Kevin Ridgway was a key reason why Notre Dame's defense was among the best in the nation.

Program-Record Six Irish Players Garner USILA All-America Honors

May 26, 2011

2011 USILA All-AmericansGet Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A program-record six members of the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team received All-America honors as the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) announced the accolades on Thursday. David Earl (Sr./M) and Kevin Ridgway (Sr./D) were first-team selections, while Zach Brenneman (Sr./M) was named to the second team. Sam Barnes (Sr./D), Andrew Irving (Sr./LSM) and John Kemp (So./G) were honorable mention picks.

This year marks the first time that Notre Dame has boasted two first-team All-Americans in the same season.

The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program has produced at least one All-America honoree in every season dating back to 1993, a string of 19 years. The 29 Fighting Irish All-Americans have combined for 52 All-America honors. Notre Dame’s previous high for All-America honorees in a season was five, which occurred four times (2001, 2007, 2009, 2010).

Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) tied for the team lead in points this season with 25 on 15 goals and a team-high 10 assists. He also picked up 30 ground balls. Earlier this month, he was tabbed as the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year in addition to being named to the USILA Scholar All-America Team. This is the second All-America citation for Earl, who received honorable mention accolades last season. The Hamilton Nationals picked Earl in the third round of January’s Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Draft.

Ridgway (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Prep) was a key cog in an Irish defense that allowed just 6.57 goals per game, a mark that currently ranks second nationally. Notre Dame limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 10 times this season. Ridgway was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection this season. The Hamilton Nationals picked the defenseman in the third round of the MLL Draft. Ridgway copped honorable mention All-America honors last season.

Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) tallied 16 goals and six assists this season. He missed two games due to injury, yet still posted two hat tricks, which was tied for the team lead. Brenneman earned first-team all-BIG EAST accolades for the second straight season. This also is his second-straight All-America honor. He was an honorable mention pick one year ago. The midfielder was selected fifth overall by the Long Island Lizards in the MLL Draft.

Barnes (Branford, Conn./Branford) missed all of last season due to an injury, but returned for a fifth season and posted a solid campaign. Barnes started all 14 games and helped anchor the stout Fighting Irish defense en route to receiving first-team all-BIG EAST honors. He garnered honorable mention All-America accolades in 2009. Barnes was a fifth-round selection by the Long Island Lizards in the MLL Draft.

Irving (McLean, Va./The Hotchkiss School) missed four games this season due to injury, yet still was a key player for the Irish and was named to the all-BIG EAST second team. He registered a career-high six points on three goals and a career-best three assists. The goal total tied a career-high mark. Irving scooped up 20 ground balls and was a major asset to the Fighting Irish defense. This is his first All-America honor.

Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) posted an 11-3 record between the pipes this season, which was his first as a full-time starter. The sophomore ranks second nationally in goals-against average (6.61) and fourth in save percentage (.602). He is 24th nationally in saves per game (9.93). Kemp received a second-team all-BIG EAST citation.

Earl, Brenneman and Ridgway were among 25 nominees for the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player.

Notre Dame registered an 11-3 record this season. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke 7-5 on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.