This upcoming Sunday the Notre Dame lacrosse team will face Duke for a spot in the Final Four, and for the first time the game will be played outside the east coast.
Saying that the NCAA Quarterfinals would be held in Indianapolis as recently as five years ago would seem like a joke.
"I certainly never thought 25 years ago that we'd be able to play two games in the NCAA Tournament and never leave the Midwest to get to the Final four," says Irish coach Kevin Corrigan.
This is Corrigan's 25th season as the Notre Dame lacrosse coach. His son Will is a sophomore on the Irish team. Will knows how far his dad has brought the Irish.
“I think it’s incredible. Back when he started here, Notre Dame was playing D-3 schools for its entire season. Now we made the Final Four in 2001 and now we're hosting a quarterfinal in Indianapolis in Indiana. I think it’s in large part to what he's done here at Notre dame,” says Will.
Will has made his mark too. After all he's an Indiana kid, and the South Bend St. Joe grad is one of the few Mid-westerners playing at the highest level of college lacrosse. And now the sport is bringing its marquee games here.
"I thought it was far-fetched to be playing in a quarterfinal to begin with. But for it to be in my home state is a dream come true," Will added.
It's not far-fetched for the Irish to reach the quarterfinals anymore. In fact, a win Sunday sends Notre Dame to the Final Four for the third time in four years—a major reason Indianapolis is hosting. The Irish are helping the sport expand.
According to Coach Corrigan, “It's terrific. It's great for our game and it’s certainly great for our team. And it says a lot of what’s going on with the sport of lacrosse. I’m very excited for the opportunity."
What a site it will be Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.