April 17, 2004
No. 14 IRISH WELCOME FAIRFIELD FOR FINAL HOME GAME OF SEASON: The 14th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (6-4, 3-1 GWLL) completes its home schedule on Sunday by playing host to Fairfield (5-6, 1-2 GWLL) at Noon (EST) at Moose Krause Stadium. The contest is the last in league play for the Irish, who have won four in a row, and it will mark the last collegiate home game for 11 members of the class of 2004.
LAST TIME ON THE FIELD: Notre Dame jumped out to a 7-1 lead and went on to a 15-5 victory over Butler Thursday afternoon at Butler Lacrosse Field. The Irish, who outshot the Bulldogs 53-28, won their fourth consecutive game and held their opponent to five goals or fewer for the third time in that stretch. Three Notre Dame players – senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) and sophomores M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) and M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) – finished with four points each, while freshman Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans H.S.) had a pair of goals and an assist for his first career points.
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 138-78 (.639) 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 35 victories over ranked opponents, including eight vs. top-10 teams and hold a 72-23 (.758) 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 36-5 (.878) in conference play — including 20-2 (.909) 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 (12.33 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 in both scoring (4.33 points per game) and assists (2.33). He is sixth nationally in both categories, with 21 goals and 22 assists. 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 has 17 goals this season, including a pair of hat tricks to bring 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 is tied for second on the team in scoring this season (15 goals, 14 assists). Freshman A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) is the only reserve attackman to have played in every game this season (1 g, 2 a).
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 has 21 points in ’04 (16 g, 5 a). 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 is tied for second on the team in scoring, with 29 points (18 goals, 11 assists). He 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. Ryan is tied for second on the team with 32 ground balls to go with 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists). Another sophomore, M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), had four goals against Penn State and has 14 on the season, as well as four assists. 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. Clagett leads the Irish with 37 ground balls. Sophomore M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) and freshmen M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) and M John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) 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 at the faceoff X for the Irish this spring. Bishko was Notre Dame’s top draw man a year ago and has won 58-123 (.472) this season (12-16 vs. Hofstra), while Matarazzo has been successful on 43-113 (.381) attempts, including a career-high 10 won against Syracuse.
Junior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), and sophomore LSM Brandon Schultheis (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.), and senior LSM Chris Masterson (West Hempstead, N.Y./Chaminade 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. He scored goals against Dartmouth and Denver.
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 is tied for second on the team this season with 34, while Creaney is fourth with 31.
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. He set a career high in save percentage by stopping 12 of 13 (.923) shots he faced against Dartmouth. Overall this season, he has a 9.42 GAA and .588 save percentage, including a 5.16 GAA and .737 save percentage over the past four contests.
IRISH vs. STAGS: Fairfield comes to Notre Dame with a 5-6 record, though all of their losses came to teams that are either currently ranked or receiving votes or have been at some point this season. It is 1-2 in the Great Western Lacrosse League, which puts them in a fourth-place tie with Air Force. The Stags opened conference play by beating Butler at home (12-5) before dropping two on a road trip to Colorado, losing 16-9 to Denver and 12-6 to Air Force. Fairfield will play host to league-leading Ohio State on May 1. The Stags started the season 3-0, posting wins against Providence (8-7, OT), Holy Cross (10-9), and Penn State (10-6) to garner votes in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll. Fairfield then lost 12-7 to Brown and beat Colgate 9-8 before going on a three-game skid, falling to Harvard (15-7), Dartmouth (12-9), and Rutgers (7-6, 3OT). The only non-conference game left for Fairfield is an April 28 home contest with Yale. The Stags and Irish have played five common opponents — Penn State, Dartmouth, Butler, Denver, and Air Force — with Notre Dame beating all of them, and Fairfield downing only the Nittany Lions and Bulldogs.
Fairfield is averaging 8.65 goals per game and giving up 10.24. The Stags lead the GWLL in both faceoff winning percentage (.630) and man-up offense (.415), ranking fifth and eighth, respectively, in Division I. Fairfield is averaging 3.2 more ground balls per game than its opponents (33.9-30.7).
The Stags are led offensively by the trio of freshman M Greg Downing (19 g, 10 a), freshman A Michael Bocklet (19 g, 8 a), and senior M Rory McCarthy (16 g, 12 a). Senior A Troy Bamann leads the team with 15 assists (19 pts.), while senior M Matt Baglio has 21 points (14 g, 7 a) and senior A/M Tom Werney has 15 (13 g, 2 a). Senior M Peter Vlahakis is the top faceoff man in the GWLL, ranking fourth in the nation, winning 65.0% of draws. He also is second in the conference and 13th in the nation in ground balls, at 5.82 per game (64 total). Senior M Kevin Finnerty is second on the team with 43 ground balls, while senior D Nate Bauers has 33 and junior D John Stebbins has 30. Of the 33 players on Fairfield’s roster, 22 of them have started at least one game this season, with only Bauers gaining the starting nod in all 11 contests. The Stags have had three different goaltenders start games this season. Freshman G Michael Kruger was the top goalie in the first seven games, and he has a 9.86 goals-against average and .515 save percentage. Junior G Corey Gibbons started against Rutgers, Denver, and Air Force, and he has a 10.96 GAA and .550 save percentage. Freshman G Tim Gazzini made his first career start vs. the Falcons, and he has a 9.58 GAA and .529 save percentage in two games. All three goalies played against Denver.
Fairfield returned 26 letterwinners, including six starters, from last year’s squad that was 5-6 and tied for fourth in the GWLL with a 1-4 mark. Ted Spencer is in his ninth season leading the program, having compiled a 66-60 (.524) record.
The Stags and Irish will meet for the fifth time, with every contest coming since Fairfield joined the GWLL in 2000. Notre Dame has won three of the previous games, with the lone Stag victory an 11-10 decision in 2002 in Fairfield’s last trip to Moose Krause Stadium. That was the first-ever home loss for the Irish against a GWLL team. Notre Dame won the initial matchup, 20-12 at home in 2000, and then took a 12-5 decision in ’01.
On April 19, 2003, Notre Dame jumped out to an 8-1 lead en route to a 14-4 win at Fairfield. M Travis Wells had his second career hat trick for the Irish, while A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) also scored three times. The Irish, who outshot the Stags 53-22, also got two goals and one assist from Kyle Frigon, as well as a pair of scores from Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School). Notre Dame held a 53-33 advantage in ground balls, converted on 25-27 (.926) clear chances, and did not have penalty called against it (Fairfield had five).
IRISH MOVE UP FOUR TO 14TH IN USILA RANKINGS: After road wins against Air Force (12-2) and #17 Denver (14-12) last weekend, Notre Dame made its biggest jump of the season, up four spots to 14th in this week’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Associaion (USILA) Geico/STX Coaches Poll. Last week’s national No. 1, Maryland, lost to Navy last weekend and fell to third, behind Johns Hopkins and the Midshipmen. Syracuse and North Carolina round out the top five. Three Great Western Lacrosse League teams are ranked, as Ohio State remained eighth and Denver moved up one to 16th, despite the loss to the Irish. Seven of Notre Dame’s 12 opponents this season are ranked, while Dartmouth is the first team receiving votes. Notre Dame is tied for 13th with Rutgers in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week.
ELEVEN SENIORS IN FINAL HOME GAME: Today marks the final home game for the 11 members of the Irish men’s lacrosse class of 2004: A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.), A Paul Cappelli (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.), M Steve Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.), D Brennan Creaney (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.), LSM Chris Masterson (West Hempstead, N.Y./Chaminade H.S.), A John Mulflur (Easton, Md./Peter and Paul H.S.), M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), and M Nick Petcoff (Troy, Mich./Detroit Country Day H.S.). That group has helped Notre Dame to a 34-19 (.642) record over the past four seasons, including a 16-8 (.667) mark at home. During the span, the Irish won one outright title and a pair of shared championships in the Great Western Lacrosse League and delivered the best season in program history in 2001, finishing 14-2, peaking at No. 2 in the national rankings, and reaching the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. Additionally, Notre Dame has posted 13 victories against ranked teams over the past four seasons and held foes to five goals or fewer on 16 occasions, while scoring 14 or more 11 times.
DON’T GIVE THEM THE ADVANTAGE: Today’s game features the top two man-up teams in the Great Western Lacrosse League, and two of the best nine in the nation. Fairfield is tops in the conference and eighth in Division I, having converted on 17-41 (.415) EMOs, while the Irish are ninth in the nation with a .410 mark (16-39). Stag freshman M Greg Downing has five man-up goals, while freshman A Michael Bocklet has scored four. For Notre Dame, which was tops in the nation in man-up offense earlier in the season after converting on nine in a row, senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) has scored five times, while four players have three each.
IRISH POST BEST BACK-TO-BACK DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES IN SCHOOL HISTORY: Notre Dame’s defensive performances against Dartmouth and Air Force this season rank as the best in consecutive games in the 24-year history of the varsity program. The Irish surrendered just three goals against Dartmouth (two in the final 4:00) in a seven-goal victory before winning 12-2 at Air Force. The five combined goals bested the previous mark of six combined goals surrendered in 1992 against Mount Saint Mary’s (13-3) on April 11 and Stony Brook (14-3) two days later.
THREE TOP-10 TEAMS, ANOTHER RANKED SQUAD ARE ONLY WINNERS AGAINST IRISH: All four teams to have beaten Notre Dame are currently in the USILA national rankings, including three in the top eight. The Irish losses have come against #4 Syracuse (19-11, away), #5 North Carolina (14-11, home), #8 Ohio State (9-8 on goal with 12 seconds left, home), and #19 Loyola (13-7, away). Notre Dame’s wins came against Penn State (17-7, ranked 17th at time of game), Hofstra (19-11, 13th), Dartmouth (10-3, receiving votes and on a five-game winning streak), Air Force (12-2, receiving votes), #16 Denver (14-12, 17th), and Butler (15-5).
WALSH LEADS GWLL IN SCORING, SIXTH IN DIVISION I: Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is the leading scorer in the Great Western Lacrosse League, and he is sixth in the nation in points per game (4.33). Through 10 contests, he has 21 goals and 22 assists. Chris Cara of Bucknell is tops in Division I at 5.90, while no other GWLL player is in the national top 20 (3.44 ranks 20th). Walsh also leads the conference in assists (2.33) and is sixth 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 12.60 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 14.63 goals per contest, no other team is higher than 12.80. 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 18 goals in 46 extra-man opportunities this season for a .391 percentage that is second in the Great Western Lacrosse League and ranks ninth in Division I. Bucknell leads the nation, having converted 53.4% of man-up 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. Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) leads the Irish with five man-up goals, while four players — senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), and sophomores M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) and M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) — have three each. Notre Dame was 19-51 (.373) on EMOs last year, finishing 11th in the nation.
DRAWING FIRST BLOOD: Notre Dame has scored first in eight of 10 games this season. Only Loyola and Denver have taken 1-0 leads against the Irish.
TIGHTENING THE SCREWS: After giving up 12.80 goals in the first five games of the season (holding only one opponent to fewer than 11 scores), Notre Dame’s defense has been strong over the last five contests, giving up an average of 6.20 and holding three teams to five goals or fewer.The Irish gave up just five combined goals against Dartmouth and Air Force for the best back-to-back defensive performances in school history. Notre Dame also held Ohio State, the Big Green, and the Falcons scoreless for long stretches over the middle of the game. The Buckeyes went 28:47 without scoring before beginning a 6-1 run to end the game, while Dartmouth had a stretch of 40:37 without a goal, and Air Force went 48:14 without scoring.
GOAL WITH 12 SECONDS LEFT SENDS OHIO STATE OVER IRISH IN GWLL OPENER: After Irish sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) scored with 28 seconds remaining to tie the score 8-8, Buckeye sophomore A Ben Wolff responded with the game winner with just 12 seconds to go in the contest to send 17th-ranked Ohio State over #13 Notre Dame 9-8 on March 31 at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish were up 3-0 early and held a 7-3 advantage with one minute left in the third period before the Buckeyes scored five straight goals. Ohio State went on to upset #8 Duke three days later, vaulting it to eighth in the newest USILA rankings.
NINE STRAIGHT RANKED/RECEIVING VOTES OPPONENTS TO OPEN THE SEASON: Each of Notre Dame’s first nine opponents in 2004 were either nationally-ranked or receiving votes at the time of the contest. The first six Irish opponents — #17 Penn State, #3 Syracuse, #9 North Carolina, #16 Loyola, #13 Hofstra, and #17 Ohio State — were ranked at game time. The next two foes — Dartmouth and Air Force — were receiving votes in the USILA poll, while Denver (game nine) was 17th.
CROSLAND STOPS 12 OF 13 SHOTS AGAINST DARTMOUTH’S SEVENTH-RANKED OFFENSE: Senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) and the Irish defense shut down Dartmouth last Sunday, holding it nearly 10 goals below its season avearage in a 10-3 home victory. Heading in to the game, the Big Green ranked seventh in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 12.67 and having scored no fewer than nine in any of its first six games. Crosland set a career best in save percentage by stopping 12 of 13 shots he faced (.923) before leaving the game with a 10-1 lead with 4:18 remaining.
RARE HOME GWLL LOSS: The last-second 9-8 Irish loss to #17 Ohio State on March 31 was just the second time ever that a Great Western Lacrosse League team won at Notre Dame. The only previous home defeat in conference play was an 11-10 defeat against Fairfield on April 21, 2002. The Irish are 20-2 (.909) in GWLL play at home.
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: Notre Dame has seen its offensive production come from a variety of areas this season, as seven players have 17 or more points and six have scored 14 or more goals. Leading the way is sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) with 21 goals and 22 assists (43 points), while sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) (18 g, 11 a) and senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) (15 g, 14 a) have 29 points apiece. Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) is third on the Irish in goals and has 20 points (17 g, 3 a), while junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) has 21 (16 g, 5 a). In addition, sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) has 18 points (14 g, 4 a) and sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) has 17 points (7 g, 10 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 has a 24-8 (4.00-1.33) first-quarter scoring advantage over the last six games. The Irish opened up a 7-0 lead against Hofstra before going up 3-0 vs. Ohio State and 4-0 against Dartmouth. Earlier this season, North Carolina went up 5-1 in the first period against the Irish and Loyola scored the first four goals of the game vs. Notre Dame.
The Hofstra first quarter was especially notable, as 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 37-5 (.881) all-time record in GWLL play, including 20-2 (.909) 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, the Buckeyes are eighth, Notre Dame is 14th, and the Pioneers are 16th.
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 34-5 (.872) record in GWLL play, including 20-2 (.909) at home.
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.
WALSH CHALLENGING SINGLE-SEASON ASSIST RECORD: Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is challenging the Irish single-season assist record of 32, done by him a season ago, career assist leader David Ulrich in 2000 and Mike Sullivan in 1990. Walsh has 22 assists through the first 10 games this season. He leads the Great Western Lacrosse League in assists and ranks sixth in Division I.
WALSH ALREADY MOVING UP IRISH CAREER LISTS: Despite having completed less than half of his collegiate career, sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is already making his presence felt in the Irish career record book. His 54 career assists rank 10th, while his 95 points are 18th.
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 133 saves in five games this season to bring his career total to 329, 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 2002-04 329
BERGER IN THE ND RECORD BOOK: Despite scoring just one as a freshman, senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) has 71 career goals, placing him 11th on the all-time Irish list. His 80 career points are 21st on the scoring list.
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, seven 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 138-78 (.639) mark, while holding a 148-93 (.614) 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.