April 27, 2016
— #4/#4/#3 NOTRE DAME (9-2, 3-1 ACC, #2 seed) at #14/#13/#10 DUKE (9-6, 2-2 ACC, #3 seed)
— Friday, April 29, 2016 – 8:30 p.m. EDT
— Fifth Third Bank Stadium – Kennesaw, Georgia (at Kennesaw State University)
Rankings are Inside Lacrosse (media)/USILA (coaches)/Lacrosse magazine
Notre Dame is the number-two seed in the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and faces third-seeded Duke in a rematch of an April 10 regular-season game in South Bend won 8-6 by the Irish. Notre Dame and North Carolina shared the ACC regular-season crown with identical 3-1 records, but the Tar Heels merited the top seed based on their head-to-head win Saturday in Chapel Hill. The Notre Dame-Duke ACC semifinal assignment is a rematch of a 2015 ACC semifinal won 13-8 by Duke. Both Notre Dame and Duke played at the Kennesaw State facility back on Feb. 20 in the Cobb County Classic–with Notre Dame opening its season by beating Georgetown 12-7 and Denver defeating Duke 14-12.
— All five ACC teams (Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia) will travel to the greater Atlanta area, with the top four finishers from the regular season competing for the ACC Championship. The four-team tournament begins Friday with semifinal action, with games at 6 p.m. (#1 seed North Carolina vs. #4 seed Syracuse) and 8:30 p.m. (#2 seed Notre Dame vs. #3 seed Duke). The championship game will be played at noon Sunday. Virginia will play Brown at 7 p.m. Saturday.
— All four games will be played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, an 8,300 seat venue in Kennesaw, Georgia. The 2016 tournament marks the sixth time in the event’s 28-year history that it has been held at a neutral site. Prior to coming to Fifth Third Bank Stadium in 2016, PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, played host in 2014 and 2015, following Baltimore in 2005 and 2006 and Orlando, Florida, in 2001.
Live on ESPNU (Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich, Paul Carcaterra)
#ACCMLAX CHAMPIONSHIP PAGE
BUY #ACCMLAX TICKETS
THE 2016 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
Tickets for the 2016 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship to be held April 29-May 1 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium located in Kennesaw, Georgia, are on sale now. Single-day tickets start at $20, while all-session books start at $50.
— Tickets for groups of 10 or more start at $15 per ticket. Families, teams and community groups can take advantage of affordable ticket options for either single-day or all-session admission. Fans interested in saving on group tickets should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470-578-4849.
— For more ticket information to purchase tickets, call the Fifth Third Bank Stadium Box Office at 470-578-4849 or go to www.wherekennesawplay.com.
Notre Dame began the 2016 season rated first in both the Nike/Lacrosse magazine and Cascade/Maverik/Inside Lacrosse media preseason polls, while the Irish were second (behind 2015 NCAA champion Denver) in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association preseason poll of coaches.
— Notre Dame has ranked either first, second or third in all three major polls every week in 2016.
— The Irish held the top spot in all three major polls in the the Feb. 15 and April 18 rankings.
NOTRE DAME AND THE NUMBER-ONE SPOT
Since the program’s inception in 1981, Notre Dame has been ranked #1 in both the USILA (coaches) and Inside Lacrosse (media) polls for 10 weeks, most recently in the April 18 polls.
— Here are Notre Dame’s appearances at #1:
* April 18/May 2, 2011 (USILA and media polls — 2 weeks)
* March 25/April 1, 2013 (USILA and media polls — 1 week)
* April 22/April 29, 2013 (USILA and media polls — 1 week)
* March 30/April 20, 2015 (USILA and media polls — 4 weeks)
* February 15, 2016 (USILA and media polls — 1 week)
* April 18, 2016 (USILA and media polls — 1 week)
ACC Offensive Player of the Week
Feb. 8: Steve Pontrello, North Carolina
Feb. 15: Dylan Donahue, Syracuse
Feb. 22: Sergio Perkovic, Notre Dame
Feb. 29: Shane Simpson, North Carolina
March 7: Tim Barber, Syracuse
March 14: Myles Jones, Duke
March 21: Sergio Perkovic, Notre Dame
March 28: Deemer Class, Duke
April 4: Steve Pontrello, North Carolina
April 11: Sergio Perkovic, Notre Dame
April 18: Deemer Class, Duke
April 25: Luke Goldstock, North Carolina
ACC Defensive Player of the Week
Feb. 8: Jake Matthai, North Carolina
Feb. 15: Nick Mellen, Syracuse/Kyle Rowe, Duke
Feb. 22: Shane Doss, Notre Dame/Ben Williams, Syracuse
Feb. 29: Stephen Kelley, North Carolina
March 7: Matt Landis, Notre Dame
March 14: Kyle Rowe, Duke
March 21: Shane Doss, Notre Dame/Stephen Kelly, North Carolina
March 28: Kyle Rowe, Duke
April 4: Matt Barrett, Virginia
April 11: John Sexton, Notre Dame/Brian Balkam, North Carolina
April 18: Danny Fowler, Duke
April 25: Stephen Kelly, North Carolina
CHECK OUT THAT IRISH DEFENSE
Can Notre Dame keep up the defensive prowess it has shown through the first 11 games of the season?
— Notre Dame held Denver to a season low in goals, despite the Pioneers having their second most offensive possessions of the season.
— The Irish held Denver off the scoreboard for a 28:54 period, including the entire third quarter– and then held Virginia without a goal for the first 22:20 of the game.
— Notre Dame shut out Ohio State in the third period (while scoring four goals), holding the Buckeyes off the scoreboard for 20:32 overall.
— The Irish shut out Syracuse in the fourth period at the Carrier Dome, holding the Orange off the scoreboard for the final 19:55 of the contest and limiting Syracuse to its lowest offensive output (seven goals) of 2016.
— Notre Dame held #12 Duke to six goals (three fewer than its previous low in 2016) against a Blue Devil offense that ranked second nationally in scoring at 14.5 goals per game.
— The Irish held #19 Marquette to seven goals, tied for its lowest output of 2016.
— Meanwhile, junior goalie Shane Doss has continued his glossy play–he ranks fifth in the country in goals-against average (7.43) and eighth in save percentage (.568). The Irish as a team rate fifth in the nation in defense at 7.55 goals allowed per contest.
THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED
An unbeaten 2016 Notre Dame team lost a March 13 overtime game to Denver and then defeated Virginia, Ohio State, Syracuse and Marquette in its next four games. A year ago, it was a 3-0 Notre Dame team that lost an overtime game to Denver. From there the Irish played at seventh-rated Virginia the next weekend, defeated the Cavaliers 11-9 and went on a six-game winning streak. That six-game streak also included victories over 15th-rated Ohio State, #1 Syracuse, #7 Duke, #15 Marquette and #2 North Carolina.
NCAA DIVISION I COMMITTEE RATES IRISH TOPS
The NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee April 23 issued the first of two top-10 rankings and listed Notre Dame number one (included games through April 17). Following the Irish were Denver, Brown, Maryland, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Navy, Albany, Marquette and Loyola. A second ranking will be distributed Friday (April 29) during the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship semifinals. The NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Selection Show is set for 9 p.m. EDT May 8 on ESPNU.
IRISH BOAST ACTIVE NCAA CAREER LEADERS
Notre Dame senior attack Matt Kavanagh heads into play this week with 211 career points to rank fourth nationally among active players (Duke’s Myles Jones has 222, Brown’s Dylan Molloy has 217, Syracuse’s Dylan Donahue is at 214). — Kavanagh also is seventh in career assists among active players with 95, 11th in points per game (3.58), 11th in assists per game (1.61) and 12th in career goals with 116.
IRISH IN 2016 NCAA STATS
Here’s where Notre Dame appears in the current NCAA statistics (through games of April 24):
— 5th in scoring defense (7.55), 5th in caused turnovers per game (8.82), 12th in scoring margin (+3.27), 15th in ground balls per game (30.91), 19th in clearing percentage (.880)
— Shane Doss 5th in goals-against average (7.43) and 8th in save percentage (.568), Mikey Wynne 12th in shot percentage (.452), Matt Kavanagh 14th in assists per game (2.10)