May 14, 2008
#5 Notre Dame (14-2) vs. #3 Syracuse (13-2)
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
Sunday, May 18 â€¢ 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Schoellkopf Field â€¢ Ithaca, N.Y.
Television: ESPNU (Live)
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 und.com … 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, 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.email@example.com … 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.