Junior Ryan Hoff notched a hat trick for the Irish on Saturday.

No. 5 Notre Dame Travels To Villanova For A Tuesday Showdown

March 3, 2008

#5 Notre Dame at Villanova
Tuesday, March 4 • 4:00 p.m. (ET)
Villanova Stadium • Villanova, Pa.

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The fifth-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team begins a four-game trip away from home with a game at Villanova on Tuesday, March 4. Game time is slated for 4:00 p.m. (ET) at Villanova Stadium. The Fighting Irish enter the contest 3-0, while the Wildcats are 1-2. This will be the 12th meeting between Notre Dame and Villanova.

ND-VILLANOVA SERIES NOTES: Tuesday will mark the 12th meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and the Wildcats … Notre Dame leads the series 7-4 … the Irish are 4-1 against the Wildcats at Villanova … the series began with Villanova claiming the first four meetings, while the Irish have won the past seven, including last year’s 15-5 decision at home … the first meeting occurred during the 1987 campaign, a 7-6 Wildcat victory … Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is 7-3 against Villanova during his Notre Dame tenure.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2003 season … the Irish are coming off a 7-6 home victory over No. 13 Albany on Saturday (March 1) … the Fighting Irish have topped two ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6 & #13 Albany, 7-6) … the Irish have used 12 different goalscorers … junior attackmen Ryan Hoff and Duncan Swezey share the team lead in goals with seven apiece … Swezey, who matched a career-high total with four goals against Albany, and senior Alex Wharton share the team lead in points with eight … Wharton has a team-best six assists … Notre Dame is averaging 9.67 goals per game, while allowing 7.00 goals a game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp has played all 180 minutes between the pipes … Kemp has made 34 saves and carries a .618 save percentage … the Irish are currently ranked fifth in the USILA coaches poll along with being sixth 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 170-92 (.649) 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 VILLANOVA: The Wildcats enter Tuesday’s contest with a 1-2 record … Villanova is coming off a 7-6 loss to Penn on Saturday (March 1) … in the season opener, Villanova fell at Syracuse, 21-6 … the Wildcats rebounded with a 9-6 win over Lafayette (Feb. 24) … Jay Foley leads the team in goals (7), assists (4) and points (11) … Tim Driscoll is second on the team with six goals, while Tim Langan has four … Villanova returned four starters and 25 letterwinners from last season’s squad that posted a 7-7 record overall … the Wildcats went 2-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) … head coach Mike Corrado is in his second season at the helm of the Villanova program.

THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame captured a 15-5 home victory over Villanova last season … Ryan Hoff paced the Irish with five goals, while Michael Podgajny produced seven points on three goals and four assists … Andy German and Jay Foley both scored two goals for the Wildcats … Joey Kemp played 51:12 in goal for Notre Dame and made seven saves, while surrendering five goals.

IRISH VS. THE CAA: Notre Dame is 15-11 all-time against the Colonial Athletic Association, including a 12-11 mark in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish were 2-0 against the CAA last season with wins over Drexel (16-5) and Villanova (15-5) … Drexel is the only other CAA opponent on Notre Dame’s 2008 schedule.

GOING FOR FOUR: With a win against Villanova on Tuesday, Notre Dame will start a season 4-0 for the first time since the 2001 campaign … this season marks fifth time, and the first since 2003, that Notre Dame has begun a season 3-0 … Notre Dame has started a season 4-0 on two occasions (1993 & 2001).

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 ALBANY: A Peter Christman goal with 23 seconds remaining in regulation gave No. 6 Notre Dame a 7-6 victory over No. 13 Albany on Saturday, March 1 inside the Loftus Sports Center … Duncan Swezey led the Irish with a game-high and career-high tying four goals … the Irish used solid efforts from their starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott with key saves from senior goaltender Joey Kemp to hold Albany without a goal during both the first and third quarters … the Notre Dame offense took advantage of the stout defense by jumping out to a 4-0 lead by the early stages of the second quarter … Michael Podgajny started the scoring for the Irish with a goal off a feed from Grant Krebs at the 8:52 mark of the first period … Swezey then followed with back-to-back tallies just 15 seconds apart to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead after the opening quarter … in the second period, Krebs put the Irish up by four with 11:37 left on the clock … Albany used its own 4-0 run to knot the game heading into halftime … Derek Dale put the Great Danes on the board with a man-up tally at the 8:01 mark … Matt Johnson and Mike Ammann would notch scores 53 seconds apart to slice the deficit to one (4-3) … Corey Small capped off the surge as he found the back of the net with 4:17 left in the half … the Fighting Irish regained the lead on a Swezey goal with eight minutes elapsed in the second half … that was the only scoring of the third quarter … Notre Dame upped the advantage to two (6-4) as Swezey connected on his fourth goal, with the assist going to senior Alex Wharton with 10:54 left in the fourth quarter … Small made it a 6-5 game with 9:41 on the clock and he would strike again with 50 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game before Christman deposited the game winner … a final attempt by Albany’s Jordan Levine was blocked by the Irish defense in the final seconds … Taylor Clagett dominated in faceoffs as he won 12-of-16 attempts … the Irish held a 39-24 advantage in shots … Kemp and his counterpart Brett Queener both made 11 saves.

STREAKING: Junior attackman Ryan Hoff saw his career-long 11-game goal streak come to an end in the 7-6 victory over Albany on March 1 … the streak, which dated back to last season, was the longest on the team … fellow junior Duncan Swezey’s current three-game goal streak is now the longest for the Irish … senior midfielder Michael Podgany has scored at least one goal in the past 17 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.

11 STRAIGHT: The win over Albany marked Notre Dame’s 11th 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. FAST STARTS: Through the first three games of the season, Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 12-0 during the first quarter of play.

HOT DAY FOR HOFF: 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 … the junior attackman led the Irish with 40 goals one season ago.

CAREER DAY FOR WHARTON: Senior attackman Alex Wharton notched career-highs in assists with four and total points with five in the 15-9 victory over Penn State on Feb. 24 … all of his assists were on Ryan Hoff goals.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 12 different players notch at least one goal through the first three games of the 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 last Sunday.

IRISH DEFENSE: The Irish are surrendering just 7.00 goals per game through the first three contests this season … the Notre Dame defense has shut out its opponents during the first quarter of all three games … 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 29 career victories … the two-time All-America honoree carries an overall record of 29-11 … 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 7.40 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 9.67 goals a game.

MAN UP: Notre Dame has converted on 4-of-15 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 sixth 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 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 42 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 29 career games, including 13 starts … his career totals feature 12 goals, 18 assists for 30 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 ND 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.64@nd.edu … 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.