May 23, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A trio of University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse players have garnered All-America honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). Stephen O'Hara (Sr./D) was named to the first team, while Matt Kavanagh (So./A) was a second-team pick and Jack Near (Jr./M) earned honorable mention accolades.
This is the 10th consecutive season that Notre Dame has produced multiple USILA All-America honorees. These were the first All-America citations for O'Hara and Near, while Kavanagh was an honorable mention pick last season. In 26 seasons under the direction of head coach Kevin Corrigan, the Irish have had 35 different student-athletes earn 63 All-America accolades.
O'Hara (West Chester, Pa./St. Joe's Prep) has been a mainstay in Notre Dame's defensive unit over the last three seasons. He has started every contest in that time and has helped the Irish defense be one of the best in the nation. This season, O'Hara has picked up 31 ground balls and has caused 21 turnovers. The senior captain earned all-ACC honors along with being selected to the All-ACC Tournament Team. He was tapped as the ACC Defensive Player of the Week on March 18 for his role in Notre Dame's 18-9 victory over No. 7 Virginia. O'Hara, a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, was selected by the Ohio Machine in the sixth round of January's Major League Lacrosse Draft.
Kavanagh (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade/Hotchkiss) is Notre Dame's first ever 30-30 man. He leads the team in goals (35) and assists (30) in addition to collecting 38 ground balls. He has 10 multiple-goal games this season (seven hat tricks) and tied a school record with seven goals in a 13-7 win at Ohio State on March 25. The sophomore has scored some crucial goals for the Irish this season. He deposited the overtime winner in last Saturday's 14-13 victory over Albany in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship and he scored the decisive goal with seven seconds left in the 6-5 win over Maryland in the ACC semifinals. Kavanagh, a Tewaaraton Award nominee, was named the MVP of the ACC Championship in addition to earning all-league honors.
Near (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) has nine goals, five assists and 24 ground balls this season and he currently has a career-best six-game point streak. The short-stick defensive midfielder had two assists, including the one on Kavanagh's game winner, in the victory over Maryland in the ACC semifinals. He scored what proved to be the game winner in Notre Dame's 15-14 triumph of Syracuse in the ACC title game. Near followed that up with a career-high two goals against Army in the regular-season finale. He scored a goal versus Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament and had an assist against Albany in the quarterfinals.
The sixth-seeded Fighting Irish (11-5) will face seventh-seeded Maryland (13-3) Saturday in the national semifinals. Faceoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (ET) at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
The University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse team pursues excellence on and off the field through the three pillars in which the program is built: Character, Culture & Community. These three foundational values guide the promise of the program, which is to provide its student-athletes with the most compelling and enriching experience in all of college athletics. Through academics, competition, service and travel, the program aims to immerse its players in situations that enhance their student-athlete experience to help them become the people, students and teammates they aspire to be.
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