April 18, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. –
THE WEEK AHEAD ? The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will look to keep pace in the Great Western Lacrosse League regular season race when it travels to Fairfield for a 1:00 p.m. (EDT) faceoff on Saturday, April19 in its final GWLl test of the season. Coach Kevin Corrigan’s squad enters the game with a 7-4 record overall and 3-2 mark in GWLL play. This will be the final road game of the 2003 campaign. The Irish own a 2-3 mark in road game this season. They will play their remaining two regular season games at home against non-conference foes Harvard (April 26) and Maryland (May 3). Notre Dame registered two home wins last week with victories over Butler (9-2) and Air Force (13-4). Since a three-game losing streak in mid-March, the Irish have won four of its last five contests. The Irish are ranked 19th in both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and United States Intercollgeiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) rankings this week. Notre Dame will be taking on a Fairfield team that is 5-4 overall and 1-2 in the GWLL.
FAIRFIELD GAME TIME CHANGE ? The start of the Notre Dame-Fairfield game on Saturday, April 19 in Fairfield, Conn., has been moved to 1:00 p.m. (EDT). The contest was originally scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. (local time).
SCOUTING THE IRISH ? Notre Dame rebounded from its loss to Ohio State on April 6 to post wins impressive wins over Butler and Air Force last week. Defense was the key in the two victories as Notre Dame allowed just six goals in the two games, outscoring its opponent 22-6. The Irish are averaging 10.09 goals per game, while allowing just 7.45 per contest. Notre Dame has held nine of its 11 opponents to under 10 goals this season and four teams ? Pennsylvania, Hartford, Butler and Air Force ? to five goals and under. Notre Dame’s offensive scoring is up from a year ago. The Irish already have 111 goals this season, surpassing last season?s total of 109 (the fewest goals scored by a Notre Dame since the program earned varsity status in 1981). Freshman Patrick Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y.) tops the Irish scoring list with 16 goals and a team-high 27 assists (43 points). He is the only Notre Dame freshman who has started all 11 games this season. He has scored at least one goal in all but two contests (Hofstra and Hartford) and has registered at least two points in all 11 matches. He has tallied two or more goals on four occasions and dished off two or more assists in nine games. In the last four contests, Walsh has averaged 4.0 assists. Junior Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y.) stands second in the scoring column 12 goals and 19 assists. He has missed Notre Dame?s last four games against Denver, Ohio State. Butler and Air Force after undergoing an appendectomy four days prior to the contest against the Pioneers. He had recorded at least one point (either a goal or an assist) in all seven games that he had played. Junior Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md.) leads the Irish with a single-season personal best of 28 goals. He already has surpassed his goal total of 21 goals from a year ago. Berger has scored at least one goal in every game this season and has scored three-plus goals in six contests. Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J.) stands fourth in the scoring column after his career-high five goals against Air Force. He has nine goals and four assists. Also tied for fourth in scoring is rookie Matt Karweck (Penn Yan. N.Y.) with 13 points (9 goals, 4 assists). Senior Travis Wells (Severna Park, Md.) rounds out players who have registered 10 or more points this season. He has scored seven goals and dished off five assists and has started 10 of the 11 games he has played. Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md.) has started all 11 games in goal for the Irish and played 593 of a possible 660 minutes. He owns a 7.69 goals against average and .620 save percentage. Crosland has made 124 saves and allowed 76 goals this season.
SCOUTING FAIRFIELD ? Fairfield is 3-2 in its last five games and owns a 5-4 overall record and 1-2 mark in conference play. The Stags are coming off of an 11-9 setback at Ohio State. In its nine game, Fairfield is averaging 9.4 goals per contest and has allowed 9.7 goals per game. Rory McCarthy and Matt Buecker top the Stags scoring column with 19 goals and eights assists (27 points) and 16 goals and nine assists (25 points), respectively.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS FAIRFIELD ? Notre Dame will be looking to avenge last year?s 11-10 loss to the Stags at Moose Krause Stadium. Saturday?s matchup will be the fourth meeting between the two schools with the Irish holding a 2-1 advantage in the series. In the first-ever meeting during the 2000 campaign, Notre Dame earned a 20-12 victory and then folllowed that up the following season with a 12-5 decision. Fairfield represented the GWLL in last year?s NCAA tournament.
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 140-89 (.611) overall ledger and an 130-73 (.640) 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.
BUTLER REWIND ? Notre Dame put together one of its strongest combined offensive and defensive efforts of the season in its 9-2 victory over Butler. The two goals were the fewest allowed by an Irish team since the 2001 campaigh when Notre Dame defeated Air Force 13-2 on April 9, 2001. Notre Dame scored the first eight goals of the contest and were led by Dan Berger?s three goals and Pat Walsh’s two goals and four assists. The Berger and Walsh tandem combined for three of the Irish?s four goals in the contest. Notre Dame held Butler in check for over 43 minutes of the contest as the Bulldogs did not score their first goal with only 1;50 left in the third quarter. Stewart Crosland played 49 minutes in the game and finished with nine saves as Notre Dame defeated Butler for the fifth straight year and 10th time in 11 meetings.
AIR FORCE REWIND ? Brian Giordano scored a career-high five goals to lead the Irish to the 13-4 victory over the Falcons. With the win, Notre Dame won its 15th straight over Air Force. Notre Dame’s defense proved dominant for the second straight game in holding an opponent to under five goals for the second consecutive outing. In addition to Giordano?s five goals, Dan Berger notched scored six or more goals for the sixth time his season in netting a hat trick. Travis Wells also scored twice in the contest as Notre Dame netted 13-plus goals for the third time this season. The Irish were slow getting it offense in gear, but a 9-1 advantage in the second half proved to be decisive after the Irish led just 4-3 at halftime. Notre Dame outscored the Falcons 4-0 in the third quarter as Berger scored twice, while Kyle Frigon (Salem, Mass.) and Giordano added the two other scores.
IN THE POLLS ? Notre Dame is currently ranked 19th 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. Only one remaining opponent ? Maryland is ranked in the polls week.
SECOND HALF DOMINANCE ? Notre Dame has proved to be a very dominating second-half team this season as the Irish have outscored their opponents 64 to 40, averaging a combined 5.82 goals for both of the quarters. Coach Kevin Corrigan?s squad has outscored its opponents 36 to 15 in the third quarter as the Irish are averaging 3.27 goals and allowing just 1.36 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 2-3 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 20-10 mark (.667) 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 43 points as he has scored 16 goals and dished off 27 assists. His 27 assists are five 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). Colleeg 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 second in the Irish scoring column with 12 goals and 19 assists. Howell has missed the last four games ? Denver, Ohio State, Butler and Air Force ? 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 ? Sophomore Dan Berger started the season where he left off a year ago as Notre Dame’s leading scorer (21 goals, 4 assists). Berger has 25 goals and and has started all 11 games. He stands third in the Irish scorng 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 22 of his last 24 games for the Irish (11 of 13 in 2002 and all 11 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 nine goals and four assists and freshman Matt Ryan ( Ridley, Pa.) has three 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 (Downington, Pa.), 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 76 goals in 11 games this season for a 7.69 goals-against average and .620 save percentage.
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 12th (Goals Per Game) Stewart Crosland 7th (Save Percentage) 13th (Save Percentage) Patrick Walsh 5th (Assists Per Game) 13th (Scoring Offense) Team: Scoring Defense 13th Scoring Margin 16th Man-Up Offense 15th Winning Percentage 16th Scoring Offense ? 18th