March 25, 2011
Game 6 – Sunday, March 27 – Noon (ET)
RU Turf Field – Piscataway, N.J.
#3 NOTRE DAME (5-0, 0-0)
RUTGERS (5-2, 0-0)
Gametracker on UND.com
SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 3 Notre Dame (5-0) will open BIG EAST Conference play on Sunday at Rutgers (5-2). Face-off is slated for noon (ET) at the RU Turf Field in Piscataway, N.J. – This will be the sixth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Rutgers. The Irish lead the series 3-2. The Fighting Irish are 2-0 against the Scarlet Knights at Rutgers. This will be Notre Dame’s first game against Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. since the 2001 campaign. The last time Notre Dame played in Piscataway, N.J. was during the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Championship. The Irish fell to Syracuse, 12-5, in that contest. – The Irish are off to a 5-0 start for the fourth time in program history (31 seasons). The other 5-0 starts occurred in 1993, 2001 and 2009. – The Notre Dame defense is allowing just 6.40 goals per game, while the Irish offense is notching 9.40 goals per game.
A LOOK AT RUTGERS
– Rutgers is off to a 5-2 start this season. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a 12-4 loss to Army last Saturday. Their wins have come against Wagner (17-5), Manhattan (11-3), UMBC (12-5), Saint Joseph’s (11-1) and Jacksonville (10-6). Rutgers also fell to Penn State (11-6). The Scarlet Knights are 3-1 at home this season. – The Scarlet Knights average 10.14 goals per game on offense and surrender 6.14 goals per game defensively. – Redshirt freshman attackman Scott Klimchak has a team-high 13 goals in addition to nine assists. Sophomore attackman Duncan Clancy has a team-best 16 assists. Sophomore Joseph Donnelly has started five games in goal and carries a 4-1 record with a 5.01 goals-against average and a .459 save percentage. Fellow sophomore Rudy Butler is 1-1 with a 7.65 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage. – Rutgers went 6-8 last season, which included a 2-4 mark in BIG EAST play. The Scarlet Knights returned four starters and 24 letterwinners from last season’s squad. – Head coach Jim Stagnitta is in his 10th season at the helm of the Scarlet Knight program.
THE LAST MEETING
– Notre Dame fell to Rutgers 10-8 last season at Arlotta Stadium. It was the first-ever BIG EAST game for the Fighting Irish. Zach Brenneman led the Irish with two goals and an assist, while David Earl also registered two goals.
– Six Notre Dame players hail from the state of New Jersey. That group consists of Alex Eaton (Bridgewater), Ryan Foley (Glen Ridge), Chris Prevoznik (Mountain Lakes), John Scioscia (Summit), Bobby Smith (Woodbine) and Taylor Tripucka (Mountain Lakes). – Notre Dame assistant coach Brian Fisher played at Rutgers from 1998-2001 and served as an assistant coach for his alma mater from 2002-06 before joining the Fighting Irish beginning with the 2007 campaign.
BEATING THE BUCKEYES
– A goal from Sean Rogers with 33 seconds left was the difference as Notre Dame topped Ohio State 8-7 on Wednesday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. Rogers, a junior attackman, scored a game-high three goals. The three goals matched a career-high total that he achieved twice last season. – Senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving had a career-high two assists. – Notre Dame owned the faceoff circle by winning 16 of 19 attempts. Freshman Liam O’Connor went 13-16, while senior Jake Marmul was 3-3. – The Fighting Irish held a 34-20 advantage in shots. Sophomore goalie John Kemp made five saves, including one in the final seconds to negate Ohio State’s final scoring chance, for the Irish to improve his record to 5-0 this season.
ROGERS RACKING UP THE POINTS
– Junior attackman Sean Rogers has a team-high nine goals and is tied for the team lead in assists with three. He has scored seven goals in the past three games, including a career-high tying three-goal effort on Wednesday versus Ohio State. Rogers has a team-best seven-game point streak.
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
– BIG EAST rivals Notre Dame (5-0) and Syracuse (6-0) are the only two undefeated teams remaining in all of NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse.
BEATING THE BEST
– Four of Notre Dame’s five wins have come against opponents that were ranked at the time of the meetings. The Irish bested #5 Duke 12-7 in the season opener. Notre Dame also topped #16 Drexel (11-7) and #14 Denver (10-9). The Fighting Irish defeated #20 Ohio State 8-7 on Wednesday.
BIG EAST HONORS FOR FOLEY AND KEMP
– Notre Dame sophomores Ryan Foley (A) and John Kemp (G) were named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on March 14 for their efforts in a 10-9 win at Denver. Foley scored a career-high three goals, while Kemp made 13 saves to improve his record to 4-0 this season.
PERFORMING BETWEEN THE PIPES
– Sophomore goalie John Kemp is off to a solid start this season. He boasts a 5-0 record with a 6.40 goals-against average and a .605 save percentage. Kemp has played every minute in goal this season for the Irish.
IT’S NOT HOW YOU START, IT’S HOW YOU FINISH
– Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal in four of its five games this season yet the Irish have gone on to win each contest. – The Irish have led at halftime during all five games this season.
– Notre Dame has out-scored its opponents 14-4 in the second quarter and 16-9 in the fourth quarter.
RUNNING AWAY TO VICTORY
– In the win over Drexel on March 6, Notre Dame trailed 6-5 after three quarters, but finished the game on a 6-1 run to capture the 11-7 victory. – Against Denver on March 12, Notre Dame broke open a 7-7 tie with three straight goals to claim a 10-7 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Irish held on to win 10-9.
QUITE A CROWD
– The Notre Dame-Drexel game on March 6 drew 1,626 fans to the Loftus Sports Center. That is a men’s lacrosse record crowd for the Loftus Center. The previous mark was 1,437 from the 2009 showdown against North Carolina.
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame boasts an all-time home record of 133-38 (.778).
HONORS ALL AROUND
– Five Notre Dame players have earned weekly accolades from the BIG EAST Conference so far this season. Zach Brenneman was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Feb. 21, while Kevin Ridgway garnered defensive player of the week honors on Feb. 28. David Earl (March 7), Ryan Foley (March 14) and John Kemp (March 14) all have been named to the weekly honor roll.
IRISH PLACE THREE ON TEWAARATON TROPHY WATCH LIST
– Notre Dame seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) have been named to the 58-man watch list for the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse player.
– The Fighting Irish defense is allowing just 6.40 goals per game this season. That mark ranks fifth among all NCAA Division I teams (as of March 21). – Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 70 games), Notre Dame has surrendered 10 goals or more in a game just nine times and the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 48 times. – The two goals surrendered to Penn State in the 6-2 victory on Feb. 27 were the fewest since a 12-2 victory over St. John’s during the 2009 campaign. Notre Dame has limited foes to four goals or fewer 11 times since the beginning of the 2007 campaign. – Against Drexel on March 6, the Fighting Irish defense held the Dragons scoreless for a stretch of 32:30 during the 11-7 victory. The Dragons didn’t score from the 9:27 mark of the first quarter until the 6:57 mark of the third quarter. Notre Dame out scored Drexel 5-0 during that stretch.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Notre Dame has had at least six different goal scorers in every game this season. The Irish used a season-high eight different goal scorers in the 11-7 win over Drexel (March 6). – The Fighting Irish have had 13 players tally a goal this season. – Notre Dame had a different player score all six goals in the 6-2 win at Penn State (Feb. 27).
– The Fighting Irish boast a .592 (58-98) faceoff winning percentage this season. Freshman Liam O’Connor is 36-61 (.590) in the faceoff circle, while senior Jake Marmul is 22-37 (.595). The duo combined to go 16-19 (.842) against Ohio State on Wednesday. – Notre Dame has produced one of the nation’s top faceoff units over the past few seasons. The Irish won 54.3% (185-341) of their attempts last season to rank 17th nationally. Departed senior Trever Sipperly ranked 21st nationally with a 55.7% (181-325) winning percentage in 2010. – The Irish produced the nation’s ninth-best faceoff winning percentage (.556) in 2009. Notre Dame ranked second nationally in 2008 (.628) and 15th (.546) in 2007.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION
– Notre Dame has out shot its opponents 177-134 this season. That includes a 104-81 advantage in shots on goal. The Irish average 35.4 shots per game, while allowing just 26.8.
IRISH DEFENSE ANNUALLY AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
– Notre Dame boasted the nation’s second-best defense in 2010 by producing a 7.53 goals-against average. Notre Dame limited foes to seven goals or fewer 10 times (out of 17 games). – The Irish produced the nation’s sixth-best man-down defense (.750) in 2010. – Goalie Scott Rodgers in 2010 led all NCAA Division I goalies with a .605 save percentage and ranked third in goals-against with a 7.56 average. – Notre Dame had the nation’s top defense in 2009 by producing a school-record 6.19 goals-against average. – 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 a 6.66 mark.
ROOKIE ON A ROLL
– Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins is second on the team in goals with seven. Hopkins is the only Irish player to score a goal in every game this season. He scored twice in his collegiate debut, a 12-7 season-opening win over Duke. Hopkins also scored twice in his home debut versus Drexel (March 6).
BIG START FOR BRENNEMAN
– Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman opened the season with a career-high five-point effort (3 goals, 2 assists) against Duke. That was the ninth hat trick of his career. – Brenneman has scored a goal in the last five games he’s played in dating back to last season. He missed this season’s Drexel and Denver contests with an injury.
ANOTHER KEMP IN CAGE
– Fighting Irish sophomore goalie John Kemp is the younger brother of former Notre Dame All-America goalie Joey Kemp. The older Kemp starred in goal for the Irish from 2005-08 and earned All-America honors three times. He notched a 40-14 record to establish the Irish record for wins in goal. In 2008, he became just the second student-athlete, and the first goalie, in program history to earn first team All-America honors. He also received the 2008 Kelly Award for Outstanding Goalie in NCAA Division I. – John and Joey’s older brother C.J. was an All-America goalie at Fairfield from 2000-03.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
– The Fighting Irish will appear on the ESPN family of networks five times during the 2011 campaign. Notre Dame’s Champion Challenge contest versus the U.S. National Team was aired on ESPNU, while the season opener versus Duke (Feb. 20) was on ESPN. ESPNU will broadcast Notre Dame’s home BIG EAST tilt versus Georgetown (April 10) along with road games against Syracuse (April 30) and North Carolina (May 6).
– The Fighting Irish have six teams on their 2011 slate that appear in the latest Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. Notre Dame opened the season with a 12-7 win over current #5 Duke. The Irish won at #14 Denver 10-9 on March 12. Notre Dame defeated #20 Ohio State 8-7 Wednesday. The Fighting Irish also will face #11 Villanova (April 2), top-ranked Syracuse (April 30) and #8 North Carolina (May 6).
IRISH COME FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
– Notre Dame’s 49-man roster hails from 15 different states. The states most represented are Maryland with 12 and New York with eight.
IRVING IGNITES IRISH
– Senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving scored a career-high two goals in the season opener against Duke. Irving gave the Irish their first lead of the contest (3-2) with 5:17 left in the first half. Notre Dame would never relinquish that lead. Irving deposited the final goal of the game to make it a 12-7 victory. – Irving dished out a career-high two assists in Wednesday’s 8-7 win over Ohio State. He also picked up a game-high four ground balls against the Buckeyes. Irving ranks second on the team this season with 14 ground balls.
CHALLENGING THE CHAMPS
– Notre Dame’s 12-7 win over Duke in the season opener marked the first time the Fighting Irish have ever defeated the defending national champion. The Irish had been 0-3 against defending national champs. Notre Dame’s first crack at defeating the defending national champion came in 1994 as Princeton topped the Irish 6-4. The other two occurrences came against Syracuse. The Orange bested the Irish 12-5 during the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Last season, the defending NCAA Champion Orange defeated Notre Dame 12-6.
– The 2011 Notre Dame roster features two sets of brothers. Twins Billy and Patrick Maloney are senior midfielders. Freshman midfielder Tyler Brenneman joins his older brother Zach, a senior midfielder, on the Irish roster.
– Notre Dame fell to the United States National Team, 12-7, on Jan. 30 during the Champion Challenge in Orlando, Fla. Team USA scored the game’s first seven goals, yet the Fighting Irish responded with four straight tallies to slice the deficit to three (7-4) by the end of the third quarter. The U.S. National Team out scored the Irish 5-3 in the final quarter. – Irish senior attackman Colin Igoe had a team-high two goals in the game. Sophomore goalie John Kemp played the entire contest and made 10 saves. – Former Notre Dame All-American Scott Rodgers (2006-10) played the entire second half in goal for Team USA and made nine saves.
– Notre Dame has earned five straight appearances to the NCAA Championship and the Irish have made 15 tournament appearances since 1990. – The Fighting Irish were national finalists in 2010 and national semifinalists in 2001. Notre Dame has three other NCAA quarterfinal appearances (1995, 2000, 2008). – Notre Dame is competing in its 31st season of varsity lacrosse. The Fighting Irish have an all-time record of 275-145 (.655). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 211-103 (.672) during his Notre Dame tenure.
FIVE IRISH PLAYERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
– Five Fighting Irish seniors garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Zach Brenneman (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) were named to the first team, while Sam Barnes (D) was a second-team pick. David Earl (M) was selected to the third team and Andrew Irving (LSM) was an honorable mention selection.
PROGRAM-RECORD FIVE IRISH PLAYERS SELECTED IN MLL DRAFT
– A school-record five Notre Dame players were selected in January’s Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft. Midfielder Zach Brenneman became the highest pick in program history as he went fifth overall to the Long Island Lizards. – Syracuse led all schools with seven players selected while Notre Dame and Maryland were next with five players drafted. – The Hamilton Nationals selected Fighting Irish midfielder David Earl in the third round (13th overall selection), while defenseman Kevin Ridgway also went to Hamilton five picks later. Long Island tabbed defenseman Sam Barnes in the fifth round (29th overall) and the Denver Outlaws picked long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving in the sixth round (33rd overall).
IRISH PICKED SECOND IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
– Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST according to the league’s 2011 preseason coaches poll. – Syracuse was selected 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, St. John’s, Rutgers and Providence. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams. – Fighting Irish senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was tabbed as the BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the Year. – Four Notre Dame student-athletes were named to the 2011 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. Joining Brenneman were fellow seniors David Earl (M), a unanimous selection, Sam Barnes (D) and Kevin Ridgway (D).
BIG EAST BOYS
– The 2011 campaign marks the second season of BIG EAST men’s lacrosse. The seven conference schools that participate in the league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova. The teams play a six-game single round-robin regular-season schedule. – Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record. – In 2012, Marquette will be the eighth program to join the BIG EAST in men’s lacrosse. – 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).
FALL BALL IN SAN FRANCISCO
– More than 6,000 Northern California lacrosse fans were treated to a 10-7 Notre Dame victory over Johns Hopkins on Oct 16. The exhibition contest, which was part of the second annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic, was played at Kezar Stadium. All the proceeds from the game benefitted the BAYS Foundation.
– Notre Dame went 10-7 overall and 2-4 in BIG EAST play one season ago. – The Fighting Irish became just the fifth unseeded team to reach the title game of the NCAA Championship and the first since Massachusetts in 2006. The others were Cornell (1988), Towson (1991) and Maryland (1997). – Notre Dame’s 5.75 goals-against average during the 2010 NCAA Championship ranked second all-time behind only North Carolina in 1982 for an entire NCAA Tournament. That Tar Heel squad allowed 15 goals (5.0 per game) during their three games of the tournament en route to winning the title. The 2010 Irish surrendered 23 goals in their four games of the tournament.
KEEPING UP WITH FIGHTING IRISH 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. Updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com. – Media members and fans may be added to the athletics media relations e-mail release list by contacting assistant media relations director Sean Carroll at Carroll.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.