Both Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine are predicting that Southern Californians will be watching the next National Champion when Notre Dame plays Maryland in the Pacific Coast Shootout on March 5, 2016. The Fighting Irish are the pre-season choice as the No. 1 team in the nation, according to the annual Face-Off Yearbook presented by Inside Lacrosse and
Face-Off Yearbook Ranking
The annual Face-Off Yearbook presented by Inside Lacrosse lists Notre Dame as the pre-season No. 1 team in the nation. Lacrosse Magazine reports that Notre Dame, in particular, has knocked on the door long enough and has the pieces to earn the first national title in program history.
Notre Dame issued the following press release regarding the Face-Off Yearbook ranking:
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the preseason choice as the No. 1 team in the nation, according to the annual Face-Off Yearbook presented by Inside Lacrosse. Boasting two consecutive NCAA Championship semifinal runs, Notre Dame will enter its 2016 campaign for the first time as the publication’s preseason favorite.
“I appreciate and respect the honor of starting the year ranked No. 1,” Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan said. “I hope it can help us focus on doing the things it will take to end the year No. 1.”
Notre Dame returns three first-team All-America honorees from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association – senior Matt Kavanagh (Rockville Centre, New York/Chaminade/Hotchkiss), junior Sergio Perkovic (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan/Brother Rice) and senior Matt Landis (Pelham, New York/Pelham Memorial). Last season marked the first time the Irish have had three first-team picks. Junior Garrett Epple, who garnered honorable mention All-America accolades, is another returnee for the Irish. Epple, a native of Cockeysville, Maryland, is a product of Calvert Hall College High School.
Overall, the Irish bring back seven starters from the 2015 campaign and 34 total student-athletes who earned playing time.
As a unit, Notre Dame captured the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in 2015 in just its second season as a conference member. Corrigan and his Fighting Irish captured the title with a thrilling come-from-behind 15-14 win over then second-ranked North Carolina. Notre Dame concluded the season with a 12-3 overall record and an undefeated 4-0 conference standing.
Notre Dame Face-Off Yearbook Ranking
Last Five Seasons
- 2011 – 7
- 2012 – 9
- 2013 – 3
Lacrosse Magazine Preview
Patrick Stevens of Lacrosse Magazine chooses the Irish to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title and thinks they may go all the way to their first National Championship. Stevens writes:
“Put simply, it might just be the Fighting Irish’s time, and they’ll bring plenty of star power into this season after falling in overtime against Denver in last year’s semifinals. Notre Dame boasts one of (if not the) best attackmen in Matt Kavanagh. It has one of (if not the) best midfielders in Sergio Perkovic. It deploys one of (if not the) best defenseman in Matt Landis.
Those, of course, are not the only pieces, just the most notable ones. Kavanagh was a Tewaaraton finalist a season ago while scoring 27 goals and adding 25 assists, but the Irish also bring back sophomore Mikey Wynne (33 goals). Perkovic (34 goals) almost single-handedly beat Denver in the semifinals, but the Irish always offer depth in the midfield.
Landis was stellar last season, stymieing Albany’s Lyle Thompson in the NCAA quarterfinals en route to earning the Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defensive player, and he’ll again be joined by Garrett Epple and Edwin Glazener. Experience is not a question mark when it comes to the Irish.”