Dec. 5, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team has received preseason accolades from two publications heading into the 2008 campaign. LaxNews has the Fighting Irish ranked 13th in its preseason poll, while Inside Lacrosse has Notre Dame capturing its second straight Lacrosse America, formerly the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL), title.
The Lacrosse America coaches selected the preseason order of finish within the league. Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine followed Notre Dame in the voting. Johns Hopkins, Duke and Virginia are the top-three teams in the LaxNews preseason rankings.
The Fighting Irish are coming off an 11-4 campaign, which included a perfect 5-0 mark in league play. That marked the 18th conference title in the history of the program. Notre Dame appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time and fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in an overtime thriller.
Notre Dame returns four All-Americans from last year’s squad. Two-time All-America honoree Joey Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) is back for his senior season between the pipes. Kemp carries a 26-11 record with a 7.43 goals-against average and a .618 save percentage into his final collegiate campaign.
Fellow senior All-Americans Sean Dougherty (Malvern Pa./Malvern Prep) and Michael Podgajny (Ridley Park, Pa./Ridley Park) will provide experience, skill and leadership to the Irish roster. Dougherty helped Notre Dame post impressive defensive numbers last season. As a team, the Irish held opponents to just 6.66 goals per game, which was a school record. Podgajny brings firepower to the midfield unit. Podgajny tallied 39 points on 26 goal and 13 assists during his junior campaign.
Attackman Will Yeatman (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) is coming off a freshman season that saw him earn several accolades. In addition to receiving All-America honors, he was tabbed as the LaxPower Rookie of the Year, the GWLL Newcomer of the Year and was a first-team all-conference pick. Yeatman led the Irish in scoring with 46 points and assists with 25. He was fourth in goals with 21.
Ryan Hoff (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) notched a team-best 40 goals last season en route to being a first-team all-GWLL selection. Hoff returns for his junior year and will be relied on heavily, once again, in the Fighting Irish attacking unit.
— ND —