Max Pfeifer scored a career-high four goals last season against Drexel.

No. 4 Irish Open Home Slate On Sunday Against No. 16 Drexel

March 4, 2011

Complete Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game 3 – Sunday, March 6 – 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Loftus Sports Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

#4 NOTRE DAME (2-0) vs.
#16 DREXEL (1-2)

LIVE BROADCAST:
UND.com

LIVE STATS:
Gametracker on UND.com

SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 4 Notre Dame (2-0) will open its 2011 home schedule against No. 16 Drexel (1-2) on Sunday. The opening faceoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Loftus Sports Center. UND.com will have a free live streaming broadcast of Sunday’s game. Live stats also are available via Gametracker on UND.com. – Notre Dame improved to 2-0 for the fifth straight season with a 6-2 victory at Penn State on Sunday. – Sunday will be the fourth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Drexel. Notre Dame leads the series 2-1. The Dragons captured a 7-6 overtime victory against the Irish last season in Philadelphia, Pa. – The two teams have only met once at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish produced a 13-6 home victory over the Dragons during the 2008 season. That was the final game held at Moose Krause Stadium. – A win on Sunday would give Notre Dame a 3-0 record for the fourth straight season.

LAST TIME OUT
– Notre Dame used six different goal scorers and a stingy defense to defeat Penn State 6-2 last Sunday in University Park, Pa. – The two goals allowed by the Fighting Irish defense were the fewest since a 12-2 win over St. John’s during the 2009 season. Notre Dame sophomore goalie John Kemp made eight saves, while his counterpart Austin Kaut had 15 stops for Penn State. – Nicholas Beattie, Ryan Foley, Zach Brenneman, Max Pfeifer, Westy Hopkins and Eric Keppeler all netted goals for the Fighting Irish. – Notre Dame out shot Penn State 42-19 and the Irish forced 16 turnovers. Fighting Irish senior defenseman Kevin Ridgway forced a game-high three turnovers. Senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving and junior midfielder Devon Dobson both had a team-high three ground balls for the Irish. – The Nittany Lions held a slim 7-5 edge in the faceoff circle. Irish freshman Liam O’Connor was 4-for-8 in faceoffs and senior Jake Marmul was 1-for-4. – The two scores were the fewest-ever for Penn State in the 18 all-time meetings against Notre Dame.

A LOOK AT DREXEL
– Drexel will bring a 1-2 record into Sunday’s showdown. The Dragons are coming off a 14-13 setback to Villanova on Tuesday. Drexel opened the season with a 12-9 loss at Virginia before topping Albany 14-7. – Senior attackman Scott Perri and sophomore attackman Brendan Glynn both have a team-best eight goals this season. Perri also has team-high totals in assists (6) and points (14). – Junior Mark Manos has all three decisions in goal. He carries an 11.08 goals-against average and a .587 winning percentage. – Drexel went 10-5 last season, including 3-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) to finish second in the league. The Dragons were ranked 15th in the final Inside Lacrosse rankings. – The Dragons returned seven starters and 22 letterwinners from last season’s squad. – Head coach Brian Voelker is in his second season at Drexel.

IRISH AGAINST THE CAA
– Sunday will be Notre Dame’s second straight game versus a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponent. The Irish defeated CAA member Penn State, 6-2, last Sunday. Those are the only two CAA teams on Notre Dame’s 2011 schedule. – Notre Dame holds a 20-12 all-time record against teams from the CAA. – The Irish went 1-1 against CAA foes last season. Notre Dame downed Penn State 12-8 before dropping a 7-6 overtime contest at Drexel.

THE LAST MEETING
– Drexel defeated Notre Dame 7-6 in overtime last season in Philadelphia, Pa. The Dragons knotted the game (6-6) with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter and tallied the game winner with 22 seconds remaining in the first overtime period. – Max Pfeifer led the Irish with a career-high four goals in the setback. Grant Krebs and David Earl also netted goals for Notre Dame. – Notre Dame out shot Drexel 42-30. The Irish won 13 of 17 faceoff attempts.

HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame has won its last eight home openers. The Fighting Irish are 27-3 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. – The Irish topped Penn State, 12-8, in last season’s home lid-lifter. – Notre Dame boasts an all-time home record of 131-38 (.775).

RIDGWAY NAMED BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kevin Ridgway on Monday was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Ridgway and the Fighting Irish defense were key in Sunday’s 6-2 win at Penn State. – The Irish defense surrendered just 19 shots, including only 10 on goal, to the Nittany Lions. Ridgway forced a game-high three turnovers. – This was the first career BIG EAST player-of-the-week award for Ridgway. – It was the second straight week that Notre Dame has produced a BIG EAST player of the week. Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was named the league’s offensive player of the week on Feb. 21.

STINGY DEFENSE
– Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 67 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 46 times. – The two goals surrendered to Penn State in last Sunday’s 6-2 victory 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.

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.

SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Notre Dame used six different goal scorers in last Sunday’s 6-2 win at Penn State. The Fighting Irish already have had 10 players tally a goal this season. – 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.

BIG START FOR BRENNEMAN
– Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman leads the Irish in goals (4) and assists (2). 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 dating back to last season. Brenneman has nine career hat tricks, including three versus Duke over the course of the past two seasons. – 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.

STREAKING
– Junior attackman Sean Rogers notched an assist in the Penn State victory to up his team-best point streak to five games. – Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman has scored a goal in a team-best four straight games.

ANOTHER KEMP IN CAGE
– Sophomore goalie John Kemp is off to a solid start this season. He boasts a 2-0 record with a 4.50 goals-against average and a .710 save percentage. – 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.

FANTASTIC FEBRUARYS
– Fighting Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is 19-3 in the month of February during his Notre Dame tenure. The Irish have won 14 straight games in February. The last February loss for Notre Dame was a 10-9 overtime setback to Penn State during the 2002 season.

DELIGHTFUL DEBUT
– Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins scored two goals against Duke (Feb. 20) in his collegiate debut. Hopkins gave the Irish leads of 9-5 and 11-5 in the fourth quarter. – Hopkins joined his sophomore teammate Steve Murphy with the honor of scoring two goals in their collegiate debut. Murphy, a midfielder, netted two scores in last season’s 11-7 season-opening win at Duke. – Hopkins scored a goal against Penn State last Sunday.

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.

BLOOD BROTHERS
– 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.

FACING OFF
– The Fighting Irish boast a .529 (18-34) faceoff winning percentage this season. Freshman Liam O’Connor is 11-for-19 (.579) in the faceoff circle, while senior Jake Marmul is 7-for-15 (.467). – 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.

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).

CHAMPION CHALLENGE
– 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.

QUALITY COMPETITION
– 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 #19 Duke. The Irish also will face #18 Drexel (March 6), #13 Denver (March 12), #14 Ohio State (March 23), top-ranked Syracuse (April 30) and #11 North Carolina (May 6).

IRISH NAME 2011 CAPTAINS
– Seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M), Andrew Irving (LSM) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish.

SUSTAINED SUCCESS
– 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 272-145 (.652). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 208-103 (.669) 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.

LOOKING BACK
– 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.64@nd.edu 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.