Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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56 JUNE/JULY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY DAVID MCKINNEY T he Notre Dame men's lacrosse team entered the 2018 ACC Tour- nament having lost four of its six pre- vious matches to drop its record to 6-5, but its fortunes quickly changed once postseason play began. The Fighting Irish faced then-No. 1 Duke — which had come to South Bend April 7 and left with an 8-2 victory — in the semifinals April 27 in Charlottesville, Va. Notre Dame gained its revenge, rallying from a one-goal deficit with nine minutes to play to notch a 14-11 victory over the Blue Devils. Junior attackman Ryder Garnsey paced the Irish offense with a game-high five goals. "The first time we played these guys we lost our poise," Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan said follow- ing the game. "And then everybody started to press. Tonight even after Duke went up one you didn't sense any loss of energy or loss of focus." The Irish carried the momentum into the title game against then- No. 11 Virginia, blowing past the Cavaliers 17-7 on their home field while racking up a season high in goals. Sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile was one of three Irish play- ers to tally three goals. In addition, the Notre Dame de- fense forced 25 turnovers and held the Cavaliers to a season low in goals for the second time this season (the Irish also defeated UVA 9-7 March 17 in South Bend). The championship was Notre Dame's second since join- ing the conference in 2013. "Our energy was high all week- end," Corrigan said following the win over the Cavaliers. "After last week our guys knew they had to come back with their best lacrosse. And I was impressed how loose we played in both games." The Irish landed four players on the all-tournament team — Costabile, Garnsey, senior defenseman John Sexton and freshman goalie Matt Schmidt. Costabile was also named tournament MVP after racking up six goals and two assists. The Irish wrapped up the regular season with a 17-5 home win over Army West Point May 5 before fall- ing 9-7 to No. 3 Denver in the first round of the 16-team NCAA Tourna- ment May 13. "This team showed such great character this year to be as resilient as we were with all we went through," Corrigan said after the defeat. "I ap- preciate that; I know how hard that is. We just didn't get it done with our performance today." Denver has proven to be a for- midable foe for the Irish in recent years, racking up a 3-1 record against Notre Dame in the past two seasons, including a 16-4 victory in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. During the offseason, the Irish will head to Spain in early June to take part in the Barcelona City Tourna- ment, which will include matchups with the national teams from Eng- land, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Norway. JOHN SEXTON EARNS NATIONAL HONOR The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association honored Irish senior defenseman John Sexton fol- lowing the season with the William C. Schmeisser Award, which is pre- sented annually to the top defensive player in collegiate lacrosse. Sexton, who recorded a team-high 60 ground balls and 19 caused turn- overs to go along with four goals and three assists in 2018, is the fourth player in program history to earn one of the USILA's top awards. Defenseman Matt Landis was a back-to-back recipient of the Wil- liam C. Schmeisser Award in 2015 and 2016, while goalkeepers Joey Kemp and John Kemp were honored with the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Sexton was named a first-team All- American by Inside Lacrosse, which also featured sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile on its second team and junior short-stick defensive mid- fielder Drew Schwartz on its third team. ✦ Men's Lacrosse Wins The ACC Tournament Senior John Sexton received first-team All-America accolades from Inside Lacrosse and was named the National Defensive Player of the Year by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH MEDIA

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