Pat O'Brien | Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Notre Dame will look for its 10th straight home win, a streak dating back to 2005, against Villanova today at 4 p.m. at Moose Krause Stadium.
No. 13 Notre Dame (5-3) enters the contest fresh off an impressive 11-3 victory over then-No. 20 Brown Saturday. It was the second win in a row for the Irish and the second time that they have held an opponent to only three goals this season. Notre Dame also defeated Bellarmine 11-3 March 20.
Villanova (4-3) enters the match coming off a 9-8 win over Hofstra.
Today marks the 11th meeting all-time between the Irish and the Wildcats. Notre Dame holds a 6-4 advantage over Villanova, earning victories in each of the previous six matchups, including a 10-7 win at Villanova last year. In that victory, Irish senior attacker Brian Hubschmann scored four goals and added an assist, while Irish junior goaltender Joey Kemp earned the win with seven saves.
This time around, Notre Dame will follow the lead of freshman attacker Will Yeatman. He tops the Irish with 26 points and 11 assists so far in his rookie campaign.
Sophomore attacker Ryan Hoff leads the team with 17 goals. Hubschmann is a close second with 16 tallies of his own, and Yeatman comes in with 15.
Kemp anchors the team on the defensive end once again this season as he has all eight decisions as goaltender along with a 7.05 goals-against average and a .604 save percentage.
Villanova, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), is led by senior midfielder Eric Heidenberger, who has 12 goals. Junior attacker Chris MacDonald has a team-high 16 points on six goals and 10 assists.
On the defensive side of the field for the Wildcats, sophomore goaltender Andrew DiLoreto owns a 4-2 record. He has a 7.43 goals-against average to go along with a .566 save percentage.
“I am very impressed by how hard Villanova plays,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “They have a lot of different guys to look out for. That’s what makes them so dangerous. They are really good on defense.”
The contest will be Notre Dame’s third game this year at home.
“We are very glad to be home again,” Corrigan said. “It is tough to open with five out of six games away from home. Hopefully we’ve learned from the first half of the season, and we’ve saved our best lacrosse for the second half.”
Today’s matchup begins a four-game home stretch for the Irish, during which they will face Air Force, Denver and Lehigh. Notre Dame will not travel again until the end of the month when it takes on Ohio State in Columbus April 28.
u Junior midfielder Taylor Clagett has been the face-off specialist for the Irish this year. He has won 88-of-155 (.568 percent) of the face-offs this season. His career winning percentage is .601 (345-of-574).