February 18, 2011

Stage Set for NCAA Final Rematch

from press release

The sixth-ranked Notre Dame men's lacrosse team will open its 2011 campaign on Sunday versus No. 5 Duke in a rematch of the 2010 national title game. The contest is part of the inaugural Sunshine Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. Face-off is slated for 3:00 p.m. (ET) at Everbank Field, the home to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN and available on ESPN3.com.

THE SUNSHINE CLASSIC

• Georgetown and Jacksonville University will get things underway at noon (ET) on Sunday during the inaugural Moe's Southwest Grill Sunshine Classic. The Irish and Blue Devils will follow at 3:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. Go to judolphins.com for additional information on the event.

ABOUT THE IRISH

• Notre Dame returns six starters and 16 letterwinners from last season's squad that made the program's first appearance in the title game of the NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke, 6-5 in overtime, in the NCAAfinal to finish with a 10-7 record.

• Notre Dame welcomes back its top scorer in senior midfielder Zach Brenneman. Brenneman posted team-high and career-best totals in goals (29), assists (13) and points (42) in 2010.

• Notre Dame's defense ranked second nationally last season by allowing just 7.53 goals per game. The Irish surrendered only 23 goals (5.75 per game) during their NCAA Tournament run, which featured three wins over top-10 teams, #6 Princeton (8-5), #3 Maryland (7-5), #7 Cornell (12-7).

• Notre Dame is entering its second season of BIG EAST play. The Irish registered a 2-4 league record last season.

• Kevin Corrigan is beginning his 23rd season as the head coach of NotreDame. He has a 206-103 (.667) record during his Fighting Irish tenure.

SERIES NOTES

• This will be the eighth meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and Blue Devils. Duke holds a 5-2 edge in the series. The two schools met twice lastseason. Notre Dame won its 2010 season opener at Duke, 11-7, while the BlueDevils topped the Irish in the national title game, 6-5 in overtime.

• Six of the previous encounters have taken place in Durham, N.C., while thiswill be the second straight neutral site contest between Notre Dame and Duke.

• Notre Dame's other win against the Blue Devils was a 12-10 decision at Duke during the first round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament. That was Notre Dame's first-ever victory in the NCAA Championship. The first matchup between the two schools occurred in 1983 and Duke claimed that contest 13-5. The other meetings took place in 1984 (8-5), 1985 (18-4) and 1993 (13-7).

SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS

• The Blue Devils opened the 2011 campaign last Saturday with a 20-6 home winover Siena. The Blue Devils were led by senior attackman Zach Howell, who registered a career-high nine points on seven goals and two assists. Howellregistered 70 points last season.

• Junior Justin Turri was named to the Inside Lacrosse Face Off Yearbook's All-America second team and junior C.J. Costabile earned honorable mention recognition.

• Duke returned six starters and 29 letterwinners from last year's national championship squad.

• Head coach John Danowski is in his fifth season at Duke. He carries a 286-152 (.653) record at the school.

THE LAST TIME

• Duke defeated Notre Dame 6-5 in overtime during the title game of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Baltimore, Md. C.J. Costabile scored the game winner five seconds into sudden-death overtime.

• Zach Brenneman led the Irish offense with three goals, while fellow midfielder David Earl produced a goal and two assists. Goalie Scott Rodgers made 15 saves for the Irish. Notre Dame went 8-for-15 in faceoffs.

• The Fighting Irish grabbed a 5-4 lead on a Sean Rogers goal with 11:56left in regulation. Duke evened the contest on a Justin Turri tally with 8:44 remaining. The Blue Devils held a slim 33-31 edge in shots. Duke's Dan Wigrizer made five saves.

• Refer to page 12 for a complete box score of the 2010 national title game.

MIDFIELD MAGIC

• Zach Brenneman netted a hat trick in both games versus Duke last season. He tallied four points on three goals and one assist in the 11-7 season-opening win at Duke. Brenneman deposited three goals against the Blue Devils in thenational title game.

• Brenneman's team-high 29 goals last season marked the first time a Fighting Irish midfielder ever led Notre Dame in goals scored.

IRISH AGAINST THE ACC

• Notre Dame is 8-19 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams.

• The Irish went 2-1 against ACC foes last season. Notre Dame topped Duke 11-7 in the season opener, yet fell to the Blue Devils 6-5 in overtime during the national title game. The Irish defeated Maryland 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.

IRISH IN SEASON-OPENERS

• Notre Dame is 23-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 17-5 record in the Kevin Corrigan era.

• The Irish have won a program-record eight straight season-openers.

• Last season, Notre Dame won its lid-lifter, 11-7, over Duke in Durham, N.C.

• 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 17-3 in the month of February during his Notre Dame tenure. The Irish have won 12 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

• The Fighting Irish are 0-3 all-time when facing the defending national champion. 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 BIG STAGE

• Playing in a marquee venue on Sunday will be nothing new for Notre Dame. The Irish have played in some top-notch stadiums during recent seasons. Not only did the Irish compete at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. during the 2010 final four, they also played Loyola in the venue during that season's Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.

• In 2009, Notre Dame played Ohio State at Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe) in Columbus, Ohio. Two weeks prior, the Irish faced Denver at Invesco Field, which is home to the NFL's Denver Broncos.

• In 2008, Notre Dame and Denver met at Toyota Park, home to the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer (MLS) and former residence of Major League Lacrosse's Chicago Machine, in Bridgeview, Ill.

• Notre Dame and North Carolina met at the Home Depot Center, which houses the MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy, during the 2005 First Four Invitational in Carson, Calif.

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 Sunday's game will be 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 seven teams on their 2011 slate that appear in the latest Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. Sixth-ranked Notre Dame opens the campaign against No. 5 Duke. The Irish also will face No. 16 Drexel (March 6), No. 12 Denver (March 12), No. 20 Villanova (April 2), No. 15 Georgetown (April 10), top-ranked Syracuse (April 30), and No. 3 North Carolina (May 6).

FAMILY CONNECTION

• Gene Corrigan, the father of Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan, played his collegiate lacrosse at Duke from 1948-51.

• Kevin Corrigan's younger brother, Boo, currently is the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs at Duke.

ANOTHER KEMP IN CAGE

• Sophomore goalie John Kemp is the younger brother of former NotreDame All-America goalie Joey Kemp. The older Kemp starred in goal for the Irish from 2005-08 and earned All-America honors three times. 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.

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.

FAMILY FEUD

• Notre Dame senior midfielder Taylor Tripucka will meet his cousin, Duke sophomore midfielder Jake Tripucka, on the field during Sunday's matchup.

DEFENDING THE CAGE

• 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 return 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 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 four-game point streak into Sunday's season opener. Junior attackman Sean Rogers has scored a goal in three straight games, which is the best active goal streak on the Fighting Irish squad.

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 defensethat 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 theNCAA 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.

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 IslandLizards.

• 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 unanimousselection, 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.

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.

WINNING THE X

• 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) in2007.

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 270-145 (.651). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 206-103 (.667) during his Notre Dame tenure.

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

• Last season, Notre Dame 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 Irishsurrendered 23 goals in their four games of the tournament.


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