Feb. 11, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - With the regular-season opener at Jacksonville less than a week away, the University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse team will enter the 2014 campaign as a consensus top-five team nationally.
The Fighting Irish are ranked fifth in the Warrior, Lacrosse Magazine and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason polls. Notre Dame checked in at No. 4 in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook rankings.
Notre Dame will face the other top-nine squads of the Warrior media poll during the 2014 regular season. The Irish are the only team in the nation to have eight top-10 squads on their regular-season docket.
The Fighting Irish are entering their first season of Atlantic Coast Conference play and all six of the league members appear in the top-10 of the Warrior poll. Duke, Syracuse and North Carolina occupy the top three spots, respectively, while Maryland is sixth and Virginia is eighth.
Notre Dame's non-conference ledger features three other top-10 foes - No. 4 Denver, No. 7 Penn State and No. 9 Ohio State.
The season commences Sunday at Jacksonville. The Fighting Irish and Dolphins will square off at 7 p.m. (ET) at EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The game, which is part of the Moe's Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic, can be seen live on the NBC Sports Network. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The Fighting Irish are coming off an 11-5 campaign. Notre Dame finished the 2013 regular season with the nation's top RPI and earned a program-best No. 2 seed for the NCAA Championship before advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth straight season. Notre Dame is one of just two programs (Maryland) that have qualified for each of the last eight NCAA tournaments.
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