Junior Jenny Granger and the Irish open the season ranked 20th in the IWLCA Preseason Poll while also being tabbed for two television dates on CBS Sports Network.

Irish Open Season Ranked 20th In IWLCA Poll

Feb. 7, 2012

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After being projected to finish fourth in the BIG EAST Conference in January, the University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has been ranked 20th in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division I Preseason Poll, it was announced recently.

“As far as the preseason ranking, we aren’t really paying too much attention to those polls that are going out before the 2012 team has played a minute of lacrosse yet,” stated first year head coach Christine Halfpenny. “It’s always nice to be recognized but we are more interested in taking care of one game at a time and seeing what we have accomplished at the end of the season when the final poll is released. That is the one that really counts.”

Northwestern begins the season as the preseason favorite, earning 17 of the 20 first place votes after putting together a 21-2 record last season en route to claiming the NCAA championship. Maryland opens the year ranked second, acquiring the remaining three first-place votes, while North Carolina rounds out the top three.

The Irish received 57 total votes in the preseason poll and represent one of four BIG EAST schools to appear in the rankings along with Loyola (Md.) (seventh), Syracuse (12th) and Georgetown (15th). With four teams appearing in the polls, the BIG EAST falls just one shy of both the ACC and the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) with five teams ranked apiece.

Two of the three BIG EAST foes joining Notre Dame in the preseason rankings also are tabbed to be featured in live television broadcasts against the Irish on CBS Sports Network. Notre Dame’s game against Syracuse at Arlotta Stadium on Thurs., April 5 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) will serve as the first BIG EAST game to be televised on the season. The Irish again will appear on the station on Sat., April 21 at 2:30 p.m. when they square off against Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Additionally, CBS Sports Network will cover both BIG EAST Tournament semifinal contests as well as the championship match.

“We are thrilled to have two games broadcast during the BIG EAST regular season this year,” remarked Halfpenny. “It is a great opportunity for everyone to see the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse brand in a highly competitive match-up that will be an important game with BIG EAST Tournament seeding at stake. That game is also two months from now and we are looking forward to seeing the growth that takes place during the non-conference season to prepare us for our BIG EAST opponents.”

Notre Dame gets competitive action underway later this week when it heads to Baltimore, Md., for an exhibition tilt against Johns Hopkins on Feb. 11. The Irish then return home to kick off their regular season as they face Stanford on Feb. 19.