Dec. 13, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The 2013 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook has released its preseason conference rankings and the Notre Dame men's lacrosse team has been selected to win the BIG EAST according to a vote by the league's head coaches.
The Fighting Irish boast a league-best five preseason all-BIG EAST picks. Quinn Cully (Sr./M), Westy Hopkins (Jr./A), John Kemp (Sr./G), Jim Marlatt (So./M) and Matt Miller (Sr./D) all were named to the 13-man Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. The conference's seven head coaches selected the team members.
Cully (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury), a short-stick defensive midfielder, played in all 16 games last season and was a key part of Notre Dame's stout defensive unit. The Fighting Irish defense ranked first nationally by allowing just 6.31 goals per game. Cully also scored one goal and picked up eight ground balls. He has not missed a game during his Notre Dame career.
Hopkins (Newtown, Pa./LaSalle College H.S./Lawrenceville) started every game in Notre Dame's attacking unit during the 2012 campaign and notched 18 goals and seven assists. He also picked up 25 ground balls. Hopkins has played in all 30 contests during his Fighting Irish career, tallying 36 goals. He has four career hat tricks.
The Face-Off Yearbook recently released its preseason All-Americans and Kemp, Marlatt and Miller were on the list. Kemp was named to the first team, while Marlatt and Miller were selected to the second and third teams, respectively.
Kemp (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) earned first-team All-America honors last season as he led the nation in goals-against average (6.27) and save percentage (.637). He compiled a 13-3 record between the pipes and was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Kemp also was a 2012 Tewaaraton Award nominee. The Irish goalie received honorable mention All-America accolades as a sophomore in 2011.
Marlatt (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) had a major impact for the Irish last season after missing all of his freshman campaign due to injury. The midfielder tallied a team-high 31 points on 19 goals and a team-best 12 assists en route to copping first team all-BIG EAST honors and an honorable mention All-America citation. Marlatt notched three or more points in a game seven times last season, including a three-goal, two-assist performance against Yale in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Miller (Warrenton, Va./Notre Dame Academy) started every contest last season and was a key reason why the Fighting Irish boasted the nation's top defense. Notre Dame also had the country's top man-down defense (.892). The close defenseman picked up 30 ground balls. Miller received honorable mention All-America accolades and was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
Following the Irish in the preseason BIG EAST rankings are Syracuse, Villanova, St. John's, Georgetown, Rutgers and Providence, respectively. Notre Dame appears at No. 3 nationally in the Face-Off Yearbook's preseason top-20 poll. Syracuse (#14) is the only other BIG EAST squad that appears in the poll.
The Fighting Irish are the defending BIG EAST regular-season champion after posting a perfect 6-0 record in league play last season. Notre Dame was 13-3 overall in 2012 and advanced to the national semifinals for the second time in the last three seasons. The Irish topped Yale, 13-7, in the first round of the NCAA Championship and then defeated Virginia, 12-10, in the tournament's quarterfinals. The Irish fell to Loyola, 7-5, in the semifinals.
Notre Dame will open its 2013 campaign Feb. 16 at Duke. Prior to that contest, the Fighting Irish will face the U.S. National Team in the Champion Challenge for the third consecutive season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. That game is slated for Jan. 26.
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