Dec. 12, 2007
BALTIMORE, Md. – Inside Lacrosse Magazine has released its Face-Off Yearbook and a total of seven Notre Dame men’s players have received preseason All-America recognition. Headlining the group for the Fighting Irish are second-team honorees Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha), Sean Dougherty (Malvern Pa./Malvern Prep), Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) and Will Yeatman (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo). In addition, Notre Dame was ranked 10th in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll.
Johns Hopkins, the defending national champion, garnered the top spot in the Inside Lacrosse preseason rankings. Duke and Virginia round out the top three, respectively. Notre Dame was picked to advance to the 2008 Final Four by two Inside Lacrosse staff writers, Geoff Shannon and Craig Johnson.
Joining the quartet of second-team picks for the Irish was third-team member Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley) and honorable mention selections Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) and Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice). Last season, Dougherty, Kemp, Podgajny and Yeatman all earned honorable mention All-America distinction from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA).
Clagett, a senior midfielder, is one of the top face-off specialists in the country. Last season, he posted a .567 (164-289) winning percentage and he carries a mark of .595 (421-708) for his career. In addition, Clagett has 176 career ground balls and four points on two goals and two assists.
Dougherty, a senior, was part of a stout Notre Dame defensive unit last season that held opponents to just 6.66 goals per game, which was a school record. In 2007, Dougherty picked up 33 ground balls and notched his first career goal in a win over Brown. He has played in all 41 games, including 30 starts, since arriving at Notre Dame. He has totaled 88 career ground balls.
Kemp is a two-time All-America honoree in goal. The senior boasts a 26-11 record with a 7.43 goals-against average and a .618 save percentage heading into his final collegiate campaign. Kemp was named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) Player of the Year as he ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614).
Yeatman produced a fine freshman season that saw him earn several accolades. In addition to receiving All-America honors, the attackman was tabbed as the LaxPower Rookie of the Year, the GWLL Newcomer of the Year and was a first-team all-conference pick. Yeatman led the Irish in scoring with 46 points and assists with 25. He was fourth in goals with 21.
Podgajny, a senior midfielder, is coming off his top collegiate campaign. He tallied 39 points on 26 goals and 13 assists during the 2007 season. Podgajny’s goal total included a team-high nine man-up scores. For his career, he has 70 points on 43 goals and 27 assists.
Hoff, an attackman, notched a team-best 40 goals as a sophomore last season en route to being a first-team all-GWLL selection. His 61 career goals are the most of any returning Fighting Irish player. Hoff has not missed a game in his first two seasons at Notre Dame. He has started 27 of a possible 30 games.
Zimmerman, a senior, was a staple in the Notre Dame defense that posted a program-best goals-against average last season. In 2007, he started all 15 games and picked up 34 ground balls, while also collecting his first career point on an assist against Quinnipiac. He was named to the all-GWLL second team last season. Zimmerman has 67 ground balls for his career, which has spanned 41 games.
The Fighting Irish are coming off an 11-4 campaign, which included a perfect 5-0 mark in league play. They captured the 18th conference title in the history of the program. Notre Dame appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time and fell to eventual champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in an overtime thriller.
— ND —