May 1, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. –
THE WEEK AHEAD – The No. 18 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team takes its four-game win streak into the 2003 regular season finale when the Irish play host to No. 4 Maryland at Moose Krause Stadium on Saturday, May 3. Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad improved to 9-4 on the season as the Irish won their fourth straight last Saturday (April 26) with a 16-11 victory over Harvard in a non-conference matchup. Saturday’s conetes against the Terrapins will have NCAA tournament implications for the Irish as an at-large representative. Notre Dame currently is tied with Ohio State for first place in the Great Western Lacrosse League standings with a 4-1 conference mark. Denver owns a 3-1 record in league play and will close out the regular season against Air Force. The Buckeyes own the advantage in the tie breaker and will receive the league’s automatic bid into the tournament, Maryland enters the game with a 9-3 record overall. The Terrapins are coming off of a 9-5 victory at home on Monday (April 28) against Georgetown. Maryland finished its Atlantic Coast Conference season with a 2-1 record. Notre Dame’s current four-game win streak is its longest of the season. A win against the Terrapins on Saturday would the longest since the Irish closed out the 2001 campaign by winning nine straight before a loss to Syracuse in the NCAA national semifinals. A victory also would mark the sixth time in the 23-year history of the program that an Irish team recorded 10 or more victories in a season. Notre Dame’s defense has been the key in its last four victories as the Irish have outscored their opponents 52-21. Notre Dame. ranked 17th in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse polls last week, fell one spot and two spots, respectively, in each of the polls.
SCOUTING THE IRISH – Offense and defense has played a key in Notre Dame’s four-game win streak as the Irish have outscored their opponents 52-21. The Irish are averaging 10.85 goals per game and allowing just 7.46 goals per contest. Notre Dame has held its opponents to five or fewer goals on five occasions and yielded just 10-plus goals three times (in losses to Virgina and Ohio State and in the win over Harvard last Saturday). Offensively, the Irish have exceeded last year’s scoring output. Notre Dame has scored 141 goals this season which are already 22 more than all of last season’s 13-game total of 109. 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.) 20 goals and team-leading 32 assists (52 points). He is coming off his best game in an Irish uniform on Saturday against Harvard as he scored four goals and dished off four assists. Walsh’s 32 assists ties the Irish single-season mark. He is the only Notre Dame freshman who has started all 12 games this season. Walsh has scored a goal in 10 of 13 contests and registered at least one point in every game. The only three games he has failed to score a goal in have been the Hofstra, Hartford and Fairfield contests. Walsh has tallied two or more goals on five occasions and dished off two or more assists in 10 games. Junior Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y.) returned to the lineup against Harvard after missing the five previous games following an appendectomy four days prior to the Denver game on March 30. Prior to the Harvard game, he last played in the Hartford contest on March 23. Against Harvard, he scored two goals in his return back to the Irish lineup. Despite missing five games, stands third in the scoring column with 33 points (14 goals and 19 assists). In the eight 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.) ranks second in the scoring column with a team-high 32 goals and 2 assists (34 points). 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 career bests of 13 goals and seven assists for a career-high 20 points. Wellls has had back-to-back hat tricks in the Fairfield and Harvard contests. Sophomore Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) and freshman Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y.) are tied for fifth in scoring with 17 points each. Giordano has netted 12 goals and dished off five assists, while Karweck has scored 11 goals and been credited with six 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 13 contests and earned 11 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 13 games and the only defensive player who has earned a start in every contest. He has collected 22 ground balls. Freshman D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa.) has played in all 13 contests and earned five starting appearances. He has been in the starting in each of the last four games. Junior Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md.) has started all 13 games and owns a 7.26 goals against average and .610 save percentage. Crosland has made 135 saves and allowed 82 goals this season while playing 678 minutes of a possible 780.
SCOUTING MARYLAND – Heading into Saturday’s matchup, Maryland has won two straight with victories over UMBC (15-8) and Georgetown (9-5). The Terrapins breezed through the first five games of the season before dropping a 10-6 decision to North Carolina. Maryland then won its next three contests before dropping back-to-back setbacks to Johns Hopkins (6-5) and Duke (7-6) in the semifinals of the ACC tournament. The Terrapins have five players with 20-plus points and are led by Joe Walters’ 37 points (29 goals and eight assists). Maryland is averaging 10.92 goals per game and giving up 7.17 per contest. The Terrapins have held 11 of their 12 opponents to under 10 goals this season.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS MARYLAND – Saturday’s contest will mark just the second-ever contest played between the two schools and the first-ever during the regular season. The only meeting ever played between the Irish and Terrapins was in the quarterfinals of the 1995 NCAA Tournament with Maryland earning a 14-11 victory in College Park, Md., on May 20.
COMMON OPPONENTS – Notre Dame and Maryland have played three common opponents – North Carolina, Butler and Virginia – with each team owning a 2-1 mark against those opponents. The Irish defeated the Tar Heels (10-8) and Butler (9-2) and lost to Virginia (14-8), while the Terrapins lost to North Carolina (10-6) and beat Butler (18-9) and Virgnia (8-7).
IRISH SET TO FACE THIRD ACC FOE – Saturday’s game with Maryland will mark the first time in the program’s historyh that an Irish team will face three Atlantic Coast Conference foes during the regular season. Notre Dame has faced an ACC opponent 14 times and is 3-11 in those contests. The first time an Irish team defeated an ACC foe was in the first round of the 1995 NCAA tournament as Notre Dame claimed a 12-10 decision over Duke on May 13 in Durham, N.C.
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 142-89 (.615) 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.
HARVARD REWIND – The Irish won their fourth straight with a 16-11 non-conference victory over Harvard. Leading scorer Patrick Walsh continued his impressive rookie season as he led the Irish with four goals and four assists. Junior Steve Clagett (Chesapeake, Md.) recorded the first hat trick of his career while Travis Wells recorded his second hat trick in as many games. Matt Howell returned to the lineup for the first time in five games and scored two goals. Dan Berger was one of eight different goal scorers in the contest as he finished with a goal and two assists while sophomore Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) registered a goal and an assist. Notre Dame improved to 7-3 against the Crimson and avenged last year’s 7-6 overtime setback in Cambridge, Mass. With the win, Irish teams have won four of the last five meetings between the two schools.
STINGY DEFENSE – Notre Dame has allowed just 21 goals in its last four contests (5.25). Prior the Harvard game, the Irish defense had allowed just 10 goals in its previous three outings in victories over Butler (9-2), Air Force (13-4) and Fairfield (14-4). Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 52-21 in the last four games. The 10 goals allowed in that three-game stretch were the fewest ever given up by a Notre Dame squad 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 19th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and 18th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) polls. Seven of the Irish’s opponent this season are currently ranked in both of the polls. Four of those foes opponents – Virgnia, Maryland, Hofstra and North Carolina – are ranked in the top 10 of the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse poll.
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 final regular-season opponent,. Maryland, stands fourth in both of the rankings.
SECOND-HALF DOMINANCE – Notre Dame has proved to be a very dominating second-half team this season as the Irish have outscored their opponents 76 to 49, averaging a combined 5.85 goals for both of the quarters. Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad has outscored its opponents 42 to 18 in the third quarter as the Irish are averaging 3.23 goals and allowing just 1.38 goals 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’s season will end with the Irish playing four of final five games ast 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 52 points with 20 goals and 32 assists. His 32 assists ties the single-season record 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.
‘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 third in the scoring column with 14 goals and 19 assists (33 points). Howell has missed gavmes – 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 32 goals and and has started all 13 games. He is tied for second in the scoring column with a team-high and personal best 32 goals and two assists (34 points). 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 24 of his last 26 games for the Irish (11 of 13 in 2002 and all 13 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 14 goals and 33 points this season, while freshman Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y.) has 11 goals and six 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 82 goals in 13 games this season for a 7.26 goals-against average and .610 save percentage.
GROUND HOGS – Eric Simon and D.J. Driscoll lead the team in ground balls wit 53 and 56, respectively. Simon has 102 during his four-year career. Driscoll picked up a career-high 10 against Fairfield.
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 97-31 (.758) mark in home games since 1981 and is 5-1 in 2003. Since back-to-back 5-0 campaigns at home in 1994 and 1995, Irish teams own a 44-13 record for a winning percentage of 77.2 percent. Since ’94, Notre Dame has been undefeated at home four times. If the Irish defeat Maryland on Saturday, it wouldbe Notre Dame’s sixth home win of the season and would mark the seventh time in school that an Irish team won six or more games at home.
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 12th (Goals Per Game) Stewart Crosland T7th (Save Percentage) 8th (Save Percentage) Patrick Walsh 5th (Assists Per Game) 6th (Points Per Game) Team: Man-Up Offense 10th Scoring Margin 10th Scoring Defense 11th Scoring Offense 11th Winning Percentage T11th Man-Down Defense 19th