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No. 17 Men's Lacrosse Plays Host To Ivy League Foe Harvard On Saturday

April 24, 2003

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THE WEEK AHEAD – Riding a three-game win streak, the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team plays host to Ivy League foe Harvard on Saturday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m. (EST). The Irish conclude the 2003 campaign with two home games. Notre Dame entertains Maryland in the regular season finale onApril 3. The Irish enter the contest with an 8-4 overall record. Last weekend’s 14-4 victory over Fairfield on the road was the final Great Western Lacrosse League for head coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad as Notre Dame completed conference play with a 4-1 record. The current three-game win streak equals its longest of the season when the Irish opened up the campaign with victories in its first three outings. Notre Dame’s defense has been the key in its last three outings in allowing a combined 10 goals in wins over Butler, Air Force and Fairfield. In their last three contests, the Irish have outscored their opponents 36-10. Harvard enters the game with 4-8 overall record and is 1-4 in Ivy League play. The Crimson have dropped three straight, including last weekend’s 11-6 setback at home to Yale. Notre Dame climbed two spots to 17th in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse polls. Harvard is unranked in each of the polls.

SCOUTING THE IRISH – Offense and defense has played a key in Notre Dame’s three-game win streak as the Irish have outscored their opponents 36-10. The Irish are averaging 10.41 goals per game and allowing just 7.16 goals per game. Notre Dame has held its opponents to five or fewer goals on five occasions and yielded just 10-plus goals twice (in losses to Virgina and Ohio State). Offensively, the Irish have exceeded last year’s scoring output. Notre Dame has scored 125 goals this season which are already 16 more than all of last season’s 13-game total. During the 2002 campaign, the Irish scored just 109 goals, the fewest in school history. Seven of Notre Dame’s top eight scorers are underclassmen. The Irish are led by freshman Patrick Walsh’s (Wantagh, N.Y.) 16 goals and team-leading 28 assists (44 points). He is the only Notre Dame freshman who has started all 12 games this season. Walsh has scored a goal in nine of 12 contests and registered at least one point in every game. He has failed to scored at least tone goals in three games – Hofstra, Hartford and Fairfield. Walsh has tallied two or more goals on four occasions and dished off two or more assists in nine games. Junior Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y.) looks to return to the Irish lineup after missing the last five games. Howell underwent an appendectomy four days prior to the Denver game on March 30. He last played in the Hartford contest on March 23. Despite missing five games, he is tied for second in scoring with 12 goals and 19 assists (31 points). In the seven games he has played, he has recorded at least one point (either a goal or an assist) in all of those contests. Junior Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.) is tied for second in the scoring column with 31 points, already 10 more than this final goal total of last season. Berger has scored at least one goal in every game this season and has scored three-plus goals in seven contests. Senior Travis Wells (Severna Park, Md.) has steadily climbed the Irish scoring chart and stands fourth in the scoring column with 10 goals and a career-best six assists for a career-high 16 points. Wells recorded his second career hat trick in Notre Dame’s win at Fairfield last weekend. Sophomore Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) and freshman Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y.) are tied for fifth in scoring with 15 points each. Giordano has netted 11 goals and dished off four assists, while Karweck has scored 10 goals and been credited with five assists. Junior Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md.) rounds out the players who have scored 10-plus points. He has eight goals and two assists for 10 points. Heading into the season, Mulford had scored just one goal in his two previous seasons, while playing in 21 contests. Senior Eric Simon (Flemington, N.J.) has played in all 12 contests and earned 10 starts. The Irish defenseman leads the team with 53 ground balls. Junior Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y.) is one of five players who has started all 12 games and the only defensive player who has earned a start in every contest. He hsa collected 21 ground balls. Freshman D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa.) has played in all 12 contests and earned four starting appearances. He has been in the starting in each of the last three games. Junior Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md.) has started all 12 games and owns a 7.31 goals against average and .621 save percentage. Crosland has made 128 saves and allowed 78 goals this season while playing 640 minutes of a possible 720.

SCOUTING HARVARD – Harvard has lost three straight as the Crimson have dropped consecutive decisions to Princeton (12-8), Massachusetts (11-6) and Yale (11-6). Harvard’s last win was a 12-6 victory over Brown on April 9.

SERIES RECORD VERSUS HARVARD – Notre Damd owns a 6-3 advantage against Harvard. The Irish have won three of the last four meetings, but dropped a 7-6 overtime decision to the Crimson in Cambridge, Mass., last season. Notre Dame is 4-0 against Harvard at Moose Krause Stadium, including a 16-4 decision in 2001. The first game played between the two teams was in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 1990 with the Crimson earning a 9-3 victory. Three of the last four games between the two teams has been decided by a single goal – a 9-8 Notre Dame victory in 1999, an 11-10 Irish win in 2000 and a 7-6 decision in 2002.

IRISH HEAD COACH KEVIN CORRIGAN – Kevin Corrigan is his 15th season at Notre Dame and 17th in the collegiate ranks. The four-time Great Western Lacrosse League Coach of the Year owns a 141-89 (.613) overall ledger and an 131-73 (.642) mark with the Irish. Notre Dame’s contest with Denver on March 30 marked the 200th game he has coached with the Irish. Corrigan has led Notre Dame to 10 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 14 years (including six straight from 1992-97) and 11 (either outright or shared) conference titles. In 2001, he guided the Irish to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship national semifinals. Under Corrigan, Notre Dame has been victorious in the first round of the NCAA tournament on three occasions. He has had 12 different players earn USILA All-America honors. Previous to his tenure at Notre Dame, Corrigan served as head coach at Randolph-Macon during the 1985 and 1986 campaign where his teams compiled a 10-15 mark.

FAIRFIELD REWIND – For the third straight outing, the Irish turned in a stellar defensive effort holding their opponent to under five goals for the third straight game. Behind three goals by Travis Wells and Dan Berger, Notre Dame won its third consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League contest to finish its conference season with a 4-1 record. Wells’ three goals marked his career hat trick, while Berger pushed his season goal-scoring total to 41 as he registered his fourth three-goal effort in the last five games. Notre Dame jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the first quarter on goals by Matt Karweck, Brian Giordano, Owen Mulford and Steve Clagett (Chesapeake, Md.) and led 4-1 after the first period. The Irish tallied four unanswered goals in the second quarter to jump out to an 8-1 advantage with 3:41 remaining before the intermission. Senior Kyle Frigon (Salem, Mass.), one of eight goal scorers in the game, tallied the irish’s first goal of the second quarter. He finished with two goals and an assist in the contest for his most productive offensive outing of the season. Freshman Matt Ryan (Ridley, Pa.) then tallied his fourth goal of the season before Wells put in the final two goals of the quarter as Notre Dame headed into intermission with an 8-2. The Irish outscored the Stags 2-0 in the third period with both scores coming from Berger as Notre Dame built a 10-2 advantage heading into the final stanza. Notre Dame scored the first four goals of the fourth quarter on scores from Frigon, Berger, Giordano and Wells.

STINGY DEFENSE – The Irish defense has allowed just 10 goals in the last three games in its victories over Butler (9-2), Air Force (13-4) and Fairfield (14-4). Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 36-10 in the last three games. The 10 goals allowed are the fewest ever given up by a Notre Dame in three straight outings since the 1984 campaign in wins over Mount Union (15-0), Wooster (1-6) and Wittenburg (23-4).

IN THE POLLS – Notre Dame is currently ranked 17th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) polls. Seven of the Irish’s opponent this season are currently ranked in both of the polls.

RANKING FILE – After posting a 1-4 record against ranked teams in 2002, Notre Dame has a 3-4 marked against ranked foes this season. Notre Dame is 10-9 against ranked opponents over the past three seasons.

WHO MAKES THE SCHEDULE? – Notre Dame has played seven ranked opponents this season – Penn State, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Loyola, Hofstra and Ohio State. Notre Dame’s next opponent, Maryland, is ranked fifth in both polls.

SECOND-HALF DOMINANCE – Notre Dame has proved to be a very dominating second-half team this season as the Irish have outscored their opponents 70 to 42, averaging a combined 5.83 goals for both of the quarters. Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad has outscored its opponents 38 to 15 in the third quarter as the Irish are averaging 3.16 goals and allowing just 1.25 per game in that 15-minute stanza.

ROAD WARRIORS – Making the first nine games of the season even more difficult was the fact that the the Irish played six of those contests on the road. Notre Dame will end the season by playing four of its final five games at home. Notre Dame owns a 3-3 record on the road this season and is 1-0 in neutral site contests. Since the start of the 2000 campaign, Irish teams have a combined 21-10 mark (.677) in both away and neutral site contests.

FRESHMAN PHENOM – Notre Dame freshman Patrick Walsh has certainly been a sparkplug in the Irish lineup. He leads the team in scoring with 44 points with 16 goals and 28 assists. His 28 assists are four shy of tying the single season record of 32 established by David Ulrich in 2000 and Mike Sullivan in 1990. Walsh is the first freshman to lead Notre Dame in scoring since Randy Colley did so in 1992 with 43 goals and 28 assists (71 points). Colley finished as the school all-time career scoring leader with 173 goals and 100 assists for 273 points. In his freshman season, Colley netted 43 goals and dished off 28 assists (71 points).

‘HOWELL’ OVER IT- Matt Howell’s return to the lineup in 2003 has certainly paid off for the Irish. The junior attack missed all but three games of the ’02 campaign with an injury after scoring scoring four gaols and dishing off an assist. This season, he is tied for second in scoring with 12 goals and 19 assists. Howell has missed the last fivegames – Denver, Ohio State, Butler , Air Force and Fairfield – after undergoing an appendectomy and is expected to return sometime before the end of the season. He had six assists in the Hartford game on March 23, one shy of the school record.

BERGER KING – Dan Berger started the season where he left off a year ago as Notre Dame’s leading scorer (21 goals, 4 assists). Berger has 31 goals and and has started all 12 games. He is tied for second in the scoring column with a team-high and personal best 28 goals. In 2002, Berger started 13 games after playing in just six games during his freshman year in which he scored just one goal. He had six multiple-goal games in 2002, including a personal-best four goals in a 7-6 loss at Pennsylvania on March 2. Prior to the Fairfield game (the 11th game of the season in 2002), Berger had scored a goal in the first 10 games of the season. Against the Stags, he did manage to dish off an assist to keep his streak alive of contributing either a goal or an assist in all 11 games. That streak ended though the next game in a loss to Harvard. Overall, Berger has scored in 23 of his last 25 games for the Irish (11 of 13 in 2002 and all 12 contests in 2003).

GETTING SOME MATT-I-TUDE – The Irish scoring punch has been coming from guys named Matt this season as Matt Howell stands second on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 31 points this season, while freshman Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y.) has 10 goals and five assists and freshman Matt Ryan ( Ridley, Pa.) has four goals and three assists. Sophomore Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y.) has has two assists on the season.

FRESHMAN FINESSE – The freshman class has made an immediate impact for the Irish in 2003 as D.J. Driscoll, Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J.), Matt Karweck, Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y.), Matt Ryan and Patrick Walsh have all seen valuable minutes for Notre Dame. Two of those rookies – Walsh and Karweck – are among the top five in the scoring column.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS – Irish goalie Stewart Crosland has been impressive in goal this season. Crosland has given up 78 goals in 12 games this season for a 7.31 goals-against average and .621 save percentage.

GROUND HOGS – Eric Simon and D.J. Driscoll lead the team in ground balls wit 53 and 48, respectively. Simon has 102 during his four-year career. Driscoll picked up a career-high 10 against Fairfield on Saturday.

PRESEASON HONORS – Senior longstick midfielder John Souch and senior defensman Eric Simon were both tabbed as preseason honorable mention selections by Inside Lacrosse Face Off Yearbook. So far in 2003, Souch has, the Irish top player at his position, has collected 12 ground balls, while Simon leads the team in that category with 41.

HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame owns a 96-31 (.756) mark in home games since 1981 and is 4-1 in 2003. Since back-to-back 5-0 campaigns at home in 1994 and 1995, Irish teams own a 43-13 record for a winning percentage of 76.8 percent. Since ’94, Notre Dame has been undefeated at home four times.

LOOKS FAMILIAR – Notre Dame’s 2003 schedule features 11 opponents the Irish faced a year ago – Penn State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Loyola, Hofstra, Denver, Ohio State, Butler, Air Force, Fairfield and Harvard.

ALL IN THE FAMILY – Craig Bishko, a freshman midfielder on this year’s Irish lacrosse team, is the brother of former Notre Dame standout Steve Bishko, a 2001 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) third-team All-America selection and three-year starter. The Bishkos are the fourth brother tandem to play lacrosse at Notre Dame. The others are Todd (1992-96) and Joe Bialous, Jason (1992-94, ’95) and Connor (’98) Pett and David (1998-2001) and Todd (1998-2001) Ulrich.

ALL IN THE FAMILY II – Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are represented by members of the Simon family as defenseman Eric Simon’s sister, Meredith, is a junior on the women’s lacrosse team.

IRISH IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS – Individuals: Dan Berger T12th (Goals Per Game) Stewart Crosland 6th (Save Percentage) 9th (Save Percentage) Patrick Walsh T5th (Assists Per Game) T15th (Scoring Offense) Team: Scoring Defense T7th Scoring Margin 11th Winning Percentage 11th Scoring Offense 13th Man-Up Offense T15th