Senior goalie Joey Kemp and the Fighting Irish defense rank fifth nationally buy allowing just 6.79 goals per game.

Notre Dame And Syracuse To Meet In NCAA Quarterfinals On Sunday

May 14, 2008

#5 Notre Dame (14-2) vs. #3 Syracuse (13-2)
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
Sunday, May 18 • 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Schoellkopf Field • Ithaca, N.Y.
Television: ESPNU (Live)

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Sixth-seeded Notre Dame will square off with third-seeded Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Sunday, May 18 at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y. Game time is slated for 3:00 p.m. (ET). This is the fourth NCAA quarterfinal appearance in the history of the Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse program. Notre Dame is coming off an 8-7 overtime victory against Colgate in the first round. Syracuse defeated Canisius, 20-3, in the opening round.

HOW TO FOLLOW: Sunday’s game will be aired live on ESPNU … Dave Ryan will handle play-by-play duties, while Quint Kessenich will be the analyst … you can also follow the game via `Gametracker’ on … simply go to the men’s lacrosse page and click on `Schedule’ and find the Syracuse game and click on `Gametracker’ … fans 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-SYRACUSE SERIES NOTES: This will be the third meeting between Notre Dame and Syracuse … the Orange have won the previous two encounters … the two schools first met in the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Tournament and Syracuse advanced with a 12-5 victory in Piscataway, N.J. … the Irish and Orange squared off again during the 2004 campaign inside the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. … Syracuse topped Notre Dame, 19-13, in that meeting.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame (14-2) is riding a season-best seven-game win streak into the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals … the Irish defeated Colgate, 8-7 in overtime, during the tournament’s first round … that marked the first time that Notre Dame had ever hosted an NCAA Tournament game in men’s lacrosse … Notre Dame has won a program-record 19 straight games at home … Notre Dame has defeated six ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6; #13 Albany, 7-6; #11 Drexel, 13-6; #9 Ohio State, 17-12; #10 Ohio State 9-2; #10 Colgate, 8-7) … the Fighting Irish concluded the regular season with an 11-2 record, including a 4-1 mark in the Great Western Lacrosse League to finish among a three-way tie for the conference title with Ohio State and Denver … that marked the 11th GWLL regular-season title for Notre Dame since the league was founded in 1994 … the Irish topped Ohio State, 9-2, in the title game of the inaugural GWLL tournament … junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads the Fighting Irish with 40 goals this season … senior attackman Alex Wharton has team-high totals in points (49) and assists (30), both career-best marks … sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs is second on the team with 25 goals … senior midfielder Michael Podgajny has 23 goals, while junior attackman Duncan Swezey has 22 … Notre Dame boasts the nation’s fifth-best scoring offense by notching 12.28 goals per game … the Irish defense also ranks fifth nationally as they surrender just 6.79 goals per game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp ranks second nationally with a .636 save percentage and he is third with a 6.40 goals-against average … the Irish have the top faceoff unit in the country with a .650 winning percentage … senior Taylor Clagett has won faceoffs at a .645 (198-307) clip to rank second in the nation … Notre Dame returned seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted an 11-4 record and captured the GWLL title with a perfect 5-0 conference mark … in 2007, Notre Dame fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in overtime during the first round of the NCAA Tournament … Kevin Corrigan is in his 20th season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 181-94 (.658) during his Fighting Irish tenure … Corrigan was named the GWLL Coach of the Year last season … that marked the fourth time he has received that honor.

SCOUTING SYRACUSE: The Orange (13-2) defeated Canisius, 20-3, in the NCAA Tournament first round on Sunday, May 11 … Syracuse is the No. 3 seed in the tournament … the Orange rank second nationally by averaging 13.93 goals per game … the Syracuse defense is surrendering 7.27 goals per game, which places them ninth nationally … senior Mike Leveille leads the team in goals (42), assists (28) for a total of 70 points … junior Kenny Nims is second on the squad with 30 goals and 23 assists … senior Danny Brennan has the nation’s top faceoff winning percentage (.673) … freshman goalkeeper John Galloway has started 15 games and carries a 7.35 goals-against average and a .549 save percentage … Syracuse has defeated five ranked teams this season (Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Princeton, Cornell) … the two Orange losses have come against Virginia (14-13, ot) and Colgate (12-11) … head coach John Desko is in his 10th season at Syracuse … the Syracuse program has captured nine national titles in men’s lacrosse.

COMMON OPPONENTS: Notre Dame and Syracuse have faced four common opponents this season (Albany, Colgate, Loyola, Villanova) … the Irish defeated Albany, 7-6, while Orange topped their instate rival, 10-5 … Notre Dame bested Loyola, 7-6, and Syracuse did the same, 13-8 … Villanova fell victim to both teams as well … the Fighting Irish topped the Wildcats, 16-6, and the Orange grabbed a 21-6 decision … Notre Dame defeated Colgate, 8-7 in overtime, while the Raiders topped Syracuse, 12-11.

RETURNING TO ITHACA: Sunday’s contest will mark Notre Dame’s first appearance at Schoellkopf Field since an 11-10 loss to Cornell during the 2005 season … the Irish also fell to the Big Red, 14-8, in Ithaca, N.Y. during the 1990 campaign … those are the only to trips to Ithaca in the history of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse.

UP NEXT: The winner of the Notre Dame-Syracuse game will take on the winner of the Maryland-Virginia tilt in the NCAA semifinals on Saturday, May 24 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. … Virginia is the tournament’s second seed, while Maryland is seeded seventh … the Cavaliers and Terrapins will battle on Saturday, May 17 at 12 noon (ET) in Annapolis, Md.

NOTRE DAME IN NCAA PLAY: The Fighting Irish are making their 13th trip to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship in the 28-year history of the program … all of the appearances have occurred since the 1990 season … the Fighting Irish carry a 5-12 mark in NCAA Tournament games, including this season’s first-round win over Colgate … the best performance by the Fighting Irish in the postseason was in 2001 as they made it to the national semifinals … in addition to this season and the 2001 campaign, the Irish also reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 1995 and 2000 … this is the school’s third straight trip to the NCAAs … Notre Dame has fell to the eventual national champion in the first round in each of the past two tournaments … last season, the Irish dropped an 11-10 overtime contest at Johns Hopkins … in 2006, Notre Dame was bested at Virginia, 14-10.

QUARTERFINAL HISTORY: The first-round win over Colgate advanced Notre Dame to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the fourth time in program history … Notre Dame is 1-2 in quarterfinal games … the first trip occurred in 1995 and the Irish fell at Maryland, 14-11 … Notre Dame returned to the quarters in 2000 and dropped a 15-11 decision to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. … the Fighting Irish returned to the quarterfinals the following season in 2001 and defeated Johns Hopkins, 13-9, in College Park, Md.

SEEDING: This season marks just the second time ever that Notre Dame has been seeded for the NCAA Tournament … prior to being the sixth seed for this year’s championship, the only other time the Irish were seeded was in 2001 … that season, Notre Dame was the fifth seed and made the program’s only appearance in the national semifinals.

CHRISTMAN IN THE CLUTCH: Peter Christman’s overtime game-winner against Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament was not the first time this season he has come through in the clutch for Notre Dame … the junior midfielder netted the game-winner with 23 seconds left in a 7-6 triumph of Albany on March 1.

NOT AGAIN: For the second straight season, Notre Dame found itself in overtime during the first round of the NCAA Tournament … last year, the Irish fell at Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in the extra session … this time around, Notre Dame scored the game-winner to top Colgate, 8-7, and move on to the next round … both games were also played in a rainy and sloppy conditions.

NO WORRIES: The Fighting Irish never led in their 8-7 NCAA first-round win over Colgate after Peter Christman scored the game-winner in overtime.

EIGHT IS GREAT: Notre Dame used eight different goalscorers in its 8-7 overtime victory against Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 22 different players notch at least one goal this season … the season-high total was 13 players with a goal in a 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29 … the Irish used 12 goalscorers in a 19-7 win against Dartmouth on March 15 … last season, the Irish had 18 players score a goal … Notre Dame has had at least 10 goalscorers in a game on six occasions this season and most recently in a 17-12 win over No. 9 Ohio State (April 27)… 10 Irish players scored a goal in that contest.

STREAKING: Junior attackman Ryan Hoff has a team-best 13-game goal streak … Hoff has notched a goal in 24 of the last 25 games dating back to last season … the junior attackman was held without a goal in a 7-6 win over Albany on March 1 … that snapped an 11-game goal streak.

WINNING WAYS: Notre Dame’s 14 victories this season matches the program record from the 2001 campaign … that year, the Irish ended the season with a 14-2 mark after falling in the national semifinals.

IRISH AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD: During the regular season, the Fighting Irish played a total of four teams (Loyola, Ohio State (twice), Denver, North Carolina) that made this year’s NCAA Tournament field … Notre Dame posted a 3-2 record against those squads … the Irish won at Loyola, 7-6, in the season opener … Notre Dame topped Ohio State, 17-12, at home in the regular-season finale and then defeated the Buckeyes, 9-2, a week later in the GWLL title game in Birmingham, Mich. … the Irish fell at North Carolina, 8-6, and to Denver, 9-8, in a game played at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. … those are the only two losses for Notre Dame this season.

VS. THE TOP-10: Since 1990, Notre Dame has a 12-36 mark against teams ranked in the top 10 … this season, the Fighting Irish are 3-1 against the top-10 … Notre Dame’s 17-12 victory over Ohio State on April 27 marked the first win over a top-10 team since a 9-7 triumph of No. 10 North Carolina in 2005 … the Irish topped the 10th-ranked Buckeyes, 9-2, in the GWLL title game on May 4 and followed it up with an 8-7 overtime win against Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

TAKING DOWN A TOP-FIVE: A win over No. 3 Syracuse on Sunday would mark the first win for Notre Dame over a top-five opponent since a 13-9 triumph of No. 3 Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the 2001 NCAA Tournament … the Fighting Irish are 0-11 against top-five teams since that victory over the Blue Jays.

GWLL SUCCESS: Notre Dame defeated Ohio State, 9-2, in the championship game of the inaugural Great Western Lacrosse League Tournament on Sunday, May 4 in Birmingham, Mich. … the Fighting Irish have won 11 GWLL regular-season titles, including this year’s co-championship with Ohio State and Denver … the Irish have won the title outright seven times, while earning a share of the crown four times … Notre Dame is 55-10 (.846) all-time in GWLL regular-season play … this is the 15th season for the GWLL … Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions, including last season’s 5-0 mark.

WELL REPRESENTED: For the first time in the 15-year history of the conference, three teams from the Great Western Lacrosse League received bids to the NCAA Tournament … Notre Dame, Ohio State and Denver were all selected to the 16-team NCAA field … this is just the second time that the GWLL has placed multiple teams into the tournament … the other occurred in 2006 as Denver received the automatic bid and Notre Dame was an at-large selection … in the first round of this year’s tournament, Notre Dame edged out Colgate, 8-7 in overtime, while Ohio State topped Cornell, 15-7, for the first NCAA win in Buckeye history … Denver fell at Maryland, 10-7.

SHUTTING DOWN THE BUCKEYES: Notre Dame held No. 10 Ohio State to a single goal in each half during the 9-2 victory in the GWLL championship game on May 2 … that was the fewest goals allowed by a Notre Dame defense since a 14-2 win over Lehigh last April … it also marked the fewest goals surrendered by an Irish defense against a ranked opponent in the history of the program … the Buckeyes entered the contest averaging over 14 goals a game, which ranked them in the top-five nationally for scoring offense.

KEMP GARNERS NATIONAL ACCOLADE: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp was named the Nike/Inside Lacrosse National Player of the Week for his stellar performance in the 9-2 win over No. 10 Ohio State in the GWLL Tournament championship game on May 4th … Kemp made a season-high 18 saves in shutting down the Buckeyes, who entered the contest averaging over 14 goals per game.

GWLL HONORS: Six Fighting Irish players received All-Great Western Lacrosse League honors for the 2008 campaign … Michael Podgajny (Sr., M), Sean Dougherty (Sr., D), Ross Zimmerman (Sr., D) and Joey Kemp (Sr., G) earned first-team accolades, while Ryan Hoff (Jr., A) and Alex Wharton (Sr., A) were named to the second team … this marked the third all-league first-team honor for Kemp and the second for both Dougherty and Zimmerman … Podgajny was a second-team pick last season … Hoff earned a first-team nod last season, while this is Wharton’s first all-conference honor.

HAT TRICKS FOR HOFF: Ryan Hoff led the Fighting Irish with three goals in the 10-6 win over Quinnipiac in the GWLL semifinals on May 2 … that marked the seventh game this season in which Hoff, a junior attackman, has scored three or more goals … that is the most for any Fighting Irish player this season … his 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 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)

40/40: Ryan Hoff leads Notre Dame with 40 goals this season after pacing the team with 40 goals last year … the junior is the first Notre Dame player to ever post 40 goals in consecutive seasons.

REACHING THE CENTURY MARK: Junior attackman Ryan Hoff notched his 100th career goal in the win over Ohio State in the GWLL title game on May 4th … he currently has 101 goals, which ranks him fifth in the Notre Dame record books … he is five goals away from moving into the top-four … Randy Colley (1992-95) is the program record-holder with 173 tallies.

RECORD-SETTING CAREER: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp notched his school-record 33rd career victory in the 19-7 win over Bellarmine on March 29 … Kemp is now 40-13 overall during his Irish career … in addition, Kemp is currently first in Irish history with a 7.13 goals-against average and with 3129:46 minutes played for a goaltender … he is also first in games started for a goaltender (55) … the two-time All-American currently ranks third in school history in saves (614).

KEMP AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Joey Kemp ranks in the top-three nationally in both goals-against average (2nd, 6.40) and save percentage (3rd, .636) this season … last season, he ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) en route to being named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Year and an honorable-mention All-American.

LOCKING DOWN: While the Notre Dame offense has reached double digits 10 times this season, the Irish defense has only surrendered a double-digit tally on one occasion (12, Ohio State, 4/27) … the Fighting Irish are surrendering just 6.79 goals per game this season, which ranks fifth nationally … the Irish have held opponents to six goals on seven occasions, five goals once (Air Force) and allowed a season-low two goals against Ohio State on May 4th … 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 and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.

DOMINATING THE X: As a team, Notre Dame boasts the nation’s top faceoff percentage (.650) … senior Taylor Clagett ranks second nationally in that category with a .645 (198-307) win percentage … Clagett has been a valuable asset for the Irish during his Notre Dame career as he has won over 60-percent (.610) of his faceoff opportunities … injuries have hampered Clagett over the past two seasons, yet he has kept Notre Dame among the nation’s best in faceoffs … last season, Clagett ranked 16th nationally as he won 164 of 189 faceoff attempts … in 2006, he won 126 of 205 attempts for a .615 percentage, which would have ranked him sixth in the country had he appeared in enough games.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: The Fighting Irish are averaging 12.28 goals a game, which ranks fifth nationally … in 2007, Notre Dame had the nation’s fourth-best offense by averaging 11.65 goals per game … Notre Dame’s scoring margin of +5.49 is the third-best mark among all NCAA Division I squads this season.

FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 53-21 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish have held opponents scoreless in the first quarter on five occasions (Loyola, Penn State, Albany, Dartmouth, Air Force).

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: Notre Dame’s 19-goal performance in a 19-7 win over Bellarmine on March 29 matched a season-high total that was also achieved in a 19-7 victory against Dartmouth on March 15 … this marked the first time since 1994 that the Irish have produced two games with 19-plus goals in one season … overall, Notre Dame has reached double figures in 10 of 15 games this season … the Irish reached double figures 11 times last season.

NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is fifth in the latest USILA coaches poll and sixth in the most recent Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll … both of those polls were released prior to the NCAA Tournament … the No. 5 ranking matches a season-best spot for the Irish in the USILA poll … Notre Dame was also fifth in the March 3rd and March 17th polls … Notre Dame’s highest Inside Lacrosse ranking is sixth in the March 17, April 28 and in the most recent poll.

QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish are 6-2 against ranked opponents this season … Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory over No. 17 Loyola … the Irish topped No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 … Notre Dame fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Drexel, 13-6, on March 25 … the Irish fell to No. 19 Denver, 9-8, on April 5 … Notre Dame bested No. 9 Ohio State, 17-12, on April 27 … the Irish then topped the 10th-ranked Buckeyes, 9-2, in the GWLL title game on May 4th and followed that with an 8-7 overtime win against No. 10 Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on May 11.

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 19 straight games at home … the Fighting Irish went 6-0 at home this season … the Irish have gone three straight seasons without losing a home contest … 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 in 2007 … four of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while 12 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium … one victory this season took place at School Field (Quinnipiac) and the last two have come at Alumni Field … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 120-35 (.774) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.

NO PLACE TO CALL HOME: This season, Notre Dame has played its six home games at four different locations … the Irish defeated Penn State and Albany inside the Loftus Sports Center … Notre Dame topped Drexel at Moose Krause Stadium … a victory over Quinnipiac occurred at School Field, which is located just south of the Notre Dame campus … the Irish defeated Ohio State and Colgate at Alumni Field, which is primarily used for the Notre Dame soccer programs.

NO MORE MOOSE: The win over Drexel on March 25 marked the final game at Moose Krause Stadium for the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program … the stadium is being torn down to make room for the state-of-the-art Arlotta Stadium that will be the new home for the Irish.

ARLOTTA GROUNDBREAKING: The official groundbreaking ceremony for Arlotta Stadium was held on Friday, April 18 … the stadium will be the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse teams … conceptual plans suggest a 2,000-seat, lighted stadium that would include an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, restrooms and concession areas … the state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc. … he and his wife, Bobbie, pledged the lead gift toward the stadium to be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University’s new athletics quadrangle … the Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – also have pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project … in addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the lacrosse programs have donated over two million dollars … completion is scheduled for June of 2009.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse teams made it to the NCAA Tournament during the same season for just the second time ever … the other occurrence was in 2006 … the Irish women fell to top-seeded Northwestern, 15-7, in the first round on May 11 … a total of seven schools are represented in both the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championship this season (Colgate, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia).

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 were third-team member Michael Podgajny (M) and honorable mention selections Ryan Hoff (A) and Ross Zimmerman (D).

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 (G) and Alex Wharton (A) are the Fighting Irish team 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.

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, … 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 … 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.