Jan. 20, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Anticipation continues to build for the University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program, as the team recently announced its challenging 2016 schedule. Deemed by Inside Lacrosse as the nation’s toughest competitive slate, the Fighting Irish will play nine opponents ranked in the Face-off Yearbook preseason rankings, including six of the Top 10 teams. Notre Dame enters its campaign for the first time as the publication’s preseason favorite.
“We look forward to playing a great schedule that will not only challenge us week to week, but also help us develop into the best team we can be,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said.
Notre Dame lacrosse season ticket holders and fans alike will be treated to seven home games, highlighted by a nonconference battle with defending NCAA champion Denver and a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference contests against Virginia and Duke. The Irish, who boast two consecutive NCAA semifinal runs, complement their meeting with Denver with a road contest against fellow NCAA final four contender, Maryland.
GROWING THE GAME
In a continued effort to expand the game of lacrosse from coast-to-coast, Notre Dame is scheduled to take part in a pair of regular-season games at neutral sites.
The Irish officially open the season in Atlanta, Georgia at the 2016 Cobb County Classic on Feb. 20. Organized as a way to promote high-end collegiate lacrosse in the Southeast, the event will feature Notre Dame versus Georgetown. Last season, the Irish also commenced their season with a matchup against the Hoyas, resulting in a 14-12 Notre Dame victory. Georgetown is coming off an improved 2015 season, which resulted in a trip to the BIG EAST Conference championship game.
Notre Dame will headline the 2016 Pacific Coast Shootout, scheduled to take place March 5 in Los Angeles, California. Taking their talents to the West Coast, Notre Dame will go head-to-head with Maryland, the 2015 NCAA runner-up.
A chance for redemption is in store of the Irish, as they host defending NCAA champion Denver on March 13 at Arlotta Stadium. With a berth to the title game on the line, the Pioneers outlasted the Irish 11-10 in overtime in the NCAA semifinals last season. The pair also met in the 2015 regular season on Denver’s home turf. Overall, Notre Dame leads the series 14-6.
Another can’t miss matchup for Irish fans takes place March 19 at Arlotta Stadium. The Virginia Cavaliers will be in town to face the Irish in one of two pivotal ACC home contests for Notre Dame. Last season, Notre Dame defeated Virginia on the road, 11-9. Despite the Irish victory, Virginia still holds a slight 5-4 advantage in the all-time register. The Cavaliers return seven starters from last season’s squad, including 77 percent of its point production.
Duke will serve as Notre Dame’s second home ACC competitor, with the game scheduled for April 10. A rematch of the 2014 national title game, Notre Dame split its meetings with the Blue Devils last season, winning in the regular season, 15-10, but falling in the 2015 ACC Tournament, 13-8.
The Irish once again hosts Marquette after defeating the Eagles 14-7 last season at Arlotta Stadium. Scheduled for April 13, the Irish will look to improve upon their undefeated 3-0 all-time standing against the Golden Eagles.
Along with the highlighted showdowns, Notre Dame will also welcome Bellarmine (Feb. 24), Detroit (Feb. 27) and Army (May 8).
A meeting with the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio is on tap for the Irish on March 26. A clash between two Midwest programs, Notre Dame and Ohio State have met every year since 1981. The Irish have won the last 13 encounters, including a 9-0 shutout last season.
On the road in ACC play, Notre Dame is slated to take on Syracuse (April 2) and North Carolina (April 23). Syracuse, the defending ACC tournament champion, maintains an all-time series lead over the Irish. Notre Dame, however, stepped up to the plate last season, defeating the then top-ranked Orange in double overtime. The win marked the first time in program history Notre Dame defeated a top-ranked opponent. Overtaking the No. 1 spot, Notre Dame went on to defeat then No. 2 North Carolina in front of a capacity and record crowd at Arlotta Stadium. The Irish lead the all-time register with the Tar Heels, 7-6.
Notre Dame will vie for its fourth overall conference tournament title at the 2016 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship, April 29-May 1. The Irish last captured the tournament crown in 2014.
The Irish will hope to see their name in the NCAA championship field for the 11th consecutive year when the 20-team field is announced May 8. Notre Dame has advanced to Championship Weekend four times in the last six campaigns, including title-game appearances in 2010 and 2014.
Notre Dame returns three first-team All-America honorees from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association – senior Matt Kavanagh (Rockville Centre, New York/Chaminade/Hotchkiss), junior Sergio Perkovic (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan/Brother Rice) and senior Matt Landis (Pelham, New York/Pelham Memorial). Last season marked the first time the Irish have had three first-team picks. Junior Garrett Epple, who garnered honorable mention All-America accolades, is another returnee for the Irish. Epple, a native of Cockeysville, Maryland, is a product of Calvert Hall College High School.
Overall, the Irish bring back seven starters from the 2015 campaign and 34 total student-athletes who earned playing time.
As a unit, Notre Dame captured the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in 2015 in just its second season as a conference member. Notre Dame concluded the season with a 12-3 overall record and an undefeated 4-0 conference standing.
Fans can catch their very first glance at the new-look Irish Saturday, Jan. 30, as the squad hosts Air Force in an exhibition contest at Loftus Sports Center. The team will return to Loftus, Feb. 7, for another pre-season affair against Major League Lacrosse’s Atlanta Stars.
NOTRE DAME OPPONENTS – PRESEASON RANKINGS
No. 2 – Denver
No. 3 – Duke
No. 4 – Maryland
No. 5 – North Carolina
No. 7 – Virginia
No. 8 – Syracuse
No. 13 – Ohio State
No. 16 – Marquette
No. 18 – Georgetown
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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