Senior midfielder Michael Podgajny notched a hat trick on Senior Day for the Irish.

Notre Dame To Open Home Slate Against Penn State On Sunday

Feb. 22, 2008

Penn State at #5 Notre Dame
Sunday, Feb. 24 • 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Loftus Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

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The No. 5 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will open the home portion of its 2008 schedule against Penn State on Sunday, Feb. 24. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Loftus Sports Center. Both squads are 1-0 entering the contest. The Irish opened the season with a 7-6 victory at No. 17 Loyola on Saturday (Feb. 16), while Penn State defeated Robert Morris, 18-2, that same day.

HOW TO FOLLOW: Sunday’s contest can be followed via live stats and a live broadcast on the Internet … simply go to and find the `Men’s Lacrosse’ page and click on `Schedule’ … once there, find the Penn State game and there will be links to both `Gametracker’ for live stats and a `Watch’ link that will show the game for free … you 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-PENN STATE SERIES NOTES: Sunday will be the 15th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Penn State, with the Fighting Irish holding a 10-4 advantage in the series … the Irish have won the past five contests in the series, including last season’s 11-8 victory at Penn State … that is the longest winning streak for either team in the history of the series … Notre Dame is 5-1 all-time against Penn State at home … the Nittany Lions lone victory at Notre Dame occurred in 2002, a 10-9 overtime decision … in the last meeting at Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish captured an 8-4 win in 2006.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame opened the 2008 campaign with a 7-6 victory at No. 17 Loyola on Saturday (Feb. 16) … the Irish used seven different goalscorers to notch the win … that marked Notre Dame’s sixth-straight season-opening victory, a school record … Notre Dame returns 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 … in 2007, Notre Dame made its second straight 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 … the Fighting Irish return four players that earned honorable-mention All-America accolades last season in Sean Dougherty (Sr., D), Joey Kemp (Sr., G), Michael Podgajny (Sr., M) and Will Yeatman (So., A) … Kemp, a two-time All-American, ranked fourth nationally in goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) one season ago … Dougherty was a key cog in the Irish defense that ranked fourth nationally by surrendering just 6.66 goals per game … Podgajny notched 26 goals, in addition to 13 assists, last season … he was the only Fighting Irish player to score a goal in every game in 2007 … Yeatman led the Irish with 46 points on 21 goals and a team-best 25 assists … the Irish are currently fifth in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll and eighth according to the USILA along with being tied for 10th in the Inside Lacrosse rankings … Kevin Corrigan is in his 20th season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 168-92 (.646) 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 PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions defeated Robert Morris, 18-2, in the season opener on Saturday (Feb. 16) … Max Van Arsdale led Penn State with three early goals, while Rob Forster had a game-high five points (2g, 3a) … Matt Loy also added three goals … goalie Drew Adams made six saves and allowed two goals in 50 minutes of play … Penn State went 5-8 overall and 3-4 in the ECAC during the 2007 season … the Nittany Lions return five starters and 26 letterwinners from last year’s squad … head coach Glenn Thiel is in his 31st season at the helm of the Penn State program.

THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame captured an 11-8 win over Penn State last season in University Park, Pa. … the Irish were ranked 11th at the time of the meeting, while the Nittany Lions were unranked … current senior Michael Podgajny led the Fighting Irish with six points on four goals and two assists … Pat Heim scored three goals for Penn State … Joey Kemp picked up the win by making 11 saves.

RECAPPING LOYOLA: A goal from Alex Wharton with 3:33 left in regulation was the difference as No. 5 Notre Dame downed No. 17 Loyola, 7-6, on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field in Baltimore, Md. … the game was the season-opener for both teams … the Irish used a well-balanced offensive attack that featured seven different goalscorers and their trademark stingy defense to notch the victory … it was all Notre Dame in the first quarter as the Irish took an early 3-0 lead … Ryan Hoff struck first on an assist from his classmate Duncan Swezey with 10:50 left on the clock … the Irish made it 2-0 with a man-up goal from Colin Igoe … Swezey put Notre Dame on top by three as he scored with 48 seconds remaining in the opening quarter … the Notre Dame defense extended its shutout streak versus Loyola to 38 minutes, which dated back to last season’s contest, by holding the Greyhounds scoreless in the first period … Loyola cracked the scoring column with 11:49 left in the second quarter as Collin Finnerty collected a goal … Notre Dame responded 38 seconds later as Dan Gibson scored with the assist going to Wharton … the Greyhounds made it a 4-2 contest on a Jake Willcox goal … once again, the Irish responded with a man-up tally as Matt Ciambella registered his first career goal off a pass from Igoe … Notre Dame carried a 5-2 lead into intermission … Loyola used a 3-0 run in the third quarter to even the contest at 5-5 heading into the final period … the Irish put a halt to the Greyhound surge as Zach Brenneman scored on an assist from Neal Hicks to give Notre Dame a 6-5 lead with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter … Loyola countered two minutes later as Shane Koppens scored to knot the game, 6-6 … with just under four minutes left in regulation, the Notre Dame defense came up with a key stop as Ross Zimmerman forced a turnover, which resulted in the game-winning goal from Wharton on an assist from Gibson … from there, the Fighting Irish defense stopped a final Loyola attack to preserve the victory … Joey Kemp picked up the win as he made 13 saves, while his counterpart Jake Hagelin had 11 stops … for the game, Loyola held a slim, 34-32, edge in shots, while Notre Dame went 9-for-17 in faceoffs … the Irish converted on 20 of 27 clearing opportunities and the Greyhounds were 20 of 24.

IRISH IN SEASON-OPENERS: With the 7-6 victory over Loyola on Saturday, Notre Dame is now 21-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 15-5 mark in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish have won their last six season-openers, a program record … the Irish last dropped a season-opener in 2002, a 10-9 overtime setback at home against No. 16 Penn State … including this year, the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent for 15 consecutive seasons.

KEMP NAMED GWLL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Joey Kemp was named the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) player of the week for the week of February 11-17 … the senior goaltender made 13 saves in helping the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish top No. 17 Loyola in the season opener on February 16 in Baltimore, Md. … Kemp, the 2007 GWLL player of the year, was named the GWLL player of the week on two occasions last season.

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 season that Kemp has been named to the award’s watch list.

OPENING ACT: Junior attackman Ryan Hoff has scored a goal in each of his three season openers while at Notre Dame … Hoff put the Irish on the board with 10:50 left in the first quarter of this year’s lid-lifter, a 7-6 win over Loyola … he tallied two goals apiece in each of his first two season-openers at Notre Dame … Hoff tallied two scores in an 8-4 win over Penn State in 2006 and he scored twice in a 9-7 triumph of Loyola in the 2007 season-opener.

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 was 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 Inside Lacrosse … the GWLL head coaches selected the preseason order of finish within the league … Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting.

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.

NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is ranked fifth according to the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll, while the Irish are currently eighth in the USILA preseason coaches poll and tied for 10th in the Feb. 18 Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings.

QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish will face four teams that appear in the 2008 USILA preseason coaches poll … Notre Dame opened the campaign against No. 19 Loyola … the Irish will host No. 11 Albany on March 1 … Notre Dame takes on No. 10 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on March 8 … a Great Western Lacrosse League showdown against No. 20 Denver will take place on April 5 in Chicago.

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 39 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 26 career games, including 10 starts … his career totals feature 10 goals, 12 assists for 22 points.

IRISH DEFENSE: 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: Notre Dame senior goaltender Joey Kemp, a two-time All-America honoree, ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) last season … Kemp was also named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year … for his career, Kemp has a 27-11 record … the 27 victories rank him third in program history, while he is currently first in school history with a 7.43 goals-against average.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: In 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked the Irish fourth in the nation.

MANNING UP: 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 … the Irish converted on two of five man-up chances against Loyola in the season opener

FACING OFF: Senior midfielder and faceoff specialist Taylor Clagett has been a valuable asset for the Irish during his Notre Dame career as he has won nearly 60-percent 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.

FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All five of Notre Dame’s true home games will feature livestats available through, 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 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 ND 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.