March 11, 2011
Game 4 – Saturday, March 12 – 7:00 p.m. (MT)
Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium – Denver, Colo.
#3 NOTRE DAME (3-0) vs.
#14 DENVER (3-1)
SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 3 Notre Dame (3-0) will travel to Denver, Colo. for a Saturday night showdown against the No. 14 Denver Pioneers (3-1). Opening faceoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. (MT). Live stats of the contest will be available on DenverPioneers.com. – This will be the 15th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Denver. The Irish lead the series 11-3, which includes wins in the last two meetings. Notre Dame claimed a 14-7 home victory over the Pioneers last season. – The Fighting Irish are 5-1 at Denver. Notre Dame won the last meeting at Denver, 10-8, during the 2009 campaign. That contest was played at Invesco Field at Mile High, which is home to the NFL’s Denver Broncos. – Denver’s last win in the series was a 9-8 decision during the 2008 season at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. – The two schools have met every season since 1998. Notre Dame and Denver were in the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1998-2009. – The Fighting Irish opened their home slate with an 11-7 win over Drexel on Sunday. Notre Dame is off to a 3-0 start for the fourth straight season. A win on Saturday would give Notre Dame a 4-0 record for the third time in the last four seasons. The last 4-0 start for the Fighting Irish occurred in 2009.
A LOOK AT DENVER
– Denver will bring a 3-1 record into Saturday’s showdown against the Irish. The Pioneers have won their last three games. Those wins have come against Vermont (11-6), Jacksonville (20-8) and Manhattan (17-6). Denver opened the 2011 campaign with a 13-7 loss at Syracuse. – Alex Demopoulos leads the Pioneers in goals (12) and points (8). Mark Matthews has a team-high eight assists to go along with 10 goals. Jamie Faus is 2-1 in goal with a 7.82 goals-against average and a .600 save percentage. Troy Orzech is 1-0 with an 11.02 goals-against average and a .571 save percentage. – Head coach Bill Tierney is in his second season at the helm of the Pioneer program. Tierney guided Denver to a 12-5 record last season. The Pioneers won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) title with a 7-0 league mark. Denver fell at Stony Brook, 9-7, in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Championship.
THE LAST MEETING
– Notre Dame defeated Denver 14-7 last season at Arlotta Stadium. Sean Rogers led the way for the Irish with three goals and two assists. Zach Brenneman and Grant Krebs also netted hat tricks for Notre Dame. The Irish outshot the Pioneers 37-23 in addition to winning 14 of 24 faceoffs.
IRISH AGAINST THE ECAC
– Notre Dame is 38-32 all-time against teams from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Denver is one of two ECAC opponents on Notre Dame’s 2011 schedule. The Fighting Irish will face ECAC member Ohio State on March 23.
RUNNING AWAY TO VICTORY
– In Sunday’s win over Drexel, Notre Dame trailed 6-5 after three quarters, but finished the game on a 6-1 run to capture the 11-7 victory. The Fighting Irish have out-scored their opponents 14-4 in the fourth quarter of play this season.
QUITE A CROWD
– Sunday’s Notre Dame-Drexel game drew 1,626 fans to 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.
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame has won its last nine home openers, including Sunday’s 11-7 win over Drexel. The Fighting Irish are 28-3 all-time in home openers. The last time Notre Dame dropped its first home contest of the season was a 10-9 overtime loss to Penn State during the 2002 campaign. – Notre Dame boasts an all-time home record of 132-38 (.776).
HONORS ALL AROUND
– Senior midfielder David Earl on Monday was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for his three-point effort (2 goals, 1 assist) in the 11-7 win over Drexel. Earl became the third Irish player to earn a weekly honor from the BIG EAST this season. – Kevin Ridgway was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 28 for his efforts in a 6-2 win over Penn State (Feb. 27). The Irish defense surrendered just 19 shots, including only 10 on goal, to the Nittany Lions. Ridgway forced a game-high three turnovers. – Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was named the league’s offensive player of the week on Feb. 21.
– The Fighting Irish defense held Drexel scoreless for a stretch of 32:30 during Sunday’s 11-7 victory. The Dragons didn’t 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 stretch. – Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 68 games), Notre Dame has surrendered 10 goals or more in a game just nine times and the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 47 times. – The two goals surrendered to Penn State in the 6-2 victory on Feb. 27 were the fewest since a 12-2 victory over St. John’s during the 2009 campaign. Notre Dame has limited foes to four goals or fewer 11 times since the beginning of the 2007 campaign.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– The Irish used a season-high eight different goal scorers in the 11-7 win over Drexel. Notre Dame has had at least six different goal scorers in every game this season. – The Fighting Irish already have had 13 players tally a goal this season. – Notre Dame had a different player score all six goals in the 6-2 win at Penn State (Feb. 27). – Last season, the Irish had at least six different players score a goal in the same game three times. Notre Dame had seven goal scorers three times last season and had eight players score a goal in the same contest twice.
ROOKIE ON A ROLL
– Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins has a team-high five goals this season. Hopkins scored two goals in the win over Drexel. That was his second two-goal effort of the season. He scored twice in his collegiate debut, a 12-7 season-opening win over Duke.
BIG START FOR BRENNEMAN
– Despite missing the Drexel game, senior midfielder Zach Brenneman still has a team-high six points (4 goals, 2 assists). He opened the season with a career-high five-point effort (3 goals, 2 assists) against Duke. – The midfielder has registered a hat trick in three of the last four games he’s played in dating back to last season. Brenneman has nine career hat tricks. – Brenneman was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Feb. 21 for his five-point effort against the Blue Devils. That was his first-ever player-of-the-week accolade from the BIG EAST.
– Junior attackman Sean Rogers scored two goals in Sunday’s win over Drexel to up his team-best point streak to five games.
ANOTHER KEMP IN CAGE
– Sophomore goalie John Kemp is off to a solid start this season. He boasts a 3-0 record with a 5.33 goals-against average and a .660 save percentage. He has played every minute in goal this season for the Irish. – 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.
– The Fighting Irish boast a .554 (31-56) faceoff winning percentage this season. Freshman Liam O’Connor is 21-for-36 (.583) in the faceoff circle, while senior Jake Marmul is 10-for-20 (.500). – Notre Dame has boasted 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. Departed senior Trever Sipperly ranked 21st nationally with a 55.7% (181-325) winning percentage in 2010. – 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.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION
– Notre Dame has out shot its opponents 118-78 this season. That includes a 66-47 advantage in shots on goal. The Irish average 39.3 shots per game, while allowing just 26.0.
IRISH DEFENSE ANNUALLY AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
– Notre Dame boasted the nation’s second-best defense in 2010 by producing a 7.53 goals-against average. Notre Dame limited foes to seven goals or fewer 10 times (out of 17 games). The Irish returned 68 combined starts (Ridgway 33, Randall 19, Barnes 16) at the close defense position. – The Irish boasted 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 boasted 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 6.66 mark.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
– The Fighting Irish will appear on the ESPN family of networks five times during the 2011 campaign. Notre Dame’s Champion Challenge contest versus the U.S. National Team was aired on ESPNU, while the season opener versus Duke (Feb. 20) was on ESPN. ESPNU will broadcast Notre Dame’s home BIG EAST tilt versus Georgetown (April 10) along with road games against Syracuse (April 30) and North Carolina (May 6).
– The Fighting Irish have six teams on their 2011 slate that appear in the latest Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. Notre Dame opened the season with a 12-7 win over current #15 Duke. The Irish also will face #14 Denver (March 12), #16 Ohio State (March 23), #20 Georgetown (April 10), top-ranked Syracuse (April 30) and #10 North Carolina (May 6).
IRVING IGNITES IRISH
– Senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving scored a career-high two goals in the season opener against Duke. Irving gave the Irish their first lead of the contest (3-2) with 5:17 left in the first half. Notre Dame would never relinquish that lead. Irving deposited the final goal of the game to make it a 12-7 victory.
CHALLENGING THE CHAMPS
– Notre Dame’s 12-7 win over Duke in the season opener marked the first time the Fighting Irish have ever 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.
– 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.
– Notre Dame has earned five straight appearances 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 273-145 (.653). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 209-103 (.670) during his Notre Dame tenure.
FIVE IRISH PLAYERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
– Five Fighting Irish seniors garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Zach Brenneman (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) were named to the first team, while Sam Barnes (D) was a second-team pick. David Earl (M) was selected to the third team and Andrew Irving (LSM) was an honorable mention selection. – Brenneman led the Fighting Irish with career-high totals in goals (29) and points (42) last season. He also notched a career-high 13 assists. Brenneman earned honorable mention All-America accolades in 2010. The midfielder netted hat tricks against both Cornell and Duke in the semifinals and finals, respectively, of the NCAA Tournament and was selected to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Brenneman also was named to the all-BIG EAST first team. – Ridgway started all 17 games last season and helped anchor an Irish defense that ranked second nationally by posting a 7.53 goals-against average. Notre Dame only surrendered 23 goals (5.75 per game) during its four games of the NCAA Championship. Ridgway was an honorable mention All-American and he also was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Additionally, he was tabbed as a second-team all-BIG EAST performer. – Barnes, a fifth-year senior, did not play last season due to injury. He received honorable mention All-America honors as a junior in 2009 as he was a valuable member to the nation’s top-ranked defense (6.19 goals-allowed per game). Barnes routinely locked down the opponent’s top scorer as a starter in all 16 contests. His 28 ground balls were a single-season career-high total. – Earl tallied career-best numbers in goals (22) and assists (6) during the 2010 campaign. He received honorable mention All-America honors and was a second-team all-BIG EAST pick. Earl netted a single-game career-high five goals during an 8-5 win at Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. – Irving played in every game one season ago and registered a career-high three goals to go along with two assists. The five points were a career-best figure. Irving picked up a team-leading 76 ground balls, which also were a career-high total.
PROGRAM-RECORD FIVE IRISH PLAYERS SELECTED IN MLL DRAFT
– A school-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).
IRISH PICKED SECOND IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
– Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST according to the league’s 2011 preseason coaches poll. – Syracuse was selected to win the league with six first-place votes, while Notre Dame received one first-place nod. Rounding out the order of finish was Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Rutgers and Providence. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams. – Fighting Irish senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was tabbed as the BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the Year. – Four Notre Dame student-athletes were named to the 2011 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. Joining Brenneman were fellow seniors David Earl (M), a unanimous selection, Sam Barnes (D) and Kevin Ridgway (D). – This is the second season for BIG EAST men’s lacrosse. Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record.
BIG EAST BOYS
– 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. – 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).
FALL BALL IN SAN FRANCISCO
– 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 was 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.
KEEPING UP WITH FIGHTING IRISH MEN’S LACROSSE
– Log onto UND.com for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program. UND.com, 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 Carroll.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.