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Game Thread/Preview: Denver at No. 7 Notre Dame

May 13, 2018

Notre Dame got its shot to win a National Title, but the road isn’t going to be easy as the No. 7 Irish take on Denver in the opening round of the NCAA Championship at 2:15 p.m. ET on Sunday on ESPNU.  

The Irish do get to host the matchup at Arlotta Stadium, which Notre Dame won 11-9 earlier in the year against Denver. 

Offense was a problem for the Irish all year, but the Notre Dame enters Sunday’s game scoring 48 goals over the last three games. The offensive explosion has been led by junior Ryder Garnsey as he scored nine goals and recorded five assists during the three-game stretch. 

Faceoffs will be crucial to both teams success, and Denver holds the advantage with Trevor Baptiste manning the X. Baptiste set the NCAA career record for faceoff wins earlier this season while becoming the third playing in NCAA Division I history to record 1,000 faceoff wins. 

Baptiste’s career percentage of faceoffs won is pretty insane at .718 (1,129-1,5720, which earned him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft in April. 

If that wasn’t enough to strike fear into his opponents, Baptiste was the first faceoff specialist to be named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, which goes to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player. 

In the first matchup of the year, Notre Dame limited Baptiste to winning 15 of 24 faceoffs. 

Postseason Facts
- Maryland and Notre Dame are the only two programs to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship field over the last 13 seasons. 

- Notre Dame is the only program to advance to the quarterfinals in the last eight years. 

- The Irish enter Sunday’s contest with a record of 14-8 in the last eight NCAA Championships.

- Notre Dame earned a seed for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. 

- The Pioneers and Irish will meet for the 25th time on Sunday. Notre Dame leads the series 15-9. 

- Brandon Gleason scored four goals, and Bryan Costabile added three goals in the win earlier this season over Denver. 

- The two programs met in the quarterfinals a year ago with the Pioneers winning 16-4. 

- Seven of the last 10 games have been decided by one goal. 

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