Feb. 1, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The ninth-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team traveled to Orlando, Fla. this past weekend to take part in the Champion Challenge. The four-day training trip included scrimmages against Jacksonville University and the U.S. National Team at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
The team arrived in the Sunshine State on Thursday afternoon and immediately hit the practice field. On Friday, the Irish practiced early in the day and then faced Jacksonville that evening. The Fighting Irish practiced on Saturday prior to squaring off with Team USA in the late afternoon. A stretching/yoga session was held on Sunday before the Irish squad returned to South Bend.
This was the second straight season that the Fighting Irish took part in the Champion Challenge. Last year, Notre Dame played Team USA in a formal exhibition game, while Saturday’s event was a structured scrimmage.
“We went down to Florida for four days and got a lot of great work in,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “We got to be on the field five different times and play a couple of scrimmages. We were able to get quality work in and at this time of year that’s all you’re looking for. We were also able to see some different people play, which is always good in the preseason.”
Notre Dame will appear on ESPNU four times during the 2012 regular season starting with the season opener on Feb. 18 versus No. 2 Duke. ESPN recently announced its television dates for the 2012 NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse season.
Three of the four television appearances will be Fighting Irish home contests, including the Duke showdown, which is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Loftus Sports Center. Notre Dame’s home tilt versus No. 5 Denver on March 18 at Arlotta Stadium also will be televised. That contest is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET).
The lone Notre Dame road game that will be televised is the trip to 10th-ranked Villanova on April 21. That BIG EAST battle will get underway at 5:30 p.m. (ET) in Villanova, Pa.
The regular-season finale between Notre Dame and No. 7 Syracuse on April 28 at Arlotta Stadium also will be aired on the network. The Fighting Irish and Orange will square off at 5:00 p.m. (ET).
Seniors Nicholas Beattie (A), Max Pfeifer (M) and Kevin Randall (D) will serve as team captains for the Fighting Irish during the 2012 campaign. All three are first-time captains for Notre Dame.
Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) played in all 14 games, including 10 starts, last season and tallied eight goals and one assist. For his career, he has played in 35 games and has notched 37 points on 25 goals and 12 assists. Beattie has earned two monograms with the Irish.
Pfeifer (Crozet, Va./Western Albemarle) has been a prominent fixture on Notre Dame’s first midfield line in each of the last two seasons. He is a three-time monogram recipient who has registered 20 goals and 16 assists in 42 games during his Irish career.
Randall (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield) has earned two monograms as part of Notre Dame’s stout defense. Last season, Randall was a starter in all 14 contests and he helped the Fighting Irish defense rank second nationally by allowing just 6.57 goals per game. He has played in 39 career games, including 33 starts, and has picked up 35 ground balls. Randall was named to the 2012 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team last month. The Charlotte Hounds selected Randall in the seventh round (49th overall selection) of January’s Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.
“All three of our captains, as well as our entire senior class, really have a great sense of who we are as a team,” says Corrigan. “They know who we want to be and how we want to play. They are willing to play with a discipline, but also with aggressiveness and a confidence that is great. They communicate that to the other players on the team. We are lucky to have that kind of leadership. Their leadership is really important for us.”
IN THE POLLS
Notre Dame is ranked ninth in three different preseason polls. The Irish are listed at No. 9 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches poll, the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and the Lacrosse Magazine rankings. This is the 19th straight season that the Fighting Irish have been ranked in the USILA preseason poll.