Irish in Italy: Notre Dame's 10-Day Trip
For the second time in five years, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish advanced all the way to NCAA championship game before falling to the Duke Blue Devils. However, just like in 2010, it wasn't long before the Irish were putting the game behind them.
Just two days after they fell short against Jordan Wolf and the Blue Devils, 11-8, the Irish packed their bags and left the United States for a 10-day trip to Italy that featured three lacrosse games. The trip marked the fifth time a Notre Dame squad has gone overseas, including trips to Japan in 2010, the Czech Republic in 2005, Ireland, England and Wales in 2001, and Ireland in 1995.
During a trip that had a number of destinations including Milan, Lake Como, Florence and Rome, the cameras were rolling as members of the Irish took in Italy and all it had to offer.
As the Irish continued its tour around the country, they stopped in scenic Lake Como to cool off before taking to the fields to get some work in prior to playing in its first of three friendly lacrosse games.
Getting a chance to take in a country that is known for its cars and wine, the Irish also had a special opportunity to spread some knowledge about its own sport and culture.
Next month, 38 teams will descend upon Commerce City, Colo., to participate in the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship. Notre Dame scrimmaged three of them in Italy.
Wales, which is one of the more veteran teams in the tournament, competing for the fifth time this summer, will participate in the Plum Division with Argentina, New Zealand and Russia. In the 2010 world championships, Wales finished 11th overall out of a 29 nations with a 5-2 overall record.
Norway, which is competing in the Green Division this year alongside Italy, China and the Netherlands, finished 24th in Manchester with a 1-6 record, its first time competing in the tournament.
Italy is preparing for its third FIL World Lacrosse Championship. In 2010, Italy finished the tournament with a 5-3 record which earned them 19th place overall.
Playing in Riviera during a three-day span, each international squad had the opportunity to take on Notre Dame as they looked to not only prepare for the challenges that await in the FIL's, but also in an attempt to learn more about the sport.
Notre Dame's 10-day trip concluded last week as the team returned to the United States on June 7, and although it might be a while before some of the players make it back to Italy, the wait to get back to NCAA championship weekend could be a little shorter.
With offensive stars Matt Kavanagh and Sergio Perkovic returning to guide the Irish, and goalie Conor Kelly coming off an impressive final four, don't be surprised if Notre Dame books a trip to Philadelphia next year.