March 24, 2005
Junior All-America attackman Pat Walsh (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh H.S.) is tied for the national lead in assists per game (3.00), while the University of Notre Dame ranks first in Division I in scoring offense (13.75 goals per game), according to the first set of NCAA men’s lacrosse statistics, released this week. In all, the Irish are mentioned 15 times in the national leaders, including six top-five placings.
Notre Dame has scored 55 goals in four contests this season, which places them just ahead of Virginia and Dartmouth, who are averaging 13.67 goals per game. A year ago, the Irish finished second in Division I in scoring (12.50 per game). The biggest offensive explosion for the ’05 squad came last weekend, when they scored six times in the first seven minutes and jumped out to a 12-0 lead in a 22-6 home victory against Butler. That stands as the most goals by any Division I team in a game this season (and the most by Notre Dame in 12 years). The next-best performance was a 20-goal effort by Denver against Lafayette on March 5. The Pioneers are second in the GWLL and 10th nationally in goals per game, at 11.20. Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer is senior co-captain A Jim Morrison (Fulton, Md./Mount St. Joseph H.S.), who has had four consecutive hat tricks (a first in program history to begin a season) for a total of 12 goals. Walsh and junior A Matt Karweck (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) are next with eight apiece. Karweck had eight points (5 G, 3 A) against Butler, which is tied for the most points in a game by any Division I player this season. UMBC’s Brendan Mundorf also had eight points against Canisius on March 12.
Walsh, a third-team All-American in 2004 after being honorable mention as a rookie, is in a four-way tie for first on the assists list, along with Jon Birsner of Navy (15 assists in 5 games), Ben Grinnell of Dartmouth (9 in 3), and Brown’s Kyle Wailes (9 in 3). The Irish junior, who finished sixth in Division I in the category in both 2003 (2.29 per game) and ’04 (2.17), has set up 12 goals in four contests this season. He holds a sizeable margin in the Great Western Lacrosse League leaders, with Air Force’s Will Meister second at 2.00. Walsh has had multiple assists in every game this spring, something he has now done 23 times in 30 career games. His career assist average of 2.33 (70 total assists) is on pace to break the Irish record of 1.96 by 2001 graduate David Ulrich.
Walsh also ranks third in Division I in points per game, at 5.00. Mundorf leads the way at 5.40, while Bucknell’s Chris Cara is second with an average of 5.25 per game. The Irish junior, one of 15 nominees for the 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy, has registered 20 points this season. He has had at least three points in every game in 2005 and is currently riding a 16-game scoring streak. Walsh holds a wide lead in the GWLL leaders in this category, as well, with Morrison next at 3.50 per game. The highest average for a non-Notre Dame player is 3.20 by Meister.
Notre Dame also came in second in man-up offense, having converted 54.2% (13-24) of EMOs this season. The Irish, who finished first in the conference and 14th nationally in the category in 2004 (.358), trail only North Carolina, which has been successful in 12 of 21 man-up situations (.571). When the teams met on March 12 in The First 4 invitational in Carson, Calif., the Irish converted on both of their EMOs, while the Tar Heels were 2-4. Notre Dame is averaging 3.25 man-up goals per game, more than twice that of any other GWLL squad (Air Force and Denver are tied for second at 1.40). The Pioneers are second in EMO efficiency among league teams, at .500 (7-14). Leading the Irish man-up unit are Karweck and senior M Brian Giordano (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), who have both scored four goals, while Walsh has three man-up tallies. Those three are tops in the GWLL man-up goals per game leaders (1.00, 1.00, 0.75, respectively), with Air Force’s Conrad Lochocki and Ohio Satate’s Gary Bining next at 0.60.
The Irish also rank second in the nation in average scoring margin, as they are outscoring opponents by an average of 6.25 goals per game this season. Virginia is first with a +8.00 mark.
Morrison is tied for sixth in goals per game with an average of 3.00. He came into 2005 having scored just one career goal in five games. He leads the GWLL in goal average, with Denver’s Matt Brown next at 2.40. Duke’s Zack Greer is first in Division I at 3.43 per game.
Notre Dame has two among the leaders in save percentage. Fifth-year senior G Stewart Crosland (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) is tops in the GWLL and second in Division I with a .674 mark. He has made 31 saves and allowed 15 goals this season to rank behind only Angus Dineley of Canisius (.679). Freshman G Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep School) is in a 19th-place tie in save percentage at .600. He has made 18 stops while allowing 12 goals. Kemp also ranks 14th in the nation in goals-against average at 7.31.
Another freshman, M Taylor Clagett (Chesapeake Beach, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.), also is among the national leaders in two categories. He ranks seventh in faceoff winning percentage (.658), as well as 12th in ground balls per game (5.75). Clagett has won 48 of 73 faceoffs and also leads the Irish with 23 ground balls. Junior D D.J. Driscoll (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep School) came in at 16th in ground balls, having scooped up 21 this season for an average of 5.25 per contest.
Thanks in large part to Clagett, Notre Dame ranks ninth nationally in team faceoff winning percentage. Overall, the Irish have prevailed on 60 of 98 faceoffs for a winning percentage of .612. In 2004, Notre Dame won just 44.0% of its faceoffs.
Notre Dame’s defense has held its opponents to only 7.50 goals per game, which is 15th in the nation. The team’s defensive leaders include Kemp, Crosland, Driscoll, senior LSM Chris Richez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport H.S.), sophomores D Joey Rallo (Cockeysville, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.) and D J.R. Stahl (Sparks, Md./Boys’ Latin H.S.), and freshman D Ross Zimmerman (Utica, Mich./Brother Rice H.S.).
As a team, the Irish also rank tied for 11th in winning percentage at .750 (3-1 record).
Notre Dame, ranked seventh by Inside Lacrosse and ninth by the USILA, has a big Easter weekend road trip on tap. The Irish will play at #13 Hofstra on Saturday at 2 p.m. (EST) and then at Villanova on Monday at 1 p.m. (EST).