May 22, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On the day before the University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team takes on the University of Denver in the national semifinals and just one day after being honored as a first team All-American selection, junior defenseman Matt Landis has been honored by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) with the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top player on defense.
The Pelham, New York native becomes the third different Fighting Irish player to earn one of the USILA’s top awards. Former Irish goalies Joey Kemp and John Kemp were honored with the Ens. C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Landis has helped anchor a Notre Dame defense that has allowed 9.21 goals per game this season and ranks 18th nationally in that category. He appeared to solidify his stake for the honor last Saturday in his team’s 14-10 NCAA Championship quarterfinal victory over Albany as shut down the Great Danes’ Lyle Thompson. Landis held the NCAA’s all-time career points leader (400) to just one goal and four assists in helping lead his team to back-to-back appearances in Championship Weekend for the first time in school history.
The ACC Defensive Player of the Year has keyed a Notre Dame defense that also ranks ninth in ground balls (32.57 per game) and 12th in caused turnovers (7.71 per game). A first-team all-ACC honoree, Landis has started all 14 games for the Irish this season and collected 29 ground balls.
The USILA also announced its other major award winners on Friday. The Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award as the nation’s Most Outstanding Player went to Thompson from Albany. Myles Jones of Duke took home the Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation’s top midfielder; Kevin Rice of Syracuse was tabbed as the recipient of the Lt. Col. Jack Turnbull Award as the country’s best attackman; and goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr of Maryland earned the Kelly Jr. Award.
The No. 1 seed Fighting Irish and No. 4 seed Pioneers will faceoff tomorrow at 1 p.m. (ET) from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia in the first of two semifinal matchups kicking off NCAA Championship Weekend. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
The University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team pursues excellence on and off the field through the three pillars in which the program is built: Character, Culture & Community. These three foundational values guide the promise of the program, which is to provide its student-athletes with the most compelling and enriching experience in all of college athletics. Through academics, competition, service and travel, the program aims to immerse its players in situations that enhance their student-athlete experience to help them become the people, students and teammates they aspire to be.
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