April 1, 2010
#15 NOTRE DAME (5-3, 0-1) at #13 VILLANOVA (5-3, 0-1)
Saturday, April 3 – 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Villanova Stadium – Villanova, Pa.
Gametracker on und.com
SETTING THE STAGE … Notre Dame will begin a two-game BIG EAST road trip at No. 13 Villanova on Saturday, April 3. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) in Villanova Stadium. This will mark the 14th meeting between the Fighting Irish and Wildcats. Notre Dame has a 9-4 advantage in the series. The Irish and Wildcats have identical 5-3 marks this season and both squads are 0-1 in BIG EAST play.
ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame fell to Rutgers, 10-8, on Saturday in the first-ever BIG EAST Conference game for both programs … the Fighting Irish were paced by two-goal efforts from midfielders Zach Brenneman, Grant Krebs and David Earl … Brenneman leads the Irish with 15 goals on the season … his 20 points tie him for the team lead along with senior attackman Neal Hicks, who has 13 goals and a team-high seven assists … the Fighting Irish are averaging 9.62 goals per game, while surrendering 8.00 per contest … Notre Dame has had 10 different players score a goal this season … senior goalie Scott Rodgers, a third-team All-American last season, has all eight decisions this season … Rodgers boasts a 7.84 goals-against average and a .582 save percentage … he has a 20-4 career record … Rodgers left the Rutgers game in the first half with an injury and freshman John Kemp played the entire second half and made eight saves, while allowing five goals … Notre Dame is competing in its 30th season of varsity lacrosse … the Fighting Irish have an all-time record of 265-141 (.653) … Notre Dame has made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including four straight trips … Notre Dame returned six starters and 16 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 15-1 record … Kevin Corrigan is in his 22nd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish … he has a record of 201-99 (.670) during his Notre Dame tenure.
ND-VILLANOVA SERIES NOTES … Saturday will mark the 14th meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and the Wildcats … Notre Dame has won nine straight games against Villanova and the Irish lead the series 9-4 … the Irish downed the Wildcats, 9-7, last season at Notre Dame … Notre Dame is 5-1 all-time at Villanova … the Fighting Irish claimed a 16-6 victory at Villanova during the 2008 campaign … the first meeting between Notre Dame and Villanova occurred during the 1987 campaign and the Wildcats posted a 7-6 victory … Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is 9-3 against Villanova during his Notre Dame tenure.
ABOUT VILLANOVA … The Wildcats are 5-3 overall and 0-1 in BIG EAST play following a 20-6 setback at Syracuse on Monday … Villanova’s wins have come against Binghamton (15-12), Fairfield (8-6), Penn State (11-7), Delaware (11-8) and Drexel (10-8) … the other losses were to Ohio State (10-8) and Penn (8-7) … Villanova is 3-0 at home this season … the Wildcats are averaging 9.50 goals per game, while surrendering 9.88 per contest … Jack Rice has a team-high 15 goals … Kevin Cunningham leads the Wildcats in assists (18) and points (23) … Dan Gutierrez has started five games in goal and boasts a 3-2 record with a 9.14 goals-against average and a .461 save percentage … Billy Hurley has started three games between the pipes and owns a 2-1 mark with an 11.28 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage … Villanova posted an 11-6 record last season and fell at Virginia (18-6) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament … the Wildcats returned six starters and 25 letterwinners from that squad … head coach Mike Corrado is in his fourth season at the helm of the Villanova program.
THE LAST TIME … Notre Dame captured a 9-7 home victory last season against Villanova … the Irish were ranked third at the time of the contest, while the Wildcats were unranked … Peter Christman led the Irish with three goals, while Neal Hicks chipped in two goals and an assist … the game was tied 4-4 at halftime and the Irish led 7-6 after three quarters of play en route to the victory … Scott Rodgers played all 60 minutes in goal for Notre Dame and made nine saves.
A COACHING MILESTONE … Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan earned his 200th victory at Notre Dame with the win over Denver on March 16 … Corrigan, who is in his 22nd season at Notre Dame, has a 201-99 (.670) record at the helm of the Fighting Irish program.
LOCKING DOWN … The Notre Dame defense ranks 10th nationally by surrendering just 8.00 goals per game … the Irish man-down defense is the third-best in the nation (.833) … since the beginning of the 2007 season, the Fighting Irish defense has only allowed 10 or more goals six times in the 56 games played during that span.
A RARE OCCURANCE … Notre Dame’s 10-8 setback to Rutgers on Saturday marked the first time the Irish dropped a regular-season game at home since a 9-6 loss to Denver during the 2005 season … that was a span of 28 games.
SCORELESS QUARTERS … When the Notre Dame defense held Rutgers scoreless in the first quarter on March 27, it marked the fifth time this season that the Irish held an opponent without a goal for an entire quarter … in the season opener, Notre Dame did not allow a fourth-quarter goal against Duke … the Fighting Irish held Loyola scoreless during the second quarter of the game on March 6 … the Irish shut out Drexel in the third period on March 9 … Notre Dame held Ohio State scoreless in the fourth quarter in the meeting on March 20.
FINISHING STRONG … Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 22-11 in the fourth quarter of play this season.
WORKING OVERTIME … The 7-6 win over Ohio State on March 20 marked Notre Dame’s second overtime game of the season … the Irish dropped a 7-6 overtime decision at Drexel on March 9 … the last season prior to this year that Notre Dame played two overtime contests in the same season was in 2005 … the win over Ohio State was Notre Dame’s first overtime victory since an 8-7 win over Colgate in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
COMING BACK … Notre Dame trailed Ohio State 6-4 entering the fourth quarter on March 20 … Fighting Irish goals from Zach Brenneman (8:49) and David Earl (3:20) along with a shut out from the Irish defense in the fourth quarter forced the game into overtime where Earl scored the game winner with 1:41 left in the first extra session.
HAT TRICKS … Six Notre Dame players have registered hat tricks this season … junior midfielder Zach Brenneman has a team-best four hat tricks this season … Neal Hicks (Sr./A), Grant Krebs (Sr./M) and David Earl (Jr./M) all have two … Max Pfeifer (So./M) and Sean Rogers (So./A) both have one hat trick this season … Pfeifer’s hat trick was a four-goal effort against Drexel.
SPREADING THE WEALTH … The Fighting Irish have had 10 players score a goal this season … Notre Dame boasts four players with double-digit goal totals … Zach Brenneman (Jr./M) has a team-high 15 goals, while Neal Hicks (Sr./A) and David Earl (Jr./M) both have 13 … Grant Krebs (Sr./M) has netted 11.
STREAKING … Junior midfielder David Earl has scored a goal in a team-best six straight contests.
FACING OFF … Senior midfielder Trever Sipperly went 13-17 (.765) in faceoffs against Drexel (March 9) to match a personal-best winning percentage for a single game … Sipperly followed that up with 14 wins out of 20 attempts (.700) against Fairfield … he ranks 15th nationally with a .580 winning percentage (94-68) this season … last season, Sipperly ranked 13th nationally with a .559 percentage (85-67).
A GOOD CAUSE … The Notre Dame-Fairfield contest on March 13 was part of the inaugural `Beating Cancer With a Stick Lacrosse Classic’ … the event, which was presented by Lacrosse 4 All, will help raise money for The Children’s Cancer Hospital at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center … it was the first NCAA Division I lacrosse game in Houston since 1970, when Johns Hopkins played Navy … four high school programs, Kinkaid, Houston Episcopal, Gulliver Prep (Fla.) and Palo Verde (Nev.), also participated in the event.
A RETURN TO TEXAS … The Fairfield game on March 13 signified the second straight season that Notre Dame has played a game in the state of Texas … last year, the Fighting Irish topped Vermont, 13-7, in Dallas … that contest was part of the Patriot Cup.
BEATING THE BEST … Notre Dame has defeated two top-10 teams this season … the Irish knocked off No. 2 Duke, 11-7, in the season opener … Notre Dame took down No. 10 Loyola, 11-9, on March 6 … the last time the Fighting Irish beat two top-10 teams in the same season was during the 2008 campaign … that season, Notre Dame topped No. 9 Ohio State, 17-12, during the regular season and then downed the 10th-ranked Buckeyes, 9-2, during the GWLL tournament … Notre Dame also beat No. 10 Colgate, 8-7 in overtime, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Championship.
BIG STAGE … Notre Dame has played in some big venues over the past few seasons … on March 6, the Irish defeated Loyola, 11-9, in front of 19,742 fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. during the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic … last season, Notre Dame topped Ohio State, 14-8, in front of an NCAA regular-season record crowd of 30,192 fans at Ohio Stadium … the game was played prior to Ohio State’s spring football game … the Fighting Irish bested Denver, 10-8, at Invesco Field at Mile High one season ago … in 2008, Notre Dame faced Denver at Toyota Park, which is home to the Chicago Machine (MLL) and Chicago Fire (MLS).
A FANTASTIC 400 … The Penn State contest on Feb. 28 marked the 400th game in the history of men’s varsity lacrosse at Notre Dame … the Fighting Irish carry an all-time record of 265-141 (.653).
GRAND OPENING … Notre Dame’s 11-7 season-opening win over No. 2 Duke on Feb. 20 marked the program’s first victory over a team ranked in the top-two of the national polls … Notre Dame is 23-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 17-5 record in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish have won a program-record eight straight season-openers … the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent for 17 consecutive seasons.
DELIGHTFUL DEBUT … Notre Dame freshman midfielder Steve Murphy netted two goals in his collegiate debut against Duke on Feb. 20 … the last time a Fighting Irish freshman scored at least two goals in their Notre Dame debut was when Ryan Hoff and Peter Christman deposited two goals each in an 8-4 win over Penn State in 2006.
THREE NAMED TO TEWAARATON WATCH LIST … Notre Dame seniors Sam Barnes (D), Grant Krebs (M) and Scott Rodgers (GK) have been named to the 64-man watch list for the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy … The Tewaaraton Award was formally established in August of 2000 and is the pre-eminent lacrosse award, which is given annually to the NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse player of the year … the award will be presented on June 3rd, 2010 at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
DEFENDING THE CAGE … Notre Dame currently ranks 10th nationally with an 8.00 goals-against average … Notre Dame boasted the nation’s top defense in 2009 by producing a school-record 6.19 goals-against average, which shattered the program standard of 6.66 from the 2007 season … in his first season as a starter, Scott Rodgers led all NCAA Division I goalies with a 6.14 goals-against average and a .663 save percentage en route to earning third-team All-America honors in 2009 … his 15 victories also established a Fighting Irish record … the Irish had the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game … in 2007, Notre Dame ranked fourth nationally with the 6.66 mark.
ARLOTTA STADIUM … Arlotta Stadium is the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse programs … construction of the facility began in August of 2008 and it held its first event on October 16, 2009 as the Notre Dame men’s team played the Iroquois National Team in an exhibition contest … the official stadium dedication was held on October 17, 2009 … Notre Dame defeated Denver, 14-7, on March 16 in its first regular-season game in the facility … the stadium features over 2,000 seats, lights, an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, player lounges, 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, which was built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University’s new athletics quadrangle … the Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – 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 donated over two million dollars.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS … Five Notre Dame players have garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse … Scott Rodgers (Sr., G) was named to the first team, while Grant Krebs (Sr., M) and Sam Barnes (Sr., D) were second-team selections … Trever Sipperly (Sr., M/FO) and Andrew Irving (Jr., LSM) were honorable mention picks.
BIG EAST DEBUT … The 2010 campaign marks the first season of BIG EAST men’s lacrosse … the seven conference schools that will participate in the newly-formed league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova … the teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular-season schedule … men’s lacrosse is the BIG EAST’s 11th men’s sport while the Conference conducts 13 women’s sports … Notre Dame already is a member of the BIG EAST in 23 other sports … Notre Dame was a member of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1994-2009 … the Fighting Irish captured 12 GWLL regular-season titles in addition to winning the only two GWLL Tournaments (2008 & 2009).
IRISH TABBED TO FINISH SECOND IN BIG EAST … Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the inaugural season of the BIG EAST men’s lacrosse league … the conference’s head coaches casted the votes and were not permitted to vote for their own teams … Syracuse was tabbed to win the league with six first-place votes, while Notre Dame received one first-place nod … rounding out the order of finish was Georgetown, Villanova, Rutgers, St. John’s and Providence.
IRISH EARN PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE HONORS … Four Notre Dame student-athletes were named to the 2010 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team … senior Scott Rodgers was the lone goalie selected to the 15-man squad … fellow seniors Sam Barnes (D), Neal Hicks (A) and Grant Krebs (M) also were chosen for the all-conference team.
RODGERS NAMED A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST … Notre Dame goalie Scott Rodgers has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s lacrosse division … to be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition … an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities … Rodgers, a third-team All-American last season, carries a 3.077 cumulative grade-point average as a sociology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters … nationwide balloting is underway to determine the winner … fan balloting is available at www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging … fans can text LAX to 74567 to vote for the finalists … Lowe’s will announce the winner of the award in late May.
QUALITY COMPETITION … The Fighting Irish have seven teams on their 2010 slate that appear in the latest USILA coaches poll … Notre Dame currently is ranked 18th in the poll … Notre Dame opened the campaign with an 11-7 victory over current No. 7 Duke … the Blue Devils were ranked second at the time of the contest … Notre Dame took down current No. 12 Loyola, 11-9, on March 6 … the Irish fell at current No. 11 Drexel, 7-6 in overtime, on March 9 … the Irish also suffered a 10-8 setback to current No. 19 Fairfield on March 13 in Houston, Texas … the Fighting Irish face No. 17 Villanova on Saturday … Notre Dame will square off against No. 2 Syracuse on May 1 and No. 13 Georgetown on April 11.
IRISH NAME CAPTAINS … Seniors Mike Creighton (D), Neal Hicks (A) and Kelly McKenna (M) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish, while Scott Rodgers (G), a fifth-year senior, is serving as a team captain for the second straight season.
GETTING OFFENSIVE … The Notre Dame offense has been one of the best in the nation over the past few seasons … last season, the Irish tied for 10th nationally by averaging 11.00 goals per-game … in 2008, the Irish averaged 12.04 goals per game and that placed them fifth among all NCAA Division I teams … Notre Dame ranked fourth in 2007 with an 11.65 goals per-game average … the Irish are averaging 9.62 goals per game this season.
A QUICK LOOK BACK … In 2009, Notre Dame posted the first undefeated regular season in program history … the Fighting Irish went 13-0 overall in the regular season, including a 5-0 mark in Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) play … Notre Dame notched two more wins to take its second straight GWLL Tournament title … the Irish concluded the season with a 15-1 record after falling to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament … Notre Dame garnered the No. 7 seed for the NCAAs … the win total and winning percentage (.938) established program records … the Fighting Irish defense led the nation in 2009 with a 6.19 goals-against average, while the offense was tied for 10th by scoring 11.0 goals per game … five Notre Dame players garnered All-America honors in 2009 … Scott Rodgers (G), Ryan Hoff (A) and Regis McDermott (D) were third-team selections, while Sam Barnes (D) and Grant Krebs (M) were honorable-mention picks … Rodgers, Barnes and Krebs are back for the Irish in 2010 … Rodgers was named the 2009 GWLL Player of the Year, while Kevin Corrigan was named the league’s coach of the year for the fifth time … Rodgers led the nation in goals-against average (6.14) and save percentage (.663) … attackman Neal Hicks led the Irish with 43 points on 25 goals and 18 assists … Hoff scored a team-best 32 goals.
WINNING WAYS … In 2009, Notre Dame’s 15-1 mark established program records for wins and winning percentage in a single season … the Fighting Irish compiled the first undefeated regular season in program history and it marked the fourth straight season that the Irish have reached double figures in wins … Notre Dame’s 15-game win streak was a program best.
SUSTAINED SUCCESS … Notre Dame has earned four straight appearances to the NCAA Championship … over the past two seasons, the Irish have garnered one of the tournament’s eight national seeds and have hosted a first-round contest … last season, the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the tournament’s first round … Notre Dame has made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1990.
KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE … Log onto und.com for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program … und.com, the official athletics web site for the University of Notre Dame, features press releases, game stories, feature stories, video interviews, stats, rosters and more … fans also can sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame … Irish men’s lacrosse fans can sign up to receive scores following each quarter … 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 or (574) 631-2664 … 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.