Midfielder Zach Brenneman netted a hat trick in both meetings versus Duke last season.

Irish Picked Second In BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll

Jan. 21, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team has been picked to finish second in the BIG EAST according to the league’s 2011 preseason coaches poll. Fighting Irish senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was tabbed as the BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the Year.

Syracuse was selected to win the league with six first-place votes, while Notre Dame received one first-place nod. Rounding out the order of finish was Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Rutgers and Providence. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.

The seven conference teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular-season schedule. This is the second season for BIG EAST men’s lacrosse. Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record.

Four Notre Dame student-athletes were named to the 2011 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. Joining Brenneman were fellow seniors David Earl (M), a unanimous selection, Sam Barnes (D) and Kevin Ridgway (D). All four Irish players also are Inside Lacrosse preseason All-Americans.

Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) led the Fighting Irish with career-high totals in goals (29) and points (42) last season. He also notched a career-high 13 assists. Brenneman earned honorable mention All-America accolades in 2010. The midfielder netted hat tricks against both Cornell and Duke in the semifinals and finals, respectively, of the NCAA Tournament and was selected to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Brenneman also was named to the all-BIG EAST first team.

Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) tallied career-best numbers in goals (22) and assists (6) during the 2010 campaign. He received honorable mention All-America honors and was a second-team all-BIG EAST pick. Earl netted a single-game career-high five goals during an 8-5 win at Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Barnes (Branford, Conn./Branford), a fifth-year senior, did not play last season due to a knee injury. He started all 16 games as a junior in 2009 and received honorable mention All-America honors as he was a valuable member to the nation’s top-ranked defense. Notre Dame registered a school-record 6.19 goals-against average in 2009. His 28 ground balls were a single-season career-high total.

Ridgway (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Prep) started all 17 games last season and helped anchor an Irish defense that ranked second nationally by posting a 7.53 goals-against average. Notre Dame only surrendered 23 goals (5.75 per game) during its four games of the NCAA Championship. Ridgway was an honorable-mention All-American and he also was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Additionally, he was tabbed as a second-team all-BIG EAST performer.

Syracuse’s John Galloway (G) and Joel White (LSM) were named the 2011 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Players of the Year.

Notre Dame is ranked seventh in both the Inside Lacrosse preseason coaches poll and the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll. The Fighting Irish went 10-7 last season, including a 2-4 mark in BIG EAST play. Notre Dame fell to Duke, 6-5 in overtime, in the national title game. That was the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship final.

The Fighting Irish open their 2011 slate on Feb. 20 in a championship game rematch versus Duke as part of the inaugural Sunshine Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The Irish will take on the U.S. National Team in an exhibition contest on Jan. 30 in Orlando, Fla. The Duke game will be aired on ESPN, while the U.S. National Team contest will be broadcast on ESPNU.

2011 BIG EAST Preseason Awards & Poll
BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the YearZach Brenneman, Notre Dame, Sr., M

BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Players of the YearJohn Galloway, Syracuse, Sr., GJoel White, Syracuse, Sr., LSM
All-BIG EAST Preseason Team^Travis Comeau, Georgetown, So., ABarney Ehrmann, Georgetown, Sr., DSam Barnes, Notre Dame, Sr., DZach Brenneman, Notre Dame, Sr., M* David Earl, Notre Dame, Sr., MKevin Ridgway, Notre Dame, Sr., D*John Galloway, Syracuse, Sr., GStephen Keough, Syracuse, Sr., A*John Lade, Syracuse, Sr., DJovan Miller, Syracuse, Sr., MJeremy Thompson, Syracuse, Sr., M/FOJoel White, Syracuse, Sr., LSMKevin Cunningham, Villanova, Jr., ABrian Karalunas, Villanova, Sr., LSM
^ - players added to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team due to a tie in voting*- unanimous selection
BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll
2010 Points Overall Record
Syracuse (6) 36 13-2Notre Dame (1) 31 10-7Georgetown 25 9-5Villanova 22 10-5St. John's 14 5-9Rutgers 13 6-8Providence 6 0-14(-) - First-place votes