March 21, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Just because the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team doesn’t have a game this weekend doesn’t mean you have to wait until Tuesday’s showdown at Ohio State to see the Fighting Irish in action. Irish fans can fill the void by watching the featurette “Four Days In Colorado”, which follows the team during its fall break trip and showcases what it means to be part of the program.

Whether in South Bend or the Centennial State, the Notre Dame program constantly strives to challenge, enlighten and explore new opportunities for its student-athletes. The journey had a little bit of everything from competition to networking to spending time at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Along with scrimmaging the Air Force Academy, the two squads spent time together off the field during a ropes and leadership course and they also attended the Notre Dame-Air Force football game during the jam-packed four-day excursion.

Watching “Four Days In Colorado” will give the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the adventures the Fighting Irish enjoyed during their time out west.

“The trip was a terrific opportunity for our guys,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “The opportunity to travel to Colorado to do some service and do some really unique things as a team were great.”

The venture had increased significance for Fighting Irish junior midfielder Nick Ossello, a native of Wheat Ridge, Colo.

“It was really cool to be able to go back to Colorado with the team,” Ossello said. “The trip to the children’s hospital really put things in perspective for all of us. There was a freshman from the high school I went to who was getting treated for leukemia and she had just won the state championship in softball. I didn’t get the chance to meet her, but when I went around the hospital saying I was from Wheat Ridge a lot of the families knew where that’s at and would tell me where they were from.”

One of the more highly anticipated aspects of the Colorado trip was when the team took on the “Incline”, which is a rigorous trail that the Irish used as a training tool.

“I had never done that one before, but I had done some things similar to it,” Ossello said. “It was extreme. I honestly had a pretty good time with that, but it was grueling and excruciating. We were able to see the sunrise as we were walking up and that was gorgeous.”

While the Colorado trip was the highlight of the program’s fall ball season, it definitely wasn’t the only major event the student-athletes were able to experience. Before traveling west, the team’s upperclassmen began fall break by heading east for the annual networking day in New York City. The group met with Notre Dame alumni and others who work at key companies in the city. This journey has become a staple for the Fighting Irish program.

“The networking opportunities are great for our guys,” Corrigan said. “That’s something that’s going to be valuable to them the rest of their lives. They have to understand the importance of it and how to do it. They can be a resource for other people and they can also take advantage of the resources that are there for them.”

Community service always is at the forefront of the program and the Irish once again traveled to Chicago for a daylong service project. This was the second consecutive year the team ventured to the Windy City for a Playing for Peace service event. Joining the team this year was other Notre Dame students and the Notre Dame Monogram Club also was involved.

The Fighting Irish conducted a practice and free clinic with local kids and members of O.W.L.S (Outreach With Lacrosse & Schools) Lacrosse, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to starting transformative lacrosse programs for inner-city schools and low-income communities. Following a mass and networking lunch with Notre Dame students and alumni, the contingent divided up and traveled to three inner-city catholic schools (Cristo Rey, Hales Franciscan School, St. Malachy’s) to complete service projects.

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