Jan. 9, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame has been 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 were tri-champions of the league’s regular season in 2008 before winning the inaugural GWLL 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.
Two Fighting Irish players were named to the 2009 all-GWLL preseason team, which also was selected by the league’s head coaches. Seniors Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) and Regis McDermott (Amityville, N.Y./Chaminade) were selected to the 13-man squad.
In 2008, Hoff, an attackman, earned honorable-mention All-America accolades from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) along with garnering first-team all-GWLL honors for the second straight season. Hoff will be gunning for a third straight 40-goal season in 2009. He became the first player in program history to record back-to-back 40-goal campaigns as he notched 40 as a sophomore in ’07 and followed that with 41 tallies one season ago. His 102 career goals rank him fifth in school history.
McDermott will be looked upon to help anchor the Irish defense. He started all 17 games and picked up 37 ground balls last season and was a key force behind one of the nation’s top defenses. For his career, McDermott has appeared in 47 games and has collected 81 ground balls.
Notre Dame debuted at No. 9 in the Inside Lacrosse 2009 Face-Off Yearbook preseason rankings. The Irish return five starters and 18 letter-winners from last season’s squad that went 14-3. In 2008, Notre Dame ranked fifth nationally in both scoring defense (7.04) and scoring offense (12.09) and concluded the season ranked sixth according to Inside Lacrosse. Notre Dame, along with Denver and Ohio State, captured a share of the GWLL regular-season championship. The Irish won the league title outright in 2007. Overall, Notre Dame has captured 11 GWLL regular-season crowns.
The Fighting Irish will open the 2009 season with a tilt against Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, Feb. 14 in Atlanta, Ga.
— ND –