Sept. 15, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman class has been ranked fifth-best in the nation by Inside Lacrosse, marking the fifth consecutive top-10 placement for the Irish.
The 2017 class is led by Andie Aldave, the nation’s top-ranked prep prospect after a decorated high school playing career at the McDonogh School outside of Baltimore. Aldave was joined in Inside Lacrosse’s top 50 by fellow Irish signees and Under Armour All-Americans Kaci Messier (No. 30) and Bridget Deehan (No. 47). Notre Dame also placed a pair of recruits on Inside Lacrosse’s top 50 watchlist in Lizzy Doherty and Diana Kelly.
Ranking fifth in the nation simply extended a trend for the Irish as head coach Christine Halfpenny has consistently utilized the University’s combination of academic and athletic excellence to attract some of the nation’s best student-athletes.
The Irish freshman classes have now ranked in the top 10 of Inside Lacrosse’s ranking each of the past five years, peaking at No. 3 in 2015. Aldave is the second top-ranked prospect to attend Notre Dame in this span, joining 2013’s No. 1 prep star Cortney Fortunato.
These lofty freshman classes have been no strangers to success once arriving in South Bend either.
The Irish have qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of the past six years – a program record. Meanwhile, of the 30 members of last year’s team, 23 Irish student-athletes earned at least a 3.3 GPA for the fall or spring semester, if not both. Notre Dame women’s lacrosse has posted a perfect 1000 APR score each of the past two years and has maintained a perfect 100 percent GSR for each of the 12 years in which the NCAA has tracked graduation success rate.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.