April 23, 2009

SETTING THE STAGE ...
The third-ranked Fighting Irish will travel to Ohio State for a key Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) clash on Saturday. The contest is slated for an 11:00 a.m. (ET) start at Ohio Stadium. Notre Dame enters play as the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse with a 12-0 mark, while Ohio State is 7-6. The Irish are 4-0 in conference play and the Buckeyes are 3-1.
 
SHOWDOWN IN THE SHOE ...
Saturday’s ‘Showdown in the Shoe’ between the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes will precede Ohio State’s Scarlet and Gray spring football game … last season, Ohio State played host to Denver in front of 29,601 fans in the inaugural ‘Showdown in the Shoe’.
 
ABOUT THE IRISH ...
Notre Dame improved its record to 12-0 with wins over Quinnipiac (10-2) and St. John’s (12-2) last weekend … the Irish are enjoying the best start to a season and longest win streak in program history … Notre Dame ranks first nationally in team defense with a 6.08 goals-against average … the Irish are 10th in scoring offense (11.33) … Scott Rodgers ranks first among all Division I goalies in goals-against average (6.10) and save percentage (.665) … junior midfielder Grant Krebs has a team-best 24 goals … his 32 points are tied for second on the squad … senior attackman Duncan Swezey has a team-high 34 points on 20 goals and 14 assists … the 14 assists tie him for team-high honors along with junior midfielder Neal Hicks … Kevin Corrigan is in his 21st season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a 193-95 (.670) record during his Fighting Irish tenure.
 
ND-OHIO STATE SERIES NOTES ...
Saturday will be the 33rd meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes … Notre Dame owns a 23-9 advantage against Ohio State … the Irish have won the last five meetings in the series, including two wins last season … Notre Dame topped Ohio State, 17-12, in the 2008 regular-season finale at Alumni Field and the Irish bested the Buckeyes, 9-2, one week later in the championship game of the inaugural GWLL tournament … the series between the two schools dates back to 1981 … Ohio State is the most commonly faced opponent in the history of the Notre Dame program ... the Irish are 9-6 all-time at Ohio State … Notre Dame came away with a 12-6 victory during the last meeting in Columbus, which came during the 2007 season … the Buckeyes’ last win in the series was a 9-8 decision at Notre Dame in 2004.
 
THE LAST TIME ...
In the title game of the inaugural GWLL tournament, Notre Dame topped Ohio State 9-2 in Birmingham, Mich. … after the Buckeyes tied the game, 1-1, at the 12:01 mark of the first quarter, Notre Dame scored the game’s next four goals to claim a 5-1 lead at halftime … Ohio State cracked the scoring column for the second and final time with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter … the Fighting Irish went on another 4-0 run to close the game and capture the crown … Peter Christman, Ryan Hoff and Grant Krebs all scored two goals for the Irish … Notre Dame goalie Joey Kemp had an outstanding performance by making 18 saves in the win.
 
SCOUTING OHIO STATE ...
The Buckeyes are 7-6 overall and 3-1 in GWLL play … Ohio State is coming off a 16-10 win at Denver on April 19 … the Buckeyes fell at Air Force, 9-6, on April 18 … Ohio State’s other wins have come against Detroit (21-1), Bucknell (10-9 in ot), Fairfield (11-6), Robert Morris (19-13), Quinnipiac (8-2) and Bellarmine (11-7) … the Buckeyes have fallen to Navy (8-6), Penn State (11-5), UMBC (9-8 in ot), Colgate (9-4) and North Carolina (12-11) … Ohio State is 5-0 at home this season … the Buckeyes offense is averaging 10.41 goals per game, while the defense is giving up 8.11 a game … Joel Dalgarno leads the team in goals (29) and assists (22) … Jeff Ryan has 25 goals and 15 assists … Brandon Freeman has seen the majority of minutes in goal and carries a 8.36 goals-against average and a .562 save percentage … Ohio State returned seven starters and 33 letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 11-6 overall and 4-1 in GWLL play … the Buckeyes advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in program history before falling to Duke, 21-10 … head coach Nick Myers is in his first season at the helm of the Buckeye program.
 
GWLL DOMINANCE ...
Notre Dame is 59-10 (.855) all-time in Great Western Lacrosse League regular-season play … the Irish have won 17 of their last 18 games against GWLL opponents … this is the 16th season for the GWLL … Notre Dame has gone undefeated in GWLL play on seven occasions … the last unblemished league mark for the Irish came in 2007 when they went 5-0 … Notre Dame has won 11 GWLL regular-season titles … the Irish have won the title outright seven times, while earning a share of the crown four times ... last season, Notre Dame captured the inaugural GWLL tournament.
 
BACK-TO-BACK NOT SO BAD …
This past weekend marked the first time the Fighting Irish had played on back-to-back days since the 1998 campaign … Notre Dame responded well by winning at Quinnipiac, 10-2, and at home against St. John’s, 12-2 … that was the first time in program history that the Irish held an opponent to two goals or fewer in consecutive games.
 
IRISH DEFENSE BEST IN THE NATION …
The Notre Dame defense ranks first in the nation with a 6.08 goals-against average … that mark is on pace to eclipse the program-record mark of 6.66 from the 2007 season … this season, the Fighting Irish have held opponents to seven goals or fewer in nine games and have yet to allow more than nine goals in a single contest … 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 the 6.66 mark.
 
RODGERS ATOP THE RANKINGS …
Notre Dame’s Scott Rodgers ranks first among all Division I goalies with a 6.10 goals-against average and a .665 save percentage … Rodgers is coming off a weekend in which he surrendered one goal to Quinnipiac in 50:27 of play and two goals to St. John’s in 56:40 … he made five saves against the Bobcats and 10 versus the Red Storm.
 
SCORELESS STREAK …
Notre Dame will bring a season-best scoreless streak of 51:08 into Saturday’s showdown at Ohio State … the Irish last surrendered a goal at the 6:08 mark of the first quarter in their 12-2 victory against St. John’s on Sunday … this is the longest such stretch for the Irish since a 65:31 mark during the 2007 season … that streak spanned parts of the Denver and Lehigh games.   
 
SHUTTING DOWN THE COMPETITION …
Notre Dame held Quinnipiac scoreless in the first half of its 10-2 win on Saturday … the Irish came back the next day and held St. John’s without a goal in the second half … Notre Dame held the Red Storm without a goal over the last three quarters of the game … that was the first time the Irish held an opponent scoreless in three consecutive quarters in a game since they did not surrender a goal to Lehigh in the first three quarters back on April 21, 2007.  
 
RODGERS NAMED GWLL PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN ...
Scott Rodgers was named the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) co-player of the week for the week of April 13-19 … Rodgers surrendered just three goals in over 107 minutes of play last weekend to help the third-ranked Irish remain perfect at 12-0 … in a 10-2 win at Quinnipiac on Saturday (April 18), Rodgers allowed one goal in 50:27 of action. Rodgers, who played 56:40, and the Fighting Irish defense held St. John’s to just two tallies in a 12-2 win at Alumni Field the following day … the team captain made five saves versus the Bobcats and 10 against the Red Storm … this was the second GWLL player of the week honor for Rodgers this season … he is the only league player to receive the distinction on multiple occasions this year … Rodgers also copped the honor on March 9 … this week, Rodgers shared player-of-the-week accolades with Griffin Nevitt from Air Force.
 
HOT START ...
Notre Dame’s 12-0 record marks the best start in program history … prior to this season, the best start occurred during the 1993 campaign when the Irish posted eight straight victories to start the year … the 12-game winning streak also is a program best … the Fighting Irish had nine-game win streaks in both 1992 and 2001.
 
UNBLEMISHED ...
At 12-0, Notre Dame is the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse … including the Irish, there are three undefeated teams among all NCAA Division I, II and III schools … Le Moyne is the only unblemished squad in D-II with a 12-0 record, while Roanoke is 16-0 in D-III.
 
AN EVEN DOZEN ...
With its current 12-0 mark, Notre Dame has reached the 12-win plateau for the third time in program history … the Irish went 14-2 in 2001 and 14-3 last season … this marks the fourth straight season that the Irish have reached double-figures in wins.
 
IN THE POLLS ...
The Fighting Irish currently are ranked third in the Inside Lacrosse media poll … this is the fourth week during the season that the Irish have been third according to Inside Lacrosse … Notre Dame was ranked third in the poll for three straight weeks (March 16-30) … the No. 3 ranking is the second-highest in program history … the Fighting Irish were ranked second nationally in 2001 after starting the campaign 5-0 … the Irish advanced to the final four that season.
 
SENIOR DAY ...
The win over St. John’s on Sunday was the final regular-season home game for Notre Dame’s senior class … the class has a current four-year record of 47-12 … that is the most victories over a four-year span in the history of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse … during their time on campus, the Fighting Irish have gone to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including a quarterfinal berth last season … the current senior class has not lost a home game, going 24-0 to this point of their careers.
 
HAT TRICKS ...
Notre Dame has had seven players notch a hat trick this season … Grant Krebs has a team-high four games with at least three goals, while Duncan Swezey and Ryan Hoff have done it three times … Neal Hicks, Peter Christman and David Earl all have accomplished the feat two times, while Zach Brenneman has done it once … included in those figures are two four-goal games from Swezey and one four-goal game from Hicks along with a five-goal effort from Hoff.
 
HOME SWEET HOME ...
Notre Dame upped its program-record home win streak to 25 games with the win over St. John’s on Sunday … the streak currently is the longest in the nation ... the Irish are 6-0 at home this season … the Fighting Irish went 6-0 at home last season … the Irish have gone three-plus seasons without losing a home contest … 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 ... six of the games during the streak have been played in the Loftus Sports Center, while 12 have taken place outside at Moose Krause Stadium, the former home of Irish lacrosse … six have been played at Alumni Field, while one victory last season took place at School Field in South Bend … the Fighting Irish have taken down seven ranked opponents during the streak … Notre Dame owns an overall home record of 126-35 (.783) during the 28-plus years of varsity lacrosse at the University.
 
STREAKING ...
Junior midfielder Grant Krebs carries a team-best 28-game point streak into Saturday’s showdown at Ohio State ... the streak ranks in a tie for seventh nationally … he has notched 67 points on 50 goals and 17 assists during the streak ... Krebs has tallied 32 points on a team-best 24 goals and eight assists this season … Krebs also owns the team’s longest goal-scoring streak … he has deposited a goal in 24 straight games.
 
FAST STARTS ...
The Fighting Irish have out scored their opponents 35-16 in the first quarter of play this season.
 
THIRD QUARTER SHUTDOWN ...
Notre Dame has surrendered just 13 third-quarter goals this season … that is an average of 1.1 per game … the Fighting Irish own a 27-13 scoring advantage in the third quarter.
 
GETTING OFFENSIVE ...
Notre Dame ranks 10th among all NCAA Division I teams by averaging 11.33 goals per game this season … the Irish have scored at least nine goals in every game this season and scored a season-high 19 times against Dartmouth (Feb. 28) … the Irish averaged 12.09 goals per game last season and that placed them fifth nationally … in 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked fourth in the nation.
 
PLAYING ON BOTH ENDS ...
Notre Dame is one of two teams to rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring defense and scoring offense … the Irish rank first in defense (6.08) and 10th in offense (11.33) … Virginia (3rd offense/10th defense) is the other squad that ranks in the top 10 in both categories.
 
SPREADING THE WEALTH ...
The Irish have had 19 different players score a goal this season … in the 19-7 win over Dartmouth, Notre Dame had a season-high 10 players notch a goal … Notre Dame boasts six double-figure scorers … junior midfielder Grant Krebs leads the team with 24 goals, while senior attackman Ryan Hoff has 23 … attackmen Duncan Swezey (20) and Neal Hicks (19) along with midfielders Zach Brenneman (12) and David Earl (10) are the other double-figure goal scorers for the Irish.   
 
HOFF MOVING UP THE CHARTS ...
Senior attackman Ryan Hoff ranks second all-time in program history with 125 career goals … as a rookie, he tallied 21 goals before becoming the second Fighting Irish player ever to register back-to-back 40-goal campaigns with 40 in 2007 and 41 in 2008 … Hoff has 23 goals this season … Randy Colley (1992-95) is the program record holder with 173 career goals.
 
CHRISTMAN IN THE CLUTCH ...
Peter Christman’s goal that snapped a 7-7 tie with 2:54 left in regulation in the win over Villanova on March 31 was not the first clutch tally of his career … last season, Christman netted the game winner in an 8-7 overtime triumph of Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament … earlier that season, the midfielder scored the game winner with 23 seconds left in a 7-6 victory over Albany.
 
HALTING THE HEELS ...
Notre Dame held North Carolina scoreless for a stretch of 29:57 from the second quarter to the fourth quarter in the Irish win on March 8 … the third-ranked Tar Heels entered the contest averaging nearly 15 goals per game, which ranked fifth nationally … North Carolina scored with 4:19 remaining in the first half to take a 4-3 lead … the Tar Heels did not notch another goal until the 4:22 mark of the fourth quarter … Notre Dame out scored North Carolina 4-0 during that stretch en route to the 9-7 victory … the win over the third-ranked Tar Heels marked the second time in program history that the Irish had defeated a team ranked in the top three of the national polls … the Fighting Irish took down third-ranked Johns Hopkins, 13-9, during the quarterfinals of the 2001 NCAA Championship.
 
SENIOR CLASS FINALIST ...
Notre Dame attackman Ryan Hoff is among a list of 10 NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse players who have been selected as finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award … to be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition … Hoff has 23 goals this season, which ranks second among all Notre Dame players … the senior carries a 3.230 cumulative grade-point average as a marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business … Hoff was a dean’s list member in the fall of 2008 as he posted a 3.883 semester GPA.
 
NATIONAL RECOGNITION ...
Notre Dame’s Sam Barnes, Grant Krebs and Scott Rodgers all have been named to the Inside Lacrosse team of the week this season ... Barnes earned the honor after helping the Fighting Irish shut down Dartmouth in Notre Dame’s 19-7 victory in its home opener on Feb. 28 ... Krebs was named to the first Inside Lacrosse team of the week (Feb. 17) after notching four points on three goals and an assist in the 10-9 season-opening win over Loyola ... the junior midfielder was selected to the squad as the ‘EMO Sniper’ after he scored two man-up tallies in the second half against the Greyhounds ... Rodgers, a senior goalie, was named to the IL team of the week on Feb. 24 after notching a career-high 20 saves in a 13-8 victory at Penn State.
 
HICKS HAVING CAREER SEASON ...
Junior attackman Neal Hicks is producing a career-best season … Hicks is tied for second on the team in points with 32 … he is fourth on the squad in goals (19) and is third in assists (13) … all of those offensive numbers are single-season career-high figures for the junior … entering this season, Hicks had totaled 13 goals and seven assists for his career … in the 2009 season opener, the Atlanta native returned to his home state and registered the first hat trick of his career in a 10-9 win over Loyola … Hicks followed that up with an eight-point performance on four goals and four assists in a 13-8 win at Penn State … all of those numbers were single-game career-high marks for the junior … the eight points were one off the program record of nine.
 
WORTH THE WAIT ...
Entering the 2009 season, senior goalie Scott Rodgers had only appeared in seven career games while backing up three-time All-American Joey Kemp … after not playing at all last season, Rodgers made his first collegiate start in the 10-9 win over Loyola on Feb. 14 … Rodgers came up with two huge saves in the final minute to preserve the win for the Fighting Irish and collect the first victory of his career … the senior followed that performance up with a career-high 20 saves in a 13-8 win over Penn State on Feb. 22 … that effort earned him a spot on the Inside Lacrosse team of the week … the Long Island native came up big in the 9-7 triumph of No. 3 North Carolina as he made 16 saves and was named the Great Western Lacrosse League player of the week for his effort … another clutch effort was needed in a 9-7 win over Villanova as he made two saves down the stretch, including one in the final 30 seconds … he currently ranks first among all NCAA Division I goalies with a 6.10 goals-against average and a .665 save percentage.
 
RODGERS A TEWAARATON TROPHY NOMINEE ...
Fighting Irish senior goalie Scott Rodgers has been selected as one of 21 nominees for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy ... the award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse player ... Rodgers, a team captain, ranks first nationally in both goals-against average (6.10) and save percentage (.665) ... Rodgers has made 10 or more saves in eight games this season ... Rodgers is the fifth player in Notre Dame history to be tabbed as a nominee for the Tewaaraton Trophy ... he joins attackmen Tom Glatzel (2001), David Ulrich (2001), Pat Walsh (2004 & 2005) and goalie Joey Kemp (2008) with that honor ... a list of five finalists for the award will be announced later this spring ... the ninth annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at the University Club of Washington, D.C.
 
COVERING THE NATION ...
The trip to the Patriot Cup on March 21 marked Notre Dame’s first-ever game in the state of Texas … over the past few seasons, the Irish have helped bring the sport to new locations … last season, the Fighting Irish took on Dartmouth in Atlanta, Ga. … that marked the first-ever NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game in the state of Georgia … the Irish returned to Georgia for this season’s opener against Loyola … in 2006, Notre Dame faced Cornell in the first Division I men’s lacrosse game in the state of Illinois as the two schools met in Lisle … the Irish battled Denver in Bridgeview, Ill. last season.
 
WOUNDED WARRIOR ...
The Fighting Irish faced Vermont as part of the 2009 Patriot Cup on March 21 in Dallas, Texas ... the Patriot Cup, which also featured Bucknell taking on Air Force, benefitted the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) ... the WWP is a nonprofit organization that seeks to assist the men and women of our armed forces who have been severly injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world ... the WWP provides unique programs and services, raises awareness and enlists public support and provides a means for veterans to help each other ... for more information on the WWP, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
 
IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL ...
Notre Dame was picked to win the 2009 Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title according to a preseason poll done by the conference’s head coaches … the Irish won the GWLL last season by capturing the league’s inaugural postseason tournament … the poll, which was published in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook, had Denver in the No. 2 slot followed by Ohio State ... Air Force, Bellarmine and Quinnipiac round out the poll, respectively … the GWLL enjoyed unprecedented success last season as three teams qualified for the NCAA Championship for the first time ever … Notre Dame, Ohio State and Denver all were among the 16-team NCAA field … the Irish and Buckeyes both advanced to the quarterfinals, making it the first time the league ever had two teams among the final eight.
 
PRESEASON HONORS ...
Two Fighting Irish players were named to the 2009 All-Great Western Lacrosse League preseason team, which was selected by the league’s head coaches … seniors Ryan Hoff (A) and Regis McDermott (D) were selected to the 13-man squad.
 
IRISH NAME ’09 CAPTAINS ...
Seniors Peter Christman (M), Regis McDermott (D), Davey Melera (M) and Scott Rodgers (G) all are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish during the 2009 campaign.
 
GIVING BACK ...
While the support of the South Bend/Michiana community has been a key ingredient to the success of the Fighting Irish at home over the years, the Notre Dame players have routinely given back to the local community … last spring, the Fighting Irish men's lacrosse team was recognized with The Trophy Award at Notre Dame’s seventh annual O.S.C.A.R.S (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) … established by the Office of Student Welfare and Development at Notre Dame, The Trophy Award annually recognizes an athletic team that has demonstrated its commitment and dedication to the community through unparalleled community service to Notre Dame and South Bend.
 
RECAPPING ’08 ...
Notre Dame produced a 14-3 record during the 2008 season … the Fighting Irish won the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title by capturing the inaugural GWLL tournament … that marked the 11th GWLL crown for the program … Notre Dame garnered the No. 6 seed for the NCAA Championship and topped Colgate, 8-7, in overtime before falling to eventual national champion Syracuse, 11-9, during the quarterfinals … that was the fourth time the Irish had advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals … it was Notre Dame’s 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament and the second time the Irish had earned a seed … Notre Dame has been eliminated from the tournament by the eventual national champion in each of the past three seasons (Virginia, 14-10, in ’06 and Johns Hopkins, 11-10 in overtime, in ’07) … the Irish offense and defense both concluded the ’08 season ranked fifth nationally … the offense averaged 12.09 goals per game, while the defense surrendered just 7.04 per contest … the Irish finished the season ranked fifth in the final USILA poll and sixth according to Inside Lacrosse.
 
BIG EAST AWAITS ...
The 2009 season will be the last for Notre Dame in the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) … the Fighting Irish will begin play in the BIG EAST Conference in 2010 … the six other conference schools that will participate in the newly-formed league are Georgetown, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova … the teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular season schedule … the BIG EAST will apply for an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Championship field ... men’s lacrosse will be 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 has been a member of the GWLL since 1994 ... the Fighting Irish have captured 11 regular-season GWLL titles in addition to winning the inaugural GWLL Tournament in 2008.
 
ARLOTTA STADIUM ...
Arlotta Stadium will become the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse programs upon completion, which is scheduled for June of 2009 ... construction of the facility began in August of 2008 ... conceptual plans suggest a 2,000-seat, lighted stadium that would include an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, restrooms and concession areas ... the state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc. ... he and his wife Bobbie pledged the lead gift toward the stadium to be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University's new athletics quadrangle ... the Arlotta children - Mindy, Andy and Jon - also have pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project ... in addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the lacrosse programs have donated over two million dollars.
 
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 game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame … Irish men’s lacrosse fans can sign up to receive scores following each quarter.
 
KEEPING UP WITH ND 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 call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 … the hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports ... 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 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.