Captain Leah Gallagher and the Irish will get an up-close look at defending national champion Maryland on Sunday.

Women's Lacrosse Opens Fall Slate This Weekend

Sept. 25, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The fall season’s results may be unofficial on the scoreboard but the gains in experience that Notre Dame women’s lacrosse head coach Christine Halfpenny expects her team to make over the next three weeks are official on the field. This weekend, the Irish embark upon a fall schedule which features three of last year’s final top 15 teams among its five opponents, including contests against two of the top three teams in the country from this past spring.

Notre Dame will head to Maryland this weekend, first facing off against No. 15 Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday at Notre Dame Prep in Towson, Maryland. The game will be a Homecoming for four Notre Dame players who attended Notre Dame Prep, freshman Molly Cobb, freshman Caroline Doyle, junior Hannah Hartman and junior Danielle Lukish. Sunday, the Irish head down the road to College Park, Maryland for an 11 a.m. EDT game against defending national champion Maryland, along with a 12:30 p.m. tilt against Maryland-Baltimore County.

The Irish will play their final two fall games at Arlotta Stadium. At noon EDT Oct. 5, No. 3 Northwestern comes to South Bend looking for a measure of revenge after Notre Dame downed the Wildcats, 9-8, on March 5. Notre Dame concludes is fall slate at 10 a.m. EDT Oct. 11 when the Irish plays host to Marquette.

“We are excited to continue to play high level lacrosse in our off-season,” Halfpenny said. “Having the opportunity to compete against Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Northwestern early on, is an awesome indicator of where we are currently and what we need to work on between now and the spring. Right now, our main goal is that we get better every day. With these scrimmages, we are able to track our improvements against outside competition. The added bonus of transitioning our freshman to the college game is also something that the entire team is looking forward to seeing as soon as this weekend.”

The Irish come off of a 2014 season in which Notre Dame earned the eighth seed for the NCAA Championships, playing host to the national showcase’s opening rounds for the first time since 2009. Notre Dame returns the core of a team that led the ACC in both ground balls and caused turnovers, advancing to the NCAAs for the sixth time in seven years. Notre Dame returns 25 of the 32 student-athletes from this past spring’s roster, a group that accounts for 206 of the 229 (90 percent) of the team’s 2014 goals. This core was augmented by the addition of a freshman class which Lacrosse Magazine ranked 10th in the nation.