Notre Dame Men's Lacrosse 2018 Foreign Tour: Spain The 11-day tour Is essential to the Notre Dame Lacrosse Experience and features STOPS IN Madrid, Barcelona and Costa Brava


The Notre Dame men's lacrosse program prides itself in offering its student-athletes unique experiences outside of the sport. A central piece of that philosophy is the international trip the program undertakes every four years. This summer the team embarks on an 11-day foreign tour to Spain.

The Irish are one of the few lacrosse programs that take advanatage of the NCAA allowing teams to travel abroad once every four years. The 2018 excursion will mark the sixth foreign trip for the Irish -- following trips to Italy in 2014, Japan in 2010, the Czech Republic in 2005, Ireland, England and Wales in 2001 and Ireland in 1995.

The trip will have a broad focus, as the team will play lacrosse against a number of national teams, learn about the Spanish culture, go sightseeing and try the local cuisine.

Upon arrival in Spain, the team will play in the Barcelona City Tournament, a competition set up to help national teams prepare for the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship. The Irish will join the national teams from Spain, Holland, Norway, England, Germany and Switzerland in the tourney.


The Irish touched down around 10 a.m. local time in Barcelona on Wednesday after nearly an eight-hour flight from JFK in New York. Notre Dame boarded buses and checked in at its first residence on the excursion, the Centre D'alt Rendiment (C.A.R.) Sant Cugat, which hosts many of Spain's Olympic athletes to train in their respective sports.


After grabbing a quick bite to eat in the cafeteria, the squad quickly hopped back on the busses and made the trek to the scenic Montserrat, a multi-peaked rocky range that is part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range.

Once the team arrived, the players and staff took in breathtaking views from lookout points over the sprawling metropolis of Barcelona below.

The site also featured rigorous hiking paths to climb higher up the peaks, a cable car system to take guests straight to the top.

Montserrat is also the host to the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, a monastery notable for enshrining the image of the Virgin of Montserrat. The monastery was founded in the 11th century and rebuilt between 19th and 20th centuries, and still functions to this day.


Following the exploring of Montserrat, the Irish headed back into Barcelona to practice with the local lacrosse team, Barcelona Dracs Lacrosse, at the National Institute for Physical Education of Catalonia, which was used during the 1992 Summer Olympics. The Notre Dame coaches and players showed the natives some new drills and inter-mixed the two teams throughout the session.

The team wrapped up the eventful first day with dinner in Barcelona with the players from the Barcelona Dracs Lacrosse team.

To see a Twitter recap of our first day in Spain, click here! And for a written piece, click here.


The team grabbed a quick breakfast at Centre D'alt Rendiment (C.A.R.) Sant Cugat and then headed to Barcelona to see one of its most famous landmarks, La Sagrada Familia, which is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction on the cathedral began in 1882 and completion is at least eight years away.

The Irish took a tour and learned about the history and the story behind the famous architecture that draws thousands and thousands of tourists each day.


After the end of the tour the players and staff walked through Barcelona to lunch on La Rambla, one of the most popular streets in the city. Everyone was free to explore for a few hours and shop and try the local cuisine.

The most popular market in Barcelona is La Boqueria, located at the heart of La Rambla. The scene is vibrant and full of energy, with a myriad of fresh food choices.


After a full morning and afternoon of touring Barcelona, the team returned to its base to take on the Spanish and English national teams as part of the Barcelona City Tournament.

The Irish defeated Spain by a final score of 20-2 in the opening game before taking on a challenging English side. Peter Gayhardt led the Irish with four goals in the win over the host nation.

Notre Dame improved to 2-0 on the day, as the Irish won 11-4 over England.


Day three was the most lacrosse-heavy day of the trip, featuring a trio of games against European national teams. The Irish began the day against a spirited German side at 9:30 local time (3:30 a.m. ET).

After a slow start in the first quarter, the Irish attack kicked into gear and the defense put the clamps down on the Germans, as Notre Dame went on to win by a final score of 14-2 to improve to 3-0 in the Barcelona City Lacrosse Tournament.

Following the game, the two teams took photos together and swapped gear.

The Irish had a quick turnaround, returning to the field at 1 p.m. to face Switzerland in the second game of the day. Notre Dame breezed to a 12-3 victory to stay perfect in the tourney.

After the game was over, the Irish and Swiss came together for a photo and the Notre Dame players continued to trade gear with the other players from Europe.

After a mid-day break, Notre Dame wrapped up Saturday's packed slate with a contest against Holland. Despite already playing two games, the Irish controlled the contest, going on to win by a score of 13-2. The win gave Notre Dame a record of 5-0 heading into the final day of play on Sunday.


Between Notre Dame's second and third games of the day, some of the players and head coach Kevin Corrigan hosted a mini-clinic on a side field to teach techniques and strategies to the other European teams.

The main focus of the first session was goalie play.

The other focus was face-off/wing strategies. A number of the Irish players explained the thought process behind what they do and demonstrated how to execute properly.


Following the long day of lacrosse, the team boarded buses and joined the other six national teams at a restaurant by the beach in Barcelona.

As great as the food was, the atmosphere was even better, as the night was filled with chants and songs and ended with impromptu karaoke from members of each national teams and the Irish players.


For the third and final day of the Barcelona City Lacrosse Tournament the Irish drove into the city and played games just off the beach.

The Irish played a pair of split-squad games, against Norway at 9:30 a.m. local time and versus England at 10 a.m. The Irish defeated Norway by a final of 8-5 and then pulled out an overtime victory over England by a count of 10-9 to finish the three-day event undefeated at 7-0.

Following the final game, all six teams came together for a closing ceremony. Morrison Mirer was named Notre Dame's MVP for the weekend. ND head coach Kevin Corrigan and a number of players from the teams made closing comments. A few players even took a quick, celebratory dip in the Mediterranean Sea after completion of the games.

To read more about the tournament, read John Heisler's feature here.

The team then scarfed down pizza before making the trek north to Vall de Núria, a ski resort located just south of the Spain-France border. After a 90-minute bus ride, the team hopped on a train for the last 45 minutes of the expedition. The ride featured breathtaking views of the Pyrenees mountains at every turn. When the train finally came to a stop, the players and staff were greeted with a majestic view that words can hardly explain. See for yourself below.

Upon arrival, the team had free time for the remainder of the evening to recover from the seven games of lacrosse in three days.


The team had an early wake-up call, getting to the gondola lift at 8 a.m. to begin a morning full of adventurous hikes. The region featured countless numbers of trails, ranging from beginners to expert difficulty levels.

The ride up took less than five minutes and offered some nice views along the way, however, they would pale in comparison to the sights that followed later.

The guys split up into groups and began to choose the path they wanted to go. Regardless of each one's decision, the views were majestic.

A number of members of the team even reached the summit of some of the highest peaks around the hotel.

After reaching the summit, the team had to find a way down. Some used more exciting methods than others as seen on the video below. ⤵️

After everyone returned to Vall De Nuria from the hiking, the team checked out of its hotel rooms and gathered for lunch. Then a few hours later everyone boarded a train and began the trek back to Barcelona. The team then enjoyed dinner at Xiroi Ca La Nuri, a restaurant right off of the Mediterranean.

The night ended with a goodbye, as Pol, a member of the Spain national team who was instrumental in the planning and logistics of the entire trip, had to leave the team. Pol had been with the Irish since they touched down in Barcelona on Thursday morning.


Wake-up call came early on Tuesday morning, as the buses were loaded and on the road by 8:15 a.m. heading to Costa Brava, a coastal region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain. Upon arrival, the team split into two groups for a guided tour of the ancient Greek and Roman ruins that occupied the area more than 2,000 years ago.

The Greek and Roman centers were separate and unique to one another. The Greek area was used as a commercial point and had a harbor, while the Roman one was focused on military.

The tour guide dressed in the garb of an ancient Roman.

The monastery pictured above was built around three centuries ago using the remains from the ancient cities.

The Roman upper-class had exquisite mosaics in their homes in the first and second centuries AD.


The squad then took a quick jaunt to a local marina where a double-decker catamaran was waiting for its arrival.

Following a short drive out to sea, the large vessel dropped its anchor and allowed the guys to take a dip in the Mediterranean.

After 30 minutes of jumping off the boat and swimming, everyone boarded for a traditional lunch of seafood paella made right onboard.

The second part of the trip at sea featured beautiful views of the Spanish coastline. Many of the views reminded players of the hit television show Game of Thrones, which filmed scenes from previous seasons in the nearby town of Girona.


The boat came to a halt on the shore of Cadaques, a beautiful, small beach town that featured restaurants and shop and appeared to be straight out of a classic film. One of the town's claims to fame is the house of the painter Salvador Dalí, who spent many years living in Cadaques.

The guys stopped and grabbed a quick bite to eat before making the two-hour bus ride back to the hotel in Barcelona. The crowd favorite foods were the crepes and gelato.

The bus ride back to Barcelona featured some amazing views as the road wound in and out over the mountainous landscape.


The wake-up call came a little later on Wednesday evening, as the team did not have to leave the hotel until 10 a.m. Once the time came around, the guys left Barcelona and made a short bus ride to Penedes, a region made famous for its vineyards.

The Irish stopped at Familia Torres, one of the most admired wine brands in the world. The company is considered by many as an innovative company looking to help give back to the Earth.

The staff and student-athletes split up into two groups to take a guided tour of the magnificent facility.

Each group got to see the grapes on the vine over the expansive property and was educated on the importance of soil and how it affects the flavor of the grapes.

The team also saw the entire rest of the facility from the production of the wine to its storage.

Roses are commonly found at vineyards due to the fact that they are an indicator of diseases to the grapes and can be used to prevent the loss of product.

Following the visit, the team ate lunch at a Familia Torres restaurant before hopping back onto a bus for a long bus ride to Madrid that took the rest of the day. Upon arrival to the hotel in Spain's capital, the guys were free to go out for a late-night dinner before heading back to the hotel.

Thursday was the team's first day in Madrid and the players had the opportunity to explore the city all day. Madrid offers a vast array of attractions and the guys took full advantage.


A very popular thing to do among the players was to take a tour of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the home to Real Madrid, one of the best and famous soccer clubs in the world.

The experience had many impressive features that were highly engaging. The players got multiple views of the pitch from throughout the stadium and walked through a high-tech, interactive museum that focused on its history and current squad, which just won the UEFA Champions League for the third-straight season.

The tours also allowed patrons on the pitch, in the team tunnel, locker rooms and press areas.


Another thing a lot of the players did was take the metro to Plaza Mayor, one of the most visited parts of the Spanish capital.

The plaza has beautiful architecture and an endless number of unique shops and restaurants.

A short walk led to the Royal Palace of Madrid, the world's largest royal palace by floorspace. The palace has 3,418 rooms and totals 1,450,000 square feet.

Right next door to the expansive palace is the Catedral de la Almudena, a Baroque Catholic cathedral known for its colorful chapels, plus a Romanesque crypt and museum.


Everyone reconvened in Las Ventas around 5:30 p.m. for a bullfight held at La Plaza de Toros, the biggest and most important ring in the world. The stadium seats 24,000 spectators and was built in 1929. Plaza de Toros hosts around 50 bullfights a year.

Prior to entering the stadium, Professor Tim Kinneen ‘86, an Ernest Hemingway Scholar in Spain, provided background and history of the bullfights to the team. He explained how it is deeply connected to Spanish traditions and that the bull is the main protagonist in the event.

The night consisted of six bullfights, featuring three matadors who each performed twice.

Bullfight attendance was optional for the players. The guys left sporadically throughout the event and were free to go grab dinner in the city to end their eventful day.


For the final full day in Spain, the team got to explore the historic city of Segovia. The guys piled into buses after getting to sleep in at 10:30 a.m. to make the one-hour drive to the site.

Segovia is know for its medieval walls and Romanesque churches and has a former royal palace and a Gothic cathedral. It feels like you are taking a step back in time as you walk the narrow streets with the centuries-old architecture all around. Its most well-know structure, however, is the Aqueduct of Segovia, which greets guests as they make their way to the city.

The Aqueduct is one of the best-preserved elevated Roman aqueducts in the world.

The structure was constructed around 100 A.D., as ordered by Emperor Domitian.

The other two famous structures in Segovia are the Alcázar of Segovia and the Segovia Cathedral. The players and staff had three hours to roam the city and many took advantage by seeing these two incredible buildings.

The Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral was built in the mid-16th century. Entrance into the cathedral was just three Euros, making it a bargain for the team.

The Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most famous castles in all of Spain. The structure was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then.

The structure was built in the early 12th century and features many interesting rooms and views due to its unique shape and location. In the castle is also a museum and a room full of knight's armor and medieval weapons.

Segovia also featured many shops and restaurants giving the team a vast variety of options for lunch and shopping opportunities. The squad stayed in Segovia for three hours before heading back to the hotel in Madrid.

For the final evening in Spain, the team was divided up by classes and went to four different restaurants for dinner in downtown Madrid. The team then returned to the hotel to pack up and get ready for an early flight on Saturday morning back to the States.


The Irish got up early on Saturday morning, boarding buses by 7 a.m. to head back to the airport for the flight to New York City. The flight home capped an amazing 10-day adventure that encapsulated so much of what the Notre Dame men's lacrosse program has come to stand for. The team excelled on the field and had many once in a lifetime experiences that the student-athletes will never forget.

Be sure to check back for daily trip updates. You can also follow the #NDLaxSpain foreign tour by following the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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