May 3, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team will play host to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday, May 10. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 12 noon (ET). The Fighting Irish garnered the seventh seed for the tournament.
Notre Dame (15-0) will be making its 14th trip overall, and fourth straight, to the NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish are 5-13 all-time in NCAA play. This marks the third time that Notre Dame has garnered a seed for the tournament. The Irish were the fifth seed in 2001 and advanced to the national semifinals for the first time in program history. Last season, the Irish were the No. 6 seed and moved on to the quarterfinals.
The 2008 campaign was the first time the Irish had ever hosted an NCAA Championship contest. Notre Dame topped Colgate, 8-7 in overtime, in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Syracuse, 11-9, in the quarterfinals. That was the fourth NCAA quarterfinal berth for the Fighting Irish.
Earlier today, Notre Dame defeated Ohio State, 16-7, to claim the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) tournament title and the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame is the only GWLL team to make this year's NCAA field.
Notre Dame has won a program-record 25 straight games at home. That is the longest active streak in the country. The Fighting Irish defense ranks first in the nation with a 6.13 goals-against average. The Notre Dame offense also ranks in the top 10 nationally by averaging 11.53 goals per contest. The Irish are the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I men's lacrosse.
Maryland will carry a 9-6 record into its meeting with the Fighting Irish. The Terrapins posted a 2-1 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) this season. Maryland is averaging 10.18 goals per game, while allowing 7.59 per game.
The Terrapins and Irish have two common opponents this season (Air Force & North Carolina). Both squads defeated Air Force (Notre Dame 10-4, Maryland 15-4). The Irish topped North Carolina, 9-7, on March 8. Maryland defeated the Tar Heels, 8-7, during the regular season (March 21) yet fell to North Carolina, 16-10, in the ACC tournament last weekend.
This will be the third meeting between Notre Dame and Maryland. The Terrapins have won all three previous encounters. Maryland captured a 9-8 double-overtime victory in the last meeting, which occurred during the 2004 season. In the only meeting at Notre Dame, the Terrapins produced a 10-4 win in 2003. This will be the second time both squads have met in the NCAA Championship. In 1995, Notre Dame fell at Maryland, 14-11, in the quarterfinals. That was the first quarterfinal appearance in Irish history.
The 16-team NCAA Championship field is comprised of seven automatic-qualifying teams and nine at-large teams. Only the top eight squads in the field are seeded. Virginia garnered this year's No. 1 seed, while Syracuse is the second seed and Duke is the third seed.
The winner of the Notre Dame-Maryland contest will take on the winner of the Syracuse-Siena tilt in the quarterfinal round on Saturday, May 16 in Hempstead, N.Y. The semifinals and finals will be held in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on May 23 & 25. For more information on the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship, including a complete bracket, log onto www.ncaa.com
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