Freshman Liam O'Connor ranks 17th nationally in faceoff winning percentage (.561).

No. 3 Irish Close Regular Season On Friday At No. 12 North Carolina

May 4, 2011

Complete Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game 12 – Friday, May 6 – 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Fetzer Field – Chapel Hill, N.C.

#3 NOTRE DAME (10-1)

ESPNU (Live)
Play-by-Play: Eamon McAnaney
Analyst: Quint Kessenich

Gametracker on


Irish Alert! text messaging
(sign up on

– No. 3 Notre Dame (10-1) will conclude its regular season on Friday at No. 12 North Carolina (9-5). Opening faceoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Eamon McAnaney will handle play-by-play duties, while Quint Kessenich will serve as the analyst. – This will be the 10th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and North Carolina. The Tar Heels lead the series 5-4. The Irish won the last encounter, 9-7, during the 2009 campaign at Notre Dame. Notre Dame’s last three wins in the series all have been by an identical 9-7 score. – Notre Dame is 1-3 all-time at North Carolina. The last meeting in Chapel Hill occurred during the 2008 season. The Tar Heels won that contest 8-6. Notre Dame’s lone win at North Carolina was a 10-8 decision during the 2003 season. – Friday will mark the fifth time this season the Fighting Irish have appeared on the ESPN family of networks. – This will be Notre Dame’s first Friday contest since the 2009 season.

– Notre Dame suffered its first loss of the season with an 11-8 setback at Syracuse on Saturday. The Irish finished their 2011 BIG EAST campaign with a 5-1 record. – Notre Dame’s defense ranks second nationally with a 6.36 goals-against average, while the man-down defense is eighth (.773). – Sophomore goalie John Kemp is 10-1 and ranks second nationally in goals-against average (6.42) in addition to being fourth in save percentage (.611). – Junior attackman Sean Rogers has a team-high 16 goals, while his 22 points are tied with senior midfielder David Earl for the team lead. Earl has a team-best nine assists to go along with 13 goals. – Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman has notched seven goals in the past three games, while Earl has tallied 12 points on eight goals and four assists over the past four games.

– North Carolina has a 9-5 record this season. The Tar Heels went 1-2 in ACC play and fell to Maryland, 7-6, in the title game of the ACC tournament. – The Tar Heels are averaging 10.93 goals per game on offense and allowing 8.57 goals per game defensively. – North Carolina is 6-2 at home this season. – Freshman attackman Nicky Galasso and senior attackman Billy Bitter both have a team-best 22 goals. Galasso has a team-high 31 assists. Senior Chris Madalon has a 5-2 record in goal. Madalon has a 9.62 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage. Sophomore Steven Rastivo has a 4-3 mark with a 7.48 goals-against average and a .547 save percentage. – North Carolina went 13-3 last season, including 2-1 in the ACC. The Tar Heels fell to Duke, 17-9, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Head coach Joe Breschi is in his third season at the helm of the North Carolina program.

– Notre Dame and North Carolina have faced two common opponents this season (Ohio State & Duke). The Irish defeated both the Buckeyes (8-7) and Blue Devils (12-7), while North Carolina fell to Ohio State (13-8) and Duke (14-9).

– Notre Dame captured a 9-7 victory over North Carolina during the 2009 campaign. The contest took place inside the Loftus Sports Center on the Notre Dame campus. The Irish were ranked seventh at the time of the meeting, while the Tar Heels were third. Current Irish senior Zach Brenneman scored a goal, while fellow senior Andrew Irving had an assist. Billy Bitter registered three goals and an assist for the Tar Heels.

– Notre Dame is 9-19 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams. The Fighting Irish are 4-2 versus ACC competition over the past three seasons. – The Irish are 1-0 against ACC foes this season. Notre Dame topped Duke 12-7 in the season opener.

– The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program has achieved unprecedented success over the past few seasons. – In 2008, the Fighting Irish hosted an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in program history. Notre Dame defeated Colgate 8-7 in overtime. – The 2009 campaign featured the Irish posting the first undefeated regular season (13-0) in program history before extending their record to a school-best 15-0 in the Great Western Lacrosse League tournament. Notre Dame fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. – In 2010, Notre Dame reached the title game of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke 6-5 in overtime. – This season has seen the Irish reach No. 1 in the national polls for the first time in program history.

– The Notre Dame defense has shut out an opponent for an entire quarter 10 times this season. The Irish have posted five fourth-quarter shutouts. – The Irish defense has put together a scoreless stretch of 20 minutes or longer nine times this season. The longest such stretch was 32:30 against Drexel. The Dragons did not score from the 9:27 mark of the first quarter until the 6:57 mark of the third quarter. Notre Dame out scored Drexel 5-0 during that time en route to the 11-7 victory. – The Fighting Irish held both Penn State and Rutgers scoreless during two quarters. The Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knight both were held without a goal during the second on fourth quarters. – Rutgers scored just one goal in the final 45:02 of the contest. Notre Dame kept Rutgers off the scoreboard for the final 23:50 of the game.

– Notre Dame’s 14 goals against Providence (April 23) were the most for the Irish since a 14-7 victory over Denver last season. The 11-goal margin of victory was the largest for the Irish since a 12-point win over Dartmouth (19-7) during the 2009 campaign. – The Irish have reached a double-figure goal total four times this season. – Notre Dame had eight assists on its eight goals in the victory at Rutgers (March 27). The eight assists matched a season-high total that the Irish also achieved in an 11-7 win over Drexel (March 6).

– Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 29-14 in the second quarter and 32-12 in the fourth quarter.

– Notre Dame has used key runs to secure four of its victories this season. – Notre Dame and St. John’s were tied 7-7 after three quarters and the Irish outscored the Red Storm 3-0 in the fourth quarter en route to the 10-7 victory on April 16. – Versus Villanova on April 2, the Wildcats sliced the Irish lead to one (9-8) with five seconds left in the third quarter and Notre Dame went on to outscore the Wildcats 3-0 in the fourth quarter to produce the 12-8 victory. – Against Denver on March 12, Notre Dame broke open a 7-7 tie with three straight goals to claim a 10-7 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Irish held on to win 10-9. – In the win over Drexel on March 6, Notre Dame trailed 6-5 after three quarters, but finished the game on a 6-1 run to capture the 11-7 victory.

– Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal in six of its 11 games this season yet the Irish have gone on to win each of those six contests.

– Prior to the Syracuse contest, the Notre Dame defense had not allowed a double-digit goal total in its last 14 games. The 11 goals surrendered to Syracuse were the most for the Irish since a 12-6 setback to the Orange last season. – Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 76 games), Notre Dame has surrendered 10 goals or more in a game just 10 times and the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 52 times during that stretch. – Notre Dame has limited foes to four goals or fewer 13 times since the beginning of the 2007 campaign.

– Notre Dame’s 10 victories equals the Irish win total from last season (10-7). The Fighting Irish have notched a double-digit win total in each of the past six seasons.

– The Fighting Irish defense currently ranks second nationally by allowing just 6.36 goals per game. Notre Dame has the country’s eighth-best man-down defense (.773). – Notre Dame had the nation’s second-best defense in 2010 by producing a 7.53 goals-against average. The Irish produced the nation’s sixth-best man-down defense (.750) in 2010. – Goalie Scott Rodgers in 2010 led all NCAA Division I goalies with a .605 save percentage and ranked third in goals-against with a 7.56 average. – Notre Dame had the nation’s top defense in 2009 by producing a school-record 6.19 goals-against average. – The Irish had the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game. In 2007, Notre Dame ranked fourth nationally with a then school record 6.66 mark.

– Notre Dame has garnered six BIG EAST player-of-the-week honors this season. Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman (Feb. 21), junior attackman Sean Rogers (Mar. 28) and senior midfielder David Earl (Apr. 18) have been named the league’s offensive player of the week, while senior defenseman Kevin Ridgway (Feb. 28) and sophomore goalie John Kemp (Apr. 11 & Apr. 18) have been selected as the defensive player of the week. – The Fighting Irish have totaled seven BIG EAST weekly honor roll citations. Kemp and Earl are two-time honorees, while Brenneman, sophomore attackman Ryan Foley and junior midfielder Max Pfeifer have garnered the honor once each.

– Notre Dame seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are among a group of 25 nominees up for the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse player.

– The Irish have had at least five different goal scorers in every game this season. Notre Dame’s high-water mark for goal scorers in a game this season is eight against both Drexel and Providence. – The Fighting Irish have had 13 different players tally a goal this season.

– Seven Notre Dame players have registered a hat trick this season. Zach Brenneman has a team-high two hat tricks, while David Earl, Ryan Foley, Westy Hopkins, Colin Igoe, Max Pfeifer and Sean Rogers all have one hat trick this season.

– Irish attackmen have accounted for 56 of Notre Dame’s 106 goals (52.8%) this season. Junior attackman Sean Rogers has a team-high 16 goals, while senior Colin Igoe and freshman Westy Hopkins both have 11 tallies. Sophomore Ryan Foley has eight goals. Junior attackman Nicholas Beattie has six goals and senior Edison Parzanese has four. – Last season, Notre Dame’s attacking unit accounted for 36.1% of the team’s goal production. Irish attackmen scored 56 of the team’s 155 goals in 2010.

– Junior attackman Sean Rogers leads the Fighting Irish in goals (16) and is tied for the team lead in points (22). His six assists rank in a tie for second on the team. The goal and assist totals both are career-high numbers for Rogers. – Rogers matched a career-high total with three goals against Ohio State (March 23) and followed that performance up with a career-high three assists versus Rutgers (March 27). – Rogers has a team-best 13-game point streak dating back to last season. Rogers also owns a team-best nine-game goal streak.

– Senior midfielder David Earl leads the team in assists (9) and is tied for the lead in points (22). Earl ranks second among all Irish players in ground balls (22). His three man-up goals also are tied for the team lead.

– Senior midfielder David Earl has played in a team-best 56 straight games. He has played in 59 of a possible 61 contests during his Notre Dame career. The last game he did not compete in was at North Carolina during his freshman season in 2008.

– Senior attackman Colin Igoe has scored a career-high 11 goals this season. His previous career-high mark was seven from last season.

– Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins’ 11 goals this season are the most for an Irish rookie since attackman Ryan Hoff deposited 21 goals during the 2006 campaign. – Hopkins notched the first hat trick of his career in the 12-8 win over Villanova on April 2. – Hopkins netted two goals in his collegiate debut, a 12-7 season-opening win over Duke. He also scored twice in his home debut versus Drexel, an 11-7 victory.

– Despite missing four games this season due to injury, senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving still has posted a career-high six points. His three goals tie a career-high number that he also achieved last season. Irving’s three assists are a career-best figure. – Irving scored a single-game career-high two goals in the season opener against Duke. – Irving dished out a career-high two assists in the 8-7 win over Ohio State (March 23). He also picked up a season-high four ground balls against the Buckeyes.

– Senior defenseman Sam Barnes is back for a fifth season after missing all of the 2010 campaign due to injury. Barnes, an All-America honoree in 2009, has started all 11 games this season.

– Five of Notre Dame’s 10 wins have come against opponents that were ranked at the time of the meetings. The Irish bested #5 Duke 12-7 in the season opener. Notre Dame also topped #8 Villanova (12-8), #14 Denver (10-9), #16 Drexel (11-7) and #20 Ohio State (8-7).

– The Fighting Irish have a 55.1% (118-214) faceoff winning percentage this season. That mark ranks 18th nationally. Individually, freshman Liam O’Connor ranks 17th nationally with a 56.1% (78-139) winning percentage. Senior Jake Marmul is 40-75 (.533) in the faceoff circle. – O’Connor went 12-19 against Syracuse last Saturday. – Against Ohio State on March 23, O’Connor and Marmul combined to go 16-19 (.842). – Notre Dame has produced one of the nation’s top faceoff units over the past few seasons. The Irish won 54.3% (185-341) of their attempts last season to rank 17th nationally. – The Irish produced the nation’s ninth-best faceoff winning percentage (.556) in 2009. Notre Dame ranked second nationally in 2008 (.628) and 15th (.546) in 2007.

– The Irish have a .277 shooting percentage, while their opponents have a .217 mark. Junior attackman Sean Rogers ranks fifth nationally with a .471 shot percentage.

– Notre Dame has compiled a 70-21 (.769) record over the past six seasons, including this year. The Fighting Irish have earned five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame was the national finalist in 2010 and also made a quarterfinal trek in 2008.

– The Notre Dame-Drexel game on March 6 drew 1,626 fans inside the Loftus Sports Center. That is a men’s lacrosse record crowd for the Loftus Center. The previous mark was 1,437 from the 2009 showdown against North Carolina. – The Irish averaged 3,171 fans over their last three games outside at Arlotta Stadium (Villanova, Georgetown & St. John’s).

– Notre Dame boasts an all-time home record of 136-38 (.782).

– Notre Dame’s 49-man roster hails from 15 different states. The states most represented are Maryland with 12 and New York with eight.

– The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team used the Georgetown game on April 10 as a platform to further their Playing for Peace initiative. This past December the Irish organized a 3v3 basketball tournament and Stand with Sudan peace rally to encourage students to play, pray and advocate for peace in Sudan. – Later in December, a delegation from the University of Notre Dame, including representatives of the men’s lacrosse program travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby both elected and appointed government officials to support peacekeeping efforts in Sudan during the lead up and eventual expiration of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. – In January, a referendum took place and there was a unique opportunity for the people of South Sudan to exercise the power of self-determination. The south voted for independence and now are in the process of becoming the world’s newest nation. – Sudan continues to face many challenges; as a new nation, South Sudan is very vulnerable to internal and external conflicts, violence and injustice continue to cause suffering in Darfur. – Following the Georgetown game there was a 7v7 inter-hall Playing for Peace lacrosse tournament on the men’s lacrosse practice field. At halftime of the Notre Dame-Georgetown game the Irish men’s lacrosse team recognized all those that have supported the Playing for Peace initiative.

– Notre Dame’s 12-7 win over Duke in the season opener marked the first time the Fighting Irish have defeated the defending national champion. The Irish had been 0-3 against defending national champs. Notre Dame’s first crack at defeating the defending national champion came in 1994 as Princeton topped the Irish 6-4. The other two occurrences came against Syracuse. The Orange bested the Irish 12-5 during the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Last season, the defending NCAA Champion Orange defeated Notre Dame 12-6.

– Fighting Irish sophomore goalie John Kemp is the younger brother of former Notre Dame All-America goalie Joey Kemp. The older Kemp starred in goal for the Irish from 2005-08 and earned All-America honors three times. He notched a 40-14 record to establish the Irish record for wins in goal. In 2008, he became just the second student-athlete, and the first goalie, in program history to earn first team All-America honors. He also received the 2008 Kelly Award for Outstanding Goalie in NCAA Division I. – John and Joey’s older brother C.J. was an All-America goalie at Fairfield from 2000-03.

– Sophomore John Kemp appears to be the next standout goalie for the Fighting Irish. – Great goaltending is a hallmark of the Notre Dame program. Fighting Irish All-America goalies include Alex Cade (1996), Kirk Howell (2001), Joey Kemp (2006-08) and Scott Rodgers (2009-10). Kemp received the 2008 C. Markland Kelly Award for being the top goalie in NCAA Division I lacrosse, while Howell and Rodgers led the Irish to Final Four berths.

– The 2011 Notre Dame roster features two sets of brothers. Twins Billy and Patrick Maloney are senior midfielders. Freshman midfielder Tyler Brenneman joins his older brother Zach, a senior midfielder, on the Irish roster.

– Notre Dame fell to the United States National Team, 12-7, on Jan. 30 during the Champion Challenge in Orlando, Fla. Team USA scored the game’s first seven goals, yet the Fighting Irish responded with four straight tallies to slice the deficit to three (7-4) by the end of the third quarter. The U.S. National Team out scored the Irish 5-3 in the final quarter. – Irish senior attackman Colin Igoe had a team-high two goals in the game. Sophomore goalie John Kemp played the entire contest and made 10 saves. – Former Notre Dame All-American Scott Rodgers (2006-10) played the entire second half in goal for Team USA and made nine saves.

– Seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M), Andrew Irving (LSM) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish.

– Notre Dame has earned five straight trips to the NCAA Championship and the Irish have made 15 tournament appearances since 1990. – The Fighting Irish were national finalists in 2010 and national semifinalists in 2001. Notre Dame has three other NCAA quarterfinal appearances (1995, 2000, 2008). – Notre Dame is competing in its 31st season of varsity lacrosse. The Fighting Irish have an all-time record of 280-146 (.657). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 216-104 (.675) during his Notre Dame tenure.

– A program-record five Notre Dame players were selected in January’s Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft. Midfielder Zach Brenneman became the highest pick in program history as he went fifth overall to the Long Island Lizards. – Syracuse led all schools with seven players selected while Notre Dame and Maryland were next with five players drafted. – The Hamilton Nationals selected Fighting Irish midfielder David Earl in the third round (13th overall selection), while defenseman Kevin Ridgway also went to Hamilton five picks later. Long Island tabbed defenseman Sam Barnes in the fifth round (29th overall) and the Denver Outlaws picked long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving in the sixth round (33rd overall).

– The 2011 campaign marks the second season of BIG EAST men’s lacrosse. The seven conference schools that participate in the league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova. The teams play a six-game single round-robin regular-season schedule. – Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record. – In 2012, Marquette will be the eighth program to join the BIG EAST in men’s lacrosse. – Men’s lacrosse is the BIG EAST’s 11th men’s sport while the Conference conducts 13 women’s sports. Notre Dame already is a member of the BIG EAST in 23 other sports. – Notre Dame was a member of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1994-2009. The Fighting Irish captured 12 GWLL regular-season titles in addition to winning the only two GWLL Tournaments (2008 & 2009).

– More than 6,000 Northern California lacrosse fans were treated to a 10-7 Notre Dame victory over Johns Hopkins on Oct 16. The exhibition contest, which was part of the second annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic, was played at Kezar Stadium. All the proceeds from the game benefitted the BAYS Foundation.

– Notre Dame went 10-7 overall and 2-4 in BIG EAST play one season ago. – The Fighting Irish became just the fifth unseeded team to reach the title game of the NCAA Championship and the first since Massachusetts in 2006. The others were Cornell (1988), Towson (1991) and Maryland (1997). – Notre Dame’s 5.75 goals-against average during the 2010 NCAA Championship ranked second all-time behind only North Carolina in 1982 for an entire NCAA Tournament. That Tar Heel squad allowed 15 goals (5.0 per game) during their three games of the tournament en route to winning the title. The 2010 Irish surrendered 23 goals in their four games of the tournament.

– Log onto for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program., the official athletics web site for the University of Notre Dame, features press releases, game stories, feature stories, video interviews, stats, rosters and more. Fans also can sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame. Irish men’s lacrosse fans can sign up to receive scores following each quarter. Updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com. – Media members and fans may be added to the athletics media relations e-mail release list by contacting assistant media relations director Sean Carroll at or (574) 631-2664. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Carroll. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.