April 21, 2008
#7 Notre Dame (9-2, 2-1) at Air Force (3-7, 1-2)
Tuesday, April 22 â€¢ 2:00 p.m. (MT)
Cadet Lacrosse Stadium â€¢ USAFA, Colo.
The No.7 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will be playing its third game in five days when the Irish take the field at Air Force in a Great Western Lacrosse League clash on Tuesday. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. (MT) at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium. This contest is a make-up after the originally scheduled game was postponed on March 22 due to weather-related travel problems for Notre Dame. The Irish are coming off a 14-7 victory at Lehigh on Sunday.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame captured two wins over the weekend to up its record to 9-2 on the season … the Irish topped Quinnipiac, 16-6, on Friday in GWLL play and then followed that up with a 14-7 triumph at Lehigh on Sunday … Notre Dame is currently in third place in the GWLL with a 2-1 league mark … junior attackman Ryan Hoff scored four goals apiece in the wins over Quinnipiac and Lehigh … Hoff leads the Fighting Irish with 30 goals this season … the Fighting Irish are currently seventh in the USILA coaches poll and 12th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … senior attackman Alex Wharton has team-high totals in points (36) and assists (22), both career-best marks … junior Duncan Swezey has a career-high 19 goals, while senior midfielder Michael Podgajny and sophomore midfielder Grant Krebs both have 16 tallies … Notre Dame has defeated three ranked teams this season (#17 Loyola, 7-6; #13 Albany, 7-6; #11 Drexel, 13-6) … the Irish have had 20 different players score at least one goal … Notre Dame has the nation’s sixth-best scoring offense by notching 12.73 goals per game … the Irish defense ranks eighth nationally as they surrender just 7.00 goals per game … senior goaltender Joey Kemp ranks second nationally with a .627 save percentage and he is seventh with a 6.62 goals-against average … Notre Dame returned seven starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted an 11-4 record and captured the 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 176-94 (.652) 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.
ND-AIR FORCE SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame is 18-2 all-time against Air Force … the Fighting Irish topped the Falcons, 16-4, last season at Moose Krause Stadium … Air Force won the first game in the series, 14-8, back in 1988 … the Irish then captured 17 in a row before falling to the Falcons, 9-8, in 2006 at Air Force … that was the last meeting at Air Force … Notre Dame is 7-2 all-time against the Falcons in Colorado Springs … the Fighting Irish hold a 252-135 scoring advantage in the series.
ABOUT AIR FORCE: The Falcons are 3-7 this season, including a 1-2 mark in the GWLL … Air Force dropped a 10-2 contest to non-conference foe Yale on Sunday … Air Force is averaging 7.43 goals per game, while allowing 10.90 … junior Griffin Nevitt is the Falcons’ leading scorer on the year with 16 goals and six assists on the season, while senior David Rose second on the team with 15 goals and five assists … Air Force returned five starters and 28 letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 2-10, including a 1-4 mark in the GWLL … head coach Fred Acee is in his 11th season at the helm of the Air Force program.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame defeated Air Force, 16-4, last season at Moose Krause Stadium … Alex Wharton netted a career-high three goals to help the Irish to victory … Brian Hubschmann, a departed senior, also tallied three goals, while Michael Podgajny, Ryan Hoff and Will Yeatman all scored twice … Air Force used four different goalscorers … Taylor Clagett went 14-for-17 in faceoff attempts for Notre Dame … Joey Kemp picked up the win by playing 51:19 and making 12 saves, while allowing four goals … Scott Rodgers played the remainder of the contest and made two stops.
NOTRE DAME IN THE GWLL: Notre Dame is 53-10 (.841) all-time in GWLL play with 10 league titles … this is the 15th season for the GWLL … Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions, including last season’s 5-0 mark … the Irish had their eight-game GWLL win streak snapped in a 9-8 setback to Denver on April 5.
GWLL TOURNAMENT: This season will feature the inaugural Great Western Lacrosse League Tournament … following regular-season play, the top four teams from the conference will advance to the tournament, which is being held at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich. … the semifinals are scheduled to take place on Friday, May 2 and the championship game will be played on Sunday, May 4.
RECAPPING LEHIGH: Notre Dame downed Lehigh, 14-7, on Sunday, April 20 at Ulrich Field in non-conference action … Fighting Irish junior Ryan Hoff scored four goals for the second straight contest … Hoff also added an assist to make it a five-point performance … Alex Wharton and junior Peter Christman both registered one goal and three assists for Notre Dame … Grant Krebs and Neal Hicks netted two goals apiece in the win … after both teams alternated goals to make it 2-2 at the end of the first quarter, Notre Dame tallied nine consecutive scores to take a commanding 11-2 lead with 8:00 left in the third period … the first five scores in Notre Dame’s 9-0 run came with just 1:14 coming off the clock … Hicks began the outburst with 5:31 remaining in the first half and Taylor Clagett followed with a goal six seconds later … Wharton and Hoff then scored 13 seconds apart to give the Irish a 6-2 lead … Krebs and Duncan Swezey finished the opening half off with goals to give Notre Dame an 8-2 lead at halftime … scores from Christman, Hoff and Hicks put a cap on the Fighting Irish surge … Lehigh ended the drought was Brian Bienemann notched back-two-back tallies to make it an 11-4 game with 5:32 left in the third quarter … Notre Dame extinguished any hopes of a Mountain Hawks comeback by scoring three of the game’s next four goals … the first was Hoff’s fourth goal of the afternoon and then following a score from Lehigh, David Earl and Matt Ciambella extended the Irish lead to 14-5 with 2:57 left in regulation … Lehigh scored the final two goals to make it a 14-7 final … the Irish held a 45-29 advantage in shots … Joey Kemp earned his ninth win of the season by making eight saves and allowing five goals in 54:26 of play … Brendan Moore replaced Kemp for the final 5:34 … Eric Spirko received the loss for the Mountain Hawks by surrendering 12 goals and making nine saves in 45 minutes of action … Notre Dame went 17-for-25 in faceoffs, with Clagett winning 10-of-16.
SENNETT HONORED: Mike Sennett, a 1991 Notre Dame graduate and former Fighting Irish lacrosse player who passed away suddenly in April of 2007, was honored with the University’s Reynolds Award at last Saturday’s annual Blue-Gold spring football game … established in 1985, the William D. Reynolds Award is conferred on an alumnus/alumna (living or deceased) doing exceptional work with youth for the betterment of the quality of life … Sennett, a 1991 team captain, is being honored for his exceptional work with young athletes … he coached the DeSmet Jesuit High School team in St. Louis, Mo. for 16 seasons and became a luminary figure in national lacrosse circles through his tireless passion for the sport … in addition to his full-time job at Northwestern Mutual and lacrosse coaching duties, Mike served as a volunteer firefighter for the Boles Fire Protection District.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame has won a program-record 17 straight games at home … the Irish are 4-0 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 in 2007 … four of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while 12 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium … one has taken place at School Field in South Bend (Quinnipiac-2008) … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 118-35 (.773) during the 28 years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
NO MORE MOOSE: The win over Drexel on March 25 marked the final game at Moose Krause Stadium for the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program … the stadium is being torn down to make room for the state-of-the-art Arlotta Stadium that will be the new home for Irish … Notre Dame still has one regular-season home date for the 2008 season … the Irish will host Ohio State at Alumni Field on the Notre Dame campus on April 27.
RECORD-SETTING CAREER: Senior goaltender Joey Kemp notched his school-record 33rd career victory in the 19-7 win over Bellarmine on March 29 … Kemp is now 35-13 overall during his Irish career … in addition, Kemp is currently first in Irish history with a 7.25 goals-against average and with 2837:10 minutes played for a goaltender … he is also tied for first in games started for a goaltender (50) … the two-time All-American currently ranks second in school history in saves (559).
KEMP AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: As of last week’s NCAA rankings, Joey Kemp ranked in the top 10 nationally in both save percentage (2nd, .633) and goals-against average (7th, 6.75) this season … last season, he ranked fourth nationally in both goals-against average (6.78) and save percentage (.614) en route to being named the 2007 Great Western Lacrosse League player of the year and an honorable-mention All-American.
STREAKING: Junior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-best 11-game goal streak … Ryan Hoff has notched a goal in 19 of the last 20 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 an 11-game goal streak.
OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: Notre Dame’s 19-goal performance in a 19-7 win over Bellarmine on March 29 matched a season-high total that was also achieved in a 19-7 victory against Dartmouth on March 15 … this marked the first time since 1994 that the Irish have produced two games with 19-plus goals in one season … overall, Notre Dame has reached double figures in seven of 10 games this season … the Irish reached double figures 11 times last season.
LOCKING DOWN: While the Notre Dame offense has reached double digits seven times this season, the Irish have not surrendered a double-figure tally … the Fighting Irish are surrendering just 7.00 goals per game this season, which ranks eighth nationally (as of last week’s rankings) … the Irish have held opponents to six goals on five occasions … 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 and starting defensemen Sean Dougherty, Ross Zimmerman and Regis McDermott.
FAST STARTS: Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 39-10 during the first quarter of play this season … the Fighting Irish have held opponents scoreless in the first quarter on four occasions this season (Loyola, Penn State, Albany, Dartmouth).
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 30 goals after pacing the team with 40 goals one season ago … he has notched three or more goals on six occasions this season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Fighting Irish have had 20 different players notch at least one goal this season … the season-high total was 13 players with a goal in a 19-7 victory over Bellarmine on March 29… the Irish used 12 goalscorers in a 19-7 win against Dartmouth on March 15 … … last season, the Irish had 18 players score a goal.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: The Fighting Irish are averaging 12.73 goals a game, which ranks sixth nationally (as of last week’s rankings) … in 2007, Notre Dame had the nation’s fourth-best offense by averaging 11.65 goals per game … Notre Dame’s scoring margin of +5.73 is the fourth-best mark among all NCAA Division I squads this season.
FACING OFF: As a team, Notre Dame boasts the nation’s top faceoff percentage (.650) … senior Taylor Clagett ranks fourth nationally in that category with a .636 win percentage … 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.
NOTRE DAME IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame is currently 7th in the USILA coaches poll and 12th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings … the Irish have been as high as fifth in the USILA poll this season … that happened on two occasions, in the March 3rd and March 17th polls … Notre Dame’s highest Inside Lacrosse ranking was sixth on March 17.
QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish are 3-2 against ranked opponents this season … Notre Dame opened the campaign with a 7-6 victory over No. 17 Loyola … the Irish topped No. 13 Albany, 7-6, on March 1 … Notre Dame fell at No. 4 North Carolina, 8-6, on March 8 … Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Drexel, 13-6, on March 25 … the Irish fell to No. 19 Denver, 9-8, on April 5 … Notre Dame hosts No. 9 Ohio State on April 27.
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 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 (G) and Alex Wharton (A) are the Fighting Irish team 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.
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 and 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.firstname.lastname@example.org … 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.