Junior attackman Neal Hicks scored a career-high three goals in a return to his home state.

Notre Dame To Face Dartmouth In Atlanta On Saturday

March 12, 2008

Dartmouth vs. #7 Notre Dame
Saturday, March 15 • 2:00 p.m. (ET)
The Lovett School • Atlanta, Ga.

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The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team continues its four-game stretch away from home with a matchup against Dartmouth on Saturday, March 15 in Atlanta, Ga. Game time is slated for 2:00 p.m. (ET) at The Lovett School. The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish are off to a 4-1 start this season, while the Big Green are 2-1.

ND-DARTMOUTH SERIES NOTES: This will be the seventh meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Dartmouth … the Fighting Irish hold a 4-2 edge in the series … the last three encounters have been decided by one goal … Dartmouth notched a 7-6 home victory over Notre Dame last season … the first meeting between the two schools occurred in 1996 at Dartmouth … the Irish prevailed in that meeting, 14-13, and captured a 15-5 win the next season at Notre Dame … the series resumed in 2004, with the Irish claiming a 10-3 victory at home … in 2005, Dartmouth registered a 10-9 home win, while the Irish responded with an 8-7 triumph at Moose Krause Stadium in 2006.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame carries a 4-1 record into Saturday’s contest … the Fighting Irish started a season 4-0 for just the third time in program history before they fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … junior attackman Ryan Hoff leads Notre Dame with 13 goals and total points with 14 … fellow junior Duncan Swezey has a career-high 10 goals … senior Alex Wharton has 13 points on five goals and a team-best eight assists … Notre Dame has defeated two ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6 & #13 Albany, 7-6) … the Irish have used 15 different goalscorers … Notre Dame is averaging 10.20 goals per game, while holding opponents to just 6.63 a game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp has played 289:33 of a possible 300 minutes between the pipes … Kemp, a two-time All-America honoree, has made 56 saves and carries a .636 save percentage … the Irish are currently ranked seventh in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings and eighth in the USILA coaches poll … 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 171-93 (.648) 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 DARTMOUTH: The Big Green are 2-1 and coming off a 7-4 win against Vermont on March 7 … Dartmouth opened the season with a 10-6 victory against Hartford before suffering a 14-9 setback at Fairfield … Ari Sussman has team-high totals in goals (8) and points (10) … Brian Koch is second in goals with six, while Jimmy Mullen has five … Jonathan Livadas leads the team with three assists … Pat Marshall and Michael Novosel have split time in goal for the Big Green … Novosel carries a 1-1 record with an 8.30 goals-against average, while Marshall is 1-0 with a 7.72 goals-against average … Dartmouth returned six starters and 26 letterwinners from last season’s squad that posted a 5-10 record … head coach Bill Wilson is in his fifth season at the helm of the Big Green program … he has a 31-37 record at the school.

THE LAST TIME: Dartmouth captured a 7-6 victory over Notre Dame last season in Hanover, N.H. … Brian Hubschmann, a departed senior, notched four points on three goals and one assist for the Irish … Ari Sussman had three goals for the Big Green, while Nick Bonacci had two goals and two assists … Joey Kemp made five saves for Notre Dame and Michael Novosel had eight stops for Dartmouth.

ON THE ROAD: Notre Dame is currently in the middle of a four-game trip away from home … the Irish began the trek with a 16-6 victory at Villanova on March 4 … Notre Dame then fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … following the tilt against Dartmouth in Atlanta, Ga. on March 15, the journey will conclude with the Great Western Lacrosse League opener at Air Force on March 22.

RETURNING HOME:Notre Dame sophomore attackman Neal Hicks will be returning to his alma mater this weekend … Hicks was a standout at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Ga.

RECAPPING NORTH CAROLINA: A five-goal effort from Ben Hunt helped propel No. 4 North Carolina over No. 5 Notre Dame, 8-6, in a showdown between two undefeated teams on Saturday, March 8 at Fetzer Field … Michael Podgajny paced the Fighting Irish with two goals … North Carolina jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the 14:14 mark of the third quarter, yet Notre Dame would mount a rally that fell just short … Hunt opened the game’s scoring with a man-up goal at the 5:45 mark of the first quarter … he struck again just over a minute later to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period … his third goal made it 3-0 with 8:06 left in the opening half … Rob Driscoll added a goal with 41 seconds remaining in the half to put the hosts up by four at the intermission … with 36 seconds elapsed in the second half, Hunt deposited another goal to make it 5-0 … Notre Dame would then score four of the game’s next five goals … Podgajny put the Fighting Irish on the board with a man-up score off a pass from Grant Krebs with 12:51 left in the third quarter … Notre Dame made it 5-2 just over a minute later as Podgajny used a feed from Peter Christman to net his second straight goal … the Tar Heels answered back with a score from Sean Delaney with 9:45 remaining in the third period … Notre Dame responded once again with back-to-back man-up tallies … Ryan Hoff scored off an assist from Christman before Podgajny found Alex Wharton, who made it a 6-4 contest with 4:24 left on the clock in the third quarter … goals from Delaney and Hunt would give North Carolina an 8-4 lead at the end of the third stanza … the only scoring in the final period would come from Notre Dame, yet the Irish could only muster two goals … sophomore Mike Creighton registered his first career goal off a Davey Malera pass with three minutes gone by in the quarter … Duncan Swezey then produced the final score as he found the back of the net with 2:08 left in regulation … the Fighting Irish held a 41-29 advantage in shots … Notre Dame goaltender Joey Kemp made 11 saves, while Grant Zimmerman made 18 stops for the Tar Heels … Taylor Clagett dominated the faceoff X for the Irish by winning 13-of-16 attempts … Notre Dame’s man-up unit was 3-of-6, while North Carolina went 2-for-6 in that category.

STREAKING: Junior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-best five-game goal streak … senior midfielder Michael Podgany has scored at least one goal in the past 19 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 … Ryan Hoff has notched a goal in 13 of the last 14 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 his team-best 11-game goal streak.

STREAK SNAPPED: Notre Dame’s 8-6 loss at North Carolina on March 8 snapped a 12-game regular-season win streak for the Irish … that mark is a program record … prior to that, the last loss in the regular season for the Irish came on March 17, 2007, a 7-6 setback at Dartmouth … Notre Dame ended the 2007 campaign with eight straight wins before falling at Johns Hopkins, 11-10 in overtime, during the first round of the NCAA Tournament … the previous record streak was 11 games, which spanned parts of the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

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.

FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 18-3 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish held opponents scoreless in the first quarter in the first three games of the season (Loyola, Penn State, Albany).

HOFF STAYING HOT: 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 … Hoff also notched a five-goal game this season in a 16-6 triumph of Villanova (March 4) … he leads the Irish with 13 goals after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 15 different players notch at least one goal this 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 on Feb. 24 … Notre Dame had 10 players score a goal in a 16-6 victory over Villanova on March 4.

IRISH DEFENSE: The Irish are surrendering just 6.63 goals per game this season … the Irish have held opponents to six goals three times … 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 30 career victories … he is two wins shy of tying the program record of 32 established by Kirk Howell (1998-2001) and Alex Cade (1995-98) … Kemp, a two-time All-America honoree, carries an overall record of 30-12 … 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 7.34 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 10.20 goals a game.

MAN UP: Notre Dame has converted on 12-of-27 (.444) 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 seventh in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings and eighth in the USILA coaches poll … the Fighting Irish peaked in the polls this season at No. 5 in the USILA poll on March 3 and No. 7 in the Inside Lacrosse rankings that same date.

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. 17 Loyola … the Irish topped then No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 … Notre Dame fell at current No. 3 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … Notre Dame will host No. 14 Drexel on March 25 … a Great Western Lacrosse League showdown against No. 20 Ohio State will take place on April 27 at home.

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).

IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame was selected to win its second straight Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title according to the league’s head coaches … Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting, which appeared in Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook.

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 44 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 31 career games, including 15 starts … his career totals feature 15 goals, 20 assists for 35 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 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.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.