contest. Ohio State is the conference’s top defensive team, giving up just 6.29 goals a game, which puts them third in the country in the category. Additionally, the Irish EMO, which was tops in Division I each of the last two weeks, currently ranks fifth in the country and first in the GWLL, having converted 48.0 percent (12-25) of its chances.
On an individual basis, the contest features the league’s top scorer, Notre Dame sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who has 11 goals and 12 assists (4.60 points per game) to rank fourth in the nation, as well as the GWLL leader in goals-against average, Buckeye senior G Tony Russo (5.69). Russo is third in Division I in that category, while he is third in the conference and eighth nationally with a .647 save percentage. Walsh also is tops in the GWLL and seventh in the country in assists (2.40).
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION: Notre Dame’s 19 goals against Hofstra were the most scored by the Irish this season, while also being notable in a number of other ways. It is tied for the second-most goals scored by any team in Division I this season. Navy defeated Colgate 21-6 on March 20 for the highest-scoring output by any team in the country this season. There have been three other 19-goal performances this season: Syracuse against Army on Feb. 28 (19-15) and vs. the Irish on March 11 (19-13) and Albany against Quinnipiac on March 27 (19-11).
It also was the highest-scoring output for Notre Dame in nearly four years, since beating Fairfield 20-12 at home on April 22, 2000. Hofstra, which was giving up 10.80 goals per game heading into the contest and held Massachusetts to just six on Sunday, had not surrendered that many goals since a 20-8 loss to Syracuse in the 1993 NCAA Championship quarterfinals. The last time a team scored 19 or more on the Pride in the regular season was May 1, 1991, when Johns Hopkins topped Hofstra 20-11.
AN EXTENSIVE ARRAY OF WEAPONS: Through five games this season, Notre Dame has seen its offensive production come from a variety of areas, as seven players have nine or more points and six have scored nine or more goals. Leading the way is sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) with 11 goals and 12 assists (23 points), while senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) has 17 points (9 g, 8 a), sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) has 16 (10 g, 6 a), and junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) has 14 (10 g, 4 a). In addition, sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) and senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) each have scored nine goals (Berger also has two assists). Sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) has 10 points (4 g, 6 a).
FABULOUS FIRST QUARTER: After the Irish had been outscored 17-9 (4.25-2.25) in the opening period in their first four games, Notre Dame turned the tables last Wednesday against Hofstra, dominating the opening quarter. The Irish held a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes of play against the Pride, having outshot Hofstra 17-0 in the first period. Notre Dame also held a 9-4 ground ball advantage in the opening period, won four of seven faceoffs, and were successful on all nine of their clear attempts, while allowing the Pride to be successful on just half of their eight tries. Hofstra’s first shot came when Tim Treubig’s attempt sailed wide right with 13:18 to go in the second quarter.
GWLL DOMINANCE: For the 11th year in a row, the Irish are competing in the Great Western Lacrosse League, along with Air Force, Butler, Denver, Fairfield, and Ohio State. Notre Dame has won nine GWLL titles, including at least a share of each of the last five. Ohio State, Denver, and the Irish were tri-champions in 2003. Notre Dame has a 34-4 (.895) all-time record in GWLL play, including 20-1 (.952) at home.
THE GREAT WESTERN LACROSSE LEAGUE, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON “GREAT”: The Great Western Lacrosse League, which has never had more than one team earn a berth to the NCAA Championship, has had an outstanding start to the 2004 season. Both Denver and Air Force registered upsets of the defending national champions, Virginia, over the season’s first weekend, propelling both schools into the first set of USILA national rankings, joining Notre Dame and Ohio State. It was the first time ever that four schools from the GWLL were in the nation’s top 20. This week, Notre Dame is 13th, the Pioneers are 16th, and the Buckeyes are 17th, while the Falcons are receiving votes.
Notre Dame has won at least a share of the Great Western Lacrosse League title in nine of the 10 years since the conference was formed. The Irish hold a 34-4 (.895) record in GWLL play, including 20-1 (.952) at home.
GROUND BALLS KEY FOR IRISH: The ground ball battle has been a telling statistic for the Irish this season. The Irish held doubled-digit advantages in the category in their two victories this season, while losing the ground ball battle in each of their defeats. Notre Dame collected 13 more ground balls (40-27) than #17 Penn State in a season-opening 17-7 victory and corralled 15 more than #13 Hofstra in a 19-11 win over the Pride last week. Each of the three Notre Dame losses has seen the opponent gather at least eight more ground balls than the Irish. Syracuse had 53-34 advantage, while North Carolina (36-28) and Loyola (43-33) also corralled more loose balls.
SIX-FOR-SIX: Ohio State, ranked 17th, will mark the sixth nationally-ranked opponent in as many games for the Irish this season. Notre Dame opened the season vs. #17 Penn State, then played at #3 Syracuse, vs. #9 North Carolina, at #16 Loyola, and at home against #13 Hofstra. The streak will end on Sunday, as Dartmouth is receiving votes, but unranked in the USILA poll despite a 5-1 record.
IRISH SETTING HOME ATTENDANCE RECORDS: Both of Notre Dame’s first two home games this season featured the largest home crowds recorded since attendance figures have been kept by the University. The season opener against Penn State on Feb. 29 drew 761 fans, while the 927 in attendance for the March 14 contest against North Carolina stands officially as the largest home crowd in school history. In all, the Irish have drawn 8,653 through five games, an average of 1,731 per contest.
LET’S TAKE THIS INDOORS: Notre Dame played only one of its first five contests of 2004 outside. The Irish played home games against Penn State, North Carolina, and Hofstra in the Loftus Sports Center and made a trip to the Carrier Dome to face Syracuse. Notre Dame was outside on March 20 against Loyola at Geppi-Aikens Field in Baltimore. The Irish likely will play their final seven contests outdoors, as well.
CROSLAND SEVENTH ON IRISH CAREER SAVES LIST: Notre Dame senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), a second-team all-Great Western Lacrosse League selection and the conference leader in goals-against average and save percentage in 2003, has 66 saves in five games this season to bring his career total to 262, which places him seventh on the Irish career saves list. Crosland, who could apply for a fifth year of eligibility, made 42 saves a sophomore (played in six games, starting three) before registering 154 a year ago as the Irish starter in all 14 contests. Next up is 1994 graduate Ryan Jewell, who had 342 saves during his career. The complete top seven is below.
Rank Name Years Saves
1. Rob Simpson 1982-85 623
2. Alex Cade 1995-97 621
3. Kirk Howell 1997-2001 498
4. Matt McQuillan 1985-86, ’88 452
5. Chris Parent 1990-93 416
6. Ryan Jewell 1992-94 342
7. Stewart Crosland 2002-04 262
CAREER DAYS: A number of Irish players have set career highs already this season. Some of the more notable performances are listed below.
* Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) had a career-high seven points (three goals, four assists) in the season opener vs. Penn State. He also took a career-high eight shots against North Carolina, scoring twice.
* Sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) scored four goals in the season opener against Penn State after registering multiple scores just once in his initial collegiate season. His four points also were a career best.
* After never notching more than two points in a game in 2003, sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hill, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) had two goals and four assists in the opener against Penn State. It also was the first multiple-goal performance of his career. Hubschmann also had two goals against North Carolina and registered a career-high three ground balls vs. the Nittany Lions.
* Sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) registered the first multiple-goal game of his career with a pair of scores against North Carolina. Additionally, he corralled a personal-best five ground balls and matched his career high with three points. His two assists against Syracuse tied his career high in that category.
* Junior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.) took a career-high 24 faceoffs against Syracuse, winning a personal-best 10 of them. He also set a career high with five ground balls against North Carolina.
* Junior M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) had a career-best five ground balls against Penn State, all on faceoffs he took.
* Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) fired a career-high 10 shots in the season opener against Penn State, finding the net three times.
* Junior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.) matched his career high with five ground balls against #13 Hofstra after collecting just three total in the first four games of the season.
WALSH ON TEWAARATON TROPHY WATCH LIST: Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was one of 26 players named to the watch list for the 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player at the conclusion of the season. The award will be presented at a banquet in Washington, D.C. on June 3. Walsh, who led all Division I freshmen in scoring a year ago, is the first Irish player ever named the to watch list for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is in just its fourth year, though A Tom Glatzel was a finalist for the award in 2001.
BERGER, WALSH EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA MENTION: Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) earned preseason honorable mention All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse magazine. Berger was Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer in each of the last two seasons, while Walsh led all Division I freshmen in scoring last year en route to setting an Irish freshman scoring record and becoming the first Notre Dame rookie to earn All-America honors, copping honorable mention accolades.
COACHING EXPERIENCE: With the addition of assistant coach Guy Van Arsdale, Notre Dame boasts one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the nation. Head coach Kevin Corrigan and assistants Kevin Anderson and Van Arsdale combine for 50 years of college and pro coaching experience heading into 2004. Thirty-two of those years have been as head coaches. Only three Division I teams have more years of combined coaching experience than the Irish, and just four have more previous seasons as head coaches.
TOUGH SLATE: Notre Dame will face a difficult road to the 2004 NCAA Championship. This year’s Irish schedule is highlighted by a pair of road trips to Final Four teams from last year (March 11 at Syracuse; May 1 at Maryland) and four home games against ’03 NCAA participants. In all, 10 of the 12 teams on the Notre Dame schedule are either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s USILA rankings.
IRISH IN OVERTIME: Should the game be tied at the end of regulation, Notre Dame will try to snap a five-game losing streak in overtime affairs after having won six in a row prior to that. The Irish have not taken part in an overtime game since a 7-6 loss at Harvard on April 27, 2002. Notre Dame lost three overtime contests in ’02, one in ’01, and one in ’99. The last Irish overtime win was a 10-9 result at home against Hobart on March 29, 1997. Notre Dame has an 8-7 all-time record in overtime games in the 24-year varsity history of the program. The Irish have played just one double-overtime game, a 7-6 defeat at home against Loyola on March 16, 2002.
Notre Dame has played overtime games against four teams on the 2004 schedule. In addition to the double-overtime contest with the Greyhounds, the Irish lost to Penn State 10-9 at home in the 2002 season opener, beat Ohio State 11-10 in 1983 in Columbus, and have lost a pair at Hofstra (10-9, 1999; 11-10, 2001).
SEVEN NAMED TO DEAN’S LIST IN FALL 2003 SEMESTER: Seven Irish lacrosse players earned Dean’s List mention for academic excellence in the fall 2003 semester. Leading the way was junior A Dan Straka (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington H.S.), a pre-professional studies major in the College of Science, who made the Dean’s List for the fourth time with a 3.938 grade-point average to up his cumulative mark to 3.747. Senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), a management entrepreneurship and history double major, posted a 3.926 GPA last fall to gain his fourth mention on the Dean’s List, while senior A John Mulflur (Easton, Md./Peter and Paul H.S.), an economics and history double major, had a 3.917. Mulflur, who carries a team-high 3.765 has been on the Dean’s List in all seven of his collegiate semesters and has had a GPA of better than 3.910 in four consecutive semesters, highlighted by a 4.000 in sprin 2002. M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) was the lone freshman on the Dean’s List with a 3.800 GPA, while junior science pre-professional major M Tyler Krummenacher (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS H.S.) had a 3.750. Junior chemical engineering major D Mike Hagerty (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna H.S.) made the Dean’s List with a 3.718, as did senior accounting major LSM Chris Masterson’s (West Hempstead, N.Y./Chaminade H.S.) 3.600. Overall, the Irish had a team GPA of 3.177, ranking them fourth among Notre Dame’s 13 men’s varsity sports.
HEAD COACH Kevin Corrigan: Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is in his 16th season at the helm of the Notre Dame program. He has led the Irish to a 134-77 (.635) mark, while holding a 144-92 (.610) overall record. Corrigan’s Notre Dame teams have earned 10 NCAA tournament berths since 1990, highlighted by quarterfinal appearances in 1995 and 2000 and a Final Four trip in 2001. Only six other Division I schools have as many postseason appearances in that span, while Corrigan and Princeton’s Bill Tierney are the only two mentors in the country to have led their current teams to 10 NCAA tournaments since ’90. Corrigan’s teams have had 12 winning seasons, including 10 with nine or more victories. He has had at least one player earn All-America honors in each of the last 11 seasons for a total of 22 All-Americans since 1994. In addition, 79 players have garnered all-conference mention under Corrigan. The Irish also have claimed at least a share of 12 conference titles (9 Great Western Lacrosse League, 3 Great Lakes Conference), including five in a row. In a three-year playing career as a midfielder at Virginia, Corrigan helped the Cavaliers to the NCAA final in 1979. He previously was an assistant at Notre Dame in 1983 and served as head coach of Randolph-Macon College for two years (1985-86).
IRISH TO WELCOME NINE FOR NEXT SEASON: Irish men’s lacrosse head coach Kevin Corrigan announced recently that nine players will enroll at the University of Notre Dame in the fall and join his squad for the 2005 season. Next year’s freshman class will consist of D David Caperna (Fallston, Md./The Gilman School), M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.), D Sean Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School), M Anson Fraser (Summit, N.J./Summit H.S.), G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Preparatory School), M Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.), A/M Sloan Smith (Concord, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy), A Alex Wharton (Baltimore, Md./The Gilman School), and D Ross Zimmerman (Shelby Township, Mich./Brother Rice H.S.). “As a group, this is a great class that really addresses our needs because it includes quality players at each position.” said head coach Kevin Corrigan. “At the same time, it builds on the athleticism highlighting our last couple of classes. We’re very excited about these additions to our program.” More information on all the members of the Irish lacrosse class of 2008 can be found on Notre Dame’s official athletic website, www.und.com.
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. The hotline is the first medium updated with results of each Notre Dame men’s lacrosse match.
In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting sports information assistant Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.email@example.com. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Rottenborn. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.