Irish men’s lacrosse doing best to maintain focus ahead of championship weekend

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:22 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team is one of the final four teams remaining this season as they head into championship weekend in Philadelphia.

Despite making the NCAA Tournament in all but one of the last 17 seasons, this is the first time the Irish have been in the Final Four since 2015.

And with a spot in the national title game just one win away, the Irish are doing their best to maintain focus on the task at hand.

“You obviously try to not think about it, but it obviously creeps into your mind how awesome of a feeling that is to truly win a championship,” says Irish graduate midfielder Jack Simmons. “But we realize we have to win the semifinal game to even get to the championship, so we’re not focusing on the championship yet.”

“It’s hard not to be when you know you’re going to the Final Four,” says Irish graduate defender Chris Fake. “It consumes your life, obviously. Last time I was there, you kind of black out for the whole thing just because it’s so exciting, so stressful. We’re ready for that, and it’s going to be a really fun three days.”

The No. 3 Irish will face No. 2 Virginia in the semifinals on Saturday. The Cavaliers are not only a familiar foe — they’ve also been Notre Dame’s kryptonite this year, handing the Irish their only two losses of the season.

First draw on Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2.

The winner advances to the national championship on Memorial Day, where they will face the winner of the other semifinal matchup between Duke and Penn State.

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