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Notre Dame Lacrosse Schedule: This Schedule Goes to 11

The Irish have 11 regular season dates to prove what should be a lofty preseason ranking.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

PROGRAM SCHEDULE PROPAGANDA: PRESS RELEASE
THIS IS WHY WE FIGHT: THE SCHEDULE

Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:

Pass Go
April 24 and 26: v. ACC Championship

The ACC Tournament hasn't seen a lot of champions reproduce their efforts in a proceeding season. After North Carolina dominated early iterations of the tournament -- the Tar Heels won the first six ACC Tournaments, running through the league's postseason without issue from 1989 through 1994 -- the conference has sustained a back-to-back champion only four times in 20 seasons of competition:

  • Virginia won consecutive titles in 1999 and 2000.
  • Maryland won back-to-back tournaments in 2004 and 2005.
  • Duke earned hardware in 2001 and 2002 and followed up those consecutive titles with a three-year blast through the ACC Tournament from 2007 to 2009.
Otherwise, the league has seen its wealth shared among its members in the conference's postseason event. The Irish will attempt to change that reality this spring as the program seeks its first back-to-back ACC Tournament championship run since joining the league in 2014, potentially serving as the league's first back-to-back postseason champion in a half-decade. Entering the year with a bullseye squarely affixed to the team's face, the Irish won't be able to storm through the field with light expectations in 2015. Corralling a second league postseason title in as many seasons may become as difficult for Notre Dame as earning a gold medal on Memorial Monday.

Yo!
March 7: at Denver

Will college lacrosse witness a regular season meeting between the top-ranked and second-ranked teams in the nation as early as March? It's possible: The Irish will face three opponents -- Georgetown, Michigan, and Dartmouth -- before heading west to face the Pioneers, these games looking like strong opportunities for Notre Dame to break in their curb-stomping boots; Denver will face an enhanced slate of opponents before hosting the Irish, running against Duke and North Carolina -- with Air Force and Furman sandwiched between those teams -- before having the opportunity to throw hands with Notre Dame. If the Pios can navigate their early nightmares, the nation's consciousness could center on Colorado in a huge meeting with major implications.

Even if Irish-Pioneers fails to pit the two highest ranking teams in the nation against each other, the game still has juice: Notre Dame and Denver have had an awesome stretch of tight games over the last four seasons, even with the Irish holding a 3-1 edge against the Pioneers since 2011. The aggregate scoring in those four meetings is 40-40 with three one-goal victories inuring to Notre Dame's favor (including two overtime results, one of the triple overtime variety). This game has "MUST WATCH, TELL THE KIDS TO NOT EXIST!" written all over it.

We're Getting the Band Back Together!
March 7: at Denver; March 21: Ohio State

The Irish, Pioneers, and Buckeyes are all former members of the Great Western Lacrosse League. Is this a sign that the three teams are quietly attempting to reboot a once-great concern, ensuring the return of Michigan State and Butler to Division I lacrosse, and probably making the ACC dissolve out of fear that the Great West -- I don't even know where that is? Are there things west of New Jersey? Isn't that Russia? -- will dominate Earth with lacrosse power heretofore never seen? Probably!