Why Bet Notre Dame

Editor’s Note: Guest post by Hayden King

In my opinion, Pat Kavanagh is going to be the best player in 2023. If only you could bet on the Tewaaraton winner.

We’ll talk about Virginia and their star power next week, but Notre Dame is returning
most of their offensive weapons in 2023, which is only going to add to Pat having a monster season.

As a sophomore in 2021, Pat was all over social media. I still look back at the clip of him beating 4-5 Duke defenders and popping a BTB shot through the 5-hole.

Although he didn’t put up the insane highlights of his sophomore season in 2022, he became a
better player and captained the Fighting Irish offense. With 64 points on the season, Pat led the team in
assists, which he will probably do again this spring.

After what many deem a snub with a NCAA Tournament omission in ’22, this team is coming back locked and loaded with what might be the best betting value in all of college lacrosse. The Irish will be bringing back their top four point producers for the 2023 season.

Last year was a tough season for Notre Dame. Led by longtime head coach Kevin Corrigan, the team
managed an 8-4 record after coming a little slow out of the gate with losses to future playoff teams
Georgetown, Maryland, and Ohio State.

After going 1-3 to start the season (first game win over Detroit Mercy), the Irish managed to pull out a miraculous 7-1 turn around. Many thought the team deserved to be in the tournament with how they ended their season. They beat Syracuse twice: once on March 26th with an absolute whomping of 22-6, and again on May 7th with an 18-11 victory.

On top of that, they had two big wins over Duke: both times they scored 16 times with a 16-15 win on April 9th and a 16-14 win on May 7th.

However, the committee didn’t think they showed enough to be favored over the high-powered Ivy League teams, which I kind of agreed with.

They got left out of the Tournament for the first time since 2005, and you’d be crazy to think all of them
aren’t coming back with a vengeance.

2022 Transfers + Graduations

I love the transfer portal. If you have a good team, it promises to bring high quality talent. You’d be hard
pressed to convince me there’s any higher quality talent in the Transfer Portal than Yale’s 4-Time All
American Defender Chris Fake.

I’ve been watching this man at Yale since he led the 2018 National Champion Bulldogs defense as a freshman. His sophomore year he and the Bulldogs continued their dominance and earned 2018 National Champion Runner-Up honors.

What I’m saying here: the man knows how to win and will be a dominant veteran presence for any team. Guess where he ended up.

Notre Dame has been one of the best defenses in college lacrosse since I was a kid. I thought it was all
former defensive foordinator Gerry Byrne (current Head Coach of Harvard), and boy was I wrong. Since
Byrne has left, this team has still been dominant, and it feels like they can plug in anyone to that defense
and produce countless All Americans.

The loss of 1st Team All American Arden Cohen is going to hurt, as he got drafted 3rrd overall by the Redwoods in the 2022 PLL Draft. On top of that, former grad transfer Jason Reynolds was drafted by the 2022 PLL Champion Waterdogs 30th overall. Cohen’s shoes are going to be the hardest to fill, as he anchored this defense and earned the honors showing his dominance on the field.

This is where Chris Fake is going to make an immediate impact though, and although he might not be a 1st Team All American currently. It is very likely he can get to that form in the 2023 season. Fake will also be joined by former teammate and two-time Bulldog Captain Brian Tevlin.

I don’t know a lot about Tevlin, but as a midfielder and captain in Andy Shay’s system, it’s hard to see him not making an immediate impact with this team. USA Lacrosse Magazine touted him as a Preseason Honorable Mention All American heading into ’23.

2023: The Year of the Irish

Five Preseason All Americans will make this team one to watch in 2023.

Chris Fake and Brian Tevlin have already been mentioned, but let’s talk about possibly the biggest star
on the 2023 Irish defense, Liam Entenmann. Entenmann will be returning to the pipes for his 4th year in
the Blue and Gold, and USA Lacrosse Magazine has him touted as a First Team Preseason All American.

I think he will be the best goalie in 2023, and with the addition of Fake, I don’t think this defense will miss
a beat. They only allowed 10.08 goals per game, but I think they will be closer to Maryland’s 2022
numbers in the upcoming season.

With a stacked defense, Notre Dame’s offense will be under a tiny bit more scrutiny. I don’t think they’ll be too worried about that though, as they return their top 4 point producers for the 2023 season, as well as whom I think will be the best player in the country: Pat Kavanagh. I’ve talked enough about Pat, but I think his brother is going to be the true ‘dark horse’ for this team.

His younger brother Chris will be a Sophomore this year, and I think he’s due to break out. He already had 33 points as a freshmen, and I bet that number will close to double in 2023. Pat’s assist numbers are only going to increase, and who better to receive those than his brother. Also, if you follow Notre Dame’s social media accounts, you’ve seen Chris (#50) going one-on-one in practice.

He might not need any passes from his brother in order to double his goal numbers, and he’s going to be a menace to opposing defenders.

The Kavanagh family is making a case to be one of the most talented in College Lacrosse history, and
these two are special. The Stanwick’s, Powell’s, and Gait’s may have some company in lacrosse royalty

It’s not just the brothers I love about this offense though. Eric Dobson will be coming off a 32-point
season, and he’s already been touted a Third Team Preseason All American. He’s a good shooter and will
definitely see his numbers increase. Honestly, that’s what makes Dobson a perfect fit for this team.

Similar to a big in the NBA pulling two defenders into the post, the Kavanagh’s will tighten up defenses. When those defenses get tight, look for Dobson on the outskirts to send that ball into warp speed as it passes goalies around the country.

A returner that really fascinates me on this team though is Jake Taylor. When I was coaching in
Colorado, Jake played at one of our rival schools Regis Jesuit. He played with current Denver
midfielder Reed Babcock and their skills were off the charts. They also played together on Denver Elite,
which if any of you follow the club circuit you saw how good that group was together.

It’s not common you get players out of Colorado, so I’m rooting for Jake as he comes off another injury. His stat line in 2022 was interesting as well: 29 points on 27 goals and 2 assists. That was enough to lead the team. Yes, he had more goals than either Kavanagh brother, and yes I said I think Pat is going to win the Tewaaraton this year.

I think that’s what makes Jake so fascinating heading into 2023. If Pat and Chris continue to improve on their assist number, and defenses focus on those two, it’s hard to see Jake not getting into seams and
scoring a lot of goals when returns in mid season.

Lock In Notre Dame +650

Listen, if I haven’t convinced you already that this team will be good in 2023 then we may have an issue.
They aren’t really losing any offense, and their losses on defense should be fillable with the additions
they made through the transfer portal. They have one of the best goalies in the country, and they went 5-1 in conference play last year.

They’re returning one of the best players in college lacrosse, and his freakishly skilled brother is looking for a breakout season. They know who they are, and they have the talent at every position to dominate at all ends of the field. After missing the tournament, everyone on this team is going to come back with something to prove.

If we’re purely going on emotions, I’d say this team is the safest bet in all of College Lacrosse. They weren’t good enough in ’22 to have a target on their back, and they weren’t bad enough to be out of any games.

They know what they can do on the lacrosse field, and they won’t back down to anyone. With no target and a mission to prove, this team is the scariest team in 2023 and I’d be shocked to not see them Memorial Weekend.

Follow Hayden on Twitter.

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