Sept. 12, 2016
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Classes are well underway and crisp weather has arrived to campus, signaling the start of the University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team’s 2016 fall season. Head coach Christine Halfpenny and the Fighting Irish released the program’s fall slate and will kick off the season in October.
This season’s schedule features five opponents that finished the 2016 season ranked, including matchups versus the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, respectively. Notre Dame has scheduled seven total exhibition games, spanning five dates this fall.
The Irish will begin their schedule against Delaware at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (October 1). The team will continue the weekend with a playday featuring games against the likes of Maryland and Florida, last year’s top-two ranked teams (October 2 at the University of Maryland).
"We can't wait to get going with the 2017 team,” Halfpenny said. “The fall is a time for us to focus on the fundamentals, a variety of personnel combinations, and experiment with the new rules that we'll be playing with in the spring. By scheduling strong opponents in October, we will have the opportunity to learn about ourselves and continue focusing on becoming the best team we can be."
Notre Dame travels to Northwestern the following weekend to compete against another top-20 opponent in the Wildcats (October 7 at Martin Stadium).
The Irish conclude their schedule with a full weekend of action at Arlotta Stadium, beginning with a game versus Stanford at 1:00 p.m. (October 15). Notre Dame’s matchup versus the Cardinal will occur just prior to the schools’ matchup on the gridiron that night. The weekend continues with a playday against Northwestern and Michigan on October 16 at Arlotta Stadium.
“We're especially excited this year to be closing out our outside competition this fall at home,” Halfpenny said. “Hosting a playday at Arlotta Stadium with some of the best teams in the country is a great opportunity to showcase the sport in the midwest. Women's lacrosse continues to grow at all levels and we welcome our fans to come and see the new 90-second possession clock in its first stages at ND”
Halfpenny and her squad are looking to build off of a 2016 campaign that saw them compete in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. The postseason run marked the fifth straight time the Irish have competed in the NCAA Championship.
The Irish received an influx of awards following completion of the 2016 season. Three players were named IWLCA All-Americans, including Cortney Fortunato (first team), Barbara Sullivan (first team) and Casey Pearsall (third team). Three Notre Dame players earned a spot on the Tewaaraton Watch List, including Sullivan, a two-time Tewaaraton Trophy finalist.
Admission to all women’s lacrosse fall games is free and open to the public.
2016 Notre Dame Women’s Lacrosse Fall Schedule
All Times ET
October 1 – ND vs. Delaware (1:00 p.m.)
October 2 – ND at Florida/Maryland (9:00 a.m.)
October 7 – ND at Northwestern (7:30 p.m.)
October 15 – ND vs. Stanford (1:00 p.m.)
October 16 – Michigan vs. ND (10:30 a.m.)
Stanford vs. Michigan (11:35 a.m.)
ND vs. Northwestern (12:35 p.m.)
Stanford vs. Northwestern (1:40 p.m.)
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, cross country/track and field and women’s basketball programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.