March 9, 2004
No. 5 IRISH SET TO TAKE ON A PAIR OF TOP-10 FOES THIS WEEK: The fifth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team (1-0) will take on a pair of top-10 opponents in four days this week, making its first-ever trip to Syracuse on Thursday to face the #3 Orangemen (2-0) at 7 p.m. (EST) in the Carrier Dome before playing host to #9 North Carolina (1-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m. (EST) at Moose Krause Stadium. This year’s Irish squad, which jumped three spots in this week’s USILA rankings, joined the 2001 Final Four team as the only squads in the program’s history to crack the top five of the national poll.
FOLLOWING THE NOTRE DAME-SYRACUSE GAME: Fans and media unable to attend Thursday’s game will have a number of ways of keeping up with the action. There will be a pair of live internet audio broadcasts available. Brian Higgins (play-by-play) and Kyle Fetterly (color) will have the call for ESPN Radio 1260 AM, the Syracuse lacrosse flagship station. That broadcast can be accessed at http://www.suathletics.com/sidebar.asp?id=392. Additionally, WAER 88 FM, the Syracuse student radio station, offers a broadcast, which will be available at http://www.syracuse.com/waer.
The game also will be televised by Time Warner Sports (Channel 26) in Syracuse on a tape-delayed basis. Doug Wright (play-by-play) and Dale Drypolcher (color) will call the action, which will be shown on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (EST) and Saturday at 7 p.m., as well as subsquent times next week. For other ways to follow the Irish, see “Keeping Up With ND Men’s Lacrosse” at the end of this release.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS NOTES PACKAGE: Below are some of the top points from this notes package. For more details on any topic, consult the remainder of this release.
* Notre Dame opened the season on Feb. 29 with a 17-7 victory over #17 Penn State at home in the Loftus Sports Center. The Irish had six different players register multiple goals and five notch four or more points. Among the stars were senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.), who had seven points (three goals, four assists) and sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), who notched a game-high four goals.
* Notre Dame is coming off a 2003 season in which it was 9-5, won a share of a fifth consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League title, and finished 18th in the final USILA national rankings.
* The Irish return 20 monogram winners, including eight starters, from last year’s team. Among those are sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who led all Division I freshmen in scoring last season en route to setting a Notre Dame rookie scoring record and becoming the first Irish freshman to earn All-America accolades (honorable mention by USILA). In addition, he was the GWLL Newcomer of the Year.
* Notre Dame is fifth in this week’s USILA Geico/STX Coaches Poll after being tied for eighth last week. This is only the second team in school history to be ranked in the national top five in the USILA poll. The other was the 2001 squad, which was 14-2 en route to peaking at No. 2 in the national rankings and reaching the NCAA semifinals.
* Notre Dame will make its first-ever trip to Syracuse and will play the Orangemen for just the second time after dropping a 12-5 decision in the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Championship.
* Though both teams were without key players, Notre Dame defeated Syracuse 10-9 in the semifinals of the Algonquin Fall Lacrosse Showcase last October in Boston. Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) broke a 9-9 tie with just over three minutes remaining with what proved to be the game-winning goal.
* Syracuse, which returns eight starters from last year’s team that reached the NCAA semis and finished sixth, is ranked third after victories over Army (19-15) and defending national champion #16 Virginia (18-12) to open 2004.
* A win over the Orangemen would make Syracuse the highest-ranked team ever to fall victim to Notre Dame in the regular season (currently #4 Hofstra in a 10-9 decision in 1997), and it would match the highest-ranked win overall in the history of the Irish varsity program. Notre Dame topped #3 Johns Hopkins 13-9 in the NCAA quarterfinals in 2001.
* The Irish and North Carolina will meet for the fourth time (UNC leads 2-1) and the second time at Notre Dame.
* The Tar Heels are ranked ninth. North Carolina opened with a win against #7 UMass (12-7) before falling 9-8 in overtime to Navy last weekend. This week, the Heels are on a road trip in which they will take on three Great Western Lacrosse League teams, facing #10 Denver on Tuesday and #20 Air Force on Thursday prior to coming to Notre Dame.
* Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was one of 26 players named to the watch list for the 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player at the conclusion of the season.
* Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) earned preseason honorable mention All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse magazine.
* After an unsuccessful attempt in the first quarter, Notre Dame converted on each of its six ensuing extra-man opportunities against Penn State.
* A win against Syracuse would give Notre Dame its third 2-0 start in the last four seasons (5-0 in 2001, 3-0 in 2003).
* A pair of wins this week would give Notre Dame its third 3-0 start in the last four seasons (5-0 in 2001, 3-0 in 2003).
* Notre Dame boasts one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the nation. Head coach Kevin Corrigan and assistants Kevin Anderson and Guy Van Arsdale combine for 50 years of college and pro coaching experience heading into 2004. Thirty-two of those years have been as head coaches. Only three Division I teams have more years of combined coaching experience than the Irish, and just four have more previous seasons as head coaches.
* This year’s Irish schedule is highlighted by a pair of road trips to Final Four teams from last year (Thursday at Syracuse; May 1 at Maryland) and four home games against ’03 NCAA participants. In all, 10 of the 12 Irish opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s USILA poll.
LAST TIME ON THE FIELD: Six players netted multiple goals and five had four or more points as #11 Notre Dame opened the season with a 17-7 victory over #17 Penn State on Feb. 29 in the Loftus Sports Center. Among the offensive leaders for the Irish were sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), who had a career-high four goals, senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) and sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), who each registered career highs in points with seven and six, respectively.
After Penn State took a 5-4 lead with 6:28 remaining in the first half on an unassisted goal by Charlie Perry, Notre Dame dominated the remainder of the contest. In the final 36:28, the Irish outscored the Nittany Lions 13-2, converting on all six extra-man opportunities and getting 12 saves from senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School), who finished with 16.
Karweck, who scored on each of his shots in the contest, notched just 10 goals all of last season and netted multiple scores just once – a hat trick against #23 Pennsylvania. A trio of Irish players had three goals each. Howell, who took just five shots, had three fourth-quarter tallies in a span of three minutes and three seconds, while also adding four assists. The seven points were a career high, while it was the sixth multiple-goal outing for Howell in the 13 games in which he has played over the last two-plus campaigns. Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) had three goals and two assists for his third career hat trick. In his 15 career games, he has posted five or more points on six occasions. For the 12th time in his career, senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) had three goals in a game. His first two came on Irish extra-man opportunities late in the first half. His game-high four assists gave Hubschmann six points on the day, which matched his total from all of last season (three goals, three assists) and exceeded his career assists heading into the day. Junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) also had four points, with a pair of goals and two assists. Junior M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) led the Irish with five ground balls, all on faceoffs, while sophomores D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) and M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) each had four. Ryan made his first career start in the contest. After an unsuccessful attempt in the opening quarter, Notre Dame converted on all six of its ensuing extra-man opportunities.
SNAPSHOT OF THE IRISH: Notre Dame’s men’s lacrosse program has experienced a wealth of success since the arrival of head coach Kevin Corrigan in 1989. In his 15 seasons, Corrigan has guided Notre Dame to a winning record 12 times, including 10 seasons with nine or more victories, compiling a 133-74 (.643) mark. The Irish have earned 10 berths to the NCAA Championship, including quarterfinal apperances in 1995 and 2000 and a Final Four trip in 2001. Notre Dame has 33 victories over ranked opponents, including eight vs. top-10 teams and hold a 69-21 (.767) overall record at home. Notre Dame has won 12 conference titles (9 Great Western Lacrosse League, 3 Great Lakes Conference) in that span. Since the formation of the GWLL in 1994, the Irish are 34-4 (.895) in conference play — including 20-1 (.952) at home — winning at least a share of the league championship in every season except 1998. Notre Dame has had at least one All-American in each of the last 11 seasons, a total of 22 honorees since 1994. In addition, the Irish have garnered 79 all-conference honors, highlighted by four GWLL player-of-the-year awards.
The 2004 Irish team returns 20 monogram winners and eight starters from last year’s squad that was 9-5, won a share of a fifth consecutive GWLL title and finished 18th in the final USILA national rankings.
On paper, there are few teams in Division I that can match the offensive firepower Notre Dame boasts this season. Headlining that group is sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.), who was the highest-scoring freshman in the country last season en route to setting a Notre Dame freshman scoring record and becoming the first Irish rookie ever to earn All-America honors. His 32 assists matched the Notre Dame record, led the GWLL, and ranked sixth nationally (2.29 per game), including tops by far among freshmen (the second-best mark was 1.73). Walsh, who had three goals and two assists in the season opener against Penn State, also netted 20 goals for a total of 52 points in ’03, which ranked third in the conference and 12th in the nation. Junior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) has been Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer in each of the last two seasons, establishing himself as one of the best finishers in Division I. A two-time first-team all-GWLL honoree and preseason honorable mention All-America selection by Inside Lacrosse, he had 32 goals in 2003, which ranked 18th in the nation (2.29 per game). He netted his 12th career hat trick against Penn State. Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) entered the season as one of Notre Dame’s top attackmen for the third straight year, but he has been plagued by injuries in each of the last two campaigns. Despite missing five contests in 2003, he ranked ninth in the nation in points per game (3.78) and eighth in assists per game (2.11). He had a game-high seven points against the Nittany Lions (three goals, four assists). Junior A Matt Malakoff (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore H.S.) and freshman A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) were the only other attackmen to see action in the season opener.
As on attack, Notre Dame’s midfield boasts outstanding depth. Back as a starter for the third consecutive season is junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), who has been Notre Dame’s top offensive middie over the last two-plus seasons, scoring 24 goals and dishing off 17 assists. A first-team all-GWLL honoree last season and an All-America candidate in 2004, he had two goals and two assists against Penn State. Joining Giordano in starting roles are sophomores M Matt Ryan (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley H.S.) and M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.), who were top reserves a year ago. Hubschmann matched his season total from ’03 with a six-point (two goals, four assists) performance in this year’s season opener. Another sophomore, M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy), came off the bench to net a game-high four goals against the Nittany Lions after starting 12 games and registering 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in ’03. Among the other top reserves are seniors M Steve Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) and M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), who are two of just three players on the Irish roster to have already won three monograms. Sophomore M Drew Peters (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) and freshman M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) also played key roles in the opener. Another rookie, M Ryan Cunn (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.), started in the Irish midfield in fall ball before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in a scrimmage against the Boston Cannons, which will sideline him for the season.
Junior M Craig Bishko (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip H.S.) was Notre Dame’s top draw man a year ago and took the majority of the faceoffs against Penn State, winning six of 20 (.300) and leading the Irish with five ground balls. Junior M Frank Matarazzo (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic H.S.) won half of the four he took against the Nittany Lions, while senior M Nick Petcoff (Troy, Mich./Detroit Country Day H.S.) was successful in both of his attempts, collecting the ground ball and assisting on a Howell goal on the former.
Junior M Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), senior M Chris Masterson (West Hempstead, N.Y./Chaminade H.S.), and sophomore M Brandon Schultheis (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) will be Notre Dame’s top longstick midfielders. The role is new for Richez, who had 10 goals and seven assists in his first two seasons as a regular middie, and his athleticism and prior experience could make him an occasional offensive threat.
Though Notre Dame’s defense is not quite as experienced as the other Irish units, it nonethless boasts a number of battle-tested players and could turn out to be a team strength. Senior D Mickey Blum (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.) is in his third year as a starter on the Irish defense, while another senior, D Brennan Creaney (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.), also is back after starting the first 10 games of last season before suffering an injury. Sophomore D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) became the first defenseman and just the second freshman ever to lead Notre Dame in ground balls a year ago, with 61. He was a large reason the Irish ranked second in the nation in ground balls per game and will once again be an important factor after being a second-team all-GWLL honoree in his first campaign. Junior D Taylor Matthews (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS H.S.) and freshmen D J.R. Stahl (Sparks, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) also came off the bench for the Irish on defense against Penn State.
The final line of defense figures to be a strength for the Irish, with senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) manning the cage again in 2004. He got a taste of being the top Notre Dame goalie two seasons ago before establishing himself as not only the best goalkeeper on the Irish, but one of the elite players at the position in the country in 2003. Crosland was fifth in Division I in save percentage (.626) a year ago and ranked 11th in goals-against average (7.49), leading the Great Western Lacrosse League in both categories. He stopped 16 shots for a .696 percentage in the season opener.
2003 REVIEW: In 2003, Notre Dame returned to the ranks of the nation’s elite teams, posting a 9-5 record against a grueling schedule and earning a share of the Great Western Lacrosse League title – the fifth in a row for the Irish. The Irish, whose five losses all came against top-20 foes, finished the season ranked 18th in the nation and just missed a berth in the NCAA Championship.
Notre Dame started the season with six consecutive games against top-25 opponents. The Irish, ranked 17th in the preseason, got off on the right foot with consecutive victories against #16 Penn State, #23 Penn, and #12 North Carolina. The next three games would feature three difficult losses, evening Notre Dame’s record at 3-3. After traveling to top-ranked and eventual national champion Virginia and falling 14-8, the Irish dropped consecutive 9-8 decisions to #11 Loyola at home and #15 Hofstra on the road. The Irish got back on track two days later with a 17-3 win against Hartford before beginning GWLL play. Notre Dame opened the conference season with a 9-8 win at home against eventual league tri-champion Denver. The April 6 matchup in Columbus, Ohio between 15th-ranked Notre Dame and #19 Ohio State proved to be one of the most important games of the season, as the winner would earn the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. After Notre Dame scored early in the second half to tie the game for the fourth time, 5-5, the Buckeyes caught fire, putting six unanswered scores into the net for an 11-5 triumph. Notre Dame completed its five consecutive GWLL matches with a trio of easy victories, outscoring opponents 36-10 in wins over Butler (9-2), Air Force (13-4), and Fairfield (14-4).
With two games remaining, the Irish still had a chance to gain an at-large bid to the NCAAs if they could win both. Notre Dame posted a 16-11 home win vs. Harvard in the penultimate contest of the season. But in the season finale, fourth-ranked Maryland got a 10-4 victory over the Irish to ruin Notre Dame’s postseason hopes.
Despite missing the postseason, there were a number of highlights for the Irish. Freshman A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) became Notre Dame’s first-ever freshman All-American, earning honorable mention and continuing a streak of 11 consecutive seasons of at least one Notre Dame player gaining All-America honors. He also was named the GWLL Newcomer of the Year and set a freshman scoring record with 52 points. Walsh’s 32 assists tied the Irish record, while his eight points against Harvard were just one shy of the top all-time mark. The only Notre Dame rookie to ever lead the team in scoring, Walsh was the highest-scoring freshman in the nation (3.71 points per game) and also led all Division I first-year players in assists (2.29 per game). He led all GWLL players in assists and finished sixth nationally.
Junior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and sophomore M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) joined Walsh in earning first team all-GWLL honors. The elder player led the Irish in goals for the second consecutive season, ranking 17th nationally with 2.29 per game (32 total) and tallying multiple scores nine times. Giordano had 13 goals and five assists in his first season in the midfield after starting as a freshman attackman.
Junior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) was strong in goal for Notre Dame, finishing fifth in Division I in save percentage (.626) and 11th in goals-against average (7.49). The conference leader in both of those categories, he garnered second-team all-GWLL mention. Other second-team all-league selections were freshman D D.J. Driscoll (Downington, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) and seniors John Souch and A Travis Wells.
IRISH vs. ORANGEMEN: Syracuse stands 2-0 and ranked third in the nation heading into Thursday’s game. The Orangemen trailed 13-12 late in the third quarter before a 6-0 run helped them to a season-opening 19-15 win over Army on Feb. 28. Senior A Michael Powell tied his career high with eight points, while senior M Sean Lindsay had four goals. Last Saturday, Syracuse beat the defending national champions, Virginia, 18-12 on the road behind a career-high six goals from sophomore A Brian Crockett. Through two games, Powell has 13 points (six goals, seven assists), while Crockett has 10 (eight goals, two assists), and Lindsay has seven (six goals, one assist). Powell and freshman D Steve Panarelli lead the Orangemen with nine ground balls each. Juniors M Geoff Keough (23-34, .676) and M Jake Plunket (16-36, .444) have split the faceoff duties, while junior G Jay Pfeifer is Syracuse’s goaltender for the third consecutive season, with a 13.50 GAA and .534 save percentage.
Syracuse returned 30 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last year’s team that was 10-6, beating Dartmouth (13-11) and Princeton (15-5) to reach the semifinals of the NCAA Championship before falling to Johns Hopkins (19-8) and finishing sixth in the USILA rankings. Gone from that team are All-Americans A Mike Springer (second team, 36 G, 24 A, 60 Pts.) and D Sol Bliss (honorable mention), but back are 2002 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Powell and Lindsay, an honorable mention All-American last season. Powell had 64 points a year ago (31 goals, 33 assists) and was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy.
Notre Dame and Syracuse will play for just the second time ever, with this being the first trip for the Irish to the Carrier Dome. The Orangemen won the initial meeting 12-5 in the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Championship in Piscataway, N.J. Powell had four assists for Syracuse in that game, while M Steve Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) and M Owen Mulford (Ocean City, Md./Loyola Blakefield H.S.) are the only current Irish to have played in the contest.
The teams, both without a few key players, met in the semifinals of last October’s Algonquin Fall Lacrosse Showcase in Boston, with the Irish prevailing 10-9 en route to winning the championship. Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) broke a 9-9 tie with just over three minutes remaining with what proved to be the game-winning goal. Seniors A Brian Nee and M Steve Vallone both registered hat tricks for the Orangemen.
IRISH vs. TAR HEELS: North Carolina embarks on a three-game road trip to Great Western Lacrosse League schools sporting a 1-1 record and ranked ninth. The Tar Heels will be at #10 Denver on Tuesday and at #20 Air Force on Thursday prior to coming to Notre Dame. UNC opened the season with a 12-7 victory over #7 Massachusetts on Feb. 28 at Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore. Junior G Paul Spellman registered 18 saves, while juniors A Jed Prossner and A Mike McCall and sophomore A Scott Falatach each registered a hat trick for the Heels. After the win propelled them to No. 4 in the initial USILA rankings, North Carolina dropped a 9-8 overtime decision at home against Navy last weekend. Midshipman Clipper Lennon scored a fast-break goal with 2:31 remaining in the first overtime period to give Navy the victory. Falatach, who had another hat trick against the Middies, leads North Carolina with seven points (six goals, one assist) heading into the week, while Prossner has six (four goals, two assists). Senior M Kevin Frew has a team-best 14 ground balls, while also handling the majority of the faceoff duties and winning 24-40 (.600). In goal, Spellman has a 7.90 GAA and a .590 save percentage.
North Carolina returned 32 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last year’s team that was 7-6, won a share of the regular-season ACC title, and finished 13th in the USILA rankings despite just missing a berth in the NCAA Championship. Gone from that team is honorable mention All-America selection M Austin Garrison, but three All-Americans return: Prossner (third team), Spellman (honorable mention), and D Ronnie Staines (honorable mention).
Notre Dame and North Carolina will meet for the fourth time and second time at Krause Stadium. The Tar Heels won each of the first two meetings, 11-8 in 1995 and 11-10 in ’96 (at ND), before the Irish snatched a 10-8 triumph in Chapel Hill last season.
Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) had four goals and one assist in leading #11 Notre Dame over #12 North Carolina on March 8, 2003. The Tar Heels took a 2-0 lead before Notre Dame responded with a 5-1 run that gave them a 7-3 advantage, which they would not relinquish. Kyle Bell pulled UNC to within one goal with just over four minutes remaining, but the Tar Heels could not convert and M Chris Richez added an insurance tally with four ticks left on the clock. Garrison had a pair of scores to be the only multiple-goal scorer for North Carolina, while freshman A Ryan Blair led the way with three points (one goal, two assists). The win was the third in a row over a ranked team for the Irish to open the season.
IRISH CLIMB TO FIFTH IN USILA RANKINGS: Notre Dame moved up three spots to fifth in this week’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Associaion (USILA) Geico/STX Coaches Poll. The idle Irish profited from four losses by higher-ranked teams to become just the second team in school history — along with the 2001 Final Four squad — to be listed in the top five of the USILA rankings. Johns Hopkins remained first, while Maryland is second, Syracuse is third, and Rutgers is fourth. Ten of Notre Dame’s 12 opponents this season are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll. Notre Dame moved up two spots to 12th in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week.
AN EXTENSIVE ARRAY OF WEAPONS: Notre Dame saw six of its players net multiple goals and five register four or more points in the season-opening 17-7 victory over #17 Penn State. Senior A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) led the way with a career high seven points on three goals and four assists, while sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) had a career-best four goals. Sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) matched his point total from last year with two goals and four assists. Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) notched his 12th career hat trick, while sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) registered five points (three goals, two assists) or more for the sixth time in his 15 collegiate games. Junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) added two goals and two assists. Every Irish player that scored had at least two tallies.
KARWECK EXPLODES FOR FOUR: Sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) scored on all four of his shots for a game-high four goals in Notre Dame’s season-opening win over #17 Penn State. He opened the scoring in the second, third, and fourth quarters and also started a run of six unanswered goals to end the game with a tally late in the third period. Karweck scored just 10 goals all of last season and netted multiple scores just once — a hat trick against #23 Pennsylvania.
HE’S THE (HUBSCH)MANN: Sophomore M Brian Hubschmann (Short Hills, N.J./Delbarton H.S.) had six points (two goals, four assists) against Penn State to equal his total from all of 2003. His four assists were more than he had in the entirety of his rookie campaign, despite playing in 12 of 14 games and earning one start. Hubschmann gave Notre Dame its first lead of the game with an unassisted goal 3:45 into the game before adding another solo score with 1:40 left in the first half. His game-high four assists gave Hubschmann six points on the day, which matched his total from all of last season (three goals, three assists) and exceeded his career assists heading into the day.
MAKING THEM PAY: After an unsuccessful first-quarter attempt, Notre Dame converted each of its six ensuing extra-man opportunities against Penn State. The Irish got two man-up goals each from seniors A Matt Howell (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington H.S.) and A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), as well as tallies from junior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School) and sophomore M Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy). Notre Dame was 19-51 (.373) on extra-man opportunities in 2003.
START ME UP: Notre Dame will try to open 2-0 for the third time in the last four seasons, after starting 3-0 last year and 5-0 in 2001.
SEASON-OPENING SUPERLATIVES: Notre Dame beat Penn State for the sixth time in the last eight years, with all of those contests coming in Irish season openers. The 17 goals were the most-ever for Notre Dame against the Nittany Lions and the 10-point margin of victory also marked the best in the 11-game series between the schools, of which the Irish have been victorious seven times.
The Irish improved to 17-7 all-time in season openers and 21-3 in home openers. The Penn State game marked the highest-scoring output and the largest margin of victory in a home opener for the Irish since 1993.
GETTING IN THE GAME: Seven Irish players made their collegiate debuts against Penn State. Freshman M Bill Liva (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Preparatory School) had three ground balls, while classmates A Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) took two shots and picked up a ground ball and M John Greaney (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) put a shot on goal. Rookies D J.R. Stahl (Sparks, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and M Lucius Polk (Washington, D.C./St. Albans H.S.) and sophomore M Brandon Schultheis (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon H.S.) also saw playing time for the first time.
WALSH ON TEWAARATON TROPHY WATCH LIST: Sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) was one of 26 players named to the watch list for the 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player at the conclusion of the season. The award will be presented at a banquet in Washington, D.C. on June 3. Walsh, who led all Division I freshmen in scoring a year ago, is the first Irish player ever named the to watch list for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is in just its fourth year, though A Tom Glatzel was a finalist for the award in 2001.
COACHING EXPERIENCE: With the addition of assistant coach Guy Van Arsdale, Notre Dame boasts one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the nation. Head coach Kevin Corrigan and assistants Kevin Anderson and Van Arsdale combine for 50 years of college and pro coaching experience heading into 2004. Thirty-two of those years have been as head coaches. Only three Division I teams have more years of combined coaching experience than the Irish, and just four have more previous seasons as head coaches.
GWLL DOMINANCE: For the 11th year in a row, the Irish will compete in the Great Western Lacrosse League, along with Air Force, Butler, Denver, Fairfield, and Ohio State. Notre Dame has won nine GWLL titles, including at least a share of each of the last five. Ohio State, Denver, and the Irish were co-champions in 2003. Notre Dame has a 34-4 (.895) all-time record in GWLL play, including 20-1 (.952) at home.
BERGER, WALSH EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA MENTION: Senior A Dan Berger (Phoenix, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and sophomore A Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) earned preseason honorable mention All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse magazine. Berger was Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer in each of the last two seasons, while Walsh led all Division I freshmen in scoring last year en route to setting an Irish freshman scoring record and becoming the first Notre Dame rookie to earn All-America honors, copping honorable mention accolades.
TOUGH SLATE: Notre Dame will face a difficult road to the 2004 NCAA Championship. This year’s Irish schedule is highlighted by a pair of road trips to Final Four teams from last year (March 11 at Syracuse; May 1 at Maryland) and four home games against ’03 NCAA participants. In all, 10 of the 12 teams on the Notre Dame schedule are either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s USILA rankings.
THE GREAT WESTERN LACROSSE LEAGUE, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON “GREAT”: The Great Western Lacrosse League, which has never had more than one team earn a berth to the NCAA Championship, has had an outstanding start to the 2004 season. Both Denver and Air Force registered upsets of the defending national champions, Virginia, over the season’s first weekend, propelling both schools into the first set of USILA national rankings, joining Notre Dame and Ohio State. It was the first time ever that four schools from the GWLL were in the nation’s top 20. This week, Notre Dame is fifth, the Pioneers (3-0) are 10th, and the Falcons (2-1 after losing to Army) are 20th, while the Buckeyes (1-2) fell out of the rankings, but are still receiving votes. Fairfield (3-0), which upset #20 Penn State last weekend, also is receiving votes. The six GWLL teams (also 3-1 Butler) have combined for a 13-4 record this spring, including four upsets of ranked opponents.
Notre Dame has won at least a share of the Great Western Lacrosse League title in nine of the 10 years since the conference was formed. The Irish hold a 34-4 (.895) record in GWLL play, including 20-1 (.952) at home.
OHIO STATE GAME TO BE TELEVISED BY CSTV: On Wednesday, March 31 at 4 p.m., two of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) tri-champions from last year will face off at Krause Stadium. The contest between Notre Dame and Ohio State, which earned the conference’s automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Championship via tiebreaker policy, will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by College Sports Television (CSTV). The contest will be shown later that day.
MEN’S LAX GOLD GAME TO BE MARCH 31 vs. GWLL RIVAL OHIO STATE: The Notre Dame-Ohio State game, slated for Wednesday, March 31 at 4 p.m. in Krause Stadium, will be the men’s lacrosse “Gold Game” this season. The distinction was created by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend designated contests, each determined to be the most significant home event of the season for the respective team.
HEAD COACH Kevin Corrigan: Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is in his 16th season at the helm of the Notre Dame program. He has led the Irish to a 133-74 (.643) mark, while holding a 143-89 (.615) overall record. Corrigan’s Notre Dame teams have earned 10 NCAA tournament berths since 1990, highlighted by quarterfinal appearances in 1995 and 2000 and a Final Four trip in 2001. Only six other Division I schools have as many postseason appearances in that span, while Corrigan and Princeton’s Bill Tierney are the only two mentors in the country to have led their current teams to 10 NCAA tournaments since ’90. Corrigan’s teams have had 12 winning seasons, including 10 with nine or more victories. He has had at least one player earn All-America honors in each of the last 11 seasons for a total of 22 All-Americans since 1994. In addition, 79 players have garnered all-conference mention under Corrigan. The Irish also have claimed at least a share of 12 conference titles (9 Great Western Lacrosse League, 3 Great Lakes Conference), including five in a row. In a three-year playing career as a midfielder at Virginia, Corrigan helped the Cavaliers to the NCAA final in 1979. He previously was an assistant at Notre Dame in 1983 and served as head coach of Randolph-Macon College for two years (1985-86).
KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE: For the fastest results of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse games, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #5 and #1. The hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the match recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website, www.und.com. The hotline is the first medium updated with results of each Notre Dame men’s lacrosse match.
In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting sports information assistant Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Rottenborn. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.