February 25, 2011

UND Rides Good Vibes to Penn St.

from press release

No. 3 Notre Dame (1-0) will travel to University Park, Pa. to face Penn State (1-0) at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday at Bigler Field.

• Notre Dame won its school-record ninth straight season opener with a 12-7 triumph of Duke last Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla.
• Sunday will be the 18th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Penn State. Notre Dame leads the series 13-4. The Fighting Irish have won the past eight encounters with the Nittany Lions. This is the 15th consecutive season that the two teams have squared off. The Irish captured a 12-8 home victory over the Nittany Lions last season.
• Notre Dame is 6-3 at Penn State. The Fighting Irish won at Penn State, 13-8, during the 2009 campaign.
• Penn State's last win in the series was a 10-9 overtime victory at Notre Dame during the 2002 season.
• A win on Sunday would give Notre Dame a 2-0 record for the fifth straight season.

LAST TIME OUT
• Notre Dame opened its 2011 campaign in fine fashion with a 12-7 win over No. 5 Duke last Sunday in front of 8,152 fans at Everbank Field, which is the home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. The contest was part of the inaugural Sunshine Classic.
• Fighting Irish senior midfielder Zach Brenneman registered a career-high five points on three goals and two assists. Andrew Irving (Sr./LSM), Sean Rogers (Jr./A) and Westy Hopkins (Fr./A) all added two goals apiece for the Irish. Notre Dame goalie John Kemp, a sophomore, made 14 saves in his third career start.
• Notre Dame used four unanswered goals in the second quarter to claim a 4-2 lead by halftime. The Irish used another 4-0 run in the fourth quarter to break open a two-goal contest.
• The Notre Dame defense stymied a Duke offense that posted 20 goals in its season opener against Siena. The Irish held a 38-32 lead in shots. Notre Dame also was 13 of 22 in faceoff attempts. Freshman Liam O'Connor was 7-for-11 in the faceoff circle, while senior Jake Marmul was 6-for-11.

SCOUTING PENN STATE
• The Nittany Lions opened the 2011 campaign on Saturday with a 9-7 win over Binghamton. Matt Mackrides led Penn State with three goals and one assist.
• Penn State returned five starters and 25 letterwinners from last season's squad that went 2-11 overall. The Nittany Lions posted a 1-4 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) record in 2010.
• Head coach Jeff Tambroni is in his first season at Penn State. He came to Penn State from Cornell University. Tambroni has a 110-40 career record as a head coach.
• Notre Dame defeated Jeff Tambroni's Cornell squad 12-7 during the semifinals of last season's NCAA Championship.

IRISH AGAINST THE CAA
• Penn State is one of two Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) teams on Notre Dame's 2011 schedule. The Irish will open their home slate on March 6 against CAA foe Drexel.
• Notre Dame holds a 19-12 all-time record against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
• The Irish went 1-1 against CAA foes last season. Notre Dame downed Penn State 12-8 before dropping a 7-6 overtime contest at Drexel.

BRENNEMAN NAMED BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Zach Brenneman had a quality start to his senior season by registering a career-high five points on three goals and two assists in the 12-7 triumph of Duke. The midfielder has registered a hat trick in three straight games dating back to last season. Brenneman has nine career hat tricks, including three versus Duke over the course of the past two seasons.
• Brenneman was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for his five-point effort against the Blue Devils. That was his first-ever player-of-the-week accolade from the BIG EAST.

DELIGHTFUL DEBUT
• Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins scored two goals against Duke on Sunday in his collegiate debut. Hopkins gave the Irish leads of 9-5 and 11-5 in the fourth quarter.
• Hopkins joins his sophomore teammate Steve Murphy with the honor of scoring two goals in their collegiate debut. Murphy, a midfielder, netted two scores in last season's 11-7 season-opening win at Duke.

ROGERS ON A ROLL
• Junior attackman Sean Rogers scored two goals in the 12-7 season-opening win over Duke. He netted Notre Dame's first two goals to tie the game in the second quarter. It was the fifth career multiple-goal game for Rogers.

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.

SUCCESSFUL SEASON OPENERS
• The win over Duke improved Notre Dame to 24-7 all-time in season-openers, including an 18-5 record in the Kevin Corrigan era.
• The Irish have won a program-record nine straight season-openers. Notre Dame has defeated Duke in its last two season lid-lifters. The Irish opened the 2010 campaign with an 11-7 victory at Duke.
• The Irish last dropped a season-opener in 2002, a 10-9 overtime setback at home against Penn State.
• Including this year, the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent in 18 consecutive seasons.

FANTASTIC FEBRUARYS
• Fighting Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan is 18-3 in the month of February during his Notre Dame tenure. The Irish have won 13 straight games in February. The last February loss for Notre Dame was a 10-9 overtime setback to Penn State during the 2002 season.

CHALLENGING THE CHAMPS
• Notre Dame's 12-7 win over Duke on Sunday 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.

ANOTHER KEMP IN CAGE
• 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.

BLOOD BROTHERS
• 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.

DEFENDING THE CAGE
• Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 66 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 45 times.
• 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 returned 68 combined starts (Ridgway 33, Randall 19, Barnes 16) at the close defense position.
• The Irish boasted 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 boasted 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.

STREAKING
• Senior midfielder David Earl will bring a team-best five-game point streak into Sunday's contest. Earl netted one goal against Duke in the season opener.
• Junior attackman Sean Rogers has scored a goal in four straight games, which is the best active goal streak on the Fighting Irish squad. Rogers tallied two goals in the season opener.

FACING OFF
• The Fighting Irish won 13 of 22 faceoff attempts versus Duke in the season opener. Freshman Liam O'Connor was 7-for-11 in the faceoff circle, while senior Jake Marmul was 6-for-11.
• Notre Dame has boasted 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.

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 last Sunday's game 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).

CHAMPION CHALLENGE
• 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.

QUALITY COMPETITION
• The Fighting Irish have eight 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 #10 Duke. The Irish also will face #19 Drexel (March 6), #16 Denver (March 12), #15 Ohio State (March 23), #20 Villanova (April 2), #14 Georgetown (April 10), top-ranked Syracuse (April 30), and #11 North Carolina (May 6).

FIVE IRISH PLAYES 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.
• Brenneman led the Fighting Irish with career-high totals in goals (29) and points (42) last season. He also notched a career-high 13 assists. Brenneman earned honorable mention All-America accolades in 2010. The midfielder netted hat tricks against both Cornell and Duke in the semifinals and finals, respectively, of the NCAA Tournament and was selected to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Brenneman also was named to the all-BIG EAST first team.
• Ridgway started all 17 games last season and helped anchor an Irish defense that ranked second nationally by posting a 7.53 goals-against average. Notre Dame only surrendered 23 goals (5.75 per game) during its four games of the NCAA Championship. Ridgway was an honorable mention All-American and he also was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Additionally, he was tabbed as a second-team all-BIG EAST performer.
• Barnes, a fifth-year senior, did not play last season due to injury. He received honorable mention All-America honors as a junior in 2009 as he was a valuable member to the nation's top-ranked defense (6.19 goals-allowed per game). Barnes routinely locked down the opponent's top scorer as a starter in all 16 contests. His 28 ground balls were a single-season career-high total.
• Earl tallied career-best numbers in goals (22) and assists (6) during the 2010 campaign. He received honorable mention All-America honors and was a second-team all-BIG EAST pick. Earl netted a single-game career-high five goals during an 8-5 win at Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Irving played in every game one season ago and registered a career-high three goals to go along with two assists. The five points were a career-best figure. Irving picked up a team-leading 76 ground balls, which also were a career-high total.

IRISH NAME 2011 CAPTAINS
• Seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M), Andrew Irving (LSM) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish.

SUSTAINED SUCCESS
• 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 271-145 (.651). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 207-103 (.668) during his Notre Dame tenure.

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).
• This is the second season for BIG EAST men's lacrosse. Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record.

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.
• 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.

LOOKING BACK
• Notre Dame was 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.


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