Irish Lacrosse to be Honored During Michigan-Notre Dame Football Game

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse team will be honored on the Notre Dame Stadium field during Saturday’s Notre Dame-Michigan football game. The Irish will be recognized for their run to the title game of the 2010 NCAA Championship and for their work in the classroom and community.

The presentation is scheduled to take place during the first timeout of the first quarter.

The team made a memorable run to the title game of the 2010 NCAA Championship by defeating No. 6 Princeton (8-5), No. 3 Maryland (7-5) and No. 7 Cornell (12-7). The journey ended with a 6-5 overtime loss to No. 5 Duke at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. It was the first national title game appearance in program history.

Goalie Scott Rodgers was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, while his teammates Zach Brenneman (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) joined him on the NCAA all-tournament team. That trio was among five Notre Dame players that copped All-America honors for the 2010 campaign. Midfielders Grant Krebs and David Earl also garnered All-America accolades.

Notre Dame allowed just 23 goals (5.75 per game) during its four NCAA Tournament games. The Fighting Irish boasted the nation’s second-best scoring defense during the 2010 campaign by surrendering just 7.53 goals per game. Rodgers led the nation in save percentage (.605) and ranked third in goals-against average (7.56)

The Irish also had success in the classroom. The squad received the 2009-10 BIG EAST Academic Team Excellence Award, which recognizes the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport. The Irish finished with a collective 3.065 cumulative grade-point average (GPA).

The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team also is heavily involved in the local community. In 2005, the squad started a mentorship program at Jefferson Middle School in South Bend. For their efforts in the community, the team was recognized with The Trophy Award at Notre Dame’s 2008 O.S.C.A.R.S (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) program. The Trophy Award annually recognizes a Fighting Irish athletic team that has demonstrated its commitment and dedication to the community through unparalleled community service to Notre Dame and South Bend.

In addition to the work in the local community, the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program is involved in activities far away from the Michiana area. Junior defenseman Jake Brems spent this past summer working on a joint internship with the Center of Concern in Washington D.C. and Fields of Growth International. Fields of Growth, which was started by Notre Dame’s coordinator of men’s lacrosse operations Kevin Dugan, is a non-profit organization that operates in Southwest Uganda and uses the game of lacrosse as a relational platform to foster friendships and deliver education, healthcare and various forms of human development.

While at the Center of Concern, Brems spent a month studying economic and social justice issues in East Africa. He spent the second month of his summer on location in Uganda, working with the Fields of Growth project. In Uganda, Brems studied and assisted an AIDS widow on her family poultry-rearing project. Brems also taught and gave lacrosse lessons at the local primary schools at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Kkindu, Masaka District.

Dugan and former Notre Dame football player Oscar McBride joined Brems later in the summer as they kicked off a youth sports ministry built around Notre Dame faculty member Clark Power’s Play Like a Champion program. The Play Like A Champion Today™ Educational Series (PLC) is an innovative coach and parent education program that hopes to transform the culture of sports today. Dugan and McBride worked with leaders in the parish to culturally adapt the program to village life in rural Uganda and empowered the parish leadership to implement the program as a form of Catholic youth ministry. Play Like A Champion Today™ offers a child-centered, research-based approach to coaching and sport parenting by offering interactive coaches clinics and parent workshops.

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