April 8, 2004
#18 Notre Dame (3-4) vs. Air Force (2-4) Friday, April 9, 4 p.m. * Cadet Lacrosse Stadium
#18 Notre Dame vs. #17 Denver Sunday, April 11, 1 p.m. * Pioneer Lacrosse Field
No. 18 IRISH HEAD TO COLORADO TO TAKE ON AIR FORCE, No. 17 DENVER: In beginning a stretch of four consecutive games against Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) opponents, the 18th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (3-4, 0-1) will head to Colorado for Easter weekend. The Irish will play Air Force (2-4, 0-0) on Friday at 4 p.m. (MDT) prior to taking on #17 Denver (5-2, 0-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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 is 0-1 in Great Western Lacrosse League play for the first time in school history after losing 9-8 at home on March 31 against #17 Ohio State, when the Buckeyes scored with 12 seconds remaining following an Irish tying goal with 28 seconds left.
* In their last outing, the Irish beat Dartmouth 10-3, holding the nation’s seventh-ranked offense nearly 10 goals below its average. Notre Dame led 10-1 with 5:00 remaining. Senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) set a career best in save percentage, stopping 12 of 13 Big Green shots before leaving with 4:18 left in the contest.
* Notre Dame’s other wins came at home against #17 Penn State (17-7) and #13 Hofstra (19-11). The other Irish defeats were at #3 Syracuse (19-13), at home vs. #9 North Carolina (14-11), and at #16 Loyola (13-7).
* The Irish dropped five spots to 18th 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.
* Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is the GWLL’s leading scorer (4.29 points per game), ranking fourth in the nation. He has 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points. Walsh also leads the conference in assists (2.43) and is sixth in Division I.
* Including this weekend’s games, Notre Dame’s first nine opponents of the season will have been either nationally-ranked or receiving votes at the time of the game.
* Notre Dame leads the all-time series with the Falcons 15-1, including 15 consecutive victories after Air Force won the first matchup, in 1988.
* The Irish have won all seven prior meetings with the Pioneers, with the closest affair a 12-8 decision at Notre Dame in 2000.
* This is the first time Denver has been ranked higher than the Irish at game time and the first time Notre Dame has ever played a ranked Pioneers squad.
* Notre Dame leads the GWLL and ranks sixth in the nation in scoring offense (12.14 goals per game).
* Notre Dame is fifth in Division I in converting extra-man opportunities (16-34, .471). 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).
* After being plagued by slow starts in its previous two games, Notre Dame has started quickly in each of its last three, taking a 7-0 lead against Hoftra, a 3-0 advantage vs. Ohio State, and a 4-0 edge against Dartmouth. The Irish outshot the Pride 17-0 in the first quarter, not allowing a Hofstra shot until 13:18 remaining in the first half.
* 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: Senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) made 12 saves and allowed just one goal in leading a strong defensive effort, as Notre Dame snapped Dartmouth’s five-game winning streak in a 10-3 decision last Sunday at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish, who had eight players score goals and six register multiple points, held a 10-1 lead when Crosland left with 4:18 remaining in the game.
Notre Dame’s defensive effort – keyed by seniors D Brennan Creaney (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.) and D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.), junior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), sophomore D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School), and freshman D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) – held the Big Green nearly 10 goals below its season average of 12.67. Dartmouth came into the week ranked seventh in the nation in scoring offense, having not netted fewer than nine goals in any of its first six games. The last time the Irish held a team to three goals or fewer was April 10, 2003, in a 9-2 home victory against Butler.
Notre Dame also allowed Dartmouth to successfully clear the ball just 17 times in 32 tries (.531), while shutting down the Big Green EMO, ranked 15th in the nation, on all three of its chances.
After stopping 50.8% of shots through the first six games of the season, Crosland set a career best with a .923 save percentage in the game. It also matched the fewest goals he has allowed as a starter, having stopped nine of 10 shots a year ago against Butler.
For the third game in a row, Notre Dame got off to a quick start, outscoring the Big Green 4-0 in the first quarter and holding a 15-4 advantage in shots. Crosland stopped the only Dartmouth offer that was on goal in the opening frame, which came from Nick Bonacci at the 2:01 mark. Dartmouth got on the board 33 seconds into the second quarter, when sophomore M/A Brad Heritage scored from the close left wing. Crosland then came up with saves on all 11 ensuing shots he faced, including one on a breakaway attempt and various others on good scoring chances.
Crosland also matched his career high by corralling five ground balls to share the team lead. On the season, he has a 10.68 goals-against average and .546 save percentage. Crosland has started each of the last 21 games in goal for Notre Dame and has seen opponents tally five goals or fewer on seven occasions in that span.
Both senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) scored twice for the Irish, while sophomore All-American A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) notched a game-high four points (one goal, three assists), while also having two goals waived off as crease violations.
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 135-78 (.634) 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 71-23 (.755) 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 34-5 (.872) 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 sixth in the nation in scoring (12.14 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 (4.29 points per game) and assists (2.43). He is fourth nationally in the former category, with 13 goals and 17 assists, and sixth in the latter. 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 13 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 third on the team in scoring this season (12 goals, 9 assists). 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 is the team’s second-leading scorer with 22 points (14 goals, 8 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 24 ground balls to go with 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists). 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. Clagett leads the Irish with 25 ground balls. 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, while freshman M John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) saw extensive action against Dartmouth. 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 44-92 (.478) this season (12-16 vs. Hofstra), while Matarazzo has been successful on 33-83 (.398) 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. He scored a goal against Dartmouth.
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 24, while Creaney is fourth with 21.
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 10.68 GAA and .546 save percentage.
NOTRE DAME-AIR FORCE SERIES: Notre Dame and Air Force will meet for the 17th year in a row. The Falcons won the initial meeting, 14-8 in 1988 in Colorado Springs, but the Irish have won each of the 15 contests since then. Each of the last 10 games have been decided by at least four goals. Notre Dame is 6-1 at Air Force, though only one victory has been by more than six goals.
NOTRE DAME-DENVER SERIES: Notre Dame and Denver will meet for the seventh consecutive year and eighth time overall. The Irish have won all seven previous contests, with the closest a 12-8 decision at home in 2000. This is just Notre Dame’s third trip to Denver, though they played in Colorado Springs in 1998. The first-ever meeting — a 25-4 Irish win — came there in 1992, but the teams did not play again until ’98. Not only does this year’s meeting mark the first time the Pioneers have been ranked higher than the Irish at game time, it is the first time Notre Dame has faced a ranked Denver squad.
IRISH DROP TO 18TH IN USILA RANKINGS: After dropping a last-second 9-8 decision to #17 Ohio State and beating Dartmouth 10-3 last week, Notre Dame fell five spots to 18th in this week’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Associaion (USILA) Geico/STX Coaches Poll. Maryland, the nation’s lone unbeaten, remained atop the rankings, followed by Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Navy, and North Carolina. Eight of Notre Dame’s 12 opponents this season are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll. Notre Dame dropped one to be tied for 16th with Rutgers in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week.
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 #3 Syracuse (19-11, away), #5 North Carolina (14-11, home), #8 Ohio State (9-8 on goal with 12 seconds left, home), and #20 Loyola (13-7, away). Notre Dame’s wins came against Penn State (17-7, ranked 17th at time of game), Hofstra (19-11, 13th), and Dartmouth (10-3, receiving votes), snapping the Big Green’s five-game winning streak.
WALSH LEADS GWLL IN SCORING, FOURTH 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 fourth in the nation in points per game (4.29). Through seven contests, he has 13 goals and 17 assists. Chris Cara of Bucknell is tops in Division I at 5.33, while no other GWLL player is in the national top 20 (3.43 ranks 20th). Walsh also leads the conference in assists (2.43) 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, SIXTH IN NATION: Notre Dame is averaging 12.14 goals per game this season, making it the highest-scoring team in the Great Western Lacrosse League and the sixth-highest in Division I. Syracuse leads the nation in scoring offense, averaging 14.86 goals per contest, no other team is higher than 12.75. 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 16 goals in 34 extra-man opportunities this season for a .471 percentage that leads the Great Western Lacrosse League and ranks fifth in Division I. North Carolina, which converted just once on three tries against the Irish, has the top man-up unit in the country, scoring on .529 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. Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) leads the Irish with five man-up goals, while three more players — senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), and sophomore 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.
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 was strong last week, giving up just a combined 12 goals in games against #17 Ohio State and Dartmouth. In each game, the Irish held the opponent scoreless for a long stretch over the middle quarters. The Buckeyes went 28:47 without scoring before beginning a 6-1 run to end the game, while the Big Green had a stretch of 40:37 without a goal.
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) is 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.
0-1 IRISH IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY: Notre Dame’s last-second 9-8 loss to #17 Ohio State on March 31 marked the first time the Irish have ever opened 0-1 in Great Western Lacrosse League play.
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: Through seven games this season, Notre Dame has seen its offensive production come from a variety of areas, as six players have 12 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 13 goals and 17 assists (30 points), while sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), the team’s leading goal scorer, has 22 (14 g, 8 a) and senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) has 21 points (12 g, 9 a). Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) is tied for second in goals and has 16 points (13 g, 3 a), while 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) has nine goals and sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) has 12 points (5 g, 7 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 14-2 (4.67-0.67) first-quarter scoring advantage over the last three 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.
DECISIVE FOURTH QUARTER: The only quarter in which Notre Dame has been outscored this season has been the fourth, with opponents holding a 22-20 advantage. In the four Irish losses, foes have held a 17-8 (4.25-2.00) scoring edge in the final period, while Notre Dame is up 12-5 (4.00-1.67) in its victories. The Irish put up five in the final 15 minutes, while holding Penn State scoreless, but then Syracuse outscored Notre Dame 6-2 in the fourth and Ohio State accounted for five of the six final-stanza tallies in its come-from-behind win.
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 34-5 (.872) 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, the Pioneers are 17th, and Notre Dame is 18th, 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 34-5 (.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.
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 89 saves in five games this season to bring his career total to 285, 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 2002-04 285
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 set a career-best with four goals against Hofstra and registered a career-high three ground balls vs. the Nittany Lions.
* After not registering multiple points in any game as a freshman, sophomore M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) has done so twice this season. He had a pair of goals against North Carolina and set career bests in assists (three) and points (four) vs. Hofstra. Additionally, he corralled a personal-best five ground balls vs. the Tar Heels.
* Junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) had five goals against Hofstra to match his career highs in goals and points (5). He also fired a career-best nine shots.
* 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, eight 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.firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Rottenborn. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.