May 11, 2017
By Megan Golden
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Razor sharp focus. Inspired by team psychologist Dr. Mick Franco, the University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse team has keyed in on the importance of focus and visualizing its success. The Irish will look to execute razor sharp focus in their sixth straight appearance in the NCAA First Round against Cornell at 7 p.m. ET on Friday at Class of `52 Stadium (Princeton).
The Irish arrived in Princeton on Thursday, eager to begin their quest for their first national title. Notre Dame will make its 12th NCAA tournament appearance, entering postseason play with a 7-11 all-time record in 18 tournament games (6-1 at home).
Notre Dame has won one NCAA tournament game in each of the past three seasons. The Irish have gone to the tournament six times in as many years under Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny and are 3-5 over the past five NCAA Championships.
"It's been a great week of prep for this group, which says a lot considering we are in final exams," Halfpenny said. "The team is excited to be back in New Jersey and has a razor sharp focus in everything they are doing.
"We had a great, light pregame practice to get loose and comfortable. I loved the energy and enthusiasm that was there. Great vibes."
Last year, the Irish topped No. 10 Northwestern, 15-3, in the second round and then fell to eventual champion and No. 3 seed North Carolina, 6-10, in the quarterfinals.
WHAT: Notre Dame vs. Cornell (NCAA First Round)
WHEN: Friday, May 12, 2017 at 7 p.m. ET
WHERE: Class of `52 Stadium (Princeton)
LIVE STREAM: Ivy League Digital Network
History vs. Cornell
Notre Dame and Cornell will face off for the 12th time in program history. The Irish own a 7-4 record against the Big Red, including a 1-0 neutral site record.
The Irish and the Big Red last met on March 17, 2012 during Halfpenny's first season at Notre Dame. In that game, Notre Dame defeated Cornell, 17-13.
The teams' lone postseason meeting came in 2006, when the Irish topped the Big Red, 16-8, and ultimately advanced to the Final Four in Boston, coincidentally the site of this season's Final Four.
With a win on Friday, the Irish will play No. 5 seed Princeton in the NCAA Second Round.
Class of 2017
With Notre Dame's at-large bid in the tournament, the Irish senior class became the third class in program history to make four trips to the NCAA tournament. The seniors have gone 3-3 in the NCAA tournament thus far.
The Class of 2017 owns a career record of 46-32 (.590) over their four seasons at Notre Dame. The eight seniors have a combined 470 goals (6.03 gpg), 217 assists (2.8 apg) and 672 points (8.6 ppg).
Tewaaraton Award Nominee
Senior Cortney Fortunato has been selected as a Tewaaraton Award nominee for the third consecutive season. The attacker has recorded a team-high 57 goals, 21 assists and 78 points with 28 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers in 18 games this season.
Friday's game will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network and will be free of charge.
To visit Notre Dame's Tournament Central page, click here.
For a closer, behind-the-scenes look at the Irish women's lacrosse program, follow @NDWomensLax on Twitter and ndwlax on Snapchat.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women's basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.