Notre Dame men’s lacrosse has two games left before their shot in the 2017 NCAA Championship, but the road is tough.
A win over Marquette to start off the 2017 NCAA Tournament was nice for Notre Dame. Now, the road becomes a lot more difficult. With Denver, Maryland and Albany in the foreseeable future, the Fighting Irish are nowhere near guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Championship.
The Irish have one of the best teams in the country, there’s no doubt about it. Brendan Gleason and Brendan Collins have led this Notre Dame team all season, and have proven they’re two of the top players in the NCAA. Add goalie, Shane Doss, to the mix, and this team is nearly perfect.
None of this means anything, though. Notre Dame has to go through the top team in men’s lacrosse, Maryland, and possibly Albany, and they still need to play Denver first.
If they get to the Championship, they’ll worry about it then. Right now, they have three teams all looking like some of the best squads in the world. Yes, Notre Dame is talented, but in May anything can happen.
Beating Denver is step one. Notre Dame’s back-and-forth season doesn’t give them too big of a chance to beat them, but if they play the way they did against Marquette, they’ll be just fine. Even if they did finish 8-7 on the year, they have some of the best talent out there. That’ll show in these last few matchups.
From there, the real challenge begins. Maryland and Albany head into their quarterfinals matchup with a combined five losses. At 13-3, Maryland was rewarded the top team in the tournament and watching them play, you can see why.
Albany is always a threat. Every year, you watch as they crawl their way to the Final Four, beating teams no one believed they would. Against Maryland, it’d be no surprise if they did it again.
Notre Dame has a lot left before their shot at the NCAA Tournament. Denver is step one, but definitely the easiest.
If they can escape three of the top teams in the NCAA, they’ll be in great shape to take home a Championship.
First, they need to get there, though.