Jan. 27, 2011
#7 NOTRE DAME vs. U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
Sunday, January 30 1:30 p.m. (ET)
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
TV: ESPNU (Tape-delay at 10:00 p.m. ET)
SETTING THE STAGE
The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish will face the United States National Team in an exhibition contest on Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. Face-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. (ET). The game can be seen on ESPNU at 10:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. The showdown is part of the Champion Challenge.
Schedule of Clinics & Games (subject to change)
Saturday, January 29
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. U.S. women's national team clinic (pre-registration required)
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. U.S. men's national team clinic (pre-registration required)
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. U.S. women's national team coaching clinic (pre-registration required)
4:30 p.m. U.S. women's U-19 team vs. Rollins College
5:00 p.m. U.S. women's senior team (white) vs. University of Virginia
7:00 p.m. U.S. women's U-19 team vs. Jacksonville University
Sunday, January 30
11:00 a.m. U.S. women's senior team (white) vs. University of Maryland (ESPNU)
11:00 a.m. U.S. women's senior team (blue) vs. University of Virginia
1:30 p.m. U.S. women's senior team (blue) vs. University of Maryland
1:30 p.m. U.S. men's national team vs. Notre Dame (ESPNU)
Note - Both TV games will air back-to-back on delay, beginning at 10 p.m. on Sunday, January 30
CHAMPION CHALLENGE TICKET INFORMATION
Adult One-day General Admission: $14.50
Youth One-day General Admission: $10.00
Adult LOE - $29.00
Youth LOE - $20.00
(LOE = Length of Event)
Children 3 and under are free
Tickets will be sold at the event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports lacrosse ticket gate.
ABOUT THE IRISH
Notre Dame returns six starters and 16 letterwinners from last season's squad that made the program's first appearance in the NCAA Championship title game. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke, 6-5 in overtime, in the NCAA final to finish with a 10-7 record.
Notre Dame welcomes back its top scorer in senior midfielder Zach Brenneman. Brenneman posted team-high and career-best totals in goals (29), assists (13) and points (42) in 2010.
Notre Dame's defense ranked second nationally last season by allowing just 7.53 goals per game. The Irish surrendered only 23 goals (5.75 per game) during their NCAA Tournament run, which featured three wins over top-10 teams, #6 Princeton (8-5), #3 Maryland (7-5), #7 Cornell (12-7).
Notre Dame is entering its second season of BIG EAST play. The Irish registered a 2-4 league record last season.
Kevin Corrigan is beginning his 23rd season as the head coach of Notre Dame. He has a 206-103 (.667) record during his Fighting Irish tenure.
FIVE IRISH PLAYES EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Five Fighting Irish seniors garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Zach Brenneman (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) were named to the first team, while Sam Barnes (D) was a second-team pick. David Earl (M) was selected to the third team and Andrew Irving (LSM) was an honorable mention selection.
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.
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.
Barnes (Branford, Conn./Branford), a fifth-year senior, did not play last season due to injury. He received honorable mention All-America honors as a junior in 2009 as he was a valuable member to the nation's top-ranked defense (6.19 goals-allowed per game). Barnes routinely locked down the opponent's top scorer as a starter in all 16 contests. His 28 ground balls were a single-season career-high total.
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.
Irving (McLean, Va./The Hotchkiss School) played in every game one season ago and registered a career-high three goals to go along with two assists. The five points were a career-best figure. Irving picked up a team-leading 76 ground balls, which also were a career-high total.
IRISH NAME 2011 CAPTAINS
Seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M), Andrew Irving (LSM) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish.
DEFENDING THE CAGE
The Fighting Irish ranked second nationally last season with a 7.53 goals-against average. Notre Dame boasted the nation's top defense in 2009 by producing a school-record 6.19 goals-against average. The Irish had the nation's fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game. In 2007, Notre Dame ranked fourth nationally with a 6.66 mark.
Notre Dame boasted the nation's sixth-best man-down defense (.750) in 2010.
WINNING THE X
Notre Dame ranked 17th nationally in faceoff winning percentage last season. The Irish went 185-156 for a .543 average. Departed senior Trever Sipperly ranked 21st nationally with a .557 winning percentage (181-144).
The Irish produced the nation's ninth-best faceoff winning percentage (.556) in 2009.
PROGRAM-RECORD FIVE IRISH PLAYERS SELECTED IN MLL DRAFT
A school-record five Notre Dame players were selected in last week's Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft. Midfielder Zach Brenneman became the highest pick in program history as he went fifth overall to the Long Island Lizards.
Syracuse led all schools with seven players selected while Notre Dame and Maryland were next with five players drafted.
The Hamilton Nationals selected Fighting Irish midfielder David Earl in the third round (13th overall selection), while defenseman Kevin Ridgway also went to Hamilton five picks later. Long Island tabbed defenseman Sam Barnes in the fifth round (29th overall) and the Denver Outlaws picked long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving in the sixth round (33rd overall).
The MLL Draft, which usually has been held in June, was moved up to January so the drafted players can begin their professional careers immediately following their 2011 college season.
IRISH PICKED SECOND IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
Notre Dame has been picked to finish second in the BIG EAST according to the league's 2011 preseason coaches poll.
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.
Fighting Irish senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was tabbed as the BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the Year.
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).
This is the second season for BIG EAST men's lacrosse. Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record.
Notre Dame will be squaring off against a familiar face on Sunday. Goalie Scott Rodgers, a two-time All-American with the Irish, will be suiting up for Team USA. Rodgers was named the 2010 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player for his performance in leading the Irish to the national title game. Rodgers allowed just 23 goals in four NCAA Tournament games.
Rodgers ranked first nationally last season in save percentage (.605) and was third in goals-against average (7.56).
Rodgers posted a 24-6 career record with the Fighting Irish. He notched a 6.77 career goals-against average and a .642 save percentage. He copped third-team All-America honors in 2009, which was his first season as a starter, and he was an honorable mention pick last season.
IRISH OPEN SEASON WITH TITLE GAME REMATCH
Notre Dame will open the 2011 campaign against Duke at the inaugural Sunshine Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The game will be played at Everbank Field, home to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Blue Devils topped the Irish in overtime, 6-5, during the 2010 NCAA Championship title game. Notre Dame opened the 2010 season with an 11-7 win at Duke.
IN THE POLLS
Notre Dame is ranked seventh in both the Lacrosse Magazine and Inside Lacrosse preseason rankings.
There are seven teams on Notre Dame's 2011 schedule that appear in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings. Those squads are Syracuse (1), North Carolina (3), Duke (8), Denver (14), Georgetown (15), Villanova (16) and Drexel (17).
Seven Irish foes also appear in the Inside Lacrosse poll. Those teams are Syracuse (1), North Carolina (3), Duke (5), Georgetown (13), Denver (14), Drexel (17) and Villanova (20).
FALL BALL IN SAN FRANCISCO
More than 6,000 Northern California lacrosse fans were treated to a 10-7 Notre Dame victory over Johns Hopkins on Oct 16. The exhibition contest, which was part of the second annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic, was played at Kezar Stadium. All the proceeds from the game benefitted the BAYS Foundation.