March 6, 2008
#5 Notre Dame at #4 North Carolina
Saturday, March 8 â€¢ 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Fetzer Field â€¢ Chapel Hill, N.C.
A showdown between two top-five teams will take place on Saturday as No. 5 Notre Dame visits No. 4 North Carolina for a 3:30 p.m. (ET) tilt at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. Both teams enter play with unblemished records. The Fighting Irish are 4-0 and coming off a 16-6 victory at Villanova on Tuesday, while the Tar Heels are 3-0 after a 13-8 win over Cornell on March 2.
HOW TO FOLLOW: Saturday’s contest can be followed via live stats on the Internet … simply go to und.com and find the `Men’s Lacrosse’ page and click on `Schedule’ … once there, find the North Carolina game and there will be a link for `Gametracker’ … you can also sign up for `Irish Alert’, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
ND-UNC SERIES NOTES: Saturday will be the eighth meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and the Tar Heels … North Carolina holds a slim 4-3 edge in the series … the Tar Heels won last season’s contest, 11-8, in Chapel Hill … prior to that, the Irish had won the previous two matchups with the Tar Heels … Notre Dame is 1-2 all-time at North Carolina … the lone win was a 10-8 decision in 2003 … the first meeting between the two schools took place during the 1995 season … the Tar Heels won that contest, 11-8, in Chapel Hill.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame is off to just the third 4-0 start in program history … the last time the Fighting Irish started a season 4-0 was in 2001, the same season they made the program’s only visit to the final four … the Irish are coming off a 16-6 victory at Villanova on Tuesday (March 4) … junior attackman Ryan Hoff led the way with five goals to up his team-high total to 12 on the season … he leads the team with 13 points, while senior Alex Wharton is second with 12 on four goals and a team-best eight assists … Notre Dame has defeated two ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6 & #13 Albany, 7-6) … the Irish have used 14 different goalscorers … Notre Dame is averaging 11.25 goals per game, while holding opponents to just 6.75 a game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp has played 229:33 of a possible 240 minutes between the pipes … Kemp has made 45 saves and carries a .652 save percentage … the Irish are currently ranked fifth in the USILA coaches poll along with being seventh in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … Notre Dame returned seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted an 11-4 record and captured the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title with a perfect 5-0 conference mark … that was the 10th GWLL crown for the Irish since the league was founded in 1994 … in 2007, Notre Dame made its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 12th trip in program history … the Irish fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in overtime during the tournament’s first round … Kevin Corrigan is in his 20th season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 171-92 (.650) during his Fighting Irish tenure … Corrigan was named the 2007 GWLL coach of the year … that marked the fourth time he has received that honor.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels are 3-0 after a 13-8 win over No. 5 Cornell on March 2 … North Carolina is ranked fourth in both the USILA and Inside Lacrosse polls … two of North Carolina’s wins have come against Great Western Lacrosse League teams … the Tar Heels opened the season with a 15-2 home win over Bellarmine (Feb. 16) before a 6-5 road win at No. 20 Denver (Feb. 23) … junior attackman Michael B. Burns and senior midfielder Rob Driscoll share the team lead in goals with five apiece … junior attackman Bart Wagner has a team-best nine points on three goals and a team-high six assists … Grant Zimmerman has all three decisions in goal … he carries a 5.41 goals-against average and a .674 save percentage … North Carolina went 10-6 last season and fell to Duke, 19-11, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament … the Tar Heels returned all 10 starters and 41 letterwinners from that squad … head coach John Haus is in his eighth season at the helm of the North Carolina program.
THE LAST TIME: North Carolina topped Notre Dame, 11-8, last season in Chapel Hill, N.C. … the Tar Heels were ranked 15th at the time of the meeting, while the Irish were 14th … Notre Dame led 5-3 at the end of the first quarter before North Carolina claimed a 7-5 lead at the intermission en route to the victory … current junior Ryan Hoff paced the Irish with two goals … Gavin Petracca, a current sophomore, notched five points for the Tar Heels on two goals and three assists … Joey Kemp made a season-high 14 saves for the Irish, while Grant Zimmerman and Chris Madalon combined to make 11 stops for North Carolina.
GOING FOR FIVE: With a win against North Carolina on Saturday, Notre Dame will start a season 5-0 for just the third time in program history and the first since the Irish’s final four campaign in 2001 … the other 5-0 start came in 1993 when the Fighting Irish produced a program-best 8-0 beginning to a season.
ON THE ROAD: Notre Dame is currently in the middle of a four-game trip away from home … the Irish began the trek with a 16-6 victory at Villanova on Tuesday (March 4) … following a tilt at North Carolina on Saturday, Notre Dame will face Dartmouth in Atlanta, Ga. on March 15… the journey will conclude with the Great Western Lacrosse League opener at Air Force on March 22.
RETURNING HOME: The Fighting Irish have one student-athlete on their roster from the state of North Carolina … sophomore goaltender Brendan Moore hails from Charlotte, N.C. and Providence High School.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 15 straight games at home … the Irish are 2-0 at home this season … the current streak stems back to a 14-13 overtime win against Air Force on April 10, 2005 … Notre Dame’s last loss at home was a 9-6 setback to Denver on April 7, 2005 … the Irish went a perfect 6-0 at home during the 2006 campaign and followed it up with a 6-0 mark at home during the 2007 season … four of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while the other 11 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 117-35 (.770) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
RECAPPING VILLANOVA: Notre Dame used a 12-0 run, which spanned parts of three quarters, to take command of the game and produce a 16-6 victory over Villanova on Tuesday, March 4 at Villanova Stadium … Ryan Hoff led the Fighting Irish with five goals … Villanova jumped on top, 1-0, with a goal from Tim Driscoll at the 13:38 mark of the first quarter … the Irish did not stay down for long as they ran off 12 straight goals … Duncan Swezey put Notre Dame on the board with 12:21 left in the opening quarter … another Swezey score was preceded by goals from Michael Podgajny and Hoff to make it 4-1 by the 4:28 mark of the first quarter … goals from Peter Christman, who also notched a career-high three assists, and Kelly McKenna made it a five-goal Irish advantage (6-1) after the first 15 minutes of play … the six-goal quarter matched Notre Dame’s largest output in a quarter this season … in the second period, Hoff and Colin Igoe netted goals to give the Fighting Irish an 8-1 lead at the intermission … the Fighting Irish struck early in the second half as Grant Krebs found the back of the net with just 34 seconds elapsed in the stanza … Hoff followed with back-to-back goals, including a man-up score, to make it an 11-1 contest with 7:36 remaining in the third quarter … Notre Dame scored its 12th consecutive goal when Alex Wharton notched a man-up tally with 4:56 left in the period … Villanova finally ended the Irish surge as Tim Langan scored with 1:36 left in the third quarter … the Wildcat drought lasted 42:02 and Notre Dame led 12-2 after three periods of play … following a Tim Atkins goal for Villanova, Hoff deposited a man-up score, which was his fifth score of the game … Driscoll and Atkins scored the next two goals for the Wildcats to make it 13-5 with 8:15 remaining in regulation … the next three goals came from the Irish courtesy of Matt Ciambella, Wharton and Sloan Smith to give Notre Dame a 16-5 lead with just over four minutes left on the clock … the Ciambella and Wharton scores were during a man-up advantage for the Irish … Villanova’s Andrew Henrich scored a late goal to produce the final outcome … Joey Kemp had another solid day in goal for the Irish as he allowed three goals … sophomore Brendan Moore replaced Kemp in goal at the 10:27 mark of the fourth quarter … Moore surrendered three goals in his collegiate debut … Villanova held a slim 36-35 edge in shots, while Notre Dame won 16-of-26 faceoffs … the Irish went 5-for-6 in man-up opportunities.
STREAKING: Junior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-best four-game goal streak … senior midfielder Michael Podgany has scored at least one goal in the past 18 games in which he has played … the only game he missed during that stretch was this season’s opener against Loyola … Podgajny missed the contest due to an injury … Ryan Hoff has notched a goal in 12 of the last 13 games dating back to last season … the junior attackman was held without a goal in a 7-6 win over Albany … that snapped his team-best 11-game goal streak.
12 STRAIGHT: The win at Villanova on March 4 marked Notre Dame’s program-record 12th straight regular-season victory … the last loss in the regular season for the Irish came on March 17, 2007, a 7-6 setback at Dartmouth … Notre Dame ended the 2007 campaign with eight straight wins before falling at Johns Hopkins, 11-10 in overtime, during the first round of the NCAA Tournament … the previous record streak was 11 games, which spanned parts of the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 18-1 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish have trailed for just 1:11 this season … Villanova took a 1-0 lead with 13:38 left in the first quarter and Notre Dame responded to tie the game with 12:27 remaining en route to the 16-6 victory on March 4.
HOFF STAYING HOT: Ryan Hoff’s six goals against Penn State (Feb. 24) were just one shy of the school record that he shares with Randy Colley (class of 1995) … Hoff, a junior attackman, netted seven goals in a 16-5 win over Drexel last season … Hoff also notched a five-goal game this season in a 16-6 triumph of Villanova (March 4) … he leads the Irish with 12 goals this season after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 14 different players notch at least one goal this season … in the season-opener, Notre Dame produced seven goals from seven different players in a 7-6 win over Loyola … the Irish used nine different goalscorers in a 15-9 triumph of Penn State on Feb. 24 … Notre Dame had 10 players score a goal in a 16-6 victory over Villanova on March 4.
IRISH DEFENSE: The Irish are surrendering just 6.75 goals per game this season … Notre Dame has held opponents scoreless in three of four first quarters this season … the Irish have held opponents to six goals for an entire game three times … Notre Dame boasted the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense in 2007 by allowing a school-record 6.66 goals per game … several key components to the Irish defense are back this season, including goaltender Joey Kemp in goal and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.
SAVING THE DAY: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp ranks third in Notre Dame history with 30 career victories … he is two wins shy of tying the program record of 32 established by Kirk Howell (1998-2001) and Alex Cade (1995-98) … Kemp, a two-time All-America honoree, carries an overall record of 30-11 … Kemp ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) last season en route to being named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year … he is currently first in school history with a 7.32 goals-against average.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: In 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked the Irish fourth in the nation … so far this season, the Fighting Irish are averaging 11.25 goals a game.
MAN UP: Notre Dame has converted on 9-of-21 (.429) man up opportunities this season … last season, the Fighting Irish converted on 50-percent (29-of-58) of their man-up opportunities … that conversion percentage ranked Notre Dame second among all NCAA Division I teams.
NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is currently fifth in the USILA coaches poll and seventh in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … that is the highest the Fighting Irish have been ranked in either poll this season.
QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish have five teams on their 2008 schedule that appear in the latest Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll … Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory against current No. 13 Loyola … the Irish topped then No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 … Notre Dame takes on No. 4 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on March 8 … Notre Dame will host No. 15 Drexel on March 25 … a Great Western Lacrosse League showdown against No. 19 Denver will take place on April 5 in Chicago.
KEMP ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp was named to the 51-man watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player … this marks the second straight season that Kemp has been named to the award’s watch list.
IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Seven Notre Dame players earned preseason All-America recognition from Inside Lacrosse Magazine and its Face-Off Yearbook … headlining the group for the Fighting Irish were second-team honorees Taylor Clagett (M/FO), Sean Dougherty (D), Joey Kemp (G) and Will Yeatman (A) … joining the quartet of second-team picks for the Irish was third-team member Michael Podgajny (M) and honorable mention selections Ryan Hoff (A) and Ross Zimmerman (D).
IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame was selected to win its second straight Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title according to Inside Lacrosse … the GWLL head coaches selected the preseason order of finish within the league … Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting.
FOUR IRISH PLAYERS AMONG IL TOP 50: Four Irish athletes were named to the Inside Lacrosse top-50 players list for the 2008 season … senior goaltender Joey Kemp was the highest-ranked Fighting Irish player as he was 13th overall and the second-ranked goaltender on the list … sophomore attackman Will Yeatman was 15th, while senior defenseman Sean Dougherty and senior midfielder Michael Podgajny were 35th and 37th, respectively.
KEMP AND WHARTON NAMED `08 IRISH CAPTAINS: Seniors Joey Kemp and Alex Wharton have been named captains for the 2008 season … Kemp was one of three captains for the Fighting Irish last season, while this will mark Wharton’s first year as a co-captain … Kemp, a goalkeeper, is a two-time All-America honoree … he was named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year, in addition to being selected as an honorable mention All-American … Kemp has started 43 straight games in goal during his stellar career … last season, he ranked fourth nationally in goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (0.614) … Wharton, an attackman, is coming off a career-best season … in 2007, Wharton notched career-high totals in goals (8), assists (10) and points (18) … he played in 14 games with eight starts last season … Wharton has seen the field in 30 career games, including 14 starts … his career totals feature 14 goals, 20 assists for 34 points.
FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All five of Notre Dame’s true home games will feature livestats available through und.com, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University … simply go to the men’s lacrosse page and click on `Schedule’ at the top of the page and find the game that is being played that day and click on `Gametracker’ to follow the game for free.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to und.com to sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame.
KEEPING UP WITH FIGHTING IRISH MEN’S LACROSSE: For 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 … in addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting assistant sports information director Sean Carroll at Carroll.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 Carroll … credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.